Like many of MCN’s #ride5000miles Facebook group members, Mark Sheerin, enjoys nothing more than a ride out with a friend with whom he spends hours touring the Lakes, Dales and Peaks, making quirky films and taking snapshots of their adventures.
But Mark’s friend isn’t your usual kind of biking buddy, Valiantino Postlethwaite is a puppet, created by Mark, who dreams of being the next big YouTube sensation.
We caught up with Mark to find out more about his cloth friend, whose name is a mash-up of the Lexmoto Valiant he rides.
"Valiantino is really a dip back into my darkest days of childhood," he told MCN. "I used to have a similar puppet as a child and when I joined the army at 16 my mum threw it away. I used to love Mr Punch and the traditional old-style puppet shows with everyone screaming ‘That’s the way to do it’.
"I’ve had Valiantino a few years but only decided to film him after a good friend of mine created a business with a YouTube channel. How it took off was incredible. I then started making videos, on and off, over the last year. I should probably script him rather than ad lib, as he even surprises me with what he says!"
Mark drives an HGV for a living and he fills the long hours dreaming up the next chapter of Valiantino’s story.
"We usually go on all-day rides or at least half-day rides. Short hops to a bikers’ cafe are not our style and the longest trip was two nights camping and riding in the Yorkshire Dales and North Pennines to Cumbria and onto the Borders for a 510 mile, three-day trip.
"Valiantino is a little idiot who gets to say the idiotic things I wish I could say."
Mark and Valiantino’s fate is in your hands, keep an eye on the #ride5000mile page for videos of his latest adventures and have your say.
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