Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bill's Life Cycle; Bike Ride around the World for Metro Man - Part Two

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bill's Life Cycle; Bike Ride around the World for Metro Man - Part Two

Article excerpt

Byline: By VICKY ROBSON

METRO driver Bill Dodds is about to have the roughest ride of his life.

The grandad-of-five, from Newcastle, is setting off on an open-road adventure to fulfil a lifelong dream.

The 52-year-old leaves his home in Ivy Road, Gosforth, next week to embark on a trip of a lifetime in central Asia - where he will travel across some of the world's most dangerous landscapes.

He plans to cycle along the Silk Road, an ancient trading route in the heart of the continent which winds through deserts, villages and mountains.

This is the fifth stage of his personal quest to conquer the world on two wheels and will see him ride for an average eight hours covering 80 miles a day.

Following a 1,800-mile dust trail with nothing more than his tent and sleeping bag, Bill, a Metro driver of 28 years, will pick up from where he left off last summer.

Starting in Ashgabat in the Turkmenistan desert - where temperatures reach more than 50C - he will then cycle along a 150-mile stretch only six miles from the border of war torn Afghanistan.

Bill said: "The route takes me through scorching hot deserts in Turkmenistan, along valleys in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, then climbs sharply upwards in Kyrgyzstan and over the Tian Shan Mountains into China.

"These are volatile countries and there is still a lot of instability. There are quite a lot of difficult areas I will be cycling through. I will be right up against the Afghanistan border - but I won't be going there.

"Of course there are risks involved wherever you go but the most serious accident I've had is falling off my bike on Osborne Road in Jesmond - so it can happen as close to home as that."

The former Labour councillor, who has three children, two step-children and five grandchildren, has already cycled across the UK and America but still has two more trips to make before he can fulfil his lifelong dream to ride around the world. …

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