Longest Day cheap bike challenge raises £92k for Cancer Research UK riding from Land's End to John o' Groats

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A group of 35 bikers, riding motorcycles built on a shoestring budget, travelled from Land’s End to John o’ Groats on the longest day of the year to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The June 20 ride was the twelfth instalment of the Longest Day Challenge, which began in 2013 and has now raised more than £500,000 for the cancer charity.

This year’s ride saw all 35 bikes start and finish the circa 969-mile trip within 24 hours, with over £92,000 raised between them (at the time of writing) via an online fundraising portal.

Riders travel through the night on the Longest Day Challenge

“It was a lovely day for a ride. In many ways, it was the perfect day for such a thing,” Longest Day organiser, John McAvoy told MCN. “It wasn’t too hot; it wasn’t too cold and just a bit of rain up in Scotland.”

The mass ride kicked off in Cornwall, before snaking up to the top of Scotland using only A and B roads.

The bikes used for the trip must usually cost no more than £600, however some exceptions were made this year if the machine remained within the spirit of the event.

Longest Day Challenge finishers at John o' Groats

This included a 1999 Yamaha R1, which was built from crates of parts in the months leading up to the big day. Other bikes were chosen for the run due to their sentimental value in relation to the cause.

“I tweak the route a bit, but the format is the same,” John continued, having pulled the event together with the help of 60 to 70 volunteers. “I’ll keep doing it for as long as people keep wanting to do it,” he added.

A Suzuki GSX-R loaded up for the Longest Day Challenge

John’s enthusiasm was echoed by 2024 participant Mike Curran, who said: “It took up so much of my time preparing which I really enjoyed, and the event itself was just amazing.

“I’ve been riding for 28 years and that’s the one and only ‘proper’ adventure I’ve had on a bike,” he continued. “There wasn’t a clear result of how it was going to go, or if we were going to make it at all at one point, not to mention of the other things that happened along the way!”

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