A quick quiz:

What do the British Grand Prix, the World Cup Final, the European Cheerleading Championships, the Derby Real Ale Festival, the Priddy Folk Festival, the Dartford Half Marathon, the Barclays Scottish Open, and the Hampton Royal Palace Flower Show all have in common?

The answer, of course, is that they all clash with the proposed date for Monkey Business, Bankstone’s annual charity fundraising monkeybike tour of Yorkshire in aid of the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Monkey in chief Dickon Tysoe’s last-minute attempts to get these other events re-scheduled proved unsuccessful – indeed, Bernie Ecclestone’s response was singularly uncomplimentary.

After much soul searching, therefore, the decision has been taken to move this year’s event to the weekend of the 18th and 19th September.

Dickon says: “Hopefully, with the summer holidays over, but the weather still fine,  more people will now be able to take part.”

“I do realise,” he accepts, “it clashes with the Folkestone HG Wells Festival, the Swedish General Election, the BUPA Great North Run, the ASA Agatha Christie sea swim and the Papal visit to the UK, but please get involved in this excellent cause in any way you can!”

There are four ways you can get involved, Dickon says:

Take part! Either by riding a monkey bike (we can help supply these at massively reduced cost from our friends at Easy Rider), driving a support vehicle in the convoy (or navigating, being the official photographer etc.), organising the food and refreshments or travelling with us to shake tins, hand out leaflets, or dress up as Bernie the Bear or as a mobile phone. If you are buying a new bike for the event we can arrange to have it decorated with your company’s branding – and after the event you can sell it (please donate the profit to the charity) or park it in your office reception until next year!

Host one of the stops! If you are – or you work for – a business in Yorkshire that has some connection with motorcycling, we would love to visit you as an official stop over the weekend. We guarantee lots of positive publicity in local press and web traffic and in the past we have had coverage on ITV Calendar, BBC Radio Leeds and Sky Channel M’s biker programme. All we ask is a £250 donation to the YAA via the Just Giving site www.justgiving.com/monkeymoviestars We will arrange a suitable time for the convoy to arrive and pose for photos outside you building. We are looking for a motorcycle insurance broker, a motorcycle breakdown and recovery provider, a bike salvage operation, a motorcycle hire company, a motorcycle dealer, a motorcycle solicitor, a motorcycle accident repair company, a bikers café, a race circuit, a motorcycle engineer and a clothing and helmet shop or any other motorcycle related business you can suggest! We plan to make around five stops per day (perhaps 10 in total) and to cover 250 miles and as much of the county as possible.

Donate! The Yorkshire Air Ambulance relies solely on the generosity of individuals and sponsors to help save lives across the region. It needs to raise £7,200 per day to keep its two helicopters and highly trained paramedics in the air. Since the service was launched in October 2000 it has flown over 2200 patients to hospitals across the region. Please go to www.justgiving.com/monkeymoviestars for more information on how to donate, pictures and video of last year’s event and more details of this event. Individual riders will have sponsorship forms if you prefer to donate that way – pick your favourite to support. They pay for all their own osteopathy and pain relief!

Spread the word! Please distribute details of what we are doing to anyone who you think may be interested either as a participant, a business wanting a visit over the weekend or someone who may donate.


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