A 51-YEAR-OLD mum from Almondsbury is taking an unusual career break to cycle around the world, completely solo and unsupported.

Astrid Domingo Molyneux is to leave behind the quiet, leafy streets of her village for a two-year cycle ride of the world.

On a pinned out world route she is set to pedal from Almondsbury to Italy, Greece to Turkey, Iran to Japan, Alaska to America and Dominican Republic back to home - without taking one single plane ticket.

The mother of two, who is an executive assistant at the Bristol-based Centre for Deaf Studies, believes the challenge will help her find her inner self.

"I announced at my 50th birthday I was to cycle around the world one day soon," she said.

"But I admit I hadn't quite anticipated the idea, which came as a direct consequence of reading A Bike Ride' by Anne Mustoe, to be in the near, rather than the distant, future.

"Once announcing it publicly events began to snowball before I was necessarily aware of the fact I was set to leave.

"And here I am fully prepared for the biggest adventure of my life, I don't think I can quite believe it yet."

Astrid, who was brought up in Norway and has worked in the Emirates, insists, despite protests from some family and friends, she is not brave.

In fact, rather than fearing other people along her travels, Astrid says she is most concerned about wild dogs.

"I'm sure once people know what I am doing they will be quite helpful and cause me no trouble," she said.

"From reading other people's experiences 99 per cent of people will cause you no problem, it is the wildlife that you are most likely to encounter problems with.

"I'll most scared of wild dogs, snakes and even bears."

One of the few items Astrid is packing is pepper spray to deter any approaching wildlife.

Other items include high heeled shoes, a selection of flags, digital camera, I-Pod, a weather proof tent and press cuttings to prove her mission.

Along the way she plans to meet up with relations - in Cyprus and Dominican Republic - and see some of the wonders of the world.

Political disputes in Tibet or visa problems may also define her route.

She said: "I guess it's the usual thing of wanting a challenge and trying to find myself.

"Let's face it, everyone has their own way of doing such things.

"Okay, so it might be more of a challenge than I had initially thought but I am going on the premise that God does not test us beyond our capability. How's that for faith?"

Along the way she hopes to raise awareness and money for The Leprosy Mission and Bristol based charity Deaf Studies Trust.

Family and friends are set to wave Astrid off when she sets off from her home on Tuesday, May 6.