ENDURANCE cyclist Chris Wilby has returned from a summer trip to Sicily.
But the 49-year-old father-of-three from Marsden had little time to relax on the Italian island's long, sandy beaches.
The ultra-distance athlete biked 1,000km non-stop as temperatures soared to 30ºC.
Chris joined 90 other cyclists from around the world in the so-called Audax event.
Last year he competed in the Paris-Brest-Paris marathon in France - a ride of 1,200km.
And in previous years he has taken part in the Rocky Mountain 1,200km in the Canadian Rockies, the Boston-Montreal- Boston 1,200km and the Perth- Albany-Perth 1,200km rides.
At one point in his latest adventure he was following two Italian cyclists through the city of Palermo at night-time.
"They were getting lost, but were able to ask directions in Italian, and I was very surprised - first they stopped a public bus to ask, then later an ambulance - but the ambulance had its lights flashing."
Riding through two nights, Chris survived the 65-hour trip on a diet of coffee and ice cream-filled pastries.
His bike was sponsored by Ridgeback UK, the saddle donated by Brooks and the bike bag was given by Carradice.
Audax rides start at about 60km and are similar to orienteering events on road bikes.
Chris said: "I started cycling to work to get some exercise and my wife Sian first encouraged me to ride the English Coast-to-Coast ride, which I did with a friend.
"Later I joined the Audax Cycling Club where the rides often go through the night.
"The long rides are hard, and require determined mental effort as well as being fit.
"It takes time to develop the ability to sit on your bike for hours at a time, both mentally and physically."
Chris works in the central computer department of Kirklees Council.