Pompey fan completes bike ride across India

STUNNING James Jenkins outside the Taj Mahal
STUNNING James Jenkins outside the Taj Mahal

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PROUD Pompey fan James Jenkins braved sweltering heat and dangerous terrain to complete a charity bike ride across India.

The 35-year-old from Fareham joined 29 others to ride 260 miles from the Taj Mahal in Agra to Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, in six days.

His dedicated efforts raised more than £2,700 for the Openwork Foundation’s Cares4Kids charity.

The arduous journey took the group through poverty-hit regions of the country and roads littered with potholes.

But the lifelong Blues fan managed to stay on his two wheels for the entire trip, despite one local trying to push him off his bike.

He said: ‘It was hard work.

‘I would say it was, at time, worse than I thought it would be.

‘You see a lot of poverty and long, hard roads under 40C.

‘But it was a great experience and I am glad I did it.

‘It’s a different world out there. There’s rubbish everywhere but people seemed fairly happy with their life.

‘I didn’t have any incidents along the way but a few people did have, and someone did try to grab me off my bike.’

Completing the challenge was a rewarding achievement for the financial adviser, who hadn’t been on a bike for 20 years before beginning his training regime.

Mr Jenkins added: ‘We got to a 50km stretch on one of the days where we had to ride 70 miles and that claimed a few victims.

‘The highlight for me was crossing the finish line. We spent the first couple of days around Delhi and I wanted to come home because it was such a shock. It’s an assault on the senses.

‘All the stuff you see makes you feel quite upset but when you see what you’ve raised it is so worthwhile. The last day of all was the hardest. We had to ride 56km but I felt as if I had nothing in my legs to give.

‘I will keep up the cycling now and do another challenge in the future.’

You can still donate towards his efforts by visiting mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jamesjenkins1