Disaster has hit a team of graduates attempting a 8,000 km bike ride to raise money for charity, with two out of the three forced to retire.

In July this year, Broke.Bike.Mountain, which comprised 23-year-olds Louis Blaxill, son of Simon Blaxill who is the Managing Director of Kent Blaxill builders’ merchant, George Jones (pictured) and Calum Craig, all aged 23, set off on their journey through France, Holland, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia, Italy, Austria and Spain.

They are aiming to raise money for mental health charity Mind, which they said was close to their hearts as they had seen the devastating impact mental health issues can have while they were at university.

But Craig was forced to pull out in late August as the challenge aggravated an old knee injury, which put him out of action. And earlier this month, Jones was involved in an accident with a car near Verona – 5,000km into the trip. He escaped with an elbow injury that he needs to rest to ensure it heals properly, but he plans to fly out to support Blaxill at various points of the journey, and might even be able to join him to cycle over the finish line.

Despite this now being a solo trip, Blaxill is determined to finish the challenge. He said: “We’re really excited to have surpassed the £4,000 mark on our JustGiving page.

“However, we also realise there is a long way to go if we are to reach our target of £6,214 by the time we have finished (a pound for every mile we will cycle).

“Even if our journey doesn’t inspire everyone to donate, we hope at the very least it will get people talking about mental health and go some way to breaking the taboo surround the issue.”

His father will be joining him in Montpelier to cycle via the Pyrenean foothills to Barcelona – which is approximately 5,600km in five days.

He said: “I am very proud that Louis is going to plough on.

“This was a mammoth challenge and we will follow his last month even more closely now he is alone on what was already an almighty task as a trio.

“Louis has done amazingly well with his fundraising and we want him to continue to do that and complete this epic journey.”