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Cyclist set to ride 'Tour de France' route on Chopper

Dave Sims on his Raleigh Chopper Credit: ITV Granada

A fitness coach from Southport is set to ride the entire 3,500km Tour de France 2015 route on his Raleigh Chopper. He is currently in training for the gruelling challenge on his bike which is worth just £150.

I always do the Etape du Tour every year and this year I was suffering from a bit of a lack of motivation because I didn’t want to do it on my road bike again or on my mountain bike. So I started thinking ‘what can i do to make the Etape more fun?’ and I thought ‘I’ll do it on a kids bike’ to make it a bit more of a challenge.

– Dave 'Chopper Guy' Sims

Dave who is a member of Middletons cycling club in Ormskirk has completed cycling challenges before but not on a Chopper. He is raising money for Help for Heroes. For further information about Chopper Dave’s epic challenge, visit

See below for Chopper Facts

  • The bike has a choice of a single speed, three gear or five-gear hub. later models had a 10-speed hub.
  • The kick stand was added to give the bike the feel of a motorcycle
  • They cost between £32 and £55
  • A new version of the Chopper was launched in 2004


Unseen Lowry to be auctioned

'Outside the Factory' by L.S. Lowry

A Lowry painting that has never been seen in public is going up for auction.

'Outside the Factory' was owned by the Guardian journalist John Rowe Townsend.

The Salford painter gave him the artwork to express his gratitude for a profile Townsend wrote about him in The Observer.

It is expected to fetch £200,000 to £300,000 when it goes under the hammer at Sotheby's later this month.


DVLA clamps Halloween car 'driven by a zombie'

Halloween makeover - DVLA clamp Zombie car Credit: Lance Montgomery

The Anchor pub in Darwen that was given a spooky Halloween makeover has had its crashed 'zombie car' clamped by the DVLA.

Officials said its was clamped for not having any tax or statuary off road notification (SORN). The landlord says that's not all though - the car has no engine, no fuel tank and all fluids have been removed. He says its parked on private land and most of the front end has been cut off including one of the wheels.

Zombie car that's been clamped outside Halloween pub Credit: Lance Montgomery

The landlord says the DVLA have clamped the only front wheel on the car but even that's not properly attached... apparently even the zombie in the driving seat didn't put officials off.

Take a look at how The Anchor pub had one of the spookiest makeovers for Halloween.

  1. National

Half of adults 'do not want' trick or treaters at their door

Would you open the door to these two? Credit: PA

Halloween may have become more popular over the last five years but many people still do not want children to come to their door to ask for sweets, a survey revealed.

A common Halloween tradition is for youngsters to dress in a ghoulish costume and go door-to-door to ask for tasty treats.

However, an exclusive One Poll for Good Morning Britain found 57% of homeowners secretly hoped trick or treaters would not knock on their door.

A further 70% admitted to ignoring the doorbell if they knew trick or treaters were there.

The same amount of people thought the American import had become too expensive.

The total retail market for Halloween has grown from £12m in 2001 to £300m in 2011, according to Tim Angel, the head of costuming firm Angels.

Halloween, also known as All Hallows' Eve or All Saints' Eve is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day.

  1. Wales

Welsh speaking drunk in English police cell insists on interpreter

A drunken man who was arrested in Manchester demanded an interpreter after telling police he would only speak in Welsh. Officers spent four hours trying to find a Welsh language expert to deal with the man, 26, who could speak perfectly good English.

But they failed to find a translator and had to let him go without charge.

The Welsh speaker was arrested on this street for being drunk and disorderly. Credit: Google Streetview

Officers went onto Twitter to blast the "difficult and time-wasting" prisoner who was arrested at 2am for a public order offence in Sackville Street, Manchester.

Their official tweet said: "Drunk and disorderly - despite speaking English in custody, insisted on Welsh interpreter which we struggled to find.

"And no, it's not a dig at the Welsh, just frustration and feeling that someone was being difficult needlessly."

The un-named man was bailed to return to the police station when sober and he accepted an £80 fixed penalty fine - written in English.

Credit: PA

We spent several hours trying to find an interpreter for the man who has Welsh roots. He's wasted his own time and our time. At least he saw sense in the end.

– Greater Manchester Police
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