The Heavy Metal Truants have today announced that their eighth annual fundraising ride from London to the hallowed grounds of Castle Donington for Download Festival, will go ahead virtually. The charity cycling group, founded in 2013 by ex-Metal Hammer Editor in Chief Alexander Milas and Iron Maiden Manager Rod Smallwood, raise money for children’s charities through events, memorabilia auctions and their annual charity cycle ride from London to Download Festival. To date, the Heavy Metal Truants have raised £681,500 for Teenage Cancer Trust, Nordoff Robbins and Childline. This year they welcome the addition of Save The Children as an international charity beneficiary.
The announcement coincides with unofficial Motörhead day, the 8th of May. This year marks forty years since the release of Motörhead’s seminal album ‘Ace of Spades’. The aptly named ‘The Eighth Of Spades virtual ride’ will be the cycling warrior’s eighth annual pilgrimage of completing the 175 miles from London to Download Festival in Derbyshire. Due to the virtual nature of the 2020 charity ride, registration will be free and open to all who want to take part which opens the gates to music fans and cycling enthusiasts globally not to mention band members themselves. The Heavy Metal Truants have enjoyed the backing and personal support of a tremendous range of artists over the years, including Iron Maiden, The Who, Slipknot, Saxon, Thin Lizzy, Metallica, KISS, Def Leppard, and Queen among many others. This year the Truants are thrilled to announce that Luke Morley from British Rock Titans Thunder are already confirmed to join the ride and they expect many more to come.
Download TV comes to your homes via Download’s social channels (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube) for one weekend only, across 12-14 June 2020. Not wanting to miss out on the best weekend in rock, Download TV will have special interviews, unseen performances, exclusive footage, and so much more, in the hope of recreating the weekend from the safety of your own homes. Full line up will be announced soon and will very much be focused on some of the incredible talent due to play Download Festival 2020.
“We were heartbroken to see Download festival cancel, a decision which we of course fully support,” says co-founder Milas. “We weren’t happy to sit on the side-lines either, particular when the needs of these charities are now greater than ever, so we got planning – this is the metal way.“
“Metal is all about community,” says co-founder Smallwood. “Today we’re calling on that community to help the most vulnerable among in the name of metal and these four incredible children’s charities. On yer bikes!“
This year riders will have from June 1st until June 12th to complete at least 175 miles – the distance from London’s Hammersmith to Castle Donington – on anything with a pedal that that you can track with the freely available Strava mileage logging app. This can include actual bikes, trainers, hand bikes or simple exercise bikes. All miles must be logged on Strava and all riders must register via the HMT website in order to raise funds. There is no registration fee.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO SIGN UP VISIT THE WEBSITE