Pete White, 31, Pete Goodwin, 28, and Julian Claxton, 30, aim to travel through 12 countries in just 70 days including Germany, Austria, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya in aid of the Sport for Rwanda appeal.
Set up 12 months ago, the appeal hopes to raise £80,000 to buy sports and education equipment for 140 schools in the country, which suffered devastating genocide in the 1990s.
The sports equipment will help more than 100,000 Rwandan children gain access to sporting activities which they are not taught in school.
The trio met up at the West Suffolk Wheelers HQ, in Shakers Lane, Bury, and 45 riders joined them on the first leg of the journey from Bury to Harwich and were seen off by the Mayor of St Edmundsbury Christopher Spicer and the Rwandan High Commissioner Ernest Rwamucyo, from Angel Hill.
Bury is hosting the Rwandan Olympic and Paralympic teams Pre-Games Training Camp as they prepare for London 2012 and the bike team aim to arrive in Kigali, Rwanda, in time to accompany the Rwandan Olympic team on their journey to Bury St Edmunds.
The Cycle to Rwanda challenge is part of the Sport For Rwanda fundraising appeal which aims to raise £80,000 by 2012 to provide 140 schools in the country sports equipment and training materials to introduce sport to the Rwandan educational curriculum, through charity Rwandan Aid.
Sport For Rwanda was set up by the St Edmundsbury Olympic Steering Group as part of its Go Rwanda project to build a lasting legacy with Rwanda.
The trek will take them from Bury to Harwich where they will cross by boat to the Hook of Holland.
From there they will cycle through Europe to Greece where they cross the Mediterranean to Egypt then on through Sudan, Ethiopa and Kenya to journey’s end in Kigali.