NO-one ever said a road trip from Bruntsfield to Mongolia would be easy – but there’s no doubt the challenge becomes a lot more difficult with a broken collarbone.
Ben Bishop, 28, faces a huge fitness fight if he’s going to get behind the wheel to take on a 10,000-mile adventure over mountains and across deserts.
The IT worker, who lives in Bruntsfield, and his friend Tom Lee are taking part in the Mongol Rally – a charity car race, which sees teams drive from London to Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia.
Taking them there – under the team name No Bull Just Yaks – will be a Seat Ibiza that has most certainly seen better days.
However, with the race starting on July 14, the biggest concern at this stage is Ben’s injury, which he picked up last week. “It really put a spanner in the works because it could take up to 12 weeks to heal properly,” he said.
“It’s worrying me how much time it’s going to take to get my arm back to normal strength, especially as when you are out there you don’t get any help along the way. If you get stuck or your car breaks down, you’re on your own.”
The rally will see Ben and mechanic Tom, 29, travel through countries such as Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia before reaching Mongolia.
“My girlfriend Annie told me about the rally over dinner and suggested I should do it,” said Ben.
“I’d always wanted to take part in a driving adventure so I thought, ‘why not?’” Ben and Tom are fundraising for the Lotus Children’s Centre Charitable Trust in Mongolia – which provides shelter, food and education to vulnerable children and families – and Scottish Love Action, which cares for more than 560 destitute children in India.
All cars must be no more than ten years old with an engine no bigger than 1.2 litres.
“Annie used to be a volunteer for Scottish Love Action and I thought they sounded like the perfect charity to raise money for,” Ben said. “It’s likely there will be things going wrong but, as luck would have it, Tom is a mechanic.”
Gillie Davidson, the founder of Scottish Love Action, said: “I think it’s absolutely brilliant that Tom and Ben are going to do this – I’m just thrilled.”
You can follow the team’s progress on Facebook and on Twitter, using the handle @nobulljustyaks
Companies that would like their logo displayed on the car or individuals who would like to donate can visit www.nobulljustyaks.com.