Disabled biker to ride point-to-point on 'biggest trike in Britain'
A DISABLED biker is planning an ambitious charity run on what he claims is the biggest trike in Britain.
It has taken Nick Priest seven years to build the 7.2-litre monster, which he has named Grunt.
The 3.5-metre trike has a V8 Dodge Charger engine – the car from the Dukes of Hazzard TV series – and as much power as six small Ford Fiestas.
In June, the metal worker and design engineer from Penryn plans to ride from Land's End to John o'Groats to raise money for a disabled biker charity.
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Mr Priest has suffered for 11 years from fibromyalgia syndrome, a condition which causes debilitating pain and extreme tiredness, and was forced to give up work five years ago after symptoms worsened.
"I have mobility issues," said the 54-year-old. "I also get chronic fatigue. It's like somebody has switched off the power. Sometimes I haven't got the energy to even stand up.
"And I get terrible pain. Once it felt like I had broken my shoulder. My shoulder wasn't broken, but the brain told me it was. I also get muscle spasms – the shakes.
"On a bad day I'm rocking in pain and I just can't get up. It just comes and goes."
Some days Nick says he has to use a walking stick.
But he gets comfort from working with metal and designing and building cars, motorbikes and trikes.
He is currently working on adapting a motor trike for a friend who has one leg.
"I can make anything out of metal," he said. "I really enjoy it. I'm adapting this [different] trike as a favour for my friend who can't reach the pedals with his false leg."
Since serving in Ireland and Germany as a radio control sector commander – full corporal – with the 2nd Armoured Division – he has worked as a technical illustrator for Haynes motor manuals.
He has also designed and built petrol go-karts for children and all-terrain vehicles.
More recently, Mr Priest has worked on RFA Argus on the refit project in Falmouth docks as a metal worker.
In June he hopes to ride to Scotland to raise money for the National Association of Bikers with Disabilities (NABD), which provides training and grants advice to disabled riders to get them back on their bikes.
Through NABD's network of national bike clubs and local radio stations, he plans to raise funds through donation and by selling passenger rides on his trike.
"I plan to do 50 miles per day," he said. "As long as I don't overdo it and take my medication I should be fine."
Mr Priest will also be highlighting the prevalence of the condition by involving the National Fibromyalgia Awareness Campaign.