AN ultra-distance cyclist who has tackled a series of gruelling fundraising events over four months is gearing-up for his final challenge – the 1,242-mile Land’s End to John O’Groats route.
Ben Rickaby, who is raising money for mental health charity Mind in Bradford, begins his length-of-Britain ride this Saturday (Aug 14).
The 42-year-old – who lives at Silsden – will have to carry everything he needs, including camping gear for each night, adding 20kg in weight to the bike.
His first event – in the spring – was the Dales Divide, taking in a mixture of road and off-road terrain and 9,000 metres of ascent.
That was followed by the TransWales Trail – covering 217 miles and with 6,200 metres of climbing – and the 335-mile TransScotland, which passes through the Cairngorms National Park and Nevis mountain range.
Ben – a residence manager at the University of Leeds – also took on the Alba Ultra, a self-supported challenge across the north of England.
He had to plan his own route of over 430 miles and visit designated checkpoints.
He completed the challenge in 53 hours.
“This really increased my confidence,” said Ben, who took-up cycling about 12 years ago.
He was keen to support Mind in Bradford after seeing how its services had helped his dad over the past few years.
Ben aims to raise awareness of the charity’s work, as well as cash to support its activities.
“This fundraising opportunity is my contribution to raising awareness of mental health and to highlight the great work that Mind in Bradford continues to undertake,” said Ben.
To support Ben, visit his online fundraising page at justgiving.com/fundraising/benrickaby.