Destination Land’s End for daring moped rider

Bobby Frankham, Jorgen Nordin and Adrian Manning will be in Land's End by Friday... they hope
Bobby Frankham, Jorgen Nordin and Adrian Manning will be in Land's End by Friday... they hope

His headlight is broken, fuel tank leaking and bodywork letting in water, but a self-confessed adrenaline junkie is confident of finishing an 800-mile charity moped ride.

Despite a series of slapstick setbacks mechanic Bobby Frankham, 47, of Barton Seagrave, and three friends raising money for Brad’s Cancer Foundation are already halfway from John O’ Groats to Land’s End.

Mr Frankham, who chose to attempt the challenge on his 1963 Raleigh moped, which is only capable of 17mph and cannot manage hills, said: “It’s wet and cold. I’m lucky I had a spare pair of boots in the car.

“I’ve not prepared at all. My crotch is soaking and I’m freezing cold. I’m right by Loch Lomond and if I jumped in it wouldn’t make a difference.”

Friends Adrian Manning, 45, of Bryant Road, Kettering, and Jorgen Nordin, 41, of Thurning, near Oundle, are also among 53 riders doing the race for the foundation, which aims to improve the lives of teenage cancer sufferers.

Scott Tompkins, 41, of Wellingborough, is following the riders in a support vehicle.

They had to ride on the white line dodging dead deer and signs to avoid drivers on single-lane highland roads. Mr Nordin’s modern moped has already suffered a flat tyre, but it is Mr Frankham’s vehicle that is really struggling.

He said: “I have a horn to beep at sheep, but it got stuck on so I had to rip the wires out.

“I was getting bored so I put my right leg over the left side, but I got my laces stuck in the chain.

“Downhill I’m quite daring and I lean right over the handlebars so I’m pretty fast and overtake people.

“But I have to pedal uphill.”

It may sound doubtful the 49-year-old moped will survive the journey, which Mr Frankham hopes to finish on Friday.

But Mr Frankham, who drove to The Gambia in a £100 1998 Lancia Y10 in January last year, is already planning a much longer challenge.

He said: “This is really just a shakedown for Africa. I’d like to give it to someone much needier than me in Timbuktu. But I need better weather than this.

“In Mauritania they have mine fields and Al-Qaeda so they don’t like you doing stuff on mopeds, but this is going to Timbuktu in January.”