An Earby man has scaled the heights of the Western Himalayas on his bike to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
Tom Procter (35) was part of a group of 48 who cycled more than 500km and endured at least 50 hours in the saddle, traversing stunning scenery and scaling massive mountain passes.
Cycling from spiritual home of Sikhism, Amritsar in India, with its world famous Golden Temple, the eight day journey took Tom to the world heritage site village of Pragpur, the Dalai Lama’s home of Mcleod Ganj, through the Great Himalayan National Park, over the Jalori Pass at 3,223m and snaking up and down dangerous tracks to the finish in historic Shimla.
The gruelling trek took in attractive towns and villages, tea plantations and wild forests at one level and up brutally-steep, high-altitude ascents, along knife-edge ridges, across sheer drops and river torrents at the other, revealing spellbinding glimpses of the snow-capped Pir Panjal mountain range and Tibetan peaks.
Tom, a business manager for Barclays for the Yorkshire Dales area, has raised £4,500. Collectively, the group has reached approximately £250,000 for Macmillan Cancer, enough to fund a nurse for four years.
Tom said: “I did a bit of travelling across Northern India years ago and I wanted to go back. It’s a fascinating place. The sights and views are spectacular.
“It was brilliant. Amritsar was all car horns, vehicles, people and animals crossing and then there was the mountain passes where traffic was few and far between.
“There isn’t really a highway code which is a bit mad but added to the experience. People will overtake however blind the bend and will just sound the horn. The louder the horn the bigger the vehicle and it usually means it’s coming through first.
“I climbed Kilimanjaro in 2012 and wanted to do something again for Macmillan. Cycling is a totally different thing, and I wanted a challenge. I would have happily turned around at the finish and done it again.
“I’d like to thank people for their support and The Bistro in Skipton for hosting a big fund-raising evening in the summer and all the business which donated items for the auction. I raised almost £2,000 on that one night alone.”
You can still sponsor Tom’s ride by going to www.justgiving.com/onyourbiketom