Back in 1997, an unusual motorcycle appeared on the front page of the Bristol Evening Post. Unable to afford a costly traditional sidecar, bus driver Alan Iles of Bedminster opted to build his own, using a bathtub. Twelve years later, the 1959 650cc BSA is still going and has been ridden all over Europe to help raise money for Cancer research and various charities, for which he has raised thousands of British pounds. Over the last dozen years, the only modifications made have been a splash of new paint and the addition of a seatbelt, so that his grandchildren can come along for the ride.
Most often riding with his long-time friend, 55-year- old Tom Collingwood, Iles has also taken part in a motorbike funeral procession for friend, local tattoo artist and biker Dave Ayres including his travels across Europe with friend Christopher Thomas that included, Austria, Poland and France, a trip consisting of nearly 3,800 miles.
Iles commented that throughout all of his travels, he tries his best to avoid highways, since it seems to distract drivers from the task at hand – driving. “I saw one person the other day leaning out the car window with his mobile phone trying to take a picture.” Iles even used the bathtub sidecar to drive a friend to his wedding who requested the rather unusual wedding day transport to meet his bride and Alan was more than happy to oblige.