TWO Fife women have raised an amazing £6500 for charities close to their hearts after pedalling their way from Vietnam to Cambodia.
Lesley Simpson and Joan McGregor took part in a Charity Challenge 450km cycle ride over nine days last month.
As a result Lesley (50), collected £3000 for Marie Curie Cancer Care, while Joan (49), raised £3500 for the Cardiomyopathy Association - which provides information and supports families affected by the heart muscle disease cardiomyopathy.
Lesley, who stays in Kirkcaldy and is a nursing auxiliary at the children’s ward in Victoria Hospital, did the cycle ride in memory of her mum who passed away from cancer.
Joan, who lives in Glenrothes and is director of Fairfield Care, said her reasons for doing it were two-fold - she wanted to do something special to mark her 50th birthday this year but she also wanted to raise money for cardiomyopathy as her son has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Lesley said: “It was a great experience - everybody should do something like this at least once.
“The cycling was fine because we did a lot of training, but we weren’t prepared for the roads. There were lots of potholes and there were no sides to the roads or road signs. You also had mopeds coming towards you which had families with three or four children on them!”
Joan added: “The heat was also very oppressive. It was bad enough in Vietnam but in Cambodia the heat was drier. None of us had experienced heat like that.
“We would start at 7.30 a.m. and cycle through midday when it was really hot. Some mornings we would do a bit of sightseeing but we never got to our hotel before 5.00 p.m.”
They said the venture was quite an eye-opener particularly during trips to the killing fields and Lesley admits there were times during the cycle that she wasn’t sure if she could do it.
But she said: “It was a relief to reach the end but it was also a huge achievement. I can’t believe we did it.”
They both enjoyed the experience so much they are planning to do another Charity Challenge cycle in Cuba in 2015.