Wheelchairbound petrolheads make a 1,100 journey for Percy Hedley Foundation

David Burdus and Carl Brunning are going from Lands End to John O'Groats and are raising money for Percy Hedley Foundation

THE BEAUTIFUL IMAGE Publicity shots ahead of a cross-Europe bike ride staged by wheelchair users David Burdus and Carl Brunning
Publicity shots ahead of a cross-Europe bike ride staged by wheelchair users David Burdus and Carl Brunning

They may be confined to a wheelchair but petrolheads David Burdus and Carl Brunning are getting ready for a trip they have been dreaming about for 30 years.

The pair spent weeks laid in hospital beds next to each other after separate accidents left them both paralysed from the waist down.

Now, three decades later, David and Carl are making a 1,100-mile trip from Lands End to John O’Groats.

Using specially designed 1200cc bikes that can accommodate their wheelchairs, they will start the 12 day trek on August 2.

And they hope this will lead to bigger and better things with trips across Europe and America.

“It is similar to what Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor did on their bikes. And we have had a promise that Boorman will give us shout-outs on social media when we are on the trip to raise our profile,” said David, 53, of Corbridge, Northumberland.

David, who suffered his injuries during a crash at a roundabout in Spennymoor, County Durham, and Carl, 50, from North Ferriby in East Yorkshire, paralysed after a mountaineering fall, first met in Hexham Spinal Injuries Unit in the early 80s.

Both were suffering life-changing injuries but shared a common love of motorbikes. Now they are planning to do a string of epic road trips in an effort to change public perceptions of disability.

“We wanted to do the wacky road trip and live for the moment. It grew organically but then we thought it would be silly not to take advantage of it and raise money. I am a trustee for Percy Hedley and they are raising £1m for a hydrotherapy and residential centre,” added David, who is an access management consultant.

And like Boorman and McGregor, David and Carl, who only a month ago underwent a below knee amputation due to dry gangrene, will be travelling with a film crew to document their antics which they will pitch to mainstream TV channels.

They are using powerful Martin Conquest motorbikes which are specially designed to allow the pair to wheel themselves on board. Made from the front end of a BMW 1200R and an aluminium rear frame, the trike has an electronically operated ramp and a clamp then secures his wheelchair in place. Designed by Manchester manufacturer Martin Conquest, the £20,000 bike can reach well in excess of 120mph.

Anyone who would like to sponsor David can text SPLASH to 70500 or donate at www.justgiving.com/jogle-2014.

The pair are also looking for businesses who would like to contribute towards the film production costs. Anyone who can help can call David on 07980 887861.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer