Mar 1st, 2013


Following their hugely successful trip across Morocco last year, legendary Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood and Metal Hammer’s own Alexander Milas will be getting back in the saddle for another epic, three-day bike ride in the name of charity with the Heavy Metal Truants – except this one will be just a bit closer to home, and we want you to join them! Full details will be available at precisely two minutes to midnight tonight, over at

On June 12 at 9am, Alexander, Rod and a host of metal heavyweights and industry rollers will be riding 161 miles from London’s Alexandra Palace all the way to Donington Park for Download 2013, pulling into the festival around lunchtime on June 14, just in time to see the likes of Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine and Korn, with all proceeds from the ride going to three charities in the form of Nordoff Robbins, Teenage Cancer Trust and Childline. And best of all, you can come join in, with bikes being provided by the charity!

“The idea of Truants came completely out of the blue when I was having lunch with the old CEO of EMI, and we kept in touch over regular lunches,” explains Rod. “He was on the board of Childline, and after we had a couple of bottles of wine I said, ‘I’ll make you some money, let’s do a bike ride.’ We’ve done three rides: Cuba, Egypt  and then there was Morocco – I think we’ve raised about £725,000.”

From a cultural standpoint people might not think about charity when you say ‘heavy metal’, but the appeal of a charity directed at and cultivated by metal fans is one that’s very close to Rod’s heart.

“It’s clear to anyone who knows that the perception of metal is totally distorted,” he argues. “There have been a number of surveys to say the IQ of the metal fan is equal to or better than classical fans and way ahead of other mainstream genres. Our fans are concerned about stuff like this – we’re an active crowd. Metal fans get off their asses and do things. It’s communal, a fraternity – and I hope this opportunity will be appealing to them.”

With the ride open to all members of the public, this is a great opportunity to raise some hard dosh for some extremely worth causes, so go polish your helmet, saddle up and come ride with us! Which leads us to our final point… will Download head honcho Andy Copping be making an appearance?

“He says he’s much too busy making everything perfect for the fans, so he has to decline this year,” answers Rod. “And he’s also concerned his hat may blow off.” Fair enough.

Head to at two minutes to midnight tonight for entry fees, details on the charities, the itinerary and the full details of the ride, and don’t forget to follow Heavy Metal Truants on Twitter and Facebook. Please note that Download tickets are not supplied for the ride – this is all for charity!