CYCLING-MAD Imran Mughal has seen more of the world than most of us will ever see, after pedalling 25,000 miles across the globe in a gruelling charity bike ride.
Imran, 35, of Harehills, left his hometown in May last year and relied on pedal power to get him across 33 countries and four continents in just 15 months.
After surviving a terrifying ordeal at gunpoint in Bosnia, deadly spiders in the Australian outback, 53C heat in the Oman desert and cycling through monsoons in Indonesia, Imran is now glad to be back with his family in Leeds.
Speaking to the YEP, he said: “I can’t believe what I have seen and done. I have lived a lifetime in 15 months.
“Iran was my favourite place – the beautiful, majestic landscape is like a mountainous desert.
“I think I am the first Pakistani man, and first Muslim, to do something like this. In my community it is a huge positive thing.
“The thing I will remember the most is the overwhelming hospitality, love and support that I experienced on this journey throughout the world.”
Speaking about his traumatic times on his journey, he added: “I can truly say that the world is generally good and to be in an unfortunate situation is a rare thing.”
Imran decided to take on the challenge after being made redundant from his NHS job, and has raised thousands of pounds for Charity: Water.
He arrived back in Leeds on August 2 and was welcomed home by 70 friends and family, who lined the street and applauded as he cycled down Banstead Terrace to his front door.
Imran now plans to continue fundraising by writing a book about his trip and hopes to visit schools to speak about his experiences, inspire others and promote cycling and healthy living.
He added: “It was the most amazing time of my life, but all good things must come to an end.
“Now the wheels have stopped rolling I can really focus on the fundraising side of it.”
To sponsor Imran, visit my.charitywater.org/cyclingtheworld.
Going the extra mile
Imran set off from London on May 4, 2013.
He cycled an average of 100 miles each day, with his longest distance being 157 miles in one day.
He travelled from London to France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Dubai, Oman, India, China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium and back to England.