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The Longest Day Challenge 2021

Lands End to John O’Groats in 24hrs, riding £300-bikes using only A&B-roads, what could possibly go wrong?

The Longest Day Challenge 2021

The Longest Day Challenge 2021 – From Lands End to John O’Groats

Well, it’s certainly been a strange year or two, Covid came along and turned the world upside down, we couldn’t really get out much on our bikes and Charity organisations like Cancer Research UK lost most of their fund raising activities.

But this year we are back on the proper LDU route and more committed than ever, for 2021 we have 34 riders, riding £300 bikes over 1000 miles in 24 hours.

Raising money for Cancer Research UK

Our goal is, to raise as much money as we can to help Cancer Research UK. At the time of writing this blog, the 34 riders who are mad enough to join this challenge, have raised a whopping amount of over £45,800!

Gill Burgess, Relationship Manager at Cancer Research UK explains “This year, fundraising events like The Long Day Up are more important than ever. 1 in 2 people will get cancer in their lifetime – put simply, our research saves lives. COVID-19 has slowed us down, but we will never stop. We’re absolutely determined to continue our vital research, but to save lives tomorrow, we need your help today. We are sincerely grateful to everyone taking part, supporting and donating to The Long Day Up and wish them a safe and successful journey. Together we will beat cancer.”

So, what is the LDU challenge?

The LDU is an endurance event, organised by motorcycle journalist John McAvoy. Running since 2012, The Longest Day Challenge rules are rather basic:

  • One £300 motorcycle
  • One Thousand Miles (1600Km)
  • One Day to complete it (June 21st, the Longest Day)

Overspending the budget is allowed for safety related parts such as tyres and breaks.  For those who don’t follow the rules (or spirit of the event) there are special awards such as an inflatable crocodile or a “Polite” vest to be carried or worn the length of the country along with a healthy dose of ridicule from their fellow riders.

The Longest Day Challenge starts at 04:00 am with the dawn, and assuming the appreciating modern classic motorcycle (pieces of sh1te) don’t break down, we will all hopefully arrive at one point in the middle of the night up at John O’Groats.

Needless to say – the event will be held under strict Covid-19 regulations.

Here is what all of the riders have done or are still doing so far for The Longest Day Challenge 2021:

  • Sourced a suitable bike and tried to get it through an MoT inspection. You know, the place with the blind MoT Inspectors who’s blind dog barks once for a pass and cock’s his let up it for a fail.
    • Or do like I did, drag last years bike out the garage, throw some fresh fuel in it and pump the tyres up and assume you are good to go, then watch it as it dumps oil everywhere. Repeatedly!My “PoS” bike is a 1990 Suzuki GSX750F, last year I worked tirelessly on it all winter (OK, I performed several bodges at the last minute) and as mentioned I stupidly believed all the hard work was done.  But after 4 oil leaks and one dose of brake failure the bloody thing is still fighting me every step of the way.  Oh and to add to the pressure there is only 4 days till we set off for Lands End and I have just ordered another output shaft oil seal! Plenty of time…….
  • The intrepid heroes (loonies) are all part of a WhatsApp community which has been a great source of support, useful advice (this bit is actually true) and just plain piss-taking but this year there are still a number of riders who are fighting to get their bikes to the start line (me included). The support, humanity and humour of this group is something very special.  Including the offer of loaning eligible old sh1tters – sorry LDU compatible bikes and shipping spare parts around the country.
  • Route planning varies from the lazy type (that’ll be me) who have rigged up a GPS to those who have a natural inbuilt compass and simply tape the route to the top of their tanks and off they go. I am genuinely jealous of these guys and salute their natural ability for directions.

So that’s what it is and how it’s happening, if you want to be part of this motley crew then sign up for next year’s event and start hunting for a bike.  If it’s all just a bit too much like madness why not chuck the cost of a couple of beers in the pot, it’s for a really great cause.

Here is what you can do for The Longest Day Challenge 2021:

I guess, almost no one is lucky enough to not have lost a dear one to cancer or heard from a friend, who suffers from cancer. Research needs money, even more than time. So, thank you for spreading the word and supporting the good course!!

About John McAvoy, the founder of The Longest Day Challenge

John is a freelance Motorcycle journalist and one of the founders of the LDU back in 2013, John and his long-suffering wife Jo have been the organisational front of the LDU since the beginning.  From all the admin, to driving the Mercedes Sprinter (Broom Wagon) from LE to JoG picking up the unfortunate souls whose bikes have finally cried enough to putting a beer in your hand at the finish line. We salute you.
Two of lifes “Good Eggs”.

About CRUK, Cancer Research UK

Cancer Research UK is a cancer research and awareness charity in the United Kingdom and Isle of Man, formed on 4 February 2002 by the merger of The Cancer Research Campaign and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund.

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