BMX legend Toby Forte is to swap the track for the tarmac as he sets out with riding partner Jess Jackman on a charity haul to Morocco.
Toby, who turned professional when he was 17 and competed worldwide for BMX, Four X and Dual Slalom, and Jess, a student, will leave Devon this Saturday (June 6) and head to France and Spain before crossing the Straits of Gibraltar to Tangier.
The pair are riding up to 100 miles a day to raise money for two causes – SOS Children’s Villages and the Stephen Murray Fund.
SOS Children's Villages aids orphans across the world by providing them with a place to live, medical facilities, and an education. On arrival in Morocco, Toby and Jess be visiting one of the orphanages to see firsthand the difference fundraising can make.
In 2007, professional BMXer Stephen Murray suffered a catastrophic fall attempting a double back flip at the Dew Action Sports Tour, Baltimore. He suffered severe spinal injuries and is now paralysed below the neck, however, continued support from family and friends have encouraged his positive attitude.
Toby said: “After years of serious injury, including a severe brain injury, I became focused on helping others who haven’t had the fortunate recovery I had. If I can challenge myself and use that to raise funds and awareness for others, then I’m willing to do everything possible.
“Jess and I have both wanted to visit Morocco for sometime, and the fact we can do it for two such worthwhile causes is just amazing.”
Jess commented: “I’m aware it’s going to be a real challenge and I know that after cycling 100 miles every day, the thought of finding a campsite and cooking dinner isn’t always going to be that appealing, but we’re doing it for all the right reasons, and that’ll keep me going. Stephen and the children at SOS do not have the opportunity to take on such an epic adventure, so it’s up to us to make the most of it.”
Toby and Jess will be blogging their adventures as they happen. To check on their progress and donate to their chosen charities, visit their Mission Morocco website here http://www.chargebikes.com/missionmorocco/