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Mis­sion Im­plau­si­ble: ‘It’s the best thing we’ve ever done’

Rob Bill­man and mates Roger Parrott and Ja­son Cooper rode small bikes from Nor­wich to In­ver­ness and back in 43 hours in July 2015. The 1100-mile trip raised £2500 for the Big C Cancer Char­ity.

“A friend of mine suf­fers with cancer,” ex­plains or­gan­iser Rob Bill­man, 43. “In 2015 she took a turn for the worse and I just felt like I needed to do some­thing. Two close friends im­me­di­ately vol­un­teered to ride, and two oth­ers to drive the sup­port ve­hi­cle – we had it or­gan­ised in four days!”

Rob and his friends have rid­den to­gether for decades, mostly off-road. “Be­fore this I con­sid­ered 100 miles an adventure!” he laughs. An owner of 22 small bikes, he did the gru­elling 1100mile jour­ney on his 1985 Kawasaki AR80, which he had barely test-rid­den since re­build­ing it from scratch.

“I love the char­ac­ter of lit­tle twostrokes, but also it seemed a big­ger achieve­ment to use small bikes,” he says. “It rained for 16 of the 43 hours, we got a punc­ture within 15 miles, we were ex­hausted… but it was in­cred­i­ble fun. We kept each other go­ing with jokes and ca­ma­raderie, and the feel­ing of our close group chal­leng­ing our­selves and our bikes, be­ing fol­lowed on­line by peo­ple world­wide… it’s the best thing we’ve ever done.”

Rob’s ad­vice on do­ing it your­self

“The back-up ve­hi­cle car­ry­ing our fuel was bril­liant. Or­well Trucks of Nor­wich loaned us a brand new van as their com­pany had suf­fered be­reave­ment due to cancer. Our lit­tle bikes with lit­tle petrol tanks wouldn’t have made it if we’d had to keep stop­ping at fuel sta­tions. Don’t be afraid of dis­tance; just know your own phys­i­cal fit­ness. We’re ex­er­cis­ing be­fore we at­tempt a longer ride in 2016!”

This year’s events…

Team Mis­sion Im­plau­si­ble are still plan­ning their next adventure, but the team at Loomies Moto Café are do­ing a 50cc en­durance chal­lenge from Land’s End to John O’groats in March 2016 in aid of MS So­ci­ety. For more in­for­ma­tion see www.just­giv­

‘Your mis­sion, should you choose to ac­cept it…’ Nor­wich to In­ver­ness and back would be a tall or­der on any bike From hum­ble ori­gins, RTTW now draws 20,000 peo­ple

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