A Huddersfield man will recreate a journey completed by his father in 1954 when he embarks on a bike ride from London to Rome next week.
Former local cricketer Andrew Roebuck will take on the 1,250 mile ‘Ti-Konki’ challenge with his friend and fellow Broad Oak Cricket Club member Paul Burluraux in aid of Yorkshire Cancer Research.
The pair have already raised more than £3,700 for the charity, which funds research and services across Yorkshire to help more people survive cancer.
The ride will follow a route taken 65 years ago by Andrew’s father Alan and a group of friends in an old army vehicle they named Ti-Konki.
The original Ti Konki team featured in the Huddersfield Examiner: Alan Roebuck, David Senior, Harry Noble, Geoffrey Taylor, Ian Greaves, Glyn Webster, Brian Hutton and Douglas Blackhall.
The group were students at Huddersfield Technical College at the time, and wanted to travel to Rome to study the city’s architecture first-hand.
The inspiration behind the name ‘Ti-Konki’ came from the Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, a journey by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands, led by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdah.
Andrew said: “I’ve always been intrigued by the trip taken by my father. I’m fascinated by the idea of going out to Europe when the troops were still there in the aftermath of the Second World War. At that time, travelling to these places was impossible for most of the population.
From left, Paul Burluraux, Alan Roebuck, Stuart Wrigley, David Senior and Andrew Roebuck
“So this is a pilgrimage to pay tribute to their endeavours, but also to raise funds for Yorkshire Cancer Research. My family has a history of cancer. That’s why we want to raise as much as possible for this very good cause.”
Andrew and Paul will travel through Calais, Lyon, Cannes, Monte Carlo, Menton, Genoa and Pisa before finally arriving at their destination in Rome.
They will ride in the claret and gold colours of Huddersfield Rugby Union club - the same as the ones worn by Italian football club AS Roma – and their shirts will bear the logos of the local businesses that have sponsored the ride. Sponsors include Maze 8 Recruitment, Brook Crompton, Milltown Brewery, Jones Pies, Bramley’s Estate Agents, AK Planning, AR Events, EJ Roebuck Builder, The Roundhill Inn, Londis Linthwaite, Webtech Holmfirth and New Balance.
Stuart Wrigley will be the support driver for the trip, which is expected to take the pair 17 days to complete. Other team members include Andrew’s daughter Jasmine and Amy Palmer, who are running social media accounts for the challenge.
In April this year, Andrew’s son Charlie, a former first-class cricketer who played for Yorkshire, dyed his hair pink for Yorkshire Cancer Research, raising nearly £1,000.
For more information about the ‘Ti Konki’ challenge and to sponsor Andrew and Paul, please visit www.ti-konki-challenge.com. You can also keep up-to-date on their journey by following @tikonkichallenge on Instagram and @tikonki2 on Twitter.
About Yorkshire Cancer Research
• Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
• Current statistics show that 583 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week.
• Our mission is for 2,000 more people to survive cancer every year in Yorkshire.
• There are lots of cancer problems across the region that need to be tackled on a local level. We work in partnership with researchers, clinicians, the NHS, public health bodies and other charities to fund innovative work in four key areas: prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials.
• For more information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org