A Bit About Us

Alexander Milas on the birth of the world’s greatest charity cycle ride…

So then, how did this all begin?

It’s said that mighty oaks grow from small acorns. It should also be said that’s especially true of acorns that have been soaked in beer. It feels like yesterday. Back in 2012, Iron Maiden manager, Rod Smallwood, invited me on one of his now infamous charity cycle rides, the Truants. This particular one was through the the foothills of the Atlas Mountains out in Morocco in some truly blistering heat. It was hard, but it was also genuinely one of the best, most fulfilling experiences of my life. It had been years since I’d cycled – life and the demands of work had gotten in the way and I doubted whether I could finish, but like a lot of people out there for the first time I surprised myself, and my face ached from all the grinning. What I didn’t know was that it was about to get a million times better. It was early evening in Marrakech, and the heat was just about bearable for the first time. Rod cracks over a beer, turns to me, and says…

How are you planning on getting up to Donington this year?

That moment saw the birth of the Heavy Metal Truants, and to say it’s been a remarkable journey is an understatement. Just like our mascot, created by Matt Dixon out of the goodness of the heart, our little cycle ride has evolved rather significantly over the last five years. The first four rides have seen dozens upon dozens of cyclists have come together to raise money for three fantastic charities that do truly immense work to improve the lives of children and young people: Nordoff Robbins, Teenage Cancer Trust, and Childline. Add in friends and family who’ve supported them, and the great and good of the music industry who have supported us, and you haven’t just got a proposition that has raised over £300,000 to date, but an organisation that’s the very essence of what heavy metal is all about. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a fan, an agent, a manager, a promoter, a publicist, a record label, a media type or an artist: hills and sweat are a great equaliser, and the only thing that matters is that you’re out there with us.

An evolution of the Heavy Metal Truants mascot, as drawn by the immensely talented Matt Dixon

It’s about more than just the cycle ride, though. Every year we also hold the Monster Rock Auction: a charity memorabilia auction that’s seen some truly unique and wonderful items donated by bands and industry. It’s evolved rather a lot over the years, and the only thing that hasn’t changed is the incredible generosity of the winning bidders, and this year we plan to make it bigger and better than ever – keep your eyes peeled for developments, soon.

If you’re interested in joining us, then read on! Everything you need to know about the ride, what it entails and how to join us is right here on our web site. There will be hills, heat, and hangovers, and it’ll take weeks of preparation to face the task ahead, but we are convinced that if there’s any community out there who’ll answer the call, it’s people like you.We guarantee this will be an experience you won’t forget!

Spaces are limited though, so if you are interested then apply now! If you don’t make it along with us this time, there are still ways to help. Spread the word, and join us on Facebook and Twitter or make a donation.  Just remember that it’s all in the name of charity for the kids who need it the most, so please give generously.

We look forward to hearing from you, and thank you for your support. 

Alexander Milas