TWO COURAGEOUS brothers said they have been pushed harder than ever before as they reach the halfway mark of an epic 27,000 mile cycle around the world.
Andrew and Robert Corbett from Great Witley have pedalled through dozens of countries on six continents since setting off last July with all proceeds set to go to St Richard’s Hospice and a national cancer charity.
They are currently cycling their way through Malaysia en route to Singapore.
Andrew, 32, recently retired as a professional footballer after spending ten years with Burton Albion, and 25-year-old Robert is a qualified tree surgeon, rock climbing and fitness instructor, and so the pair were in good shape before starting their epic challenge.
But Andrew said nothing had prepared them for what lied ahead.
“Our biggest challenge so far has certainly been crossing China with only a one month visa, which we had to extend for a further month,” he added.
“We had to ride 100 miles a day for the first 21 days and covered 3,564 miles in 45 days in total.
“The route took us straight through the Taklamakan desert and across the high Tibetan plateau in winter. It pushed us harder physically and mentally than we have been before but we felt a great sense of achievement for enduring and accomplishing it.”
But Robert said meeting different people along the way and knowing it was all for a good cause made it worth the pain.
“We love seeing and experiencing the different cultures and people,” he said.
“We get blown away by people’s generosity and random acts of kindness towards us. From people stopping to see if we need food or water to people taking us into their homes – the encouragement they give us is amazing. We both hope that we can adopt this openness and warmth to strangers when we’re back home.”
The brothers have plenty to carry on the journey from their Koga Signature bikes, tent, camping stove to a Kindle and camera.
But their mother, Janet Corbett, who also lives in Great Witley, said by far the best piece of equipment was their GPS tracking system.
“We know more about where they are now than when they were home!” she said.
“It’s strange not having them around but at the same time, with today’s communication and Skype, it has helped enormously.”
The pair chose to support St Richard’s as they have lost family members and friends through cancer, including one who was cared for in the hospice during his last weeks.
“We’re so glad to hear Andrew and Robert are having a good trip,” Jodi Brandwood, community fund-raiser at St Richard’s Hospice, said
“The guys have taken on a massive challenge and we are really grateful for their support.”
For more information on the brothers’ trip and blog posts, visit http://abrothersjourneyaroundtheworld.co.uk/
Or log onto www.justgiving.com/abrothersjourneyaroundtheworld1 to make a donation.