West Yorkshire cyclist Ryan Anderton will this July ride the route taken by the late Lee Fancourt when he set a Guinness World Record for the fastest crossing of Europe from North to South, with the aim of raising awareness of mental health issues and suicide prevention.
Multiple record-breaking cyclist Fancourt, from Gloucester, was found dead on 19 January last year with a coroner’s inquest concluding that he had taken his own life through an overdose of cocaine and other drugs.
The 40-year-old, who had suffered from mental health problems, was discovered by police in his car in a lay-by after he was reported missing by his family due to concerns about his welfare.
Anderton, who has himself suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts, says that taking up cycling in 2016 has helped turn his life around. Last year, he rode 4,800 miles around the coastline of Great Britain in 42 days to raise £7,000 for the mental health charity Mind.
In July, he will set out on the route that Fancourt took in summer 2015 when he rode from North Cape in Norway to Tarifa in Spain to set his Guinness World Record of 21 days, 14 hours and 23 minutes.
Anderton’s ride from Norway to Spain will take him through the same 10 countries Fancourt visited – Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland and France.
He will be providing updates on his training through the hashtag #RyanRidesAcrossEurope on his Recycle Yourself Campaign social media accounts, and is looking for companies willing to support him and help raise awareness about mental health.
“With one in four people suffering some form of mental challenge most people will know of someone that has been affected and with the growing numbers of suicide in the UK this is a great way to support a much needed area of health and gain publicity for your organisation,” states a press release announcing his forthcoming challenge.
He can be contacted via his website, www.recycleyourselfcampaign.co.uk.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.