AN INTREPID Cupar couple are to swap the freezing Scottish weather for the sticky heat of south east Asia as they get on their bikes to take on a tough challenge aimed at raising money for charity.
Grant and Julie Jardine of Meadowside Road are due to set off on February 12 for Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, where they begin a gruelling 550km cycle ride to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
The journey is expected to take 10 days and the couple will be in the saddle for eight hours a day in temperatures approaching 40C.
They hope to raise £7500 for Enable, a charity that helps people with learning disabilities.
This is Julie’s second cycle challenge and Grant’s fourth, and between them they have already raised more than £30,000 for the cause.
Two years ago, they crossed the Andes from Argentina to Chile, battling some of the worst weather conditions ever seen in the area to raise more than £7000.
Julie (53), who is a postie in Cupar, said: “This challenge will be totally different from crossing the Andes, where we had to endure the extremes of temperature and altitude.
“Now we will have to overcome high humidity and temperatures up to 40 degrees.
“It’ll be tough, challenging and a fantastic experience.”
While the wintry weather has played havoc with their training, the couple are preparing as best they can with an indoor bike and Julie is taking extra care while out on her rounds in case she slips and suffers an injury.
“The weather has made it difficult for us to train but we are looking forward to the challenge,” said Grant (56).
“Having been shivering here in Cupar for the past few weeks the heat and humidity will be the toughest part of the challenge.
“We’ve also been warned that in some areas we have to be careful where we stand because of land mines.”
Grant, a grain buyer, first started supporting Enable when he took on his first cycle challenge through the Grand Canyon nearly five years ago.
He explained: “Enable is the largest charity in Scotland working for children and adults with learning difficulties.
“There are over 120,000 people with a learning disability and Enable aims to ensure that they are given every opportunity to make the most of life.”
Anyone wishing to sponsor Grant and Julie can do so at www.justgiving.com/jamesjardine