Association for International Cancer Research: Chris's global ride nears end

Chris Gruar during a stopover for fish and chips in Wollongong at the tail-end of a 45,000-kilometre cycle across the globe. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

Chris Gruar during a stopover for fish and chips in Wollongong at the tail-end of a 45,000-kilometre cycle across the globe. Picture: ADAM McLEAN

Chris Gruar cycled a long way to get some fish and chips at Belmore Basin - about 45,000 kilometres.

Mr Gruar has just spent more than two years pedalling his way from Britain, across Europe and Asia, and down through Australia.

Aside from a few ferries and a short flight from Bali to Darwin, he's been travelling under his own power.

Going through 42 countries, camping on the side of the road and trying to make his meagre budget last for two years, Mr Gruar said he had gained a greater appreciation for the simple things.

Like fish and chips at the beach.

"I haven't had a good meal of fish and chips for so long but today, two locals down by the water chipped in and bought me a nice piece of barramundi fish to help me celebrate reaching the coast.

Camping in Kyrgyzstan.

Camping in Kyrgyzstan.

"I'd done a couple of little cycling trips before but this was very much the first time I've been on a big expedition," Mr Gruar said.

The reason for the trip is to raise money for the Association for International Cancer Research.

So far he has raised more than $24,000. He officially finishes the ride on Monday in Sydney and, with a few follow-up charity events, he's hoping to hit the $30,000 mark.

"I lost my mum to cancer when I was two years old and also I've seen a lot of family and friends affected by it over the years," he said.

Mr Gruar lives in Camden but has a soft spot for the Illawarra.

"I've got family in Wollongong and I used to go to Wollongong uni as well, so I feel like a local and returned back to my home town," he said.

"I just take each day as it comes. I'm not much of a strong cyclist so I was doing just 70 to 80 kilometres a day.

"My bike weighs about 50 kilograms with all the gear, so it's hard work getting up those mountains, especially in Central Asia and the Alps."

He nominated camping next to reindeer in the Arctic, walking on glaciers and cycling through the desert as some trip highlights.

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But there was the odd hairy moment as well.

"I was amongst tear gas and riot police in Greece when they announced the second set of cutbacks with the recession there."

After the official end of the journey, Mr Gruar will pedal home to Camden. At home, however, there's little chance he'll take a break from cycling.

"I won't be able to because I haven't got a car so I'll have to cycle every day," he said.

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