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PEDAL POWER

PUBLISHED: 10:54 31 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:58 23 August 2010

A COUPLE have raised £4,000 for a cancer charity after cycling almost 3,000 miles across continental Europe. Kris Bearyman, 28, a policeman, and Alison Dixon, 27, an accountant, of Chadwick Close, Gravesend, returned home last Monday. Their extraordinar

A COUPLE have raised £4,000 for a cancer charity after cycling almost 3,000 miles across continental Europe.

Kris Bearyman, 28, a policeman, and Alison Dixon, 27, an accountant, of Chadwick Close, Gravesend, returned home last Monday. Their extraordinary 71-day cycling trip spanned 17 countries and three mountain ranges.

They started the trip in Calais, France 10 weeks earlier on May 9 and cycled their way across the Alps and through the heart of Europe before finishing up in Istanbul, Turkey. Together they raised £4,000 for Cancer Research UK.

Mr Bearyman said: "It's hard to try to sum the trip up. I think the highlight in general was just how warm and welcoming everyone was to us. A number of times we got taken into people's homes and offered food and accommodation.

"We got stranded in a couple of towns in Slovenia and Albania and we were taken in by families. There was a lot of trust from a lot of people and it was kind of comforting knowing that we could rely on people."

But while the people were friendly some of the countries inhabitants were less than welcoming.

Mr Bearyman added: "The scariest thing was in Turkey and Greece where there were lots of packs of wild dogs. They would chase you on your bike and would be snapping at your legs. If you ride away from them they start chasing you so we found the best way to deal with them was to confront them by throwing sticks at them."

Despite the gruelling nature of their trip neither picked up any injuries along the way.

Their bikes held up similarly well with the couple suffering just one puncture and two broken spokes between them on the entire journey.

Although they had to spend the majority of their time in the saddle they still managed to find time to visit a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and National Parks.

The couple had previously raised a total of £15,000 for Cancer Research from previous trips and are currently considering a coast-to-coast bike trip across the US.

jason.goodyer@archant.co.uk

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