MORE than 1,000 miles and a mountain range won’t stop Keith Harris from cycling across Europe.
The 49-year-old has decided to ride from Portsmouth to Pompeii in a bid to raise money for charity.
But standing between Keith and his destination is 1,285 miles, the Alps and the rolling Italian countryside.
He said: ‘I’m feeling quite good about the trip and I kind of know what to expect. I hope to reach Pompeii within 16 days but one of those days will be for resting after I tackle the Alps.’
A few years ago, Keith, who works on the Gosport Ferry, rode from Gosport to Gibraltar travelling through the Pyrenees. But he is expecting the Alps to be a lot harder.
He added: ‘It will take around three days to cycle through the Alps.
‘I have given myself more time to get through to make it more viable.
‘Even though I have cycled through the Pyrenees, I know the Alps will be a lot harder so I will take a rest day once I have got through the mountains.’
Keith’s journey will take him from Portsmouth and through France before reaching Switzerland as he makes his way through the mountain range.
He will then travel through Italy starting in Aosta then Cremona and Rimini before cycling through Rome and then finally Naples and Pompeii.
‘I’m a little bit nervous for the journey,’ Keith said.
‘But I have booked in hotels and finalised the route so hopefully it will be okay.
‘I decided to do the ride on my own so I will have to carry all my stuff. But doing it alone means I can go at my own pace.
‘It also means there won’t be anyone driving the route and having to wait for me to catch up.’
Keith has so far raised £2,000 for The Rowans Hospice and hopes to reach the £2,500 mark.
He added: ‘I always hear people speak very highly of the Rowans and I know of people who have had family members use the charity.
‘Plus they are local so I wanted to raise money for them. So many people are affected by cancer and they charity do amazing work.’
Keith sets off tomorrow and is expected to finish on September 19.
Brittany Ferries has given him a free trip to France and Gosport Ferry has donated to the charity. For more information see pompey2pompeii.co.uk