Chris will be using pedal power to tackle tough trek

Fareham cyclist Chris Hardyman is set to cycle 300 miles across Vietman and Cambodia to raise money for Parkinson's UK.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (121214-199)
Fareham cyclist Chris Hardyman is set to cycle 300 miles across Vietman and Cambodia to raise money for Parkinson's UK. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121214-199)
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

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Chris Hardyman’s under no illusions that the challenge he’s setting himself will be hard.

No matter how fit you are, cycling in hot and humid conditions abroad will always be tough.

But when Chris gets on his bike to ride 300 miles across Vietnam and Cambodia, he knows he’ll be doing it for a cause that counts.

The 23-year-old will take part in the ride to raise money for Parkinson’s UK – and it’s a chance for him to achieve his own fitness milestone and do something for others.

‘I know it’s going to be physically demanding so I’m making sure that I’m prepared,’ says Chris.

‘I’ve done some research and found that it will be incredibly hot and humid over there so I will need to take that into account.

‘I would consider myself to be an experienced cyclist.

‘I would love to raise in the region of £5,000 for the charity. That’s definitely the aim.

‘After I’ve completed the challenge I intend to do more for charity. I’ve got the fundraising bug now.’

Parkinson’s UK aims to improve the quality of life for people affected by Parkinson’s and find a cure for the condition.

Chris will be joined by scores of other fundraisers on the trek, which is being organised by Pedal for Parkinson’s – a team of cyclists who work closely with the charity. People who have the condition will also take part in the eight-day challenge.

Chris, from Fareham, first heard about the work that Parkinson’s UK did when he completed a self-funded cycle ride to Paris last year with members of Pedal for Parkinson’s.

‘I was just doing it to improve my own fitness,’ he explains.

‘But while I was with the team they told me these incredibly poignant stories about people who suffer with Parkinson’s.

‘It really touched me – especially when I heard about the affect it can have on a sufferer’s family and friends too.

‘I decided from there on in to do my bit for the charity. I think it’s a charity which doesn’t get enough recognition. It works incredibly hard and more people need to be made aware of that.’

And it’s not just real bikes that Chris has used to do his bit.

In March he pedalled all day on an exercise bike in Fareham town centre to raise £275 for Parkinson’s UK.

And he also plans to do something similar in Portsmouth’s Commercial Road on May 5.

For now, Chris, a waiter at La Orient, in West Street, Fareham, is focused on the challenge ahead and he’s been training hard.

He cycles twice a week from Fareham to Eastleigh and his static bike rides have also helped to get him in tip-top shape.

Anyone who wants to support Chris when he takes part in the Pedal for Parkinson’s ride can do so by visiting justgiving.com/chrishardy man123.