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What happened on the first day of Heavy Metal Truants 2016?

Heavy Metal Truants
(Image credit: Oliver Halfin)

Photos by Kevin Nixon.

‘The beautiful English countryside’ – words that go together as well as ham and eggs and gin and tonic, but whoever the silly bastard that first put them together was, he or she was clearly not a cyclist, because the 52 mile painstorm we’ve just put ourselves suggests some different names, most of them involving the word, ‘hill,’ ‘shitting,’ and ‘fucking.

And they're off!

And they're off! (Image credit: Kevin Nixon)

Okay, so it isn’t that bad – in fact, the Heavy Metal Truants may just be one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, because despite the demands there’s never a real complaint to be heard and no matter how bad it gets out there, there’s always this knowledge that every minute that passes, every mile that goes by, we’re raising money for some truly wicked people who’ve made it their life’s work to improve the lives of young people.

On the road to Donington

On the road to Donington (Image credit: Oliver Halfin)

Today’s been tough – lots of punctures, some long and truly brutalising climbs, and then this unrelenting heat that means every time you slow down the lack of passing air reminds you just how hard you’re pushing it because you just explode with perspiration. You check five different weather sites and you’ll get five different stories, but the facts: today we’re doing over 80 miles, and we’re setting off at 7:30am sharp.

Please donate and help us spread word of what we’re doing out here, it’ll make a world of difference in the lives of some very brave kids.

Photos by Oliver Halfin.

Alexander Milas is an erstwhile archaeologist, broadcaster, music journalist and award-winning decade-long ex-editor-in-chief of Metal Hammer magazine. In 2017 he founded Twin V (opens in new tab), a creative solutions and production company.  In 2019 he launched the World Metal Congress (opens in new tab), a celebration of heavy metal’s global impact and an exploration of the issues affecting its community. His other projects include Space Rocks (opens in new tab), a festival space exploration in partnership with the European Space Agency and the Heavy Metal Truants, a charity cycle ride which has raised over a million pounds for four children's charities which he co-founded with Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood. He is Eddietor of the official Iron Maiden Fan Club, head of the Heavy Metal Cycling Club (opens in new tab), and works closely with Earth Percent, a climate action group. He has a cat named Angus.