13 July 2016

'Steel Butts' challenge for Brooke

Alan Joseph takes on motorbike challenge, riding almost 3000 miles around the UK to raise money for working horses, donkeys and mules.

Alan with the Alien Riders

From 25 June to 9 July 2016 Alan Joseph and his son took on the ‘Steel Butts’ tour, riding around the UK for an eventful motorbike challenge including engine failures and hypothermia, covering almost 3000 miles. Alan is helping working horses and donkeys around the world by raising money for Brooke.

Alan and Phil at John O'Groats

Alan Joseph, 69, from Epsom and his son Philip, 50, who lives in Stowmarket braved the wind and rain of the British summer, joining 10 other motorbike enthusiasts from a group called Alien Riders, for an epic ride which included engine failures and hypothermia.

The route, which had been in planning for two years, started in Stowmarket, headed North East following the coast to John O’Groats, down the west coast to Wales, Devon and Land’s End, then followed the South Coast before heading back up to East Anglia. The group camped most nights, carrying their entire luggage, including tents, on their bikes. As well as Brooke, the rest of the group raised money for Macmillan, British Legion and St. Elizabeth Hospice in Suffolk.

Would I do it again? Definitely! Would my body and mind be able to do it again? Definitely not. I came back physically and mentally shattered, but what a trip it has been!

Alan Joseph

Alan and Phil at Land's End

It was a tough ride, but Alan was upbeat after completing:

“It was such an eventful journey, and we covered around 2,800 miles. The mountain roads in the Highlands took their toll with very strong winds, driving rain and even hail. We lost one rider from hypothermia who’s now home safe and well, and two others to mechanical failures, one who joined us in his car once he and his trike had been recovered."

Alan has been into motorbikes for most of his life, but retired from it two years ago, giving his bikes to his sons. His eldest, Phillip, returned the favour and gave Alan back one of his bikes to do the ride. He wanted to raise money for Brooke because when living in India and Pakistan years ago he saw the plight of working horses and donkeys. One hundred million of these working equines around the world support the lives of around 600 million people, but suffer from exhaustion, disease, malnutrition and a lack of veterinary care.

Alan said:

“I’ve seen that these people don’t mean to treat the animals badly, it’s just a lack of education, and the Brooke is training communities all the time to improve the animals’ lives. I want to help them."

Alan has raised over £500 so far and is hoping to raise £2000. To sponsor him, visit his Justgiving page.

You can also follow the Steel Butts tour blog on the Alien Riders' website.

Want to fundraise for Brooke? We're looking for runners to take part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon this October. Sign up here.

For journalists - facts about Brooke. For interviews and photos, email the media team or call 020 7653 5843.