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My personal journey, and the cycling experience on which I have built my success, is the reason for my next cycling challenge. A mere decade ago I was being treated for severe symptoms of Bipolar Affective Disorder and told that I’d never be a contributing member of society without the use of harsh prescription medication. Now I own and operate a multi-national business, operating in nearly 20 countries, without the aid of any medication.

In September 2018, I will attempt to break the World Record for the fastest cycle ride of America’s iconic Route 66, 2500 miles in under 11 days. The ride will be in aid of two charities, Mind (UK) and NAMI (US) – both do amazing work in their respective countries and help many people who haven’t been as successful as I have been in finding mental stability.

The record would be for the fastest bicycle ride of Route 66 following the original 2500 miles of road network as closely as possible. Unfortunately, much of the road has been decommissioned or repurposed as Interstates and is no longer suitable for bicycles, however there is now an official Bicycle Route 66 which will be used instead.

Danielle Giordano rode a similar route to the one we have planned in Sept/Oct 2016 taking 23 days but research has shown that this was never registered as a record. There was also a Route 66 Bike Race, sadly cancelled midway through, where riders reportedly finished in around 12 days, again no official record was registered.

I expect to have a full support crew riding in a recreational vehicle alongside me for most of the ride. Publicity events will be held in each major city, providing a unique opportunity for marketing and public relations for sponsors and the charities. The ride will of course be documented by video and photography for post ride publicity.

I will embark on a programme of PR activity both pre and post ride, to publicise the story of the ride, key moments, interviews, articles, a weekly video diary and more will all be documented on social media, as well as significant coverage in BikesEtc Magazine.

Raising money and awareness for charities who help others with mental health problems was a given. I opted to choose one charity from each of the countries I hold residence in, the UK (Mind) and the US (NAMI).

Mind aims to change public attitudes and government policy towards mental health whilst raising awareness. We also continue to ensure that everyone with a mental health problem has somewhere to turn for advice and support. The money raised from this event will help us to continue with our vital works. Any support you can give would be greatly appreciated.”

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health. Today, we are an association of hundreds of local affiliates, state organizations and volunteers who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need.”

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