Havant duo cycle through Myanmar in aid of charity

Work colleagues Dean Kirby and Tony Kitchen
Work colleagues Dean Kirby and Tony Kitchen
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TWO Havant cyclists are due to finish their charity adventure of a lifetime today after a daunting near 300-mile ride through Myanmar.

Work colleagues Dean Kirby and Tony Kitchen joined a number of other cyclists on the six-day challenge across the temple-dotted landscape.

They are hoping to raise more than £6,000 for Save the Children, as part of a group target of £75,000 in the Mitsubishi Electric Burma Cycling Challenge.

Speaking ahead of the challenge, Tony, 49, said: ‘I can’t wait. We’re really looking forward to it, even the snakes.

‘We’ve got our gel seats, padded shorts and even some anti-chaffing cream to help us along the way.’

Dean, 48, who is managing director of Havant-based air conditioning company, Closewood Ltd, has been training regularly with project estimator Tony in the lead-up to the challenge.

The trek began on January 29, from the former royal capital of Mandalay in the heart of Myanmar, once known as Burma.

It was scheduled to finish at Inle Lake in the town of Heho today.

On average, they cycled around 40 miles a day.

The furthest leg was a 71-mile trek that ended 1,500 metres higher than the starting point.

The route through one of the last unexplored countries of south-east Asia passes through some spectacular countryside, including sacred Buddhist monasteries and ancient palaces.

‘It’s going to be a lot different from the cycling we have been doing along the south coast,’ added Tony.

‘We’re expecting up to 30-degree heat and extreme humidity, riding along roads and some dirt tracks.

‘We’ve had to have a load of injections beforehand and I know this is going to be a real challenge.’

Dean and Tony will be heading off to Thailand after the trek to visit the Japanese company’s operation in Bangkok.

For an update on their journey and to make a donation, go to the JustGiving page at justgiving.com/D-Kirby1/.