TWO doctors have embarked on a gruelling 5500km cycling trek in a bid to raise £20,000 for charity.

Retired Beaumaris GP Dr Steve MacVicar and Dr Andy Fowell, who is a retired Consultant in Palliative Medicine, began their eight-week Asia to Anglesey cycling challenge on March 28.

The duo, who will cycle around 65 miles a day, are expected to finish their mammoth journey by returning to Holyhead on May 23.

They started in Istanbul in Turkey before travelling across a large part of the Eurovelo Cycle Route 13 along the old Iron Curtain Cycle Trail, which crosses 16 countries in a bid to raise funds towards St David’s Anglesey Hospice and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Dr MacVicar, who recently retired after over 30 years of working as a GP on Anglesey, said: “I’ve always been intrigued by European cycle routes, but I have never had the time to do any of them.

“Now I have retired it has become more doable so when we began discussing this trip we thought why not do it for charity!

“We immediately thought it would be a great idea to raise funds for the new hospice planned for Penrhos Stanley Hospital in Holyhead. Having a hospice on the island will be of such great benefit to those families who need it as it’s currently a long way to travel to Llandudno from the north of Anglesey – having that care closer to home can only be a good thing.”

Dr Fowell, who worked as a Consultant in Ysbyty Gwynedd and Llandudno Hospital for over 20 years, was responsible for establishing the first Motor Neurone Disease (MND) clinics at Hafan Menai situated in the grounds of Ysbyty Gwynedd.

He said: “This is a great opportunity for me to give back to the MND Association – they were instrumental in setting up the clinics in Hafan Menai which have ensured that cases were followed up and people living with the disease were receiving the right support.

“The MND Association is the only national charity that supports and ensures money goes towards research into the disease. The money raised will help continue this research into the cause and treatment of MND.”

The pair have been joined on their travels by friend, Roger Thomas, who is a former CEO of the Countryside Council for Wales.

They have been posting updates of their journey on Facebook via their "Asia to Anglesey" page and, at the time of writing, they were in Bulgaria.

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