Rashid Ali and Abdul Hannan have set off on the journey of a lifetime hoping to cycle from London to Makkah in a record 56 days. The journey started on 1st July from the Olympic Park, London, along with another 40 riders who travelled with them to Paris. So far they have travelled through England, France, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey.
They have clocked up an incredible 3,000 km which is about 3 million peddles and they have climbed an elevation totalling 75,000 ft. To put that into perspective, that is double the height of what a 747 jumbo aeroplane would be flying at.
The total trip will see them cycle 5,700 km averaging 150 km per day. Their final leg see’s them conquer the scenic route from Istanbul to Antalya and then the harsh terrain and heat of the Sahara in Egypt. Their destination is Makkah, Saudi Arabia, where they are hoping to reach just in time for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. They have a target of £100,000 and they have already raised £54,000.
The lead cyclist Rashid Ali has only been cycling for 2 years after a spur of the moment decision to cycle from London to Cambridge as part of a charity challenge. From that day on, Rashid as part of a team has raised a huge amount of money for projects around the world including a recent health and education centre in Panchaghar, Bangladesh.
Rashid is the community engagement officer at Muslim Charity and will be completing this challenge for the ‘Children of the World’ campaign.
Abdul Hannan is a youth mentor and an amateur boxer who took up cycling just a few months ago. The transition has been hard especially with the amount of mileage and also learning a new sport.
A third man, Shahaveer Hussain is supporting the two cyclists in a support vehicle. He is managing all the logistics and ensuring the two men are following the correct route and remain safe.
Their cause is to raise funds for street children for a charity that has rescued over 2,000 children from the streets of Bangladesh and reunited over 250 lost children with their families.
Update from Egypt
Some Moments From Their Journey
- They’ve climbed twice the height of mount Kilimanjaro in total elevation.
- They’ve faced challenges such a driver trying to steer them off the road to getting chased by wild dogs.
- At one stage, Shahaveer wasn’t allowed into Turkey via the Greek soil and so he was forced to drove back through Turkey via Bulgaria.
- The team also faced lost contact, when they had no communication between each other, forcing the cyclists to cycle around 4 hours without support in the dark.
- For the duo, the hardest challenge they say, was the alps where they climbed over 7,500 feet. In comparison, it is the same as Ben Nevis and Mount Snowdonia combined.
Speaking to IlmFeed’s Zain Miah, the team mentioned they aim to reach Saudi Arabia by the 23rd of August saying,
”This is tough, but we do it for the sake of the children, we hope, our efforts will ease their future”.
For further information and to keep track of their progress, visit london2makkah.com