Duo’s curry bike challenge to highlight Asian poverty

Luke Barton (left) and Tom Smith (right), from  North Yorkshire, who are doing six-month bike ride from Brick Lane in London to Bangladesh
Luke Barton (left) and Tom Smith (right), from North Yorkshire, who are doing six-month bike ride from Brick Lane in London to Bangladesh
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Going out for a curry is turning into an almighty adventure for two friends cycling 15,000 kilometres across Europe and Asia on the trail of the nation’s favourite meal.

Luke Barton, 28, a former Ripon Grammar School pupil, and Tom Smith, 27, originally from Boroughbridge, set off on their ride from Brick Lane in London’s east end to Bangladesh’s bustling capital, Dhaka on Monday, June 10.

As the main hub of London’s Bangladeshi community, Brick Lane is famed for its many curry restaurants and is the “ideal starting point for the expedition,” Luke told the Gazette.

Thousands of Bangladeshis moved to London’s east end in the 1970s and now famously run many of the curry restaurants and other businesses on and around Brick Lane – making it the cultural hot spot it is today.

“By cycling between these two curry capitals we hope to highlight the stark differences between the lifestyles of the two Bangladeshi communities, promote multiculturalism in London and help increase the profile of both Bangladesh and east London as tourist destinations – as well as sampling some fine curries from around the world of course!” said Luke and Tom.

The duo will travel overland through 20 countries and hope to complete their gruelling journey in just six months. The only time they will leave solid ground is when crossing the English Channel.

The rest of the journey will be completed by bike and will take them across Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, West China, Pakistan and India.

Luke, who dreamed up the idea of the trip, added: “I’m relying on the ‘get fit as you go’ tactic. My reason for doing the trip comes from a desire to achieve something truly physically and mentally challenging and to get out there and see fascinating parts of the world at a bike’s pace. Plus some vague hope that life will become a bit clearer after spending countless nights sleeping outside eating tins of beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner!”

l To sponsor the duo visit www.bricklanetobangladesh.com