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Popular cyclist stops off to visit his grandmother during 5000 mile charity ride

PUBLISHED: 16:57 28 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:57 28 September 2019

Lewis Stephens pictured with his nan Janet Stephens from Lowestoft. Picture: Greta Levy

Lewis Stephens pictured with his nan Janet Stephens from Lowestoft. Picture: Greta Levy

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A charity cyclist who is riding around the country's coast in support of men's mental health has been reunited with his Lowestoft grandmother.

Lewis Stephens, also known as The Tourist Dog met with his grandmother in Lowestoft. Picture: ContributedLewis Stephens, also known as The Tourist Dog met with his grandmother in Lowestoft. Picture: Contributed

Lewis Stephens from Kent, who is also known as The Tourist Dog, set off on his arduous journey around the UK coastline in support of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), a men's mental health charity.

The 23-year-old left Selsey in West Sussex on June 2 and has travelled roughly 3,900 miles on his bike. The journey, which will also end in the seaside town, will take over five months to complete and is approximately 5,000 miles.

Originally Mr Stephens was cycling 50 miles, living on £5 per day and was relying on the kindness of strangers to help him complete his journey. He recently challenged himself to live on £20 for 20 days where he was offered free accommodation, food and people cycled some of the routes with him.

Mr Stephens said: "It's mad to think how this journey has developed from a small idea into something that has changed and touched the lives of everyone involved in some way. All this has come from an idea, a 60-year-old bike and a positive demonstration of how we can use media now to inspire a different world.

Lewis arrived in Lowestoft to see his nan while on his charity cycle ride. Picture: Greta LevyLewis arrived in Lowestoft to see his nan while on his charity cycle ride. Picture: Greta Levy

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"I had no idea how the journey would develop, but physically and metaphorically I'm along for the ride," he said.

However, he breathed a sigh of relief as he approached the border and pedalled towards his grandmothers home on Wednesday, September 25.

Janet Stephens said: "When I heard he was going to cycle around the coast, I said 'I live on the coast, I wonder if he will come to see me?'"

Since he arrived, the pair have spent quality time soaking up the best bits of the Suffolk coast, have played Scrabble and searched for new sandals for the cyclist.

The 71-year-old, who moved to Suffolk three years ago from Kent, said she felt better allowing her grandson to complete his journey now he had been fed, bathed and was well rested.

"I am an extremely proud Nan," Mrs Stephens said.

To donate, visit his JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thetouristdog

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