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To date, not-for-profit organisation Bike Tours for the Wounded has funded and supported over 130 wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans with a place on one of its motorcycle tours. The tour offers a once in a lifetime experience for the participants, helping them to push out of their comfort zones, do something they’ve always wanted to and support their longer term rehabilitation.

Set up in 2009, BCT Limited – formerly Blue Cucumber Tours – has been taking customers on trips on Route 66 and Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway in the US.

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“As ex-military servicemen ourselves, we thought it might be a good idea to get our customers to raise funds by being sponsored to do the rides. The funds raised would be divided between our five nominated military charities. To date, we’ve raised around £43,000 and increased the number of charities we support to ten. Our hope is to raise £250,000.” said Darren Clover, founder of the company.  

It was in 2012 that Darren Clover decided to change the way they helped some of the wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women (WIS) and Bike Tours for the Wounded C.I.C, a not for profit community interest company, was created.

“We wanted to allow the freedom of time and movement by giving them the opportunity to ride as pillion on the back of the Harleys on these iconic trips.” said Mark Lamplough, co-director.

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While riders on the tours pay the fee, Bike Tours for the Wounded (BT4TW) funds a complimentary place for the WIS on the trip.

“To date, the concept has worked really well. Not only do the riders get the experience of the trip itself, but they’ve also happy that they can give something back to the guys and girls who have served us so well.”

Funding is a huge challenge for the company, to provide a place for a WIS pillion on Route 66 costs around £2500.

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Mark added “We’re always looking for volunteers to help with our fundraising efforts and ideas. Whether that’s taking part in one of our events or organising your own. We’re planning to support another 52 WIS on the tours of Route 66, along with two trips to Normandy and two trips from John O Groat’s to Lands End. So we’ve got a busy year ahead!” 

BT4TW have a full schedule of fundraising events planned for next year, including the three peaks challenge, two motorcycle runs from John O Groat’s to Lands End, one day rideouts and tackling Europe’s longest zip wire in Wales – and there is plenty of chance to get involved. Visit the website for more information –  www.bt4tw.co.uk or email info@bt4tw.co.uk

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Tony Carter

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