Our supporters have some weird and wonderful ways of raising money for us – but riding round an airfield on a moped dressed as a whoopee cushion? Doug Fowler fills us in about the Odiham mopedathon.
So what have a Dalek, Santa Claus, Captain America, some whoopee cushions, Bananaman and some tigers got in common? Well it’s either a sad Hollywood superhero film remake or some of the line-up of the inaugural Odiham mopedathon!
So there we were, on a cold, misty November morning, a circuit set out where Chinooks normally park, all set for an endurance event, aiming to see how many mopeds make it through six hours of gruelling riding. We started with a Le Mans start, although those whose electric start buttons didn’t work weren’t particularly fast. It was a funny sight to see though!
So all was going well, into the second hour; weather picking up, mist burning off, and we have our first stunt-man impression.
The whole point of a tight chicane is to slow the flow of bikes; all was ok until three bikes tried to go through a space only big enough for one!
I can assure you that running over a tyre doesn't do your traction any good, but if you fancy going head over heels over the handlebars and land on your shoulder, crack on!
We managed to clear him up, although the paramedic was keener to take the chap’s place in the team than take him to hospital. We resumed and got into the flow of it.
After the first 'major' off, I wondered how the day would pan out, or whether there would be anybody left by the end! However, we did manage it, although one chap appeared to consider that riding through a straw bale seemed quite appealing. He was fine apart from some gaps in his memory…
So, we got through the day with only one or two major incidents, but more importantly, everybody had a great laugh. We made some unlikely looking machines survive an awfully enduring event and even more importantly, raised £1,000 for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
We'll be back next year with more teams (and more medical provision) to embarrass ourselves again and raise even more money for a great cause.