Why 24tour?

One thing I tend to get asked all too often seems to be "Why does the 24tour exist?" or "What's the point?" To answer this, I generally give a few words that summarise what I had in mind a few years ago when the 24tour concept first appeared. I'll tell them about how the original intention was to bring together old and new friends, to check out some new places and to have a week of pure unadulterated win. Oh and maybe ride some bikes if we can find the time.

The trouble is, though, that not only does it not sound so sincere coming directly from me, but a lot of people simply don't seem to 'get' it. To try and fix that, I've asked a few of the 24tour guys to put down a couple of words to summarise what they think of the 24tour and what it's all about.

I've tried to get a spread of responses from different people rather than just the buys that were on board from the start so for a varied idea of what the 24tour is and why we do it, read on below:

Matt Purdon

"I guess the main thing I wanna say is that for me, the 24tour is without doubt the only reason I've not sold up and quit riding altogether. I'd call the people I've met through this some of my best friends and it's got me through a lot.

In 2011 it co-incided with the worst series of events in my life to date, but I didn't give that a moment's thought until I got home.

Everyone's in it for the right reasons. No bullshit, no pressure, just a week of friends, bikes and good times with no interruptions."

Jason Dilworth

"I've had 2 riding lives. I rode, I tried pinching inches, I tried comps. I quit.

In October 2010, after 4 years, I started riding again - spurred on by this whole 'street scene' that had been evolving since the beginning. This time I did something that I hadn't done last time round: I actually bothered to try riding with others, and I accidentally stumbled across this whole 'having fun on bikes' lark.

Most of those first people I started riding with were part of the 24tour in years previous, so I got myself involved in 24:2011, although I could only get to the 2 weekends. Luckily enough for me I lived close to London for the first weekend and found my flat invaded by some of the best people I've met, and all of which I would now consider close friends.

24:2012 was my first full tour, and with massively depleted numbers it was in with a huge chance of being a bit of a washout. I won't lie, I was worried enough to contemplate not going myself at one point. I don't know what I was worried about, that week was easily the best of my year. The 24tour is the reason I know some of the best people I get to call friends.

That's what the tour is all about to me. I haven't even mentioned the riding because if you're here you're here because you know that this annual August 'event' contains some of the best street trials riding that happens anywhere in the world every year. With the help of these guys, and this tour, riding is a huge part of my life once again and I thank them all for that. It's all about having fun on bikes. Bring on 2013."

Mark Westlake

"Every time I get into my car, the first thing I see is a dull smear about 4 or 5 inches from the top of the glass on my windscreen.

This instantly reminds me of two things.

The first is of the moment Luke mashed a Tesco iced ring doughnut onto my car in Coventry - a point that marked the end of an eventful drive from London, and also the beginning of an even more eventful night spent in a random, semi-legally occupied house (that culminated in a drunken attempt to superglue a table that became a victim of a spot of 3am lounge wrestling).

The second thing it all-too-painfully reminds me of is that I'm no longer on the roadtrip.

This is the necessary consequence of an awesome trip as you settle down into the reality of everyday life again - set your alarm, go to sleep, wake up early, go to work, grab some free time for lunch, get back to work, go home, get a bite to eat, hope you've got some energy left to ride, go home, relax for an hour or so, set your alarm, go to sleep & repeat.

A far cry from waking up whenever, trying to remember where you are then working out where the other 8-9 people with you want to get some breakfast..."

Read the rest of Mark's write-up on 24:2011 here

Sam Nichols

"The summer of 2009 saw the birth of something pretty special. A group of riders from the UK existed; they were intent on keeping trials creative, experimental and above all else – fun. This spawned the 24 tour and, due to my friendship with Jon, I found myself tagging along on what was to be the beginning of something quite special.

I’ve only had the chance to attend two of the four tours but each of these has been something that I can only describe as awesome. The interesting thing about a road trip is that it’s not just about the riding; it’s everything in between that makes the trip memorable. Most of us have the option to jump on a train or into the car and ride different cities at the weekend, so I don’t think that it’s much of a novelty riding unfamiliar terrain in that sense. Plus the fact that after a couple of 8 hour plus days riding, most of us are too crippled to ride as well as we’d like anyway! I’m very reluctant to use the word ‘banter’ because of the sickening overuse by the ‘LAD’ generation that seems to be plaguing the virtual world so instead I’ll say this; The best thing about road trips... Chaffing!"

Read the rest of Sam's thoughts on the 24tour here