THE recovery of schools devastated by earthquakes will be aided by a team of cyclists taking on an epic 450km route across Nepal.

Led by former rugby player John Hall, the team of 12 will travel between the epicentres of the earthquakes that caused destruction to the South Asian country in 2015.

Among the group is the ex-Bath Rugby teammate’s pal Dr Geoff Walker, of the Bedale area, North Yorkshire, who hopes to raise £2,000 alone.

The cash will go to the YYY Foundation which aims to rebuild schools destroyed in the natural disaster that still receive little to no aid.

Dr Walker, who is a GP at Pease Way Medical Centre, in Newton Aycliffe, said: “Our ride is to raise publicity for the rural communities in Nepal which have been cut off.

“It’s a really good cause. These people have nothing else and the children that go to these schools walk about three miles up mountains and across rope bridges. For them it (the school) is a huge focus of the community and it’s a massive benefit if they have got one.

“Hopefully we can make a difference.”

The cyclists will travel to Nepal at the end of October in time to embark upon the expedition, dubbed E2E, meaning epicentre to epicentre, at the beginning of November. Stopping off at devastated schools on the way, the riders will take on a challenging average of 50km a day for ten days.

“It will be after the monsoon season so it’s going to be quite clear but also cold in places as we’ll be going quite high,” added Dr Walker, whose 15-year-old daughter and wife will be cheering him on from home.

The 50-year-old is no stranger to gruelling challenges having already completed a number of triathlons including the long-distance Ironman Triathlon.

As such the GP already trains at a “high level” and gets out for at least eight hours on his bike every week.

Dr Walker said: “I’m really looking forward to it but I’m also slightly apprehensive.

“I’m a road cyclist and this is mountain biking with severe gradients.” The cycling enthusiast has already raised £1,800 but has set out to reach his target of £2,000.

It is hoped £20,000 will be raised overall by the team which will cover the cost of rebuilding two schools.

Already the group has collected about £10,000 and work has begun on one school.