UK & World News
Family Thanks Donors After Cyclist's Death
Family and friends of a cyclist who was killed while on a charity bike ride have thanked donors for giving to his cause.
Christian Smith was hoping to raise £1,000 for mental health charity Mind through his JustGiving webpage while on a bike ride around Kent and Sussex on Saturday.
The 38-year-old father of three, from Boughton Aulph in Kent, died after being in collision with a car.
And since news of his death was reported, more than £66,000 has been donated to his webpage.
Relatives and friends said the donations were a "great comfort" at a "sad and difficult" time.
The statement said: "Taking on this challenge was Christian's way of doing something positive to make sure that people facing mental health problems are not alone, and the many messages of support and generosity of donations are a great comfort to us at this extremely sad and difficult time."
Mr Smith set out last Friday to complete his 'Kent Epic' of cycling 248 miles in 24 hours.
In his last posting, Mr Smith, who would have been 39 this week, wrote: "Oh c**p what have I done.... 6 days to go. Birthday drinks in Kings Head on 29th March if I am still alive by then."
Describing his fundraising bid, he wrote: "This is an attempt to cycle the full 24hrs and the full distance, largely unsupported (because nobody is stupid enough to volunteer!). So there are no motorcycle outriders, support vehicles or hot chicks to wipe my brow.
"As much as this being a physical effort, it will also be a mental struggle, enduring a long dark night alone, knackered. Not to mention the long training sessions ahead of me to prepare."
Explaining his motivation, he added: "In short I want to support the charity Mind, raise awareness towards the great support that they offer, and help bring an end to the stigma that is attached to those who suffer from mental health problems.
"I have had my own misfortune to suffer from a spate of poor mental health, which was unexpected and has been a real 'game changer' in how I now view the future.
"It has been a tough road to get to this point but I have been fortunate enough to have the support of my family and friends.
"There are those who are not so fortunate to have the same level of support and understanding. They suffer in silence and are alone. This challenge is for those people."
He also posted: "If I get to £1,000 I will cycle naked around Wye!"
Two people have been arrested and freed on police bail over the cyclist's death.