Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott is sponsoring this year’s Heavy Metal Truants charity bike ride – and is urging all rock fans to do the same. The ride – which will raise money for Nordoff Robbins, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Childline – is is a three-day, 162-mile marathon from London to the Download Festival at Donington Park. The riders will set off on June 11 and will arrive at Download around midday on June 13, just in time for the action at the festival to begin.
Among the riders will be Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood, who founded the Heavy Metal Truants, plus Metal Hammer editor Alexander Milas and the man that Joe Elliott is backing – heavy metal fan Andy Hunns.
“This is a great cause,” Joe says. “So I’ve decided to sponsor Andy, and I’m encouraging everybody to do the same thing – and if not Andy then somebody else they know. Joe adds, with tongue in cheek, that he chose Andy because he is an old-school Leppard fan whose favourite Leps album is their debut On Through The Night. “When I heard that Andy is a fan of On Through The Night, that really swung my vote,” he laughs. “I just hope his bike’s not so heavy metal that he can’t get over the finishing line. Hopefully his bike is alloy – like the rest of our albums.”
Joe also pays tribute to the other riders who are undertaking this grueling event in the name of charity. “London to Donington – that’s pretty hardcore,” he says. “These guys can’t do it in a day, so they’ll have to cycle on through the night, which would leave them high ‘n’ dry in the morning. They would have to start a campfire to warm up – hence being pyromaniacs. This in in turn would probably affect their brains, causing mass hysteria. And then they would need lots of Red Bull to adrenalize themselves to finish the race. And you can quote me on that!”
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