CHARITY cyclist Daniel Gilchrist is bidding to pedal 130 miles in 12 hours next Saturday, July 14, in memory of a close friend.

Daniel, from Wilmslow, is to cycle from his home town to Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales to raise money for leading mental health charity Mind.

Daniel was at university at Aberystwyth with John Childs, who died this year, and inspired Daniel to take up the cycling challenge.

Daniel has raised £700 towards his £1,000 goal via his online donations page here. 

Daniel said: “Sadly this year I lost my dear friend John to mental illness. John was a kind, generous and deeply caring person who was truly unique.

“I had the pleasure of living with John at university in Aberystwyth for three years, during which time we developed a close friendship. John was a selfless person who would do anything for you if asked.

“His boundless energy and enthusiasm has inspired my challenge to ride from my home town to our university town in a day.

“The challenge I have set myself is far beyond anything I have done before and is a step into the unknown.

“My route for the day will cover about 130 miles and 7,000 feet of hills.

“To complete it I'm using a 31-year-old bike recently bought from a charity shop in Prestbury - it has been thoroughly serviced and tested!

“Despite this daunting and slightly scary journey I have ahead of me I know it is nothing compared to the challenges so many people face each day due to severe mental illness.

“John was such a person who fought relentlessly but sadly lost his battle.

“His bravery, resolve and endless positivity will inspire me to get through this minor challenge in comparison to those he faced.

“Mind offers support and guidance to those suffering from mental health issues and I would like to donate my sponsorship to their cause.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Daniel can visit his justgiving page.

Mind says: “We believe no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone.

“We’re here for you. Today. Now. Whether you’re stressed, depressed or in crisis. We’ll listen, give support and advice, and fight your corner.”