TWO motorcycle mad mates are revving up for the adventure of a lifetime that will take them to 20 countries in 20 days.

Hedley Smith and Angus Charlton – YouTube’s Mid-Life Bikers – have set themselves a £20K fundraising target for their September 2020 challenge.

The pair plan to donate the money to Alzheimer’s Society, a charity close to their hearts after Hedley’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease three years ago, while Angus had an aunt who died with dementia.

Hedley (56) grew up in the Tyne Valley and his parents, Elizabeth and James, both 83, still live in Hexham. Angus, 55, is also from Hexham, where his family established the successful Matthew Charlton builders merchants business.

Both men now live in Andalucia, Spain, but regularly visit their native north-east to catch up with family and friends.

Their epic 9,000km journey will begin and end in Spain, taking in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in northern Africa, as well as much of Europe.

Their exploits along the way will be filmed and uploaded onto their hugely popular YouTube channel, Mid-Life Bikers, which has 2.26K subscribers with posts regularly achieving many thousands of views.

Hedley, who works in the holiday rental business, said: “When we decided to embark on this trip there was only one charity I had in mind and that was Alzheimer’s Society.

“The support they have given my mum since her diagnosis has been fantastic. Dad has been delighted with it.

“Some years ago he lost both his legs due to diabetes and mum became his main carer, but since her diagnosis their roles have been reversed and he’s found it tough.

“It’s a cruel disease – it’s awful to see people you love robbed of their memories. Thankfully, mum still knows who I am but sometimes when I’ve visited and stayed overnight she has been surprised to see me in the morning.

“We want to do all we can to help people like her get the support they need and are urging businesses and individuals alike to help us to achieve our £20K target.”

Entrepreneur Angus, who has his own motorcycle business, said: “I do a lot more motorcycling than Hedley – I’ve clocked up around 45K in the past 12 months, but even so this will still be my biggest challenge to date.”

There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, including 35,000 in the North-East. Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes.

The current coronavirus pandemic has hit people living with the condition harder than any other group – a quarter of those who have died of Covid-19 had dementia.

Hedley added: “Our YouTube channel is growing in popularity but the whole ‘Mid-Life Bikers’ thing is very tongue in cheek – we’re not serious petrol heads.

“We’ve planned for the trip as best we can, but you can guarantee things will go wrong, especially when it comes to border crossings and paperwork.

“We have set up a Just Giving page for donations and we’re also hoping people subscribe to our YouTube channel. We’ll be posting video updates regularly and will have GPS devices with us so everyone can follow our progress.”

Dan Nelson, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society in the North East, said: “We can’t thank Hedley and Angus enough for their support – the scale of the challenge they are undertaking is immense.

“Right now, people living with dementia need our support more than ever because of how hard the coronavirus pandemic has hit them.

“Since the lockdown began our trained staff have made more than 100,000 welfare calls to people with dementia and their carers to offer support, information and to reassure them that they are not alone. Every penny raised by our dedicated fundraisers is helping us to continue this vital work.”

You can donate to the Mid-Life Bikers at

You can subscribe to their YouTube channel by visiting