Eight British Muslims have reached Medina in Saudi Arabia, after cycling for more than 2,000 miles to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.
The men completed the challenge in under six weeks after riding through parts of Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Greece and Egypt.
Known as the Hajj riders, the eight cyclists come from across Britain and trained for more than three months to complete the challenge.
They rode through mountain ranges and endured gruelling weather conditions to reach their final destination of Medina.
Some of the obstacles faced by the Hajj riders included intense desert heat in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and torrential rain as they rode through parts of Europe.
They also faced restrictions and visa issues which forced them to fly into Jeddah, instead of taking a ferry from Hurghada in Egypt, deviating from the original plan of cycling directly into Medina from the coast.
Throughout the journey, they had a support vehicle and relied on the generosity of locals in every country they passed through, often Muslims, who offered them shelter and food.
Abdul Mukith, one of the Hajj riders who rode the full journey, spoke of the team’s joy after reaching the Prophet’s mosque in Medina, on a live stream from the Hajj Ride’s private Facebook page. “Just walking into the Haram (Prophet’s mosque), I can’t bring the emotions into words, nearly six weeks of riding, I can’t believe the journey is complete, but one journey is finished and now we must complete the next part,” said Mukith.
“The whole team has made it safely, and the hospitality, I honestly can’t put it into words.”
The men arrived in Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening and were given a police escort in Medina to the Prophet’s mosque, which is the second holiest site for Muslims.
Greeted by locals and cycling enthusiasts, the Hajj riders were showered with flowers and onlookers sung songs in Arabic to welcome them to Saudi Arabia .