£50K on the longest day: LEJOG charity ride raises serious cash for cancer cause

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A fleet of 36 intrepid bikers riding motorcycles costing no more than £600 set off from Land’s End to John o’ Groats on June 21 for the annual Longest Day Challenge charity ride.

The summer solstice event began at 4am and saw riders attempt the route within 24 hours. At the time of writing, this year’s run has raised in excess of £50,000 for Cancer Research UK – adding to an existing total figure of over £250,000.

“We raised £75,000 last time, so I think that will keep going up,” event organiser John McAvoy told MCN. “I still enjoy putting it together and I still enjoy meeting the people.”

The start of the Longest Day Challenge 2022

McAvoy took part in the first run back in 2013, before switching to an organisational role. He continued: “Seeing other people go through the same trials and tribulations and ending up with the same sense of positivity that I experienced the first time is great.”

Riders had to visit a number of check points along the route and no motorways could be used. Rather than all opting for cheap tourers, entrants tackled the journey on everything from Suzuki GSX-R600 SRADs, to Honda CB500s, and even a Chinese-built Sinnis 125.

All of the 36 starters finished the route, with a 37th rider sadly unable to get their bike running at the start of the event.

“It ticks all the boxes,” McAvoy continued. “It’s a little adventure, it’s raising money for a good cause, it’s meeting new people, and there’s motorbikes involved.” 

Despite the event only just finishing, places for next year’s ride are already being booked up. To get involved and donate, visit the Longest Day Challenge website.

Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.