A FORMER Ferrydener will next month start an epic journey to fulfil a life-long ambition to cycle around the world.
Andy Sangster, who now lives in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, will set out on April 1 from Meridian Point in Cleethorpes on a journey that will take him across Europe to Turkey, through the Caucasus region to the Chinese border, on through Asia and Indonesia to Australia and through the Americas.
The former firefighter will undertake the journey unsupported, wild camping along the route as well as staying in cheap hotels, fire stations, with local people and friends and family. At the same time he will be raising money for children’s charity, the NSPCC.
Mr Sangster’s first goal is to cover the 15,000 miles to Australia where he will meet up with his son Murray, who lives in Perth but he said that breaking down the route into shorter distances makes it less daunting.
He continued: “I’ve been planning to do this for quite a number of years but I’ve finished my time in the Fire Brigade and that has given me the opportunity. I’ve cycled through Europe and from Grimsby to Montrose a few times so the 70 or 80 miles a day I’m planning is achievable.
“Realistically, I’m aiming to be in Australia before Christmas and will decide what to do then - I can’t think that far ahead at the moment, but ideally I’d fly to South America and travel up through North America. As it is, there are 21 countries I’ll have to get through if I’m going the route I’m planning.”
A former Ferryden Primary and Montrose Academy pupil, Mr Sangster (51) left the area at 16 when he joined the Royal Signals, which he left six years later to take up a post with the fire service in Grimsby.
He has the full support of his family, including “an understanding wife”, and although he will be on the road for around a year, they will still be able to keep in touch with him online and track his progress via his website.
He said: “I have a cycle computer that includes sat nav and people can check where I am. It’s also for safety and security - if anything happens, my position will have been recorded before I go offline.”
Mr Sangster’s progress can be followed online at worldcycletour.co.uk and www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=561279870573560&refid=59. He has also set up an online page for donations and sponsorship, which can be found at original.justgiving.com/andysangster1.