Seven countries and 7500 miles by bike for Leslie man

Gary Thomson
Gary Thomson
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A Leslie man is taking on one of the world’s toughest cycle routes in aid of charity.

Gary Thomson will set off on his bike along the ancient Silk Road, across the entire continent of Asia, covering a distance of 7500 miles all the way from Shanghai to Istanbul.

Gary is cycling the route in May in aid of international development and emergency response charity, Mercy Corps.

He has chosen to raise funds for the Edinburgh-based charity to help with its mission of saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places.

Mercy Corps helps people in the world’s toughest places turn the crises of natural disaster, poverty and conflict into opportunities for progress.

The organisation’s mission is to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

These are core values that Gary really believes in.

The Silk Road will take Gary through seven countries - China, Kyryzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey.

He’ll travel from sea level up to height of 4500 metres.

It is one of the longest, hardest, highest, hottest and coldest bicycle routes on the planet.

“I am so excited to get started on the Silk Route cycle expedition, I cannot wait to see all the ancient cities and wonderful landscapes,” said Gary.

“Cycling along the route experiencing the cultures and communities and meeting the people who live in these beautiful but tough places, while raising money for Mercy Corps to help save and improve lives in these areas, will be an experience of a lifetime.”

The expedition will take Gary four months and he’ll be travelling for approximately 115 kilometres a day.

Ali MacLeod, director of fundraising and marketing at Mercy Corps, added: “We are delighted that Gary has chosen to support our work across the world.

“We are certain that the Fife community will rally behind Gary by showing their support and donating where possible.

“This is a wonderful challenge and adventure for Gary - we wish him the best of luck!”

You can help Gary in his challenge by leaving messages of support online and donating to his fundraising total by visiting He’ll also be keeping everyone back home updated on his progress through his blog which can be found at