Bankstone plans to ride a fleet of monkey bikes the length and breadth of Yorkshire, covering over 350 miles in a single day‚ to raise money for charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Inspired by the Yorkshire edition of classic board game Monopoly, Brighouse-based we will be leading a convoy of at least 10 90cc monkey bikes around all 33 sites featured on the Yorkshire monopoly board. Hence the name: Monkey Monopoly.

The plan is to complete a full circuit during daylight hours on 8 July 2007, pausing very briefly at each site to take photos, refuel and answer calls of nature. Monkey Monopoly will be calling in at towns and villages including Bradford, Castleford, Doncaster, Esholt, Goathland, Halifax, Harrogate, Hessle, Huddersfield, Hull, Ilkley, Leeds, Malton, Northallerton, Sheffield, Wakefield, Yeadon and York.

Representatives of many of the venues en route have already volunteered to stage reception committees offering refreshment and encouragement. Alongside the Bankstone monkey bike (ridden in rotation by a team of five in two 35 miles stints each), other teams are also signing up to take part.

Bankstone director Dickon Tysoe comments: “Any companies, bike clubs or groups that wants to help raise funds for YAA is welcome to get involved. We will be providing logistical, navigational and mechanical support, and we can source monkey bikes at cost direct from the manufacturer for any teams who require this.”

The lead monkey bike is being fitted with a satellite tracking device, allowing anyone with Internet access to follow the riders’ progress around Yorkshire on a dedicated Monkey Monopoly web page.

Charitable donations are being sought in four ways: via gift-aided charity donations website Just Giving (see, through reverse billing mobile phone donations (text MONKEY to 84010), via traditional sponsorship forms (to request these please email [email protected]) and by distributing special Monkey Monopoly mobile phone recycling bags.

Paul Gowland, fundraising director of YAA, comments “It costs us £3,600 per day to keep our helicopter and highly trained paramedics in the air. But this allows us to attend over 1000 incidents each year and save many lives that might otherwise have been lost. Monkey Monopoly is certainly one of the more unusual fund raising initiatives we have seen! We are delighted the idea seems to be taking off in such a big way and wish everyone involved the very best of luck.”

Dickon Tysoe adds: “There are lots of different ways for anyone to get involved: sponsoring participants, making a donation, distributing mobile phone recycling bags, entering a team (we really wouldn’t recommend anyone tries to drive 350 miles on a monkey bike single-handed!), or simply by coming out to cheer us on along the way. If you would like to take part in any way ‚ either as an individual or as a company ‚ please call me on 0870 442 7462 or contact us.”

For more on Yorkshire Air Ambulance see:

Ape Rider Dickon Tysoe

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