As memorable journeys with Bridgestone go, few will come close to a 10,000-mile, five week jaunt across the Asian continent in a £230 Nissan Micra called Melvin.
This is the exact scenario facing couple Lucy Barrett and Chris Hyde, who will be competing in the Mongol Rally on Dueler All Terrain tyres, taking in 20 countries, three deserts and five mountain ranges.
The infamous race – from July 16 to mid-August – boasts a Bridgestone presence since Chris made contact for some complimentary tyres, as his Tiki Tourers team from Lancashire aims to raise as much money as possible for Cancer Research UK.
The 28-year-old said: “I was watching Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman travel around Mongolia some years ago and the idea always appealed to me. The biggest challenge was getting my partner Lucy to say yes, but she liked the idea too, so we are going!
“It then occurred to me that we would need some top quality tyres to keep us on track. For all the mechanical work done by my Lucy’s father Pete, we know that there’s only four contact points with the road, and that’s the tyres.
We have had great experiences on Bridgestone products in the past and I know all about their Dueler range, so we were thrilled to bits when the company came back to say they could help. Their support means a lot and will make a huge difference.
We’ve always travelled, so we’ve always had an ambition to do a challenge combined with travelling,” he added, with the pair having visited 37 countries as well as living in New Zealand for a year. “We’re not ones for sitting on a beach.”
A gruelling drive across some of the most challenging terrain known to mechanical engineering, participants in the Mongol Rally were set to be waved off at the start line in Prague with the prospect of 16,000 km ahead of them on their way to Mongolia and then the finish line at Ulan-Ude in Southern Russia. But – spurred on to raise as much money as they can for Cancer Research UK and Cool Earth, a rainforest-protection charity – Lucy and Chris are far from daunted.
“We wanted to do something a bit different for charity and Lucy’s father Pete has always been into rallying, so it’s something we could set up as a family. Every family is unfortunately touched by cancer, and we wanted to raise money for a really worthwhile charity.
The car cost us £230, but we’ve been preparing it every other weekend to iron out anything that could stop us, and there’s been a lot of investment through sponsors, including Bridgestone,” Chris added.
“There will be challenges, and I’m sure there’ll be a few heated conversations in the car, but together I think we’ll overcome anything. If you break down or crash, the organisers don’t come out and support you, you’ve got to sort it out yourself. But we can always seek help from locals if we have a massive breakdown that we can’t fix, that’s one of the great things about the rally.”
For more information about Chris and Jane’s fundraising efforts, please visit: