Fundraiser from Land’s End to Unst on electric motorbike

John Chivers at the Land's End sign at the start of his trip.

A FUNDRAISER was in Shetland last week to complete what is thought to be the first trip across the length of the UK on an electric motorbike.

John Chivers arrived in the isles on Wednesday to travel up to Unst before leaving again on the NorthLink ferry a day later.

He was raising money for Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikes and Tommy’s.

Chivers left Land’s End in Cornwall on Friday morning (18 August) and he ‘refuelled’ the bike through charging points and portable fast chargers.

On the Wednesday he took a trip to Unst to head to Skaw beach at the tip of the island before charging at PURE Energy, which specialises in clean energy technologies such as hydrogen.

Job done! John's bike at Skaw beach in Unst.

The biker said the idea came from when he was unable to attend an electric vehicle event in Orkney hosted by Jonathan Porterfield.

He joked that he would make up for it by riding an electric motorbike the following year from Land’s End to Orkney – and Shetland – before deciding to do it for real.

“I wondered if anyone had actually done that on an electric motorcycle yet, and I couldn’t find any reference at all,” Chivers said.

“Electric motorcycles are still very rare in any case, so I thought if nobody’s done it yet, it could be quite a feat to be the first person to do it.”

He used a Zero bike and for the first few days the motorcycle was charged for three hours every 85 miles.

Chivers said electric bikes have a “hell of a lot more torque” than petrol ones.

He added that having some downtime while charging the bike allowed him to mingle with locals.

“I’ve met some real characters. It’s been great – meeting people has been one of the best aspects of it,” the biker said.

“The fact that I’ve had to stop for three hours to charge has meant that I’ve had time to properly speak to people. It seems like a downside, but it’s been quite a nice positive in the trip.”

Chivers also thanked NorthLink Ferries for sponsoring him as he travelled to the Northern Isles from mainland Scotland.

To donate money to his fundraising challenge, visit here.

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