Bike from Hay to Timbuktu without leaving the county

The real-life route Hay-on-Wye to Timbuktu.

The real-life route Hay-on-Wye to Timbuktu.

First published in News

ORGANISERS of a charity cycling event are calling on bike fans to help with a mammoth intercontinental ride - without ever leaving Powys!

The Turbo4Timbuktu challenge will see 4-strong teams of cyclists on static bikes try to clock up the 3776-mile distance between Hay-on-Wye and its Malian twin town on the edge of the Sahara.

The event is part of Hay Bike Fest, taking place in the book town over the last weekend of April.

Hay’s twin town charity – Hay2Timbuktu – hope the static bikes will be pedalled around the clock from midday on Friday April 25th to midnight on Sunday April 27th.

Bike computers will measure the distance cycled and organisers are confident they can make it all the way to Timbuktu – if they fill the 60 hours of pedal time over the long weekend.

Hay2Timbuktu chair Sandra Skinner said: "We’re looking for volunteers to help achieve this ambitious goal. You can sign up as an individual, or – even better – enter as a team of four and represent your school, college, cycling club or workplace.

"As well as being a fun event and a great way to learn the importance of teamwork, the turbo challenge will support the work of Hay2Timbuktu."

Hay2Timbuktu was set up in 2008 to support low cost, high impact development projects in Malia and promote cultural links between the two communities.

"All proceeds from the Turbo challenge will go towards the charity’s projects," said Mrs Skinner.

"With four volunteers clocking 16 miles an hour we can make it. You can sign up for an hour-long slot or commit yourself to a night shift - it’s up to you.

"You don’t need to be superfit and everyone’s contribution will help."

Sign up to the Turbo Challenge by visiting the website at www.haycycling.org/Hay-Bike-Fest/timbuktu-turbo-challenge.

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