Mike Newton was born in 1949 in Manchester, England, and attended the prestigious Manchester Grammar School. He became interested in cycling when he was 40 years old in 1990. His first major ride was one of 100 miles with three friends starting in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, and looping around Whitby and Scarborough. This ride led to the formation of GASBAGS, the Great Ayton & Stokesley Biking and Guzzling Society.
In 2004 he cycled 900 miles across France with three friends, starting in Biarritz and finishing in Caen. In 2015 he cycled 1450 miles from Hungary back to England with two of the three friends who cycled across France. In 2016 he cycled 550 miles from Ijmuiden to Copenhagen with his friend Jeff King. This ride was shortly after the Brexit vote, and Mike took along on the ride a shirt with 'We love the EU' on the front and 'We hate Boris' on the back.
In 1999 Mike divorced leading to meeting his now Japanese wife, Naoko, in 2002. He visited Japan four times for a month in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008. After the first two visits he wrote a book 'In Love with Japan" jointly with his wife.The places visited included Kyoto, Nara, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Beppu, Yufuin, Mount Aso and Okinawa.
On three visits to Spain from 2014 to 2016 Mike's wife Naoko walked 800km along the Camino de Santiago whilst Mike accompanied her on a bike.
Mike's son Stuart & his Peruvian wife Evelyn acted as guides as they toured various parts of Peru over 18 days from December 2016. Mike was with a whole group of Stuart & Evelyn's friends for a good part of the trip and felt 30 years younger till he looked in the mirror.
Mike has produced over 100 Youtube videos under the name GASBAGSMike since 2004. They include videos on cycling, table tennis (another passion), running events including the Great North Run, city visits and North Yorkshire countryside.