AN endurance cyclist has received support from a pair of former Bradford City players as he gets on his bike for a 5,000-mile charity challenge around the UK coast.

Ryan Anderton, 40, is getting back in the saddle this Sunday for the start of a gruelling 40-day task.

He will set off from Keighley Cenotaph on Sunday morning before heading up to Blackpool, then Lancaster, around the Scottish coast, down the east coast of England, the south coast, around Wales and then scheduled to finish in Blackpool on August 17.

Mr Anderton, of Keighley, is raising funds for NHS Charities Together, Mental Health Foundation, Children's Heart Surgery Fund, Everton in the Community and Hampshire-based Hammersley Homes.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ryan Anderton will take on a 40-day 5,000-mile bike ride around the UK coast Ryan Anderton will take on a 40-day 5,000-mile bike ride around the UK coast

The Everton fan has been backed for success by a pair of former Bradford City and Everton players; Stuart McCall and Danny Cadamarteri, in video messages.

Mr Anderton has previously completed endurance cycling challenges around the UK and Europe. His latest challenge will see him mainly cycle on his own but he will be joined by support riders at stages along the route.

He said: "It is 40 stages around the coastline of Britain, it should take 40 days.

"I will have one rest day and the shortest day of cycling is 70 miles, the longest day is 150 miles.

"I am not new to this, I have three significant cycling challenges under my belt. I have been cycling for the last four years.

"I have struggled pretty much all of my life with my mental health. Four years ago I was introduced to peer support group Andy's Man Club. I have now set up my own mental health group in Keighley. People want to talk to me about mental health.

"When I got to 37/38 I started to get a grip on my life and knew what I wanted to do with my life. Cycling has given me a voice.

"After seeing how the world has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic I have decided to ride over 5,000 miles around the coastline of Britain for five wonderful charities that mean a lot to me and no doubt many of people too.

"I am a massive advocate that exercise help's with people's mental health.

"Everybody dreads the postman at the moment, we all have bills to pay, families and relationships. We can get too bogged down with day-to-day living.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Ryan Anderton gears up for cycling challengeRyan Anderton gears up for cycling challenge

"I have really struggled to get out training during lockdown, but have been doing virtual cycling tests indoors at home.

"From experience, when you finish a ride like this you feel a mixture of exhilaration and relief. A lot of cyclists complain about the post-ride blues. You have to reassess your mental health afterwards. I will probably plan my next challenge."

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