Banchory couple head for the Andes

Ian and Sue Leftwich on a training ride to Braemar
Ian and Sue Leftwich on a training ride to Braemar

A Banchory couple are gearing up for one of their toughest cycle challenges.

Ian and Sue Leftwich will take on the Lavadome Ride - an adventure cycling trek through the Andes - next month.

The intrepid duo’s South American mission will involve covering 60 miles a day with the highest altitude being more than 15,000ft above sea level.

Part of the ride will pass the world’s highest active volcano - Nevado Ojos del Salado in Chile.

The trek is being organised by Greenrock run by husband and wife team Joe and Laura Mearns who will be spearheading a team of seven riders, including Sue and Ian, as well as a paramedic and other riders who want to be the first to experience the raw adventure of the spectacular route.

Sue, an exercise professional in Banchory specialising in coronary heart disease and stroke rehabilitation, is also aiming to raise much-needed funds for two of her dedicated stroke classes.

She said: “This is undoubtedly our biggest cycling challenge to date. We will be totally self-sufficient and carry all of our own camping equipment, food and water supplies through remote, unpopulated mountainous terrain.

“I am used to cycling in the Alps and the Pyrenees but this will be much tougher. Not only will our bike panniers be fully loaded but we‘ll also be cycling at high altitude and expect strong head winds and dust storms in the desert.”

Ian added: “I fully expect the trip will take us right out of our comfort zone but we will prepare as best we can and hopefully it will be memorable for all the right reasons.”