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Andy plans epic cycle to Istanbul

Written by Fiona January 16 2012

It’s great to hear about other people’s outdoor sporting achievements and goals. I “met” Andy Fallon on Twitter. His tweets about an epic cycling challenge sounded interesting. Here’s his story.

Andy is 45 and married with a six-year-old daughter. He lives in Huddersfield West Yorks and spends his days working for Morrisons as a senior manager. He claims to be pretty ordinary and doesn’t have a set keep-fit routine or a special fitness style diet. But he does like sporting challenges.

In 2010 he suddenly became hooked on cycling and decided to cycle from his home to Gibraltar. This amounted to 1,794miles in 16 days. That’s more than 110 miles per day.

He says: “I hadn’t really been into cycling until in 2010 when I suddenly got the cycling bug while watching James Cracknell’s  Cross Continent. James cycled from the UK to North Africa and I thought this seemed brilliant. Added to this, I became hooked on hearing about Mark Beaumont and his world cycling achievements.

“And so I decided to set myself my own cycling challenge. That’s when I headed off for just over a fortnight to cycle to Gibraltar. It was amazing.”

His 2010 cycle challenge raised more than £3,000 for charity.

Novice triathlete conquers an Ironman!

In 2011, Andy set himself another awesome challenge, to complete an Ironman event.

He says: “I had never taken part in a triathlon event before. I just went for the biggy straight away and entered the Bolton Ironman. The swimming pat was the toughest and I ended up doing breaststroke for most of the 2.4 miles, which is pretty slow.

“I manage to complete the vent, which included a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 run, in 15hr 41min, and thankfully before the cut off time of 17 hours!”

So what is Andy planning for 2012?

He says: “This year I’m cycling to Istanbul! The trip is 400 miles longer than the 2010 cycle challenge but I only have one extra day to complete it.” The maths looks bonkers! This will see Andy doing an average of  130 miles per day.

His cycling route will take him through nine countries, including Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, Albania, Macedonia, Greece and thenTurkey/Istanbul before finally cycling over the  Bridge into Asia.  He will also cycle over the famous Tour de France summit  of Col du Galibier (8,678ft).

Andy sets out on May 19 and plans to raise funds for Save the Children, in partnership with  Morrisons. He hopes to £3,000. Check out his Just Giving page.

The only hurdle still to surmount – apart from a bit of training – is sourcing a bike. Andy says: “I still need a bike! I sold my racer last year because it wasn’t really suitable for touring. I’ll need to come up with a bike plan pretty soon though!”

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