Hackney resident has completed a 9,600-mile bike ride around Latin America

Bolivia’s salt flats. Pic – Michael Edmondstone

A Hackney resident has completed a 9,600-mile, 14-month long bike ride around Latin America to raise money for charity.

Mike Edmonstone, 32, who lives in Stoke Newington began the cycle ride in December 2015, and finished just last Tuesday (February 14), and has so far raised over £3,300 for the charity he is supporting, the Teenage Cancer Trust. He is hoping to reach his target of £4,000 in the coming days.  
He began the ride in Rio de Janeiro, heading South through Uruguay and Argentina. In Buenos Aires he met his girlfriend, Sophie, who came out from London to join him on the adventure.

Together they rode to Ushuaia at the Southern tip of the country – the World’s most Southerly city – before turning North and riding through Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, the Central American countries and Mexico, before arriving in California. They finished the tour in Los Angeles on Valentine’s Day.  

Edmonstone said: “The Teenage Cancer Trust really do a wonderful job of  providing treatment and support to youngsters facing cancer. Cancer is  always a horrific disease but is particularly sad when it hits the young.” 

Mike and Sophie on the road in El Salvador. Pic: Michael Edmondstone

The biggest challenge for the couple was battling the freezing temperatures in Southern Chile.  
Edmonstone said, “There were a couple of bouts of food poisoning but our morale was never really at threat. The scenery was usually so beautiful and we enjoyed the riding so much that we always saw it as part of the adventure. It’s been an amazing year”.  
The London and Surrounding Area Local Fundraising Coordinator for Teenage Cancer Trust, Annie Smith, told ELL:  
 “It’s fantastic to have Mike’s support for his epic challenge. As a charity we rely on voluntary donations and dedicated supporters like Mike to ensure young people with cancer have access to the best possible care and support.”  
“In context, this money could potentially pay for a full day of running our Education and Awareness Programme.”
“Currently, almost half of young people with cancer across the UK are not treated within Teenage Cancer Trust units and don’t have access to our specialist care. To make this happen, we need to raise £20 million a year every year by 2020.”  
“A huge thank you to Mike and everyone who has donated for their support in helping to make sure that no young person has to face cancer alone.” 
You can help Mike exceed his £4,000 target by donating to his JustGiving page here

Santa Monica – the finishing line Pic: Michael Edmondstone

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