Ballymoney adventurer Gary Boyd (27) has recently returned from a 360 mile cycle through four countries in just seven days.
The event, called “Cycling The Danube” is part of an ongoing project called “Extreme 14” where Gary goes through an intense physical challenge each month in aid WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals).
Speaking to the Times, Gary highlighted the incredible physical strain of the trip both physically and emotionally. He explained: “After January’s ‘Race Over The Glens’, and February’s ‘Hell And Back’, my next challenge was ‘Cycling The Danube’. A self funded, self supported, solo adventure, with just a bike and whatever supplies I can take on my back.
“In order to accomplish a journey of this scale in such a short space of time, I had to put in at least 10 hours cycling every day. There were no luxury hotels or accommodation either, it was all rough camping wherever I could find a secluded spot.
“A typical day for me would begin at around 6am, where I would get up, have breakfast, pack up the tent and be on the road for 7am. Then I would just keep cycling as far as I could, stopping for breaks along the way and eventually finishing at around 5 or 6pm that evening once I found a new camping spot.
“The scenery was constantly changing several times a day and it wasn’t until a few weeks after returning home that I was fully able to process all I had seen and experienced in only one week.
“Each day would bring such an incredible mixture of highs and lows, from the sheer physical pain of travelling such a long distance each day on a bike, to the great sense of excitement that can only be felt from exploring a new country. It was without a doubt the most difficult week of my life, but the money it has raised has made a massive difference to an important charity, and the months to come can only reinforce the project.”
April’s challenge will see Gary doing a 5km swim along the north coast - the equivalent to a half marathon run.
To keep up with Gary’s adventures simply visit www.garyboydextreme14.com, www.facebook.com/2014AnimalProtectionChallenges, www.justgiving.com/gazz-boyd or follow him on twitter at Gary Boyd@GaryBoydTravel