The Trooper Heavy Metal Truants, a charity cycle ride co-founded in 2012 by Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood and then Metal Hammer editor-in-chief Alexander Milas, has returned for its sixth annual trek to Download Festival.
This morning (Wednesday, June 6), 40 riders departed at 9.30am from London’s Alexandra Palace headed to Download's Donington site in order to benefit three children’s charities: Teenage Cancer Trust, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, and Childline.
The three day, 180-mile ride consists of 40 cyclists from every walk of life - fans, industry, and a host of bands including Paradise Lost, Amon Amarth, Trivium, Orange Goblin, Pendulum, Tesseract, The Raven Age and more. To date, they have raised £469,500 for charity and – as is only fitting – they say they're hoping to reach the milestone of £666,666.
“This is all about community and doing some good in the world,” said Smallwood. “It’s that sense of community that’s at the core of heavy metal culture, and it’s also been key to the success of the Heavy Metal Truants, because people at every level of our world have truly pulled together to make this happen.”
“In six years, the Heavy Metal Truants has truly taken on a life of its own,” adds Milas. “From our three day battle with the hills and the heat or rain (whatever comes- we’ll ride on through), to have raised half a million pounds already- it’s testament how metal fans respond when they see good causes worth fighting for. Please help us spread the word so we can continue to help support these charities who do such inspiring work every single day.”
After the ride, the Truants team have confirmed there will be another announcement involving "something special for fans of heavy metal".
For more information and to donate head to heavymetaltruants.com
To read Music Week's 2017 interview with Phantom Management's Rod Smallwood and Dave Shack click here.