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Cyclist who overcame suicide attempts and depression reaches Lowestoft in 5,000 mile challenge

PUBLISHED: 16:07 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:07 05 November 2018

Ryan Anderton at Ness Point, Lowestoft, as part of his Recycle Yourself campaign for MIND.

Ryan Anderton at Ness Point, Lowestoft, as part of his Recycle Yourself campaign for MIND.

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A cyclist who battled depression and suicide attempts with pedal power is taking on a journey of almost 5,000 miles for charity.

Ryan Anderton is taking on the challenge of cycling around Britain’s coast to raise money and awareness for mental health charity Mind.

Mr Anderton was first admitted to a mental health hospital ward after attempting suicide in a Blackpool bed and breakfast, aged 30.

After setting off from Blackpool on October 15, the 38-year-old has overcome buckled wheels, knee pain and pouring rain to reach Lowestoft this week, where he was offered accommodation by strangers keen to help.

Mr Anderton, from Bradford, said: “Cycling seemed to work for me instantly and I know I am now pushing it to the extreme, but there is so much you can do to yourself to improve your mindfulness as well as taking medication. I have always been quite a sporty person and I played football regularly when I was younger and enjoyed playing tennis and swimming.

“What I didn’t realise at first is that cycling also suppressed my need to escape because I was riding to different places and having the time to reassess my thoughts while in a positive place.”

Mr Anderton has already cycled through Wales, along the south coast of Britain and around Essex before reaching Lowestoft on Sunday, where he visited Ness Point, the UK’s most easterly point.

The ride comes after the death of his uncle in a mental health hospital earlier this year, as well as another suicide attempt in February.

He said: “I can now look back to when I was as young as 17 and recall moments of suicidal thoughts, and now notice longstanding issues with my behaviour and my unorthodox way of coping with stress and emotion.

“All the signs were always there to show that I frequently struggled, that I repeatedly got myself in to trouble and that suicide or escaping and drinking was my way out,

“I was being ‘triggered’ by situations that I often caused in a self-destructive or spontaneous moment that would spiral out of my control due to illogical thinking.”

Mr Anderton hopes to raise £10,000 through the 4,802 mile journey along the roads closest to the British coastline. To donate to the challenge, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/ryanridesaroundbritain

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