THE next two years promises to be unforgettable for a Pewsey violin teacher as she plans to cycle around the world and raise £10,000 for charity to boot.

Despite family and friends of musician Iona Hassan, of Cossor Road, saying she is bonkers for taking on this epic journey, the 38-year-old is relishing the task, one that she will do in three separate legs in aid of mental health charity Networks of Wellbeing and education charity Inspire Malawi.

Ms Hassan will set out on her own from Roscoff, France, on July 2 and will pedal her way to Venice for around a month.

After returning home for a year, in the summer of 2018 she will cycle from Cape Town to Kenya, then Kathmandu, Nepal, to Mandalay, Myanmar, and in 2019 the intrepid adventurer will ride across Australia and the USA.

“It should be the trip and challenge of a lifetime. I am just so excited to see so much of this beautiful planet that we live on,” said Ms Hassan, who intends to find someone to ride with her in the second and third legs.

“I have always wanted to travel and experience a whole host of different cultures and it will be a unique experience instead of going to a hotel or something.

“I was inspired to do this whilst volunteering with the small but brilliant charity Inspire Malawi, in a small rural community in Banda Hill last year and I witnessed first-hand the amazing impact that having an inspiring learning environment was having on the children there.

“A new Year 5 and 6 block has just been completed but the younger pupils still learn in small, ramshackle huts with little or no resources which is heart-breaking to see.

“Most people do this when they are retired but there is no time like the present. I am seizing the day.”

Although Ms Hassan only got into cycling recently, earlier this month she completed a 500-mile ride over eight days along the North Coast of Scotland, which helped her immensely.

“I only took up cycling relatively recently when I wandered into the local bike shop, Pewsey Velo, with my old Giant mountain bike which I needed to get road worthy in a hurry when I was raising money for the music charity, Superstrings, of which I am the musical director,” said Ms Hassan, who was born in Aberdeenshire.

“I really enjoyed cycling around some of the most beautiful areas of Scotland. It was a massive learning curve for me. I met some brilliant and supportive people as I pedalled along. They all had wise words and encouragement for me and would look out for me on the road.

“People have asked me if I will bring my violin which is funny but that is very much up in the air.”

To sponsor her visit