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Friends gear up for charity moped ride

PUBLISHED: 17:37 30 June 2010 | UPDATED: 15:27 14 July 2010

Eight friends will be transporting themselves back to their teenage years as they gear up for a challenge which will see them travel 750 miles across the country on their first ever 50cc mopeds.

Eight friends will be transporting themselves back to their teenage years as they gear up for a challenge which will see them travel 750 miles across the country on their first ever 50cc mopeds.

Inspired by the wacky adventures of Jeremy Clarkson and his Top Gear sidekicks, the group will ride from John O'Groats to Spooner Row, to raise money for cancer charity Star Throwers in a challenge they've dubbed The Wrong Way Down.

The bikers, all in their 40s and 50s, have scoured collectors' websites, eBay and even scrapyards to find the mopeds they first fell in love with as young lads.

Some of the bikes are more than 40 years old and in varying states of disrepair. So far on test runs, the group has got no further then 40 miles before a breakdown occurs.

But despite the long route they've set themselves, which winds through some of the most mountainous regions of the UK, they remain undeterred and fully expect to roll into their end destination of The Boars pub, in Spooner Row, on July 23 - just five days after they set off from the top of Scotland.

Markus Mundford, who came up with the idea, said: “I was sitting in front of the TV one evening watching Clarkson and his two sidekicks on Top Gear. It was the episode where they were driving battered old cars across deserts in Africa and I thought to myself what a laugh it would be to do something similar with a bunch of good friends.

“I have always fancied a road trip, but to travel the length of our island on my Harley would not be much of a challenge so I came up with the idea of the first bike you ever rode, mine being my mate Martin's Puch VS50, three speed twist gears and a back brake which you have to back pedal to apply.

“I asked a few friends who thought I was totally nuts, but luckily they are as insane as I am and now we have eight riders plus support.”

The group aims to cover 160 miles a day, which with an average speed of 26mph, could see them riding for 14 hours a day. They will be followed by a large motor home which will carry spare parts, fuel and be where they sleep.

They hope they're efforts will inspire people to reach into their pockets and pledge money to Wymondham charity Star Throwers which is dedicated to helping people affected by cancer, offering advice on the various treatments available.

The bikers are also appealing for a sponsor to help towards the costs of fuelling the motor home which will be supporting them throughout their challenge.

For more information or to donate, visit www.wrongwaydown.biz

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