Sheringham woman cycles across the USA

A Sheringham woman who decided to take a gap year and help raise money for charity at the same time has covered more than 13,000 miles cycling across the USA.

Katrina Allison, who grew up in Sheringham and went to the local high school and Paston Sixth Form, and her partner Anthony Carey, took on the gruelling challenge of cycling across 33 states, after deciding they wanted a change from their lives working in London.

The couple started their epic trek in New York City on October 25, 2009. They took a route south along the East coast to the Florida Keys then across the Southern tier to San Diego and across the Pacific Coast Highway all the way to Seattle and Vancouver, and then cycled across the Northern tier to Maine.

The final stretch of the journey was down the Atlantic coast through Boston to New York City, where they arrived on October 6 this year.

Ms Allison said: 'I think we had been working too long behind a desk really. We wanted to do something adventurous.

'We both worked in the city, I was a lawyer and Anthony was a regulatory consultant and when the markets crashed and things were in disarray, we decided to leave. We both decided to pack up and go off for a year.'

The trip took was to take them 347 days, 236 of which they were cycling, but between them they raised �2,000 and $3,000 for Multiple Sclerosis, both US and UK branches of the charity.

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But they were not always without problems.

Around February time they were travelling through New Mexico and had to cover an 8,000 ft mountain.

Ms Allison said: 'The weather report said there would be a light sprinkling of snow, so we carried on, but suddenly it started to fall very fast and within an hour more than a foot of snow had fallen.

'So we were stuck up the mountain trying to ride our bikes , it got to the point where we could not stand upright.'

Luckily the couple were saved by good samaritans who saw the trouble they were in and offered them a lift in their pick-up truck.

The couple also had to take a break for a few days when travelling through Montana and Dakota, after Ms Allison, suffering with heat exhaustion, fell off her bike and injured her shoulder.

Ms Allison, also celebrated her 40 birthday on the trip, turning 40 as they reached Austin in Texas, said: 'We have both decided not to go back to the lifestyle we had before, so in that way the trip has been life-changing for us.'

Ms Allison says she now plans to write a book about the trip, while Mr Carey, 39, who is from High Wycombe originally, is looking to become a freelance consultant.