Happiness is a trip to Saltburn (the long way round) says 3,000-mile journey cyclist

Happiness is a trip to Saltburn (the long way round) says 3,000-mile journey cyclist

RIDER RETURNS: Kendal Aitken returns to Saltburn after cycling around the coast of England, raising money for charity and promoting nature, freedom and happiness. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

RIDER RETURNS: Kendal Aitken returns to Saltburn after cycling around the coast of England, raising money for charity and promoting nature, freedom and happiness. Picture: CHRIS BOOTH

First published in News
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Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Stockton/Hartlepool)

A CYCLIST has biked 3,000 miles around the coast of Britain to spread a positive message about nature, freedom and happiness.

Kendal Aitken, 45, also raised a few hundred pounds for charity on his round-trip from Saltburn which took him 40 days and ended today (Friday, August 1).

Supported by his girlfriend, Tatiana Searle of Saltburn, he ‘wild-camped’ where he could nearly every night of his epic journey.

On a few occasions strangers took pity on him and allowed him to sleep in their property when the rain was very bad.

Mr Aitken explained he had been suspicious of big businesses like supermarkets before setting off on his journey. However he experienced such kindness and support from supermarket workers who allowed him hot water and to used the facilities that he has changed his mind.

He raised money for a friend, Chris Williams who broke his back and is now in a wheelchair, as well as charities Transitions Saltburn and Education Forward.

Mr Aitken, who said Cornwall was his favourite part of the journey but said the North Yorkshire coast was very similar, said: “One of the great things was the reaction of people, it was a very positive experience getting that kind of support.

“When you’re outside that long you kind of get into a natural way of living. Going inside is too hot for me now. But on the other hands simple things like being able to flick on a kettle or simply draw a bath feels like such a privilege.”

Mr Aitken said he was never stopped for wild-camping, although he took great care to camp in appropriate spots.

He said he would now focus on his own business, which is all about promoting positivity.

Find out more about his ride at ride-lifeisgreat.co.uk

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