Two friends from London, James Nathan and Richard Beaumont, are preparing to ride across Switzerland on folding bikes in aid of R.A.B.I and Cancer Research UK.
James is a wine merchant from a catering background, while Richard, who has worked in recruitment, is currently taking a break from city living after overcoming testicular cancer.
James explained: “We do not have a direct route planned but this is part of the fun! We aren’t using maps, but we plan to leave for Switzerland on April 14 and set off from Basel to the Gotthard Pass, one of the 15 most dangerous roads in the world. We then aim to drift down into Lake Lugano towards the end of the week.
“We’ll be riding two custom-made bikes which have been partially paid for by our sponsors Brompton. They are designed for inner city commuting and not mountains, which should definitely add to the challenge ahead.”
James, 28, studied agriculture before becoming a ski instructor. He subsequently gained a cooking degree before entering the wine business and he now runs his own online wine business.
Richard, 27, hails from Dublin but moved to Nottinghamshire to take over the family farm. He attended Worksop College before studying business law at agricultural college and completing a Masters in law.
“We met at The Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester,” explained James.
“We have both seen the hardship and struggles that farmers face. I truly believe there are a lot of farmers out there that need the support that we, as a team, can offer.”
In 2013, James and another friend cycled from London to Zakynthos in Greece in less than 23 days, despite experiencing temperatures of up to 35 degrees. They raised a fantastic £6,000 for R.A.B.I. James will once again be raising funds for R.A.B.I and Richard will be raising funds for Cancer Research UK.
To prepare for their Swiss adventure, the pair have racked up the miles on long distance training runs, taking in as many hills as they can find. James added: “We are currently averaging 425 miles per month but it’s time to up our game!”
Photo credit: Robert Guthrie