A WOMAN will be taking part in a charity bike ride next month with the aim of raising money for mental health charity MIND.

Linda Withey, from Bewdley, completes various runs for charity each year but this year decided on a different challenge.

She will by taking her bike to the streets of London on August 10 as one of the fundraising riders of the Prudential Ride 100, a 100-mile cycle through the capital and Surrey.

Miss Withey said: “Entering the ballot last year I didn’t really think I’d get a place. The realisation of how far 100 miles in a day is - it’s really started to sink in.”

Miss Withey started to raise money for MIND in memory of her friend John Gittins, who took his own life while suffering from depression.

“I am determined to complete the ride. As well as raising money, I hope to encourage other people, young and old, to pursue a sport - any sport - and just challenge yourself to do something you thought you could never do.”

The cycle starts in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and follows a 100-mile route on closed roads through the capital and into Surrey’s countryside, before returning to finish on The Mall.

Miss Withey said: “I have been training hard over recent months. Every Monday I have been doing the spin class with trainer Gary Lockwood from 24/7 gym, who pushes me to turn the tension up as far as I can while trying to convince myself that it will help.

“My personal trainer, Rafal Herbut, was given the task of making my legs and abs as strong as possible.

“Through the pain of weighted squats, lunges, leg presses and other bizarre exercises that only Raf could possibly imagine he has done the job he was charged with.

“I can’t thank him enough - every time I got back on the bike after a training session I could feel it getting easier.”

MIND provides advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem.

To make a donation to the cause, visit justgiving.com/Linda-Withey1