It is now over nine months since cousins Hitesh Pankhania and Vivek Jadav gave up their home comforts to cycle from Indonesia back to the UK to raise money for CLIC Sargent. Here is an update on their progress.
An epic challenge
The cousins took a flight to Bali in September 2014 and began their epic 14,000 mile cycle ride back home.
They decided to raise funds for CLIC Sargent because of the practical and emotional support the family received when Hitesh’s younger sister, Seema, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma five years ago, aged 12.
Seema is now in remission and attends yearly check-ups.
Hitesh said: “Childhood cancer is quite rare so when it happens you have so many questions and you’re not sure who to ask.
"CLIC Sargent was there to help answer all these questions. It is the only charity we’ve been involved with as a family and I wanted to do something for it, to give something back.
"We are funding the trip ourselves so all the money we raise will go to charity.”
Off the tourist track
So far the pair have cycled around 9,000k and travelled through nine countries.
They are off the tourist track and have been living in basic conditions - camping and staying with local people.
They even spent a few days in Northern Thailand, teaching English to Buddhist monks - in return the head monk gave them food and a temple to sleep in (he even wanted to pay them but they refused!).
The pair have managed to take some time out of the saddle to explore their surroundings, including trekking in Tiger Leaping Gorge in China.
Due to weather conditions, it was impossible to cycle the Pamir Highway (which runs between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and is the second highest road in the world), so when they found themselves with a few weeks to spare, they took a detour to Mongolia where they spent three incredible weeks with nomadic families.
The adventure of a lifetime
Although this challenge was clearly a brave and physically demanding one to take on - particularly as neither of them had cycled more than 100 miles in their entire lives before – it is clear they are having the adventure of a lifetime.
Show your support
We are so grateful for Hitesh and Vivek's support, not just for the money they are raising, but because they have been spreading the word of CLIC Sargent far and wide, including being interviewed on Mongolian Daytime TV wearing their CLIC Sargent cycling shirts!