Old Coulsdon pair cycling to Italy to raise money for charity
MANY twenty-somethings will be spending the summer getting drunk and passing out on sunbeds.
But two childhood friends from Old Coulsdon are forgoing all that fun for an epic charity mission.
Housemates Jonathan Aldridge and Chris Hardy are planning to cycle all the way from Old Coulsdon to Italy, to raise money for Alzheimer's care and research.
The 26-year-olds are making the 808-mile trip after Chris's beloved grandfather died after suffering from the condition last year.
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The pair – friends since attending Keston Primary School together – will set off "from our front doorstep" in The Glade on August 25.
They plan to complete their route through France and Switzerland to Milan within just nine days.
And they have promised to do it without the help of GPS.
"We have worked out it is like cycling to the Co-op 4,000 times," said Jonathan. "Just a bit more complicated."
"We would be a bit foolish if we were not nervous, as we do not really know what to expect.
"But it will be a big achievement."
The hardy pair have so far raised more than £1,000 in sponsorship, after posting leaflets around town and rattling tins in the supermarket.
They are hoping to raise £5,000, all of which will go to the Alzheimer's Society.
The charity, which works to improve life for people affected by dementia, helped care for Chris's grandfather.
The duo admit they are daunted by their plan; the furthest they have cycled before is to Brighton.
"We're most afraid of getting lost or coming off our bikes and really hurting ourselves," said Chris.
They do have an extra incentive to get to Milan on time: tickets to the Formula One racing.
"We had better get there on time for that," added Jonathan.
To sponsor John and Chris visit www.justgiving.com/jonchrisitaly and follow their progress on Twitter @cycleitaly2012