MARK Jones of Braunton is going farther than most in the name of charity - 6,800 kilometres! The 42-year-old Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, working in bomb disposal, is combining what he calls a Boys Own adventure" with a desire to raise money for and
MARK Jones of Braunton is going farther than most in the name of charity - 6,800 kilometres!The 42-year-old Petty Officer in the Royal Navy, working in bomb disposal, is combining what he calls "a Boys Own adventure" with a desire to raise money for and the profile of the CJD Support Network.This charity has special meaning for Mark as a member of his own family died from the devastating brain disease and he is keen to help other families suffering from its effects. From March 6-22 he will take part in the Heroes Legend Raid 2008 - a race along the original route of the Paris Dakar Rally.Departing from the Eiffel Tower in Paris on his KTM 625 off-road motorcycle, he will ride across France and Spain before taking a ferry and continuing his mostly off-road, journey through Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and Senegal.Although he has had motorcycles for a long time Mark's riding has until now been very much on the road, so he has for the past six months been undertaking special training to help him cope with the rigours of the race to come.This has included lessons at the Wheeldon Farm off-road centre at Totnes and Enduro races in Hampshire and Dorset." I have been getting in as much practice as I can," he said.Mark and his wife Debbie are financing the trip themselves - including the £5,500 entry fee, buying the bike, spares and other kit, plus accommodation and ferries.With costs adding up, Mark has put two of his previous motorcycles, a KTM and a Suzuki, up for sale at Irelands Motorcycles at Pottington in Barnstaple, who are also helping him prepare his new bike for the trip.If he can sell them there will be a chance for Debbie to share the experience of the rally in a support vehicle. Otherwise she will have to be content with seeing him off in Paris."All sponsorship money will go directly to the charity towards counselling, living costs and travel costs to help those who have loved ones with this illness," Mark assured.Mark and members of the CJD Support Network will be holding a public and press day in the Green Lanes Shopping Centre on February 23 to raise awareness of the event and of the charity.For more information about the charity or the rally visit the websites www.CJDSupport.net or www.heroeslegend.com.Anyone wishing to show support with a donation can do so online at www.justgiving.com/ bikeforcjd.