BYRNE BACKS EX-SERVICEMAN BILL ON SOLO RIDE TO IRAQ
May 10 2010.

Shane 'Shakey' Byrne will be supporting motorcycle enthusiast and ex-serviceman Bill Allan, when he sets off on 29 May on an incredible 6,467 mile journey to raise £50,000 in aid of ABF The Soldiers' Charity (previously known as The Army Benevolent Fund).

Bill, 53, left his job with the AA 18 months ago to prepare for the trip.

Riding a 1995 Yamaha TDM 850cc  fitted with Avon Storm 2 Ultra tyres, Bill is aiming to complete the highly demanding challenge, on his own, in just 22 days.

The epic journey will take him from his hometown of Croydon right to the Turkish/Iraqi border. On his travels Bill will pass through ten different countries, and will only take a total of two rest days.

To complete the journey Bill expects to use thirty tanks of fuel, and will be carrying only a basic survival kit comprising of camping equipment, a change of clothes, a small tool kit, a spare set of bulbs and a selection of maps and emergency telephone numbers.

Bill will be sleeping in a tent for the duration of his trip, which takes in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria,Greece, Albania, Italy and Turkey. Although he will be attempting to ride through Albania in just one day to avoid drinking the water or running into bandits.

Bill said: "By riding to Iraq I am exemplifying the dedication and effort each of the soldiers in the British armed forces gave whilst on duty in Iraq. I am not riding out there for fun,. My journey is in support of these men and women.

"When you consider how many miles of sand our troops have had to walk through, 6,000 miles on a bike seems miniscule. I'm determined to complete this challenge to raise £50,000 in honour of the soldiers that have given so much for their country."

Tony Way, Managing Director of Express Insurance said: "We are extremely proud to be able to support Bill on this tremendous journey, which he is so clearly committed to and for the benefit of such a worthwhile charity. We all at Express would like to wish Bill the best of luck with the challenge."

Shakey said: "I say hats off to Bill Allan. To do that kind of distance - 6500 miles door-to-door - is more than I would attempt.

"No disrespect to Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor, but they went with full back-up and a support crew as well as brand-new bikes - Bill's doing it on his trusty 15-year-old TDM800. I'm proud to give him my support in aid of such a great charity and I'll be keeping up with his progress. Good luck Bill!"

To find out more about the challenge or to make a donation visit http://www.expressinsurance.co.uk/web/bill_allan/index.html