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Elderly man with a hip replacement cycled 900 miles to raise funds for mental health charity

Despite having a new hip and suffering from severe Achilles tendon pain, Johnson completed the ride in six days, three hours and 30 minutes, sleeping by the roadside in a sleeping bag.

Elderly man with a hip replacement cycled 900 miles to raise funds for mental health charity
Cover Image Source: Twitter | @BristolUni

How far would you go to raise money for a good cause? Would you go 900 miles on a cycle? This elderly cyclist did. For charity, a cyclist with a new hip rode 900 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End. Stuart Johnson, a father of three, completed the journey in six days, three hours and 30 minutes by sleeping by the roadside in little more than a sleeping bag. Despite having to see a physiotherapist in Wigan and a podiatrist in Taunton due to severe Achilles tendon pain, the adventure was not cut short, reports Indy 100.



 

Johnson is the director of the University of Bristol's careers service when he is not traveling the length of the United Kingdom. The 49-year-old, who underwent hip replacement surgery in 2018, on his JustGiving page joked that the trip was prompted by a "midlife crisis" as he approached his 50th birthday. He chose to raise funds for the mental health charity Mind, ultimately raising an impressive $4,704.62.



 

He shared, "I can honestly say I enjoyed all of it, but the best bit was probably coming down into Kendal on Monday evening – fast riding and a beautiful sunset. Reaching Land’s End I was mostly just happy. Happy that I’d completed it, happy that I’d done it faster than I thought I could and happy to have raised such a healthy chunk of money for Mind."

"Everyone knows that mental health challenges have ramped up significantly in the last few years, and students have been particularly affected. Mind support people experiencing a mental health problem and campaign to improve services and raise awareness. What they do is critical," he added.



 

 Much of his training for the ride was done on his 30-mile round-trip commute from Churchill, north Somerset, to the university. But nothing could have prepared him for multiple, consecutive 130-mile days in the saddle on a route that required him to climb 11,000m – higher than Everest, reports BBC.

Mr. Johnson expressed, "Completing the ride has surprised me and given me confidence to try more things – what exactly I do next though I’m not entirely sure. It will be easier to decide when I’ve recovered from this one." He is currently in Cornwall on a family holiday. His wife, Kathy Stuart, added, "The whole family is incredibly proud of Stuart for completing this mad adventure. It was great to meet him in Cornwall to celebrate."

 



 

Lucinda Parr, the University of Bristol’s Registrar and University Secretary, said, on the University's page, "Stuart’s remarkable journey across the UK is impressive enough, but to also raise money for such a worthy cause is really inspiring. Congratulations, Stuart, we hope you are enjoying some well-earned rest in Cornwall!"

"Mind" is a mental health supporting organization. Its page reads, "We’re here to fight mental health. For support for respect, for you. We change minds across England and Wales by making mental health an everyday priority. By standing up to the injustices – in healthcare, in work, in law – which make life harder for those of us with mental health problems. We support minds – offering help whenever you might need it through our information, advice and local services. And we connect minds. Bringing together an unstoppable network of individuals and communities – people who care about mental health to make a difference." 

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