Cycling marathon across Europe in memory of dad

Chris Underwood is cycling through eight countries in seven days in aid of The PSP Association.
Chris Underwood is cycling through eight countries in seven days in aid of The PSP Association.

A man preparing to cover eight countries in seven days on his bike hopes his journey will be a fitting tribute to his ‘adventurer’ father.

Chris Underwood, 46, originally from Nayland, will try to cycle hundreds of miles across Europe in one week starting on June 23, in memory of his father Brian, who died of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) last year.

The expedition aims to raise at least £1,500 for The PSP Association, a charity funding research into the disease, a rare condition that currently has no known cure.

Mr Underwood said he had been inspired to take on the challenge as his father, who lived most of his life in Nayland, had enjoyed an active lifestyle prior to his diagnosis.

“He was very much an adventurer and a very outdoors person,” said Mr Underwood.

“That was one of the reasons I wanted to do something. It just seemed like a nice thing to do to remember that side of him.

“Throughout the rest of his life, that was the kind of person he was.

“Because my dad was such an active person, he went from that to being bed-bound. Although it’s a rare condition, it’s very debilatating.”

Starting in the Austrian Alps, Mr Underwood’s journey will take him through Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, France, Luxembourg and Belgium, before finishing in the Netherlands.

He will be joined for the first three days by his brother, James, and then by his friend Peter Newble, of Polstead.

“I’m quite anxious about achieving the goal,” added Mr Underwood.

“They are not huge distances for an experienced cyclist, but I’m not one. The last similar ride I did was with my brother and his friend when I was 16. I’m just hoping I can do it.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/1week7countries to donate.