‘An Idiot And A Borrowed Bike’ take on the Mongol Rally challenge

A main road through Kazakhstan. Photo contributed.

A main road through Kazakhstan. Photo contributed.

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A student from Warnham is tackling the Mongol Rally - riding a 125cc motorbike from Goodwood to Ulan Ude in Siberia.

Joe Harrod is raising money for rainforest conservation charity Cool Earth, and for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, which supports soldiers and veterans.

Joe before the rally. Photo contributed. PgqeTckoiEOShv6toxBK

Joe before the rally. Photo contributed. PgqeTckoiEOShv6toxBK

The notorious Mongol Rally challenges participants to complete the mammoth journey either in a car (maximum engine capacity 1.2 litres) or on a scooter or motorbike (max 125cc).

With no set route, or even any support vehicles, contestants have from July 17 to September 12 to finish the rally.

The finish line - which for many years was in the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar - has been moved 400 miles north to Ulan Ude, capital of the Republic of Buryatia.

Organisers say this means cheaper return flights, considerably lower costs for shipping the vehicle home, and a better location for the inevitable post-rally celebrations.

Joe with local bikers near the city of Ganja, Azerbaijan.

Joe with local bikers near the city of Ganja, Azerbaijan.

Joe, who is taking part under the name ‘An Idiot And A Borrowed Bike’ announced this morning (August 16) that he has reached Mongolia, without even having to bribe his way across the border:

“Stripped the bike of all the stickers and stuffed my rally T-shirt to the bottom of a bag, got through in a couple of hours without paying a penny,” says his Facebook update.

“Staying in Ulgi tonight and planning a route to Ulan Bator. Its finally starting to warm up, I’ve seen some yaks and the landscape is incredible.”

In a message to the County Times, he said: “Right from the start the rally’s been epic, as I’m travelling alone I’ve met so many awesome people.

“Everywhere I’ve been all the locals are really friendly and despite not speaking a word of English I’ve still managed to have some sort of conversation with them.

“The toughest part so far was the Kazak desert, it was incredibly hot and the roads were horrific, ran out of water a couple of times for half a day, nearly stood on a massive snake one night putting the tent up in the dark.

“I’m now heading to the Gobi and am planning to finish sometime around the 26/27th.”

To support Joe’s charity challenge, visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JoeHarrod

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