A biker is taking on his biggest ride to date to raise money for a charity close to his heart.
John Mclain set off from Grangemouth this week on a 3000-mile journey to the Bavarian Alps in aid of Help for Heroes. The former soldier should reach the German mountain region by Friday to take part in the Elephant Rally - an event to raise awareness of those killed in road traffic collisions.
Keen biker John, who manages the bike section at Phoenix Honda in Grangemouth, has never ridden such a long distance before but says the challenge will be nothing compared to what soldiers go through every day.
John (40), affectionately known as ‘Yippy’ to co-workers after a famous quote uttered by his namesake in the ‘Die Hard’ films, said: “It will be a long ride and I am camping - not staying in swanky hotels - in conditions which will be way below freezing, but that is just a minor inconvenience compared to what lads in the army have to deal with every day.
“I served in the Army until 2006 and did tours in both Gulf Wars, so I know how invaluable Help for Heroes’ work is. There were guys that never recovered from the war as well as guys that never came home. The charity helps to rehabilitate the soldiers that are affected physically and mentally as well as care for their families.
“I have a friend recently injured in combat and because of the charity he is being rehabilitated close to home where he has a wife and a newborn child. Without Help for Heroes he would be sent down south for months for treatment and would have missed his child’s birth, but the charity allows this work to be carried out close to soldiers’ homes.”
John was given a helping hand in his eight-day fundraiser by bosses at Phoenix Honda who donated a specially adapted Honda Transalp bike and equipment for his challenge.
He hopes to raise £5000 for the charity. If you would like to sponsor him, visit his website www.bmycharity.com/johnmclain