A CYCLIST who hit the heights on an epic challenge to raise funds for disabled sport has described the experience as “emotional”.
Rob Belbin, from Puddletown, spent 20 days pedalling at high altitude as he rode from Lhasa in Tibet to Mount Everest Base Camp to raise funds for the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS).
Rob has spent more than 20 years working to help disabled children access sport and has been appointed a trustee of the EFDS.
His challenge saw him ride at altitudes upwards of 5,000m on what is regarded as one of the toughest cycling routes in the world.
Having acclimatised to the conditions, Rob set off from Lhasa and rode across the Tibetan Plateau to Everest Base Camp.
He passed one of Tibet’s holy lakes and witnessed the harvest being brought in on the plateau.
Rob said: “I was interested to make the comparison with Dorset at a similar time of the year.
“I was able to witness whole communities coming together to harvest by hand – men, women and children all doing there bit with massive smiles in such a harsh environment.”
After 250km of relatively flat farm land, Rob faced two gruelling days that took him up to heights of 5,200m but was rewarded with a view of Mt Everest and Cho Oyu that he described as “the best in the world”.
As he approached Everest the temperature dropped, with the mercury reaching minus 25 degrees Celsius when he spent the night camping at the iconic Rongbuck Monastery, where George Mallory was famously blessed before his Everest attempts in the 1920s.
Rob said he was rewarded with more stunning views of the north side of the mountain as he cycled the last few miles to Everest Base Camp.
He said: “It was a very emotional day after 20 days of really difficult and testing bike riding I was there at last.”
Rob has so far raised around £750 for his chosen cause and would love to reach £1,000, but he says all money raised will be gratefully received.
He said: “I’m so glad I have been able to achieve my goal and raise some money for the English Federation of Disability Sport.
“My memories of Tibet are amazing, the people are so friendly, the children so welcoming and the landscape breathtaking.
“I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported me without you all I could not have done this.
“Anyone wanting to find out more about EFDS or my journey can visit my Just Giving page.”
To sponsor Rob or find out more visit justgiving.com/fundraising/rob-belbin1