Tag Archives: Big Banana Relay

A Grand Day out in Derbyshire

Buxton Big Banana Relay

With the banana safely delivered by Mario Cart from Delamere it was the turn of the Buxton guys and girls to get it further north. We started our adventure at site with the Tribe busily decorating a rather temperamental VW Campervan in preparation for its all important role as support vehicle. Much was done to promote what we were doing and why we were doing it to help raise as much as we could for the amazing charity – Teenage Cancer Trust.

Thumbing a lift and clutching a ‘To Rivington’ sign our Gorilla (aka Rob) hopped on a tandem next to human banana Lee, with the Camper (and support/photographer/fundraising bucket carrier/ driver Jeni) in hot pursuit.

Our first stop, Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens, saw us collecting donations from the lovely supportive (and rather amused) public. Then it was on to Goyt Valley and some rather steep hills getting some brilliant and scenic footage along the way. To add to our challenge and our adventure, the VW decided not to start – have you ever seen a gorilla jump start a vehicle? Now on our way again it was off to Whaley Bridge Canal Basin, collecting donations from the generous public as we cycled along the canal, before a visit to the Trafford Centre and more opportunities to promote the challenge.

In good spirits, and with a stretch of motorway ahead, it was ‘all aboard’ the Bananamobile. But for the second time it refused to start and the now very bemused Gorilla and Banana spent some time with their heads under the bonnet (do banana’s have heads?!). After a long, hot and entertaining Summer’s day we cycled to our final destination, tired, happy and proud of what we had done and for being part of such a great event. The team at Rivington gave us a great welcome and the inflatable banana was officially handed over, one alpha male to another. Our mission was now complete.

Our grateful thanks go to Parsley Hay Cycle Centre for the loan of their reliable tandem, and to Jeni for her (slightly less) reliable Camper.


You can donate at www.justgiving.com/buxtongoape 


Fun in the (Saharan) Sun

Main Image

It seems this banana-carrying primate was a little homesick as he boarded a plane to the African continent. Not content with a tour of Britain, and having inadvertently missed flight BA896 to the Congo, he stowed away with a GoApe team to ‘live life really adventurously’ in Morocco. And what an adventure it turned out to be. Summiting Mt Toubkal at 4167m was a chest-beating moment for the whole group, not least to bring some feeling back to frozen extremities. Our Berber guides were more than a little bemused by a ‘cowboy’ gorilla on a mule , only to be surpassed by ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ on camel back. The searing heat at sea level however proved too much for our hairy companion who refused to come out to play on all manner of weird and ancient vehicles in the streets of Essouria. But he felt completely at home amongst the souks, palm trees and banana stalls of down town Marrakech.

Now back in the UK his journey continues to Scotland, raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust along the way.

Please support his quest at justgiving.com/company/GoApe.


Ready, Set, GO!


So, it was time for Delamere’s turn in the Big Banana Relay.  We figured whilst we had the Banana for a few extra days we would take it on a little trip and visit all of the ‘Favourite Days Out’ sites. So we got to see some nice fountains at Port Sunlight, lovely gardens at Ness Botanic, canal boats at the Boat Museum, some sharks at Blue Planet Aquarium, a spot of bikini shopping at Cheshire Oaks, however our Gorilla is in need of a serious wax before he can pull that off!  A quick pass by Chester Zoo and onto the Ice Cream farm to meet the cows, then to the Secret Nuclear Bunker (once we eventually found it, that place is a little secret!) Then our Gorilla got to meet a nice little owl called Walter then a giant Owl on a Segway and their local mascot ‘Polly Pig’ over at Blakemere.  A walk up to Beeston Castle to see some spectacular views, then onto The Old Fire Station Chocolate Shop where Charles surprised us with a giant bowl of chocolate which we would have been happy to swim in.  The next stop, Tatton Park where the guys over at the farm looked after us very well, we got to meet some big horses, rub ‘Martha’ the pigs belly and hold a tiny chick who seemed quite comfortable in the gorilla’s furry hands, or petrified at the thought of being eaten.  A quick play in the Science and Catalyst Museum and then on to Gulliver’s World to join people on some rides and make some more new friends Gully and Gilly mouse!

That was all before we had to take it to Buxton.  Our plan was to peddle it to Buxton via a ‘Mario Kart’ themed race.  Special thanks to Gulliver’s world who kindly loaned us 2 of their ‘Moon Buggies’ as well as a 4 year old girl loaned us her pretty pink bike.


There we are lined up, Luigi, Toad, Princess Peach and a Banana… Ready, Set, GO!  Peddling on a 4 years olds bike is not the easiest of things especially when the Banana throws a banana out in front of you all to try and skid you out, just like the video game!  After some time peddling we came across ‘Roberts Bakery’ “lets go have a photo by that”, sure lets go down this little hill on a go kart that has no breaks, oh look I’ve crashed into a post. How’s about we avoid hills from now on shall we?! Avoiding as many hills as possible we finally reached Buxton, our legs burning but all for a good cause- Teenage Cancer Trust. The Buxton Tribe gave us a warm welcome and we wish them all the best, along with all our other sites who still need to take the Banana on their relay leg.

You can donate at justgiving.com/GoApe-Delamere 

Delamere to Buxton Big Banana leg

Our Delamere Site take on a Mario Kart Relay to deliver the Big Banana to Buxton

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Bikes, Trikes and A Big Banana

Go Ape Cannock

On the 31st of July our Big Banana Relay team for Teenage Cancer Trust commenced the preparations for their leg of the journey at Go Ape Cannock heading 62 miles to Go Ape Delamere.
The team gathered at site at 9am, Jerry Stokes (British Olympic Cycling Coach), Cara Mayne (Deputy Manager), James Scott (Our Instagram Man) and Maryjane Lees (Marketing Coordinator and Megaphone Mouth).


Our theme was All Types of Wheels including, a mini monkey bike, recumbent trike, unicycle, mountain board, road bike fixie, Nissan support van and a gleaming red fire engine courtesy of Rugeley Fire Station.


At 12:50 the The Banana began its journey in the Fire Engine blue lights flashing and sirens blaring as it left site! The Banana was handed over to Jerry at Wolesley Bridge 4 miles down the road, who continued the journey on his Road Bike followed by the support van. 20.4 miles were covered with plenty of giggles in the support van and very fast and impressive biking from Jerry until we arrived at Slater’s Tea Rooms (Newcastle-under-Lyme). By which time a well needed caffeine fix was priority!


Next on the road, the Recumbent Trike made its appearance ridden by Scotty (James) closely followed and guarded by Jerry on his road bike, both being encouraged with motivational words from the support van by Cara and Maryjane.

A close encounter with a giant Darlek, a loose bolt on the trike at speed down a hill, an overtaking turbo tractor, plenty more giggles and wiggles and lots of banter made up the following 18 miles! At Nantwich Bypass the trike had to be loaded back into the van due to traffic, so Jerry flew solo on his road bike for the next 17 miles to Delamere Forest. 

The last half a mile the van was parked up and out came all the bikes, gorilla suit and megaphone! 

Jerry on his unicycle, Cara on the Mini Monkey bike, Maryjane on the trike towing Goober the Gorilla (Scotty) on the mountain board to make the Bananas Grand Entrance to Delamere Go Ape! 

Lovely Vicky was there to greet us at the end of an eventful and fun filled journey.

The Cannock to Delamere leg raised money for Teenage Cancer Trust, raised smiles and we wish it well for its onward journey! 
And just bear in mind the Quote of the Day… “the key to riding a unicycle is to steer it with your bum cheeks”


You can donate at www.justgiving.com/Cannock


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