Monkey Business 2010 Report

Grant has previously blogged about the Monkey Business charity event. You’ll be pleased to know that the event was a great success and many thousands were raised for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Matt from the quotes team has kindly sent us this report from the event, where the monkey bikes proved to be quite a change from his usual CBR 600 RR.

This year we were fortunate enough to be asked by Bankstone, our specialist motorcycle claims team based in Brighouse, Yorkshire to participate in Monkey Business 2010. Monkey business is a charity event which involves riding 125cc monkey bikes around the open roads of Yorkshire. This year it was decided that we would stop at various locations in the area somehow related to motorcycling to raise money for the Yorkshire air ambulance.

So the route had been set, over 300 miles in total and the target was set at raising £10,000, we had an adventure on our hands.

As it was a motorcycle related charity run 4 lucky people were chosen from Bikesure to participate. These were myself, Lee Boughen, Grant Varnham and Tom Lake.

We set off on our journey from Flux Headquarters at 4pm on Friday afternoon. We packed our stuff and loaded the bikes into the van and we were away. It took up until the hardwick flyover before our first dilemma! Grant and Tom were driving the van and could smell Petrol leaking from one of the bikes! It was a simple fix luckily and the journey continued. We made good progress and got into Brighouse for around 7pm.
Myself and Boogen were first to arrive and swiftly checked in to our hotel. Once Boogen had finished chatting up the receptionist, we dumped our bags and headed straight to the bar waiting for Grant and Tom to arrive. We figured as we had an early start in the morning with a lot of riding to do, we thought it best just to go have a couple of beers and get an early night. . . . it wasn’t to be.

Morning came around a little bit too quickly and we set off from our hotel to find the rest of the Monkey Business team meeting at Bankstone for 9am. In true Bikesure style we couldn’t find the place, but eventually we got there and got our kit on ready for the journey ahead. It was myself and Grant that jumped onto the bikes and set off on our way with 12 other monkey bikes. We done a lap of the town centre with plenty of horn beeping before getting to our first stop. We all blocked the pavement with our bikes whilst the girls following in the cars got out with their buckets to raise any cash they could from people on the street. It was a swift stop and we cracked on with a great reception from the public as we left.
Many miles later we had made a fair few stops and ridden through the Dales and the Moors on our 125 machines. It was only a matter of time until someone came off. Just a minor incident as Dickon, the organiser of the whole event, slipped on some diesel and the back end came round and off he came. No injuries and the convoy was soon on their way again. We rode on some beautiful biking roads and had some amazing views as we travelled across the countryside in the dry weather.

Eventually 8 and a half hours after setting off we had covered 169 miles and had made it to Scarborough where we were to stop overnight. Now normal people having spent all day hunched up on these tiny bikes only capable of 52mph would have had enough, but not us. We parked the van and found ourselves battling to get on the bikes to have a ride around the streets of Scarborough! Now we finally got the bikes back in the van, checked in and left again to find somewhere to eat. Now it was half 7 on a Saturday night and it was packed, everywhere we went was full and we were starving. Luckily we stumbled upon a Thai restaurant and all got stuck in, in particular Grant with his sticky rice!

It had been agreed earlier in the day that all the riders would meet in the Walkabout bar at 9pm, which was an Australian themed bar. We walked about for a good 45 minutes but couldn’t find it anywhere and no-one had ever heard of it! It wasn’t going well, turns out Dickon got it slightly wrong and we were actually looking for Barracudos which is a South African themed bar! The night continued and we found ourselves in the casino. Now Boogen was a complete rookie on the roulette but couldn’t stop winning the jammy sod! But after a long days riding we all found ourselves tiring very quickly so opted to head back to the hotel.

Day broke and we opened the curtains to be greeted with rain. Rain and wind to be more accurate but that couldn’t dampen our spirits! Grant and Myself again started the riding as we headed to meet the others. We had been riding all of about a minute until we approached a roundabout and Grant, being his first bike ride in the rain, locked up his front wheel and came sliding past and mounted the traffic island before the roundabout! He settled his nerves and we continued, right up to the next corner 50 yards down the road and again his bike slid around the corner. It was enough for him and Boogen promptly jumped onto Grants bike.

We continued riding throughout the day in the continuing rain getting absolutely soaked. A good 60 miles later we arrived at our next stop. Boogen and myself were only too happy to swap riders with Tom and Grant and enjoyed the heat of the van as we followed the convoy. This is where the breakdowns began. It had been a long ride and the bikes did not like all the water on them, everyone’s electrics began to play up and the bikes spluttered along, until they began to run out of petrol. We were running on the reserve tank and had no spare petrol left in the van so were desperate to make it to the next stop. After some nervous riding we finally made it and were all topped up with fuel.

Boogen and me jumped on the bikes again to complete the final leg of this epic journey. Another 50ish miles later and we had made it back to Brighouse to be greeted with a barbecue and beers, it was heaven. We all feasted on the food and talked about all the mishaps and highlights along the way. We said our goodbyes and set off on our journey back home.

Overall we raised just over £600 between the 4 of us and are on target to hit the £10,000 set.

Thanks to everyone that donated, took part and for organising the trip, we have already begun planning modifications for the bike for next year!

Check out the Bikesure Facebook page for more pics and videos!!

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