Two ambitious Barnstaple cyclists are preparing to pedal their way around Lake Victoria in Africa to raise funds for two local charities.
Dave Beard and James Lewis will embark on their 1,000-mile adventure in aid of Amigos and Wings South West in November.
Their starting point will be Amigos’ Kira Farm Development Centre in Uganda, from which they intend to cycle around Lake Victoria – a stretch of water twice the size of Wales.
The intrepid pair will then power their way through Tanzania and Kenya.
Amigos, based in Barnstaple, equips people with skills in Uganda to help people lift themselves out of poverty.
Wings South West, based in Bideford, gives hope to disadvantaged youth in North Devon.
The adventurous duo are aiming to raise £10,000 for the two charities in their unsupported cycling mission to give people a hand-up in life.
Dave said: ‘The project was born out of the Amigos ‘Pedal out of Poverty’ Christmas appeal and the realisation that the price of a new mountain bike can fund many families in Uganda with a life-changing form of transport.
“It only seemed right to put our own bikes to good use.”
James added: “We will need to average 80-90 miles every day.
“The lake is at 1,200 metres altitude and the hills can reach 1,700 metres. Although we’re riding around a lake, it will be surprisingly hilly.”
The pair will have to carry all of their own kit, and are hoping to find guesthouses – or friendly locals – to accommodate them during the trip.
Dave added: “It should be around 25-30 degrees centigrade each day with a few monumental downpours in the afternoons. The ride should be all tarmac, but we are prepared for some potholes.”
Phil Pugsley, CEO of Amigos, and Paul Bowser, CEO of Wings, said in a joint statement: “We’re so pleased Dave and James are fundraising to support young people both in Uganda and in the UK.
“Fundraisers are the lifeblood of charities, and to see two people go to such extraordinary lengths to raise money is both humbling and incredibly encouraging.”
The pair will set off on their journey on November 11. To support them, go to: www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/lakevictoriaride.