Wirral bikers reach Cape Town after 10,000-mile fundraising journey

Two Wirral bikers have completed the ride of their lives after setting off on a mammoth motorcycle challenge to South Africa in aid of Claire House.

Derek Charlton from Heswall and Paul Gee from Barnston undertook an incredible 10,000-mile motorbike journey from Merseyside to Cape Town.

Wirral dad Derek said while he and friend Paul are both avid motorcyclists, this is their biggest, and toughest, adventure on the road yet.

He explained: “Paul and I have never done anything like this before.

“We decided to go via the west coast, which is one of the most difficult routes, because of the terrain and certain countries.

Derek, 58, from Heswall, decided to embark on a challenge because he couldn’t attend the annual Wirral Egg Run, which sees thousands of bikers ride across Wirral in order to raise money for good causes.

After months of planning, and with their bikes loaded up for the long journey, Derek and Paul were waved off from Wirral by friends and family on 2 January.

They endured floods, as well as strong winds, wildfires, and plenty of sand on their way to Western Sahara.

Derek, a director at a property letting company in Wirral, said, “My, it’s windy! Especially when on the only road leading to Mauritania. The crosswind has me permanently at a lean. However, despite that we have had fun.

“The people in Morocco and Western Sahara are the friendliest on the planet. We have a laugh with every petrol attendant when they ask where we are going. They all just think we are mad.”

They have so far raised nearly £8,000 for the charity. 

On completing the journey, Derek told ITV News, “Thanks so much to everyone who’s followed us and everyone who’s donated to the charity, it’s been a great adventure and we are feeling quite emotional now.”

Speaking to ITV News, Paul said, “We have met some lovely people over the last few weeks, we met some local school children in the Ivory Coast, we couldn’t communicate with them but we got them on our bikes and were rewarded with some lovely smiles,”

Hannah Shannon, Head of Communications at Claire House Children’s Hospice, said, “We are really grateful because we will be able to reach more children who desperately need our help because of people like Paul and Derek.”

You can donate to Paul and Derek’s fundraiser here: https://www.justgiving.com/page/derek-charlton-1703624191268

Image credit: Derek Charlton

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