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Rock is the Finnish line for Nordic moped adventure

A Finnish man will ride to Gibraltar from Finland on a moped to raise awareness of school bullying.

Roni Alho, 31, is set to depart Finland on September 1 on a journey of nearly 4,000km to Gibraltar.

Affectionately known as the ‘Crazy Finn’, he will be riding his old moped, of a type known in Finland as a Pappatunturi.

The Pappantunturi is an unofficial name for some moped models manufactured by Tunturipyörä Oy, the last of which left the factory in 1987.
Designed for short trips, the moped has an average speed of 40kmph.

Given this speed constraint, it is unclear quite how long Mr Alho’s trip will take, though it will likely be two to three weeks before he arrives on the Rock after setting off from Turku, in the southwest of Finland and the country’s oldest city.

This is not the first time he has taken his Pappatunturi on an adventure.

In 2018 he rode from Salo in the south of Finland to Nuorgam at the country’s northernmost tip.

Then in 2019 he rode from Salo to Nordkapp at the northern tip of neighbouring Norway.

Mr Alho enjoys challenging himself, but there is a deeper meaning behind these trips.

He actively campaigns against school bullying and wants to prove that a bullied child can rise up and do something amazing, like ride an old moped to Gibraltar.

As a child who was bullied throughout his time at school, he is showing that despite those really rough years he is now living his dream.

He decided on Gibraltar as he had driven to the northernmost point of continental Europe and this time he wants to enjoy Europe and drive to South.

“And Gibraltar was a great destination for this long trip and showing people that bullying hasn't pulled him down,” said Sari Kares, his friend who will join him in the support car with her dog Pätkä.

“He has never been to Gibraltar before, so what a better destination than a place he has never been before?”

“And maybe, just maybe he will continue his drive with Pappatunturi after Gibraltar and visit also the southernmost point of continental Europe, Tarifa, and westernmost in Portugal, and then drive all the way back to Finland.”

“That would be something, 8 000 km with an old moped.”

“But that will be seen in the future, after he has reached Gibraltar and got some rest for a few days,” she added.

She and Pätkä are joining him to support her friend's important cause.

“Roni asked me about a week ago if I would like to take my dog Pätkä with me and drive along as a service car and I thought "Why not! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” she said.

“I think never ever again any of my friends is going to drive with Pappatunturi to Gibraltar and I would have an opportunity to go with them as a support "team", support this kind of cause and enjoy Europe at the same time.”

“I'm so proud of Roni for doing this kind of thing for an important cause and will absolutely support it anyway I can.”

“I try to take care of him, make sure he remembers to drink enough water, try to find us safe places to stay the nights, be his secretary if needed, take photos with my camera and videos and edit them,” she added.

As the owner of her own marketing company, she is ideal for carrying out the myriad of roles needed to raise the profile of the trip as well as support her friend.

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