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36 %
raised of £10,000 target
by 133 supporters
Tom Priestner avatar
Tom Priestner

Alex and Tom 2- The West Coast Cycle: Return of the Saddle Sore

Cycling from Anchorage to Imperial Beach for Mind because we want to raise money/awareness for mental health

36 %
raised of £10,000 target
by 133 supporters


We’re Mind, the mental health charity. We believe no one should have to face a mental health problem alone. We’re here for you. Today. Now. Whether you’re stressed, depressed or in crisis. We’ll listen, give support and advice, and fight your corner.

Charity Registration No. 219830


At the age of 16, Alex and I cycled to Paris with our friend Charles. However, having done this we were surprised by how easy it was so thought we should somewhat raise the ante. The next summer we cycled through 8 countries (Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands and UK) on a somewhat larger 25 day trip through the Pyrenees along the coast of Mediterranean Sea before cycling through the Alps back home to Rotterdam. This was one of the best trips we've been on and we were determined that we would do another and hopefully encourage others to take part in these cheap yet fantastic holidays where one feels like you really get to know the countries you travel through seeing the best and the worst bits of them and raising If you are interested in finding out more about our trip around Europe and donating some money to MS at the same time (we've raised almost £4,000), please buy Alex's book found on this link:

Finally 3 years on from that we have decided to travel to a different continent from Anchorage to Imperial Beach on the Mexican border. This is a cycle of 6,000km for which we will be away for 60 days during which we will be trying to avoid bears in Canada, visiting Vancouver, crossing the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco, admiring the Hollywood sign before finally chasing to the border! We want to spread the word of both the amazing world available to people by bike through talks yet also try and raise as much money for a charity which many of our friends have suffered from!

The number of mental health illnesses is incredible from depression, paranoia and self harm to perfectionism and anorexia. Since having gone to university Alex and I were shocked by the prevalence of such illnesses. Alex especially as a medic has worked in the student GP service and almost every case was depression or stress related and was simply ruining these peoples lives. Both of us have friends who have suffered from things such as this and more.

Mental illness is seen to affect girls most often, however the greatest cause of death for men before the age of 35 is suicide. This is a cultural problem whereby men perceive these problems as a weakness on their part so they bury them often ripping families and friends apart. In fact, every year, 1 in 4 people suffer from a mental disorder and yet it is still seen to be cured by getting on with life with a stiff upper lip due to the fear of being perceived as odd or being deserted.

We hope our trip inspires you to do something similar and we also hope that we can spread the word about Mental Health so that you understand its prevalence in order to reduce the stigma so people no longer have to hide it.


  • Training in Derbyshire before we set off to the USA with the new bikes
  • Roads in the Yukon, Canada, are pretty rough
  • Vancouver Island is so cool but we'll be heading to Washington in a day to start the last month down to Mexico +8