Welcome to the official Tossers In The Sahara Ride Report Bill; On December 27th 2004, three tossers from UKGSer, Graham (Slimbo) Fanum (Bill) and Tony set off from Portsmouth in an old Land Rover. We were part of the Plymouth-Banjul challenge, a non-competitive rally with three rules; 1) Vehicles shouldn't cost more than a hundred pounds 2) No more than £15 should be spent on preparation 3) Once on the road, the rally is completely unsupported 3a) Rules 1 and 2 are open to abuse We acquired a series 3 landy for sensible money, then Graham tweaked and modified it using old bits, donated parts and whatever happened to be lying around in his garage, and off we went. We also took quite a few boxes of medical equipment, including a TENS pain relief device (used in Childbirth), some medicines and lots of football kits, school equipment and other items, all donated by friends and UKGSer members. The trip was a huge success..we raised several thousand pounds for some UK based charities and donated the football kit and school supplies to St Francis Basic School in Serekunda near Banjul, more medical kit and the TENS machine to the Royal Victoria Training Hospital. After three days touring around trying to find somewhere to leave the Land Rover (Now named Boris), we left our prized vehicle with a lovely lady called Stella Brewer who is involved in various projects in a small, very remote village called Sambel Kunda. During the trip, we discussed the possibilities for doing another trip the following year, and on our return, I sat down and considered the possibilities. It had to be bigger, better and more stupid than the previous trip, it had to give more to the people of Gambia and it had to involvemore people from UKGSer so the event would build year on year. With UKGSer being a bike based community, the obvious answer was to do it on motorcycles, but GS's would have been too easy as well as not leaving anything down in the Gambia when we left. So the idea was born to take small bikes......bikes that would do the trip, be of great use but would be cheap to run, easy to acquire and yet still man enough for the job. C90s!!! These superb little four strokes have a great (and deserved) reputation for reliability...they're comfy, frugal and their engines are bomb proof......plus there are thousands around the country so we hoped it would be possible to acquire enough There followed nine months of hard work, preparation, welding weekends, woodworking weekends, collection of drugs and kit and some amazing acts of generosity and support from our fellow UKGSers, as well as the consumption of rather a lot of Port, all fairly well documented on the Scooters in the Sahara section, until we finally came to the day that we were ready (ROFL....ready??? behave!!) for the off...... 1.Departure day, 27th December 2005, Scoot Central, Telford The biggest part of the evening before leaving, was spent trying to decide if the C90's would fit in longways, or sideways, or could we maybe get some of them across the way? Some bright spark even had an idea of putting one across the towbar at the front of the trailer. The trailer survived the ordeal and the C90's were securely strapped on. The Merc van, the Disco and trailer, and Rev Chuck's Renault then began a convoy toward Dover, although setting the scene for the trip it was a couple of hours later than intended and then 1/2 mile down the road we stopped for fuel and air. It seems that not only had the van not been driven for the last 8 years but the tyres hadn't been inflated either. As it was impossible to get at the inside rear wheel without removing them it was decided to trust in lady luck, a decision which would come back to haunt us a couple of thousand miles later! About forty five minutes into the journey Dennis, who was driving the van for the trip across the UK, casually said to Ian "Steve did give you the van documents last night?" Ian's reply was unprintable, each had thought the other had the requisit papers! In fact they were still on a table in Steve & Rebecca's hallway. After some quick mobile calls, Rev Chuck and Steve Chip, by good fortune following in Rev Chuck's car, were dispatched back to Telford to get the aforementioned paperwork. Then onwards and upwards (or should that be downwards as we were heading south?) expecting the worst weather that the south and east of England had experienced up to that point of the winter, but amzingly we found that all the roads were running clear with only the slightest hint of snow to be found in Essex, only once we crossed the Thames did we see much in the way of snow.