Trip on bicycle made for two aims to raise funds for research into cot deaths

A married couple from Leeds will be spending this Christmas – and much of the New Year – riding a tandem the length of South America. And in undertaking the 10,000-mile journey, they hope to raise £10,000 for charity.

Tim and Naomi Steere, from Bramley, want to raise funds for the Foundation for the Study of Infant Death, a cause close to their hearts due to Mrs Steere having lost a brother to cot death.

On their page on the charity website justgiving.co.uk, the couple say that their trip will take them “10,000 miles from the world’s most southerly town across the driest desert, climbing to the highest capital city, before descending through the Amazon basin to complete the challenge on the Caribbean coast within six months.”

Local newspaper Armley Today says that the pair, who fly out to Argentina this week, will have to carry all their supplies for the journey in four panniers, which is the most the tandem bike can carry.

It added that the pair, who have been saving for the trip for several years and have given up their jobs – Mr Steere worked as a data analyst, his wife as a nurse – to undertake the expedition, will rent their home out while they are away.

According to 26-year-old Mr Steere, the couple chose to ride tandem instead of using separate bicycles “For the novelty of it. Also, it would be really frustrating if we were on separate bikes, one of us would always be chasing the other.”

They aim to complete 75 miles each day, and will take a fortnight’s break from the saddle once they reach halfway. 

The volatile political landscape in certain parts of South America holds no fears for the couple, although others are proving more difficult to convince.

“We are trying to convince our parents that we will be fine and we won't get kidnapped in Colombia," Mr Steere told the newspaper, "but they are not buying it yet."

Donations can be made via the couple’s Just Giving page here.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.