Lets get one thing clear straight away. This isn’t one of those manicured charity rides where you convince your mates to subsidise your cycling holiday, while a deserving charity gets a slice of the cash. This is three lads who’ve sorted the whole mad adventure out themselves, and in the process blagged an impressive amount of gear and support.
The three mates : Andy Hay (aged 23, from Darlington), Matt Ward (aged 24, from Canterbury), and Adrian Snell (aged 23, from Bournemouth), all graduated in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath in July this year. Not wanting to get collared by the real world just yet, they planned their ultimate biking adventure as a way to celebrate the end of their degree. So, at the stroke of 8 a.m. on Saturday July 28th, to the sound of Big Ben’s chimes, they set off from London, aiming to arrive in the Himalayas by January 2002. Along the way they hope to pick up as much sponsorship as possible for Sight Savers International, Plan International and Bath Area Rag.
Helping them on their way are bikes, assorted gear and panniers from Dawes Cycles and John’s Bikes in Bath, and a whole bunch of Lonely Planet guides from Lonely Planet themselves. London Camera Exchange have donated SLR and compact camera’s to capture the adventure for posterity and even Dazer have pitched in with three of their special sonic dog stopper ‘guns’. Also on their impressive blag list are sleeping bags from Trekmate tents from Hilleberg and other camping gear from BCH Camping in Bath. They’ve even got 120 ‘commemorative T-shirts’ from Siemens (£10 from their own www.charityride.org website, which also lists other cash and equipment donations to the team which include palms from Psion a short wave radio from World Space and more guides from Footprint books.
We spoke to Adrian just before he set off and he told us: “We have been working on putting this trip together for months now and we can’t wait to start. It’s going to be a huge adventure.”
The great thing is that we’ll be following their 6 month mountain biking odyssey on BIKEmagic as they mail us regular reports from internet cafes. That way you get to have a good laugh at their expense or sit at work feeling envious, depending on how they’re doing.
Anyway look forward to their first installment next week, and if they’ve inspired you, make a donation to the charities involved, or get your own ride of a lifetime plans into action.