Vapouround magazine VAPER-EXPO-SHOWGUIDEOCTOBER - Page 50

VAPER EXPO This charity cycle for Cancer Research UK plans to cross the finish line by opening Saturday’s show. A group from Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, will experience an extra special first Vaper Expo UK this weekend as they arrive in style having embarked on a cross country cycle. While the business-to-business day gets underway on Friday morning, James Benzie, Terry Tomlinson and Sam Maddox will be setting out on an endurance test. At 7am on Friday at Alectrofag in Ellesmere Port, the vape shop managed by James (31), the trio will follow the canal network to Birmingham. Their plan is to make it to their hotel there by Friday evening before setting off on the final leg of their challenge to the NEC on Saturday morning in time for the doors to open. They will then cycle past a throng of vapers waiting to enter the show where they will be greeted by stage hosts Ashley and Johnnie, marking the grand opening of the consumer show. The journey will require inner strength as well as physical from all three team members as they cycle the 100.8 mile long journey. The cycle was inspired by the day-to-day experiences James has come across working in a vape shop. He says there are always people coming in looking to quit smoking having been affected by cancer. “We get a lot of people coming in that have either suffered with cancer or have lost someone as a result of cancer and they want to get off the cigarettes because of it.” He feels this is a way of, “giving something back to the flip side of the industry.” James, who is originally from Warrington, has been vaping for a year. He said they picked the hardest route possible to get the most out of the challenge. 50 | THE VAPER EXPO “We mapped it on the road and it would take us five-and-a-half hours. So we’re going to do it via the canal networks, without touching a single road, off-road the whole route. A lot of the paths we’ll be riding on don’t actually exist so it’s more of a challenge. None of us have done anything like this before.” The trio is hoping to raise £1,000 for Cancer Research UK, but more if possible, as anything that surpasses that target will go to Diabetes UK for a special reason – in memory of someone who was originally a fourth teammate. “There were four of us, but sadly we lost one of our riders Martin Hearn a few weeks ago. He passed away due to diabetes. Anything over the target will go to Diabetes UK. There’s a little more meaning to the challenge now.” If you’re wondering how fit the men in the saddle are, James confirms this is out of character for them all. “None of us have ever done anything like this before. When we first started training for this, we were doing five miles and we were knackered! We were riding around six or seven miles per hour and we were getting tired.” Depending on the success of this challenge, they’re looking at kayaking the same route through the canals next time. As for the homeward journey, James says: “We’re getting the train!” Follow the group’s progress and updates from Ellesmere Port to the Vaper Expo UK via a livestream on Facebook and Instagram. If you would like to support James, Terry and Sam, collection buckets are onsite. To donate via credit or debit card online, go to justgiving.com/james-benzie1