Sheffield man’s pants trek restores faith in humanity

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SETTING off on a penniless adventure wearing only a pair of Union Jack pants could have ended badly.

George Mahood, from Sheffield, did just that – and not only survived, but discovered how big-hearted the people of Britain really are.

Free Country: George Mahood with the book.

Free Country: George Mahood with the book.

For he and friend Ben Crooks managed to cycle 1,000 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats despite launching their mission without bikes, money or clothes.

Over three weeks they sang for food, slept in a barn with a bull and scavenged through bins.

But, thanks to the generosity of strangers they met along the way, the pair also spent a night in a posh hotel and at people’s homes and were given everything they needed to get by,

Photographer George, aged 33, said: “We were both disillusioned with the bad press Britain was getting as a nation, there were always negative stories and we wanted to prove there was a lot of kindness and goodness in people.

“We set out with nothing at all. It could have ended badly, but, as soon as we started we were overwhelmed by the support.”

On their first day George and Ben, who now live in Northampton, were given clothes – including a pair of trainers to wear between them – and bikes.

Teenagers gave them food, others shelter everywhere from a canal boat to a greenhouse, and the list of characters encountered included Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Evis.

George said: “We learned that this is an incredible country and people relish the opportunity to show their kindness.

“People you pass in the street who you might think would be intimidating often turn out to be the kindest of all.”

George also took pictures of people they met on the 19-day adventure – from llama farmers to lifeguards – with a sign saying ‘I am a very nice person’.

Their mission has now been documented in a book to prove Britain is far from broken.

Free Country can be bought from Amazon online.