Two big-hearted bikers are planning the trip of a lifetime to mark their 50th birthdays, raising funds for a children’s hospice.
John Richmond and David Walsh, from Cliviger, Burnley, will be setting off next month on an 8,000-mile journey around Europe that will take in 32 countries over six weeks, in aid of Derian House, in Chorley.
Father-of-four John will be riding his trusty BMW, whilst David, who has two children, will be taking his Triumph on the momentous journey they call Miles for Smiles.
John, a partner in Richmond and Kershaw Plumbers, said: “Seeing the work that goes on at Derian House has really moved David and I. It’s spurred us on to raise as much money as we can, especially as it is truly astounding to discover it receives very little Government funding and must raise £3.85m this year to continue its amazing work.
“Derian House is an incredible place and the work that goes into caring for the children and young people, as well as supporting the wider family, is second to none. The atmosphere is so loving and fun.”
This will be the biggest trip that John and David, who have been friends since the age of 12, have undertaken together.
It has been 10 years in the planning, growing from a group ride around the Mediterranean to the epic journey around Europe, taking in David’s grandfather’s war grave at Arnhem and a short break in Greece at the halfway point.
The pair plan to camp out every night, carrying all their supplies with them on their bikes.
David, who owns Vantex workwear and corporate clothing suppliers, said: “Derian is a truly fantastic charity.
“We’re proud to be wearing our Derian t-shirts and our motorbikes have been covered in our Miles for Smiles and Derian House logos. We’re planning to get lots of pictures along the way with the knitted Derian Danni mascot at various European landmarks.
“We’d like to say a really big thank you to family and friends who are supporting us on our journey of a lifetime. Dickies Workwear has been so generous with us, too, providing us with all the specialist clothing we’ll need along the way.”
To support John and David visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/David-Walsh30
To follow their progress on Facebook visit http://www.facebook.com/Dannis-miles-for-smiles
For details of another fund-raiser for Derian House click here http://www.lep.co.uk/news/supercar-showtime-at-chorley-pub-1-8498541