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White Nights set for $1million charity ride across Russia - April 8th 2005

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    Ten diverse motorcycle enthusiasts are soon to face a ride of a lifetime as they prepare their BMW R1150 GS Adventures for a 6,500 miles journey from Vladivostok to St Petersburg in May - and hope to raise over $1million (US) dollars for charity in the process.

    Originally the brainchild of 48-year-old former House of Lords and Parliamentary Motorcycle Group member, Nicholas Fairfax, the trip has since developed into a fully-fledged motorcycle expedition involving ten friends. Christened the White Nights Ride, members of the group range from double Guinness World Record holder, Kevin Sanders, to businessmen and even royalty.

    The White Nights Riders aim to raise over $1million in aid of the Charities Aid Foundation Russia (CAF) and the Royal Marsden Cancer Campaign in the UK. They are already well on their way to achieving this goal, having raised more than $700,000 so far. Nicholas explained:

    "It became clear very quickly that the BMW R1150 GS Adventure was the most appropriate choice for our journey, and the support of BMW Motorrad UK has enabled my idea of a relatively small motorcycle trip to be taken to the next level," he said. "Having had strong business connections in Russia for the past 20 years, it is great that via this motorcycle adventure we now have the means to raise a lot of money for these important charities.

    In addition to the ten group members, HRH Prince Michael of Kent has agreed to be Patron of the White Nights Ride team. He will be joining the epic adventurers for the first leg of their journey from Vladivostok to Khabarovsk.

    All members of the White Nights Ride team have received tuition from BMW Motorrad Off-Road Skills instructor and Dakar rider, Simon Pavey, to help prepare for the challenge of riding off-road. This is sure to prove invaluable as they make their way across 1,500 miles of off-road terrain and variable weather conditions across the top of China and Mongolia, and through thirteen Russian cities before arriving at their destination of St Petersburg.

    Nicholas concluded: "What we are about to set out to achieve is an endurance test in every sense. It will be a real challenge to ride such a long distance, fighting tiredness, changeable weather and road conditions. Above all we want to complete the charity ride safely and successfully."