Norfolk’s Fat Bloke on a Moped sets off on marathon moped ride

Norfolk's self-proclaimed Fat Bloke on a Moped Dave Fletcher is making good progress on his biggest charity challenge yet.

The 41-year-old set off on his moped on Saturday on a charity ride around the coast of mainland Britain to raise money for Keeping Abreast, which supports women with breast cancer.

Mr Fletcher and his slightly slimmer companion Kevin Rooney, 18, left their local pub, the Old White Bell in Southery, near Downham Market, at 2pm and the pair are currently making their way up the north-east coast of England.

The pair expect to cover 150 miles a day, which means it will take them around three weeks to cover the 3,500 mile route and arrive back in Southery.

Mr Fletcher's fundraising drive is inspired by his wife, Claire, who had a double mastectomy last year, after a routine check-up revealed pre-cancerous cells.

He said: 'This will be a massive challenge for us and we have tried to prepare us much as we can for this difficult ride.

'We have got laminated sheets ready for each day which we can clip to our windscreens and have a list of the main settlements and roads we need to be on - hopefully this will stop us getting lost.

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'I will be riding with L plates because I don't have a moped licence and we will be sticking as close to the coast as possible.'

He added: 'I am mostly looking forward to travelling around the Scottish coastline although I think Cornwall will be very nice too.'

Mr Fletcher is planning to arrive in Edinburgh by day three, Durness, on the north tip of Scotland by day six, Stranraer by day nine, and Holyhead by day 12.

The pair hope to reach the Welsh capital of Cardiff by day 14, before heading around the south coast and getting to Southend by day 19, then to Great Yarmouth and home by July 16.

Nineteen B&Bs around the country have already offered accommodation, meaning all sponsorship money will go to the charity. Marshall Toyota in King's Lynn have also given the pair a donation to cover their fuel costs.

Mrs Fletcher said: 'I hope they both have an amazing adventure and a wonderful time. They know the weather is going to be bad some days but I am sure some of views will make up for that.

'It will be an incredible journey for them. David wanted to do this and I am extremley proud that he has been able to organise all of this and raise so much for charity.'

Mr Fletcher also featured in the EDP last year when he circumnavigated Norfolk on his moped in September, raising thousands of pounds, and has become a local celebrity in his home village of Southery, near Downham Market.

Mr Fletcher has said his inspiration for Fat Bloke on a Moped came from the book All at Sea, by Tim Fitzhigham, who rode from France to England back in a bath.

Three Men and a Float, by Dan Kieran and Ian Vince, about three men who drove a milk float across Britain and Round Ireland with a Fridge, by Tony Hawkes, who hitch hiked around Ireland carrying a fridge, also proved inspirational.

Mr Fletcher and Mr Rooney are also looking for other riders to join them on the final stage of their journey, from Great Yarmouth to Southery on Saturday, July 16.

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