Updated: Sunday, 20th October 2019 @ 6:24am

Tameside trio take inspiration from Ewan McGregor’s Long Way Round to tackle gruelling global charity bike challenge

Tameside trio take inspiration from Ewan McGregor’s Long Way Round to tackle gruelling global charity bike challenge

| By Tim Hyde

A Tameside trio who are eight months into a gruelling charity challenge to travel the world by bike have raised more than £2,000, and are now eyeing the £10,000 mark.

Tackling the tarmac, braving the elements and putting their friendship to the test are Russell Selby, Mark Phillips and Jake Mellor who are on a mission to peddle the world’s pavements in order to explore what's on offer.

The men, who are all in their early 20s, embarked on their tough challenge back in August and have since covered 50 miles a day.

Jake, 22, told MM: “We have been away from the UK for eight months now, with six months cycling and two working in Italy.

“The toughest part was cycling through winter and having to camp in temperatures as low as minus ten.

BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE! Riders endure -10 temperatures

“Our favourite places have been down the coast of Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece. We loved Croatia because of the amazing scenery and the other three because of the friendliness of the people.”

They prepared for their expedition for more than a year and are hoping to raise money for Cancer Research UK, WaterAid, Save The Children and Kidneys For Life.

The trio are donating all the money they receive to the causes and are even undertaking jobs on the trip to ensure they keep their dream alive.

SUNNY: The trio enjoy a sun-drenched hotspot

Russell, 23, said: “Travelling is not just about the journey but it is about the people you meet as well.

“We believe that a cycling tour is a good way of seeing the world, the slower you travel the cheaper it is.

“We looked online at other cycling tours and gained inspiration from Ewan McGregor’s Long Way Round.

“It was originally planned to be a short tour but we thought that if we can sustain that then we should make it longer.”

POLE POSITION: The cyclists celebrate reaching Bosnia 

The idea behind the trip started when the friends travelled across Western Europe in a customized van for a month.

Russell added: “When we went travelling in 2010 it really opened our eyes to more than Britain.

“We were so lucky that we could experience this fantastic opportunity and agreed to raise money for those less fortunate.

“If we are able to experience opportunities like this then other people should as well.”

DON'T RAIN ON MY PARADE! Russ endures the wet weather 

The group plan on doing the tour at their own pace and are looking to explore the world and enjoy themselves at every junction.

Russell explained: “The weight of the bike is the difficult part – my bike and bag together weigh more than I do.”

As Russell and Mark were busy completing a Master’s degree this year the organisation and planning was placed in the capable hands of Jake.

By cycling across large areas of the world and seeing as many wonders that they can, all three said they are looking forward to visiting many different countries.

HOLY COW! Russ chillin' with some friendly locals

Russell said that he is excited about visiting South America while Jake revealed he is excited to travel across Far East Asia.

Russell said: “We believe that this is a brilliant opportunity to show the possibilities of three normal Manchester lads.”

They will fund the journey themselves and all the donations will go directly to the charities via their Virgin Money Giving Account. 

SUNSET IN PARADISE: The trio take a well-earned break

For more information about their travels visit http://wowcharitycycle.wordpress.com/ 

To donate to their Virgin Money Giving Account, click here.

Pictures courtesy of Russell, Mark and Jake via Facebook, with thanks