SADDLE sore and sun-tanned, Cleckheaton street sweeper Phil Clarkson completed a mammoth 527km cycle ride through South East Asia to raise thousands of pounds for charity.
Phil, 49, endured scorching temperatures to complete the ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation through Vietnam and Cambodia, raising more than £3,000 in the process.
It was so hot, riders had to be doused with ice cold water to prevent them succumbing to heat stroke during the hottest times of day.
Phil said it was ‘tough’ given the conditions, but was thrilled to complete the ride.
“We were riding in temperatures in the mid-to-high 30s everyday we cycled, which I had not really counted on with my training,” Phil said.
“On the last two days we cycled more than 100km and the last few kilometres were really hard on the last day.
“But there was some stunning scenery and paddy fields with water buffalo. Cambodia was lush with greenery but they have had a lot of flooding and you can see the effects of that.”
Phil was part of a group of 42 riders and the trip has raised more than £140,000 in total for the charity.
He said that because there was such a large group, everyone was rooting for one another throughout the gruelling five day challenge.
Phil, of Kenmore Road, Cleckheaton, said: “The trip was a real experience. Ho Chi Minh City is an assault on the senses with the sheer number of motor bikes on the streets. Getting across the road was a challenge in itself.
“The Angkor Watt temples were incredible as well.
“I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me. Without mentioning anyone specific, everyone was so generous in giving their money to support a good cause.”
l It’s not too late to sponsor Phil by contacting him on 07813 134836.