Have you ever thought of riding from Shitterton to Twatt? We have. It’s roughly 800 miles and you’ll have to ride back again. But have you ever contemplated riding from Shitterton to Twatt on a 49cc moped, and stopping off at some of the UK’s funniest-named places? We haven’t.
But that’s exactly what Paul Taylor is doing today. Starting off in the ancient hamlet of Shitterton in Dorset, Paul will be straddling his chosen steed – the ‘mighty Slovenian Tomos XL45’ – all the way to Twatt in the Orkney Isles. He’ll also be stopping off aboard the 1.7bhp, drum brake, magneto-fed beast at such places as Ass Hill, Butthole Lane and The Knob, before ending up in Twatt. It’s always nice ending a trip in Twatt.
However, Paul isn’t ending in Twatt. He’s completing the journey at the aptly named Bell End in Worcestershire: a total of around 1800 miles and the might XL45 takes its name from its dizzying top speed of 45km/h. Oh, and he’s camping. Why? Raising money for the Institute of Cancer Research: a subject that’s very close to Paul’s heart after losing one of his best mates to lymphoma.
“My friend Alexis was the kindest, most generous and level headed person I have ever known.He was also the bravest person I’ve ever met. He first had surgery for Lymphoma at only 18 years old, and had several further operations over the years. Even when it was clear he would not survive the latest incident, Alexis remained positive saying he had nearly died at 18 so was thankful for those extra years. In a world full of selfishness and cruelty, he was one of the few genuine, generously spirited and warm-hearted people on this planet. Alexis was 55 when he died last year leaving behind his wife and son, mother and sister and lots of heartbroken friends. Cancer has also taken one of Alexis`s sisters at a young age and his father too.”
The brutal fact is, one in two people will get cancer at some point in their lives, and it also took more of Paul’s family and friends.
“I was sick of cancer taking the lives of so many wonderful people and felt I had to do something to help beat this awful disease. I thought this trip was a suitably ridiculous place to start and as Alexis was a motorcyclist as well as a car nut; two wheels was not only appropriate but made it more of a adventure! I talked about my plans for this trip with him and he thought it was funny and a bit mad, I think he would be surprised I was actually daft enough to go through with it!”
Paul has setup a JustGiving page, so feel free to donate if you can, and you can follow his progress right here on 44teeth.com
Is he aware that there is a place in Shetland called Twatt too?