Leeds cyclist to travel across Vietnam and Cambodia for St George's Crypt charity

He will take in some of the world's most-stunning landscape views, passing through centuries of history along his quest in aid of charity - all while travelling on a bicycle.

Fundraiser Gary Hudson is now preparing to saddle up to take part in a cross-country cycling challenge through Vietnam and Cambodia.

The 50-year-old, from Middleton, will begin his journey tomorrow and aims to finish by November 27 - ten days later.

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After self-funding the trip to Asia, the dad-of-two has already raised more than £2,000 for the St George's Crypt homelessness charity in Leeds.

Gary Hudson is preparing to cycle across Vietnam and Cambodia. Picture: Tony Johnson.Gary Hudson is preparing to cycle across Vietnam and Cambodia. Picture: Tony Johnson.
Gary Hudson is preparing to cycle across Vietnam and Cambodia. Picture: Tony Johnson.

"I have always been passionate about helping the homeless and always wanted to go to Vietnam and Cambodia ever since I was a young child," he told the YEP.

"I have been volunteering down at St George's Crypt, going behind the scenes.

"I've been able to see what they do and all the great projects they do for the homeless and vulnerable people of Leeds, they do so much work and a fantastic job.

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"There's so many great things that they do and I hope that this will help raise awareness as well as funds."

The keen cyclist set off on his flight from London today (Saturday) and will on Sunday arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, via Singapore.

His gruelling cycling journey begins on Monday, when he leaves the Vietnamese city in the direction of Tra Vinh.

On the fifth day of the challenge, Mr Hudson then plans to take a boat, led by a guide, from the edge of Vietnam to Phnom Penh, neighbouring Cambodia's capital.

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During the journey, he will also visit the Cambodian Killing Fields, where more than one million people were killed and buried following the end of the nation's civil war period.

Other prominent locations that he will see include the Angkor Wat temple complex and world heritage site at Siem Reap, in Cambodia, before flying back to England.

Mr Hudson, who works on Barclays' customer experience team, said he has stepped up his training ahead of the challenge.

"I do a lot of cycling but I have been doing a lot of extensive training," he said.

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"I've been taking myself off on longer rides, of 60 or 70km, jsut to get myself used to it, physically and mentally, staying in the saddle for such a long time.

"I can't prepare for the heat though and it's going to be very hot and humid out there."

He said the support he had received from loved ones had been invaluable, and plans to blog about his experiences throughout the challenge while abroad.

"I have never done anything like this before," he said.

"I feel quite privileged to be able to take this opportunity and do something for such a great cause.

"My family, friends and colleagues have all been right behind me with their support, too."

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