A cuddly bear, transported by three kind-hearted bikers, has just taken part in a marathon European ride covering 30 countries in under 13 days to raise money for charity.
Byker Bear has become something of a social media star as a result, appearing on local news and radio as well as featuring regularly in MCN’s #ride5000miles Facebook page.
The bear is the mascot of the Chyrelle Addams Cancer Support Trust based in the North East – hence the Byker name. As a result, it has been used as a mascot for many charity events involving police and fire service.
But the ‘Quest for Cancer’ sponsored ride, undertaken by local bikers Trevor Atkinson, Tony Hurworth and Steve Armstrong, was by far the biggest undertaking so far.
The trio undertook a similar charity challenge for Macmillan in 2010 and came up with their latest idea at their local pub.
“I lost my wife to cancer in 2004 and I know what fantastic work Macmillan do which is why we wanted to support them,” said Mr Atkinson. “We are all getting a bit older and we thought if we are going to do another one, we better do it now. We wanted to support a local charity this time and the Trust does amazing work in the community.”
“And the more drinks we had, the more countries we added to the list,” he added.
The threesome departed on June 3, criss-crossing the UK before heading through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and more. But in Romania disaster struck when R1200GS-riding Armstrong crashed and was hospitalized before being flown home with arm injuries. Trevor, aboard a R1200ST, and Tony, aboard a Suzuki GSX1400, later continued the journey, finally completing their 30-country target in just 11 days. Throughout the epic trip, a picture of Byker Bear was taken in each country and posted on the dedicated Byker Bear Facebook page.
Charity founder Patricia Greensmith said: “I think what they are doing is amazing. We are so grateful. The money raised will help cover ground fees of our holiday home, which is for cancer patients and their families.”
What is R5K?
And if you fancy having your own adventure, why not join our #ride5000miles Facebook page. The is aim to encourage riders to cover 5000 miles in a year. See how others are getting on at our #ride5000miles page.
How do I do it?
Make a note of your mileage at the start of your biking year. Take a photo at the start and end of the challenge.
Five reasons to sign up
1. It’ll make you a better rider.
2. You’ll know your bike better than ever, and enjoy it more.
3. It’ll make you ride to places you’ve never been before.
4. Be part of a top biking community.
5. Share tips on where to ride and what kit can go the distance.