How MCN #ride5000miles mem­bers are chang­ing lives

Long­est Day chal­lenge sees bik­ers span UK on £300 bikes

MCN - - CONTENTS - By Matt Wildee SE­NIOR EDITOR

‘While it’s light­hearted it’s also a real chal­lenge’ OR­GAN­ISER JOHN McAVOY ‘It’s some­thing that sums up the #ride5000 ethos’ MCN SE­NIOR EDITOR MATT WILDEE

Agroup of 17 mad­cap bik­ers are set to ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats next Wed­nes­day in a bid to raise £100,000 for Can­cer Re­search. The Long­est Day Down char­ity run chal­lenges rid­ers to ride the length of the Great Bri­tain in 24 hours, with­out us­ing mo­tor­ways, on bikes worth less than £300. Rid­ers set off from Land’s End at sun­rise on the long­est day of the year with the aim to be at John O’Groats be­fore sun­rise the fol­low­ing day. The route is over 900 miles.

Now in its sixth year, the run has raised over £90,000 and is due to top the £100k. #ride5000miles mem­ber Keith Bous­field is among the en­trants on a par­tic­u­larly ropey Yamaha Di­ver­sion. “June 21 would have been my sis­ter’s birth­day,” he said. “She died of can­cer, so the fact that LDD takes place on June 21 ev­ery year is a great trib­ute. It didn’t take much per­sua­sion to get a group of mates from our lo­cal bike club to come along, and be­fore you know it ev­ery­thing es­ca­lated from there and we’re all wear­ing furry suits.

They did the trick though, be­cause ev­ery­where we stopped on the route, peo­ple would ask what we were up to, and then do­nate. We col­lected nearly £300 on the day alone in col­lec­tion buck­ets.”

“It’s a won­der­ful event, be­cause it sums up the ca­ma­raderie of bik­ing,” says se­ries or­gan­iser John McAvoy. “And while it’s light hearted, it’s a real chal­lenge too, re­quir­ing lots of plan­ning, con­cen­tra­tion and en­durance. Any­one who com­pletes it de­serves credit. I’ve done it be­fore and I reckon it is the hard­est thing I’ve done on two wheels.” MCN’s Matt Wildee is also tak­ing part in the event on an 84,000-mile Yamaha XJ900F. “I wanted to do some­thing for char­ity that summed up the #ride5000miles ethos, so bought this XJ. The last few weeks have been a blur of prepa­ra­tion and pre­tend­ing to ig­nore the very rat­tly cam­chain – that and the smell from the mangy fur, which I might re­move. The av­er­age biker cov­ers 3000 miles, any­one who com­pletes the LDD does a third of that in one day – on bikes most of us wouldn’t ride to the shops.” G Do­nate at: www.th­e­longest day­down­chal­lenge.co.uk

Start is at Land’s End at dawn on June 21 MCN’s Wildee is tak­ing part Furry suits add to the sense of fun

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