A Scottish couple is set to cycle around the world by tandem to raise money for good causes after being inspired by long distance cyclist Mark Beaumont’s record-breaking 18,000 mile trip.
Bob and Deborah Gulliver plan to leave home soil on Saturday on their around the world voyage to raise funds of Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (Chas) and the Hospices of Hope Help for Ukraine.
Bob, 53, said: “While we have no idea what we will encounter along the way, after 30 plus years working in IT programme management around the globe I always have to have a plan.”
Both non-cyclists until now, Bob and his wife, 49, will spend the next 21 months on a tandem as they pedal around the planet.
“This is slightly longer than Mark Beaumont’s world record,” said Bob.
“It was reading Mark’s book of cycling around the world in 194 days that first inspired us to take up expedition cycling, although Mark’s latest record of cycling around it in less than 80 days just tired us out reading about it.”
And Beaumont has offered his own words of encouragement, wishing them luck for the thousands of miles ahead.
“What a mission, what a fantastic adventure to set out on to support the incredible work of Chas,” he said.
“It’s a wonderful mode of transport to get immersed in all these incredible cultures and landscapes in the next 21 months or so.
“These are extraordinary times so what a way to show that you can still travel. Joining the world up again is such a commendable aspiration.”
The couple will be fundraising separately for Hospices of Hope, with a link to follow from them in the coming days on their blog.
They hope to return to Scotland by Christmas 2023, when the couple will be reunited with their children Honi, 25, and Feni, 24.
Charity Chas provides hospice services for babies, children and young people with life-shortening conditions across Scotland.
The charity offers palliative care and respite for the whole family via its two hospices, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch.
Bob said: “It is heartbreaking to hear how many families, just in Scotland, have a terminally ill child.
“As parents ourselves, we can’t even begin to imagine what it must be like to be one of those parents.
“We therefore can’t think of a charity that we would want to support more and hope that through our efforts we will further raise the profile of Chas and, in turn, funds that will allow the charity to support more families though such a painful time, while hopefully establishing long-lasting happy memories.”
People can donate to the fundraising effort for Chas via a JustGiving page the couple have set up at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thegulliverstravels, and follow the Biggar couple on their world tour at TheGulliversTravels.com.