A cyclist will be using plant and pedal power to take on a huge challenge riding hundreds of miles across India with a group of strangers.
Sean Barrs (25) will take on the challenge in the scorching heat next year with 40 other riders from across the world.
Sean decided to take part in the 250 mile Vegan Cycle India ride to promote a vegan lifestyle – and to raise money for charity the Veganuary Group.
The ride takes place in February as part of Veganuary –when people are encouraged to turn vegan for a month. Sean will spend the next few months training so he is prepared for the gruelling ride, which takes place in the Kerela region of the country, on the south coast.
He said: “The biggest challenge for me will be the heat. It can reach up to 30 degrees in India during February, which will be quite a shock to the system after the British winter. I will prep with lots of running and cycling. I will most likely throw in a few spinning classes nearer the time. Strength training is important too. The ride is spread out over six days, with the longest section of 80km being cycled on the fourth day.
“Another challenge will be hitting my target fundraising goal of a £1000. I’m almost a quarter of the way there now, and I’m thinking up other ways of to attract sponsorship.”
While Sean, whose day job is being a duty manager at The Key Theatre, is used to taking on difficult physical challenges (he is also in training for a 70-mile ultra marathon later this year) he described the cycle ride as the biggest challenge he has attempted – but he said his vegan lifestyle would help him when he is out on the road.
He said; “I’ve been a vegan for eight years. I chose the lifestyle because I believe it is the most ethical and environmentally responsible way one can live their life.
“The biggest physical benefit for me is an increase in my energy levels and a reduction in recovery time after exercise.
“One challenge of the diet, especially whilst travelling, is sourcing vegan food. It can be hard in some countries, though Veganuary have organised everything for cyclists so there’s no worry. India is also notoriously vegan friendly anyway.
“I want to try and put a pro-active spin on the vegan diet and respecting our environment, hopefully using this as a vehicle to promote a healthier lifestyle. I want to help contribute to the momentum of climate and environmental awareness through this endeavour also.
“It’s not about shaming people who eat a meat-based diet, the idea is to demonstrate how healthy the vegan diet can be and that vegans are just as physically strong.”
lFor more information, or to sponsor Sean on his challenge, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Sean-Barrs-vegan-cycle-india