The most unusual AA breakdown ever? AA gives pig a piggyback
AA Patrol Steve Milner loads the pig onto the recovery truck When AA patrol Steve Milner received details of a breakdown that simply referred to "blue pig, size of a Mini" he thought someone was having a laugh. However, it wasn't a wind-up, and rather than being confronted by a genetically-modified piggy, it turned out to be a six-foot long, 40kg piggy bank on a charity run.
The 'Pig Pull Challenge' sees Steve Hunt (46) and Gordon McKirdy (33) aim to raise £60,000 for Cancer Research UK by pulling their porcine friend on a tandem bicycle from Glasgow to London via as many cities as possible.
We couldn't stop laughing as I loaded the pig, but after speaking to Gordon and Steve, I realised that this was one piggy that needed urgent attention, so headed straight to the local BT depot for repairs
Steve Milner, AA patrol
On Thursday (10 July), while cycling between Longhorsley and Morpeth in Northumberland, disaster struck – the joint between the pig and the trailer snapped. Although it was looking bleak, the intrepid duo refused to admit defeat, and following a quick call to the AA, help was on its way.
Steve Milner says: "I didn't believe it at first but then our Ops centre phoned and explained it was a charity event. We couldn't stop laughing as I loaded the pig, but after speaking to Gordon and Steve, I realised that this was one piggy that needed urgent attention, so headed straight to the local BT depot for repairs. We attracted a lot of interest – one guy overtook us twice as he couldn't believe his eyes!"
Gordon McKirdy says: "It had been a tough day with one of the tyres exploding, and then the frame snapped for the third time, but when Steve arrived in his AA truck, our spirits lifted – he was absolutely determined to help get us going."
At the BT depot, the technicians took their manager's instruction to "fix the pig, at all costs" literally and used the metal legs from his coffee table to repair the frame, leaving a note saying "you did say to fix it at all costs". The tandem bike was also feeling the strain, so Henry at Halfords in Gateshead stepped in to work on its slipping gears.
Steve Milner says: "We always put the member first, but this is the first time I've been out to a four-legged one – has to be the most unusual and amusing call-out I've ever had!"
The Pig Pull Challenge started in Glasgow's George Square on 6 July and the aim is to finish in Richmond Park, London, on 27 July.
Steve lives in Christian Malford, near Chippenham in Wiltshire, and Gordon lives in Loughton, Essex. They met through work at Accenture, and have already raised £87,000 for Cancer Research UK by marathon running, including 60 half-marathons in 30 days. The blue pig has made an appearance before – they carried it round the London Marathon 2008.
The fundraising page for donations is: http://www.justgiving.com/run-for-it
More pictures can be seen on the AA photostream on flickr
(14 July 2008)