TWO cyclists are nearing the end of a gruelling 1,300km long bike ride along one of the highest paved roads in the world to raise money for a Bournemouth charity that supports women through pregnancy.

Claire Roberts, a social worker, and Jamie Anderson, a bike mechanic, will be cycling along the Karakoram Highway, a section of Asian Highway Network from Kashgar in the Xinjiang Province of China to Hasan Abdal in the Punjab, Pakistan.

The road passes through Karakoram mountain range and, due to its high elevation and the challenging conditions in which it was constructed, it is a popular tourist attraction and recognised as a feat of engineering.

The pair had to climb to the Khunjerab Pass, the highest check point in the world at 4,700m above sea level.

In a video posted on the pair’s GoFundMe page before starting the cycle challenge, Claire said: “We will be cycling the Karakoram highway for my friend Emma’s charity Solace Peer Support.

“Solace Peer Support is a community-based support programme supporting women with experience in social marginalisation on their journey through pregnancy.”

The pair started their cycle challenge on the October 1 and are expected to finish on October 30.

The money raised from the cycle challenge will go towards training and recruiting four new peer supporters, to support pregnant women and new mums facing social adversity and isolation.

Director of Solace Peer Support Emma Arran, who set up the pair’s GoFundMe page, said: “Training four new peer supporters will enable us to increase the number of pregnant women and new mums that we can support, reaching women that are very isolated, with complex circumstances.

“Training as a peer supporter is also an excellent opportunity for women with an insight into the social disadvantages some women face and to have the opportunity to gain voluntary experience and employment opportunities.”

In another video in Claire’s GoFundMe page she said: “I had to do it in two days because I wasn’t so strong. Jamie managed to do the whole 170km in one day and climb two thousand metres.

“I only climbed 1,500 metres over 52 kilometres. It was really really difficult and in parts it was snowing, we were above the snowline. It was really cold up there but really beautiful and worthwhile.”

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