Happy to go a pharaoh way for a good cause

PUBLISHED: 11:08 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 22:14 26 October 2009

Martin with some of his River Nile cycling mates

Martin with some of his River Nile cycling mates

RIDING by camel would be the norm for transportation when travelling alongside the River Nile in Egypt, one would presume, writes Simon Wesson. However, a man from Panshanger decided to join 50 others and cycle along the longest river in the world to he

Martin with his certificate

RIDING by camel would be the norm for transportation when travelling alongside the River Nile in Egypt, one would presume, writes Simon Wesson.

However, a man from Panshanger decided to join 50 others and cycle along the 'longest river in the world' to help raise £2,700 for the Meningitis Trust.

Martin Reeve, 55, told the WHT that the 400km trek, from Esna to the Valley of the Kings, in desert terrain and 30 degree heat, was not a challenge just any 'Giza' could take on.

"I trained for seven months before the event and in this time I lost three stone, so I was prepared physically.

"It was really challenging though. It was so hot, a lot hotter than I expected it to be.

"It was a fantastic experience, but covering about 250 miles in five days is some going."

His bike, designed for all terrains, was the 'best he had ever ridden'.

"I trained on a bike that wasn't very good, so I was amazed how good this one was," he said. "At times the roads were awful and we were virtually cycling on sand, but it was so easy to use.

"Everyone was provided with a bike. I cannot believe how well organised the event was."

Martin, of Wellington Drive, said: "The best part was probably the people; there was a brilliant support for everyone doing it, we all encouraged each other and it wasn't done like a race.

"Also what takes you back about the Nile is that on one side it is like a tropical forest and on the other it is like a desert."

Martin, a nurse, 'sphinx' he might cycle the Nile again, however he has his sights set on doing the Three Peaks Challenge, climbing the UK's highest mountains in one weekend.

He added: "In total about £35,000 was raised cycling the Nile, so it was well worth doing. I'm considering more challenges now; even though it took three weeks to recover!"

# The Nile gets its name from the Greek word 'Nelios', meaning River Valley

# The White Nile rises in Rwanda flowing through Tanzania and Uganda. The Blue Nile starts in Ethiopia, flowing into Sudan, where the two rivers meet and continue to Egypt. In total it runs in 10 countries the others being; Kenya, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo and Eritrea.

# The river spans 4,132 miles and is believed to be the longest in the world, however recent theories suggest that the Amazon may be longer.

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