The 247 participants on the Odyssey 2000 round-the-world bicycle tour they each paid £20,000 for the 366-day led expedition reach the UK on June 16th and will pedal from Dover to Bath. They are here the same week as all the big bike events are going on so they will generate even more publicity for cycling.

Twenty-grand cyclists pedal the health message

And cycling will shown to be health promoting because the 20 000 mile ride is being done by plenty of older people (who else has a year and twenty grand to spare?)

The riders range in age from 19 to 81, averaging 48 years old. Sixty couples have signed up to ride together. About half of the riders are women.

BikeBiz contributor Stephanie Madden interviewed one of the few British riders before he left for the start of the trip in America which left California on 1st January. Arthur Benbow, pictured, is 67 and young at heart :

When I originally sent away for details of the trip three years ago, I saw it cost £20 000 and threw it in the bin. Three sleepness nights later I dug it out and signed up. The majority of family and friends said go for it. Its made a big hole in my life savings but, as my doctor says, there are no pockets in a shroud!

Of all the activities I could have taken up in my retirement I dont think anything would come close to the quality of life cycling has given me. Im healthy, happy and have a new lease of life.

This health message is a key one to get over to the public at large and hopefully both Sustrans and the CTC will make efforts to link up their Millennium Festval of Cycling PR campaigns with the UK leg of Odyssey 2000.

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