Two British former soldiers from Birkenhead have reached the most Southern point on their epic Europe-wide motorcycle trek in aid of three charities close to their hearts.
Harry Glover, 49, and Pete Bray, 58, have made it to Athens within two weeks of the start of their gruelling 15,000-mile (24,140km) expedition under the code-name ‘Triumph Over Tragedy’, and are now heading through Albania.
They have motorcycled for over 7,000 miles (11,265km) over all kinds of terrain, and have experienced traffic problems of every possible kind. The aim of their trek is to raise awareness and funds for the Armed Forces charities BLESMA and Soldiers off the Street, along with the Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
Former non-commissioned officers Harry Glover, of 4/73 Special OP Battery, and Pete Bray, of 22 SAS, have already passed through 18 of their planned EU capital cities since setting off from London’s Buckingham Palace on Friday 1 August 2014.
Harry Glover said, “We’ve been covering around 600 miles (965km) a day to get to where we are, living out of our kit bags and sleeping on the streets where necessary.
“To reach Athens, having already crossed off the most Northern and Eastern points on our trek, is a fantastic achievement.”
BLESMA provides ex-soldiers with valuable help and support, giving them the tools needed to regain their independence following the loss of limbs.
Soldiers off the Street provides food, shelter and other support for vulnerable soldiers of all ages who have returned from active duty and are in need of assistance in getting back on their feet.
The initiative also takes on a more personal note for Harry Glover, whose young daughter Elizabeth will undergo life-changing surgery in the autumn with the support of Alder Hey.
It is for these reasons that Harry Glover and Pete Bray have taken on the arduous trek, which has seen them cover an average of 600 miles (965km) a day while battling adverse weather conditions, poor roads and mechanical failures.
As former servicemen, both riders have first-hand experience of the dangers of combat and the struggles that soldiers can face when they return from service.
The audacious expedition has been funded solely by the guys themselves, along with support from their friends and families.
Cornishman Pete Bray said, “I knew this trek would be difficult because I only passed my test a matter of months ago.
“It’s interesting to see that virtually every capital city has congestion and traffic jams just like at home.
“It’s funny that after two weeks on the road Harry, with his 30 years of cycling motorcycling experience, looks just like he did when the trip started while people say I look unrecognisable.”
When the daring duo return home at the end of August, they are looking forward to organising talks and events where they can share their experiences and unique insight into unified Europe.
When not taking on challenges, Harry Glover and Pete Bray are directors of a security and training firm,Primarius Ltd., which is based in Birkenhead, The Wirral, UK.
You can follow the route taken by the brave riders live on the Triumph over Tragedy website at http://triumphovertragedy.co.uk/route/.
Since setting off on Friday 1 August 2014, Harry Glover and Pete Bray have reached London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Bucharest and Athens.