John O'Groats to Land's End – avoiding tarmac!

Carla McKenzie The One Show

Bike-mad Carla McKenzie has set herself the challenge is to ride a trailbike for more than 1,000 miles across byways, backroads and dirt tracks from John O’Groats to Land’s End – starting on her 51st birthday.

Carla McKenzie 1

Carla is a successful West Country businesswoman who’s aiming to raise money for a good cause through her challenge. In July 2015, she’s going to ride a trailbike from John O’Groats to Land’s End avoiding asphalt as much as possible, all in aid of the Dougie Dalzell Memorial Trust and Bike Tours for the Wounded.

Bike Tours for the Wounded

Reading about the late Lt Dougie Dalzell MC and the charity founded in his name led Carla to her current involvement with Bike Tours for the Wounded (BT4TW). BT4TW provide life-changing motorcycle rides for severely injured service personnel, enabling them to improve their confidence as they rebuild their shattered lives. Carla has done four tours with BT4TW, riding Harley-Davidsons across the USA with severely injured service women behind her on the pillion.

Carla’s passion for motorcycles is no surprise, since her parents are equally enthusiastic about bikes. All three were seen with Chris Evans live on the BBC’s The One Show last week to talk about Carla’s challenge (see main image).

Carla only had her first motorcycle trail ride in early February 2015 and quickly discovered that three decades of riding on tarmac is no preparation for mud, rocks and roots: “I came quite a cropper first time out and I'm desperately trying to get my dirt-riding skills and my strength and fitness up to the required standard in time for the big ride in July – it's a scary prospect! To speed things up I have enlisted the support of the Wiltshire branch of the Trail Riders Fellowship and training has begun in earnest. I’m on a steep learning curve, but I’m enjoying it immensely – trail riding is a whole new world to me and the TRF guys have been fantastic! Whenever I start to struggle I’m boosted by the thought that I’m doing it for people who have suffered terribly and who now face far greater challenges than me, every day.”

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Anyone who would like to make a contribution to support Carla’s ride on behalf of the Dougie Dalzell MC Memorial Trust can go to www.justgiving.com/Carla-McKenzie1 where a sponsorship page has been set up.