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28th February 2005


Riding For Charity

RealClassic's own Round Britain Ride is being done just for fun, but other RealClassic readers will be clocking up the miles as well this season, and they're doing it for charity...

Geoff Danher drives an articulated lorry for a living, but he will be racking up 1500 miles on something rather smaller in April 2005. He aims to ride 1500 miles in 36 hours on a Royal Enfield Bullet Electra X. Can it be done? Sure - and Geoff intends to prove it.

On his ride, Geoff will be using the rules from The Iron Butt Association of the USA, because they are so strict. 'I need witness statements, various proofs and copies of maps,' says Geoff, 'but the one thing the Iron Butt people do not have to check is the bike's speedometer -- because they have checked so many other proofs.'

No one has ever used a Bullet to do an Iron Butt run before, and very few such runs have been done in Britain, perhaps because it's a relatively small island in which to clock up 1500 miles (but try telling that to Rowena and Emm, who will be travelling some 2200 miles on their own Royal Enfield Ride. The UK doesn't feel so small when you're winding your way around its B-roads!).

Geoff, on the right. Or maybe the left. It's one or the other, anyway...

Geoff's route starts at 5am (!) on April 4th from Torre Motorcycles at Torquay, then heads down to Land's End to find a witness, turn around and head north. He'll keep going north, into Scotland, on and on passing Inverness to a small town called Alness where he needs another witness. Turn around and head south until getting back to Torre at 5pm on the 5th.

'Easy!' says Geoff. 'And for lap two… no, lap one will be enough, I think!'

'If any of you can make it along on the 5th to welcome me home, celebrate my 55th birthday (that's why the run ends on the 5th!) and share a drink (I'm not a rich man) that would be wonderful.'

You might be wondering why on earth Geoff is doing all this. The answer is to raise funds for a charity called DebRA (www.debra.org.uk). DebRA UK is the national charity working on behalf of people with the genetic skin blistering condition, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). DebRA, while receiving no funding from the government, gives help and support to both the sufferers of EB and their families. The charity also funds all the research into finding a cure for the condition, trains specialist nurses and offers advice to local GPs who have no experience of EB, plus much more. All of this is financed by donations, which is where Geoff hopes you'll step in...

If you go to www.justgiving.com/ridefordebra this site allows you to donate using a credit/debit card, and the funds go straight to DebRA. Alternatively, www.supportmyride.co.uk has a printable form for donations by cheque, PLUS a competition to win a brand new mountain bike. Or call Geoff on 01803 323244 and he'll send a form to you by post.

'This run is going to take a lot of preparation, effort and my money' says Geoff. 'I really want to raise lots of cash for DebRA, so please show this to as many people as possible, look at DebRA's website and see what they do. Thank you for reading this.'

*****

Meanwhile, a whole gang of madcap motorcyclists plan to rack up 5000 miles to raise funds for Joanna's Wish Charity this summer (although most of them will be riding beefy big modern motorcycles, which hardly seems sporting, now does it?).

A team of Northern riders, yesterday. Except two live in France, and one's from Telford, which isn't Northern in my book.

This team of northern riders will be undertake a 5000 mile ride through France, Spain and Portugal in July 2005 to raise awareness for their local ovarian cancer charity. The trip will take them across the Pyrenees, across Spain and down through Portugal, to Faro. They'll return back along the south coast of Spain, crossing the Sierras and retracing the route across the Pyrenees.

You can support the trip through donations or sponsorship via the ride's website, or leave a message of goodwill in the guestbook. 100% of all the money raised will go to Joanna's Wish. See www.cossackrun.co.uk or contact Richard Chacewicz at support@cossackrun.co.uk

*****

Woodland TrustAlternatively, you could of course just give some spare cash to charity because you feel like it, and not because anyone anywhere is doing anything special.

RealClassic gives regularly to www.woodland-trust.org.uk
Riders for Healthbecause we have a thing about planting trees, and supports Riders for Health because they're using motorbikes to make a difference.

Charity Rides: Discuss...


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