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Luck runs dry in desert for charity rally bikers
A MOTORCYCLIST from York is thousands of miles into an epic 10,000-mile journey to raise money for charity.
Kevin Strickland, 54, of Stockton Lane, is the managing director of the Car Care Centre and Jax Motorcycles in James Street, and set off with 55-year-old motorcycling buddy Nick Plotnek, from Birmingham, on the Mongol Rally last month.
The pair have already travelled through Europe, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, and are now in Uzbekistan, less than four weeks after setting off from the UK, and hope to finish in Mongolia within the next fortnight.
An online blog was set up to map the team’s progress, with updates on distance, fuel usage, and the number of items lost by Kevin along the way – so far including a heated clothing controller, an aluminium water bottle, a neck buff, his watch, bungee cords and deodorant.
Nick, who has been updating the blog, said: “Don’t mind the rest, but the deodorant loss has been a real blow.”
the team has also suffered a number of breakdowns, most recently in the middle of the Garagum Desert, in Turkmenistan.
Nick said: “Travelling mile after mile through sand and scrub in temperatures reaching 46°C, with the odd camel for company, we finally arrived at our intended overnight stop near the Darvaza (Derweze) fire crater in the middle of the Garagum desert.
“And this is when our first major problem arose. My bike quickly got bogged down in the sand and the clutch burned out. And we weren’t carrying a spare.
“Fortunately we managed to pull the bike out and get it back to the campsite, and decided to try and get a temporary repair done in the morning.”
Kevin had raised almost £1,000 for charity before he left, and Nick has raised £10,000 for the Children’s Hospital heart unit in Birmingham in memory of his son, Robert, who died there nine years ago.
All money raised will go to the children’s hospital, First Aid 4 Gambia, and the Lotus Children’s Trust in Mongolia, and donations can be made at the team’s website idiotsabroad.co.uk