A NEWBURY man is on the first leg of a mammoth 1,200-mile bike ride from London to Rome.
Carl Johnstone, from Hawthorn Road, signed up for the challenge – which is expected to take around four weeks – to raise money for the mental health charity Mind.
Mr Johnstone will spend the rest of June and some of July cycling through Paris, Geneva, the Alps and Milan until he reaches his final destination.
He is aiming to ride up to 10 hours a day and will spend his nights camping and couch surfing.
Mr Johnstone will cycle with all of his belongings with him on his bike, including storage for his tent, sleeping bag, tools, clothes and food.
His goal is to raise more than £1,000.
On his fundraising page, Mr Johnstone said: “One in four people will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime, but despite this, so many people don’t get the help and support they need.
“People are often quick to dismiss mental health problems and this can be because they don’t fully understand them.
“It can also be difficult to talk about these kinds of issues with family and friends.
“Mind provides help and support to people experiencing depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
“It raises awareness, promotes understanding, and has improved the lives of millions.
“It empowers people to understand their condition and the choices available to them.”
Visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Carl Johnstone’s page.