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Hello Blockhead Family! We are George and Ben - 'The Hairy Handlebars' and this year we will be embarking on an act of derring do by cycling from London to Tokyo. Leaving from London in the March of 2019, the trip will see us (and our Mos) ride over 6000 miles across the largest landmass on earth and pass through over 20 countries along the way. We are two very ordinary blokes and certainly have no existing experience that qualifies us to take on such an escapade. However, our motivation behind the decision to head off is nicely summed up by the impelling metaphorical words of Mark Twain:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did so. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
With the decision made to set off on an adventure (initially over a few too many beers) 2019 seemed a logical target and, as such, so did Japan – where the Rugby World Cup is to be held from September. Having told too many people and set up our online presence for everyone to see, it’s too late to turn back now! With our challenge set out, we thought that if we were doing something on this scale, we wanted to raise money for a worthwhile cause. The Movember Foundation represents an obvious option and was an absolute no-brainer for both of us. As two young men ourselves, who both know of friends and acquaintances who have suffered from the issues targeted by the charity, the chance to support it was an opportunity we couldn’t turn down – particularly if it gave us an excuse to grow our moustaches for another year 👨🏻 In particular, we see for ourselves that mental health is an issue that is spiralling out of control in young men. Suicide in young males is a brutally high killer as men are forced into adhering to certain social norms that simply don’t reflect their true self.
Now, of course, our adventure could be seen as the very embodiment of a testosterone-fuelled escapade. However, we are undertaking this for what can be construed as far more romantic reasons; a desire to actually escape these norms that are creating the problem in the first place, coupled with a desire to see the world in the rawest way possible. As well as raising as much money as possible, perhaps we can provide inspiration to men to not adhere to the boundaries that have been set for them and steer them away from subsequent mental health issues.
Alongside Movember, 10% of all funds raised will go directly to a foundation set up in memory of a friend of The Hairy Handlebars; Ian ‘BGI’ Williams. This will focus on Men’s Health and cardiac issues in young athletes. Ian’s sudden death in February has highlighted to us the fragility of life and has given us even greater motivation to realise our ambition of seeing the world and meeting as many good people as we can find along the way!
We are extremely grateful to BLOCKHEAD for helping us achieve our goal of getting to Tokyo and raising as much money for our amazing charities as possible! There will certainly be numerous times when a boost is needed, whether that be through the rolling hills of Turkey, the Kazakhstan desert or the mountains of Kyrgyzstan!
You can follow our journey on all of our social media, while any donations to the cause would be greatly appreciated! All of these links can be found on our website: