A Georgeham man is about to set off on an epic cycle around the world for charity.
Neil Sharp-Dent is planning to spend the next two or three years circumnavigating the globe by pedal power alone to raise money and awareness for mental health charity Mind.
He is keen to prove that suffering from a mental health illness – in his case anxiety – is no barrier to people achieving their goals and dreams.
He has launched a JustGiving page and hopes to raise £25,000 for the charity during the course of his adventure.
He sets off this Sunday (March 11) from his parents’ home in Georgeham at 10am and people are welcome to turn out in Georgeham or Croyde as he passes through.
And you can join him before then at a special fundraising event on Friday at The Blue Groove in Croyde from 5pm to midnight, with live music, a quiz and raffle.
He said: “I am going to turn my physical effort into funds for Mind to help others struggling with mental health – for me, it’s worrying on a whole new scale.
“Secondly as a vegan I want to prove that it’s entirely achievable to cycle around the world fuelled by plant power and thirdly wherever possible when travelling between continents I’m going to try and achieve this without using fossil fuel.”
On Sunday he will be joined by a group of cyclist friends, several of whom will cycle to Plymouth with him, where he will board a ferry for Roscoff and then travel through Europe to the northern-most point of Scandinavia and on around the world.
An account manager for a website design company, Neil is renting out his house while he is away and is self-funding his trip.
Neil says he has always had a strong sense of adventure and wants to prove to people that the only obstacles are those in their own minds.
He was inspired by other long-distance cyclists and also by meeting Woolacombe’s Kevin Carr, who in 2015 broke the world record for running around the world.
Neil has been carefully trained by Andrew Blake of Bay Fitness and Rob Wakefield of Propello in Barnstaple. He is being sponsored by Carb Cycles, Nopinz and has teamed up with media partner Adventure Uncovered.