A FUNDRAISER is saddling up ready to cycle from one end of Africa to the other in aid of charity.

Lindsey Cole set off on her mammoth 8,000 mile journey from Cairo to Cape Town this week – along with three people who responded to her plea for a cycling partner.

The 27-year-old journalism graduate from Stylecroft Road, Chalfont St Giles, received more than 400 replies to her appeal for someone to cycle with in her quest to ride to South Africa in time for this summer's football World Cup.

She said her new companions, all from London, stood out from the crowd.

The former Chesham High School and Dr Challoner's High School pupil said: “Dickon Broadhurst, 27, had planned a trip of his own down the Americas, until his friend pulled out. John Walton, 26, had been part of a Channel Swim Relay and had also volunteered to be a target for a bull, and Duncan Hills had cycled from London to Taiwan for a £1 bet.

“We've now met a few times but have five months to get to know each other.”

She is no stranger to long-haul bike rides, having once cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats in just ten days – but it was not until last week, and a trip to Cycle Care in High Wycombe, where she was first taught how to change a tyre.

Miss Cole will be raising money for the SCI charity, which helps people in sub-Saharan Africa who suffer from tropical diseases. The charity's director, Alan Fenwick, also lives in Chalfont St Giles.

A last-minute raffle at her leaving party at the Merlin's Cave pub in the village raised a further £250 for the charity.

“I've budgeted very small for the trip, so the raffle was greatly appreciated,” said Miss Cole. “And everyone signed my bike, which will be motivating for the 8,000 miles.”