National Mental Health Awareness Week is upon us. Mind

Fitness centre owner John Famelton plans to push his body to the limit by getting on his bike to cover almost 200 miles in 10 hours for charity – without moving an inch.

Super-fit John, 31, an avid Newcastle United Fan will saddle up on a bike made for spinning and ride the equivalent of St. James Park to Leicester City Stadium to raise money for mental health organisation Tyneside Mind.

And he is encouraging the public to back his bid to raise £500 by joining him on one of four other bikes he will set up outside his Inline Fitness Centre gym in Blaydon.

They can hop on and do a 30-minute stint – offering him a companionship boost and vital encouragement on a quest that will see him use up around 8,000 calories as he peddles at up to 30km an hour.

He came up with the ‘Spinathon’ idea, which starts at 7am on Tuesday, May 27, after seeing a number of friend’s battle mental health problems. Playing icon Gary Speed also suffered from Mental Health problems and Footballers post playing suffer depression and many other debilitating Mental Health Diseases. This is something that needs support and publicity.

John, from Fenham, Newcastle, who founded Inline Fitness Centre, Blaydon six months ago, said: “Mental health issues can tear families apart. I’m trying to prove that no matter how difficult a problem, it can be overcome.

“Tyneside Mind is a charity that does great work and I very much want to support it. I hope people will get behind this event and come along and support me.”

He added: “I don’t teach spinning, I don’t even regularly ride a bike, so this is way outside my comfort zone – it will be extremely tough, but I’m determined to do it and I’m confident that I can.

“I’ve driven past Leicester and I know that at 186 miles it’s quite some distance. Determination and willpower – along with a comfy seat and lots of liquids and the right calorie intake – are the most important things.”

The Leeds Metropolitan University sports studies graduate will almost double his usual 2,500 daily calories two days beforehand to ensure he is pumped up with power carbohydrates.

He will start the ride at 7.00am on a stage under a gazebo set up outside his gym in Chainbridge Road, close to Scotswood Bridge, and does not plan to stop until 5pm.

Thirteen gym users have already pledged to take part and he hopes other members and non-members will sign up beforehand or turn up on the day. As an incentive to come along and support Inline Fitness Centre are offering a 5 day free membership to anyone who donates or comes along to the event

John has ambitions to double the size of the Blaydon premises and expand the scope of instruction provided, which goes beyond developing physique and takes in overall body and mind well being.

Donations can be made, and more information found, at

Information on Inline Fitness is at

Information on Tyneside Mind is at