At sunrise on June 21st a group of “hugely unfit, ill disciplined and foolish motorcyclists” set off from John o’Groats with the intention of seeing the sunrise 24 hours later at Land’s End.
The snag was that they were to attempt the 906-mile route avoiding motorways and riding a motley selection of steeds, each of which had been bought and made road legal for no more than £300.
And first to arrive at England’s most southerly tip to complete the epic “Longest Day Down” challenge was a three-strong team from Whalley motorbike business Rea-Racing.
Arriving at 10-45 pm, with hours to spare, were father and son Nige and Ben Rea, along with Rishton businessman Ian Ferrier.
Riding a Yamaha, a Suzuki and a Kawasaki, the three were the first to make Land’s End, despite some challenges along the way.
Both Ian’s and Nige’s bikes had to be nursed along as oil warning lights came on. Nige’s speedo broke and, to add insult to injury, a kamikaze crow flew straight into his bike covering him in blood and feathers!
A last minute breakdown also saw Ben having to use an over-budget bike for the trip, so the organisers handicapped him by making him carry out the challenge with an inflatable crocodile strapped to his back!
In the motorcycling world £300 doesn’t get you a lot, so the fact that any of them completed the challenge was a minor miracle.
Completing the 900 miles in 24 hours meant desperate individuals nursing a rag-tag herd of ailing machines through the night, driven on only by Ginster’s pasties and a steely determination not to fail.
But it was all worth it, as “The Longest Day Down” challenge was raising vital funds for Cancer Research UK.