Why this man is cycling solo to Malta from Gloucestershire

A man who survived a bike accident is cycling to Malta from his home in England to raise cash for a charity dedicated to preventing male suicide.

Mike Swinford, 26, was involved in the hit and run two years ago near Oxford.

He said: ‘It was the shock of it and the fact the driver who hit me just carried on. That knocked my confidence but I still wanted to ride my bike.’

Feeling inspired, Mike has decided to organise a big challenge and is planning to cycle solo from his home town of Cheltenham to Malta, where his late grandma Jean lived.

He hasn’t been able to visit the island since she died six years ago at the age of 72.

Discussing the bike ride, he told Gloucestershire Live: ‘I have been really sensible my whole life and I wanted to do a challenge, something interesting.

‘On September 1, I will be cycling to Malta from Cheltenham.

‘It will be 28 days, 119,000 ft of climbing and 2000 miles of cycling for male suicide charity CALM.

‘This will all be attempted solo with no support. So other than the miles, I will experience a feeling of being alone.

‘By doing this, I hope to raise £10,000.’

Mike lost his uncle to suicide and had two friends who killed themselves in tragic circumstances.

He added: ‘You could be best friends with someone and not know they are suffering inside.

‘It’s not like having a cast on your arm, when it’s obvious something is wrong. Men can find it impossible to ask for help.’

Good luck, Mike.

Read more: Gloucestershire Live

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