Sunday, 30 June 2013

Last blog in June... photos and videos

Hi everyone,

Welcome to this week's blog.

This week I went to visit my sponsor Newcastle Rider Training to have a chat with them about the kind of things we will be collaborating on as part of Arctic Ride. Rather than you all having to read what I was up to I made a vlog (video log). Also, this was meant to be a bike vlog but the car had to do after I had some bike issues (see video for details).


I hope you enjoyed that wee video and seeing my face for a few minutes :) If you are thinking "wow that jacket looks awesome... I wonder if I can get it in a polo shirt, neck warmer or motorbike patch?!" well you are in luck, as you can buy them direct from my website (see the merchandise page) with all profits going to Cerebra.

Also this week I finally managed to get my panniers fitted and I managed to fix the indicator issue all by myself (2 man points for Gordon). Needless to say I'm a very happy biker and that almost all the mods done to the bike reading for the trip next year. All I need to get now is a charger for all my gadgets while I am away and then I will be set.

On Sunday of this week I went on a ride out to Northumberland with my mate Ant who has as a rather nice looking SV650S.

Bamburgh Castle, Northumberland
One of the reasons for heading out (do you ever need a reason to head out for a ride...) was to do some filming of me on the bike to make a kind of trailer/teaser video, not only to promote my YouTube channel but also to promote my trip as a whole and tell those folks, who don't know already, that I will be filming my entire 6,000 Arctic Adventure. Now the footage from this ride isn't ready for publishing yet but if you subscribe to my YouTube channel you'll get a notification as soon as it has been posted.

If you didn't see my blog week please check it out as it contains the results form my Route Home Vote. Click here to read.

Finally this week I want to update on how the fundraising is going. I'm now up to 11% of my total so far which is amazing. Bike thanks to all those how have donated this week, especially to my biker buddy Paul McNally (and his lady) who rides a Yamaha R6.

Also I would like to MotorSportUK who made a very generous donation. As a thank you I sent a few Arctic Ride related bits through the post.


So thats all for this week folks. Thanks for tuning in and viewing my blog. Please keep spreading the word about my trip.

Twitter - 'Follow' @arcticride2014
Facebook - 'Like' Arctic Ride 2014
YouTube - 'Subscribe' - Arctic Ride 2014

Donations - With 100% going to charity Cerebra
CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Ride Safe,

Gordon



Thursday, 27 June 2013

Ppppppppick up a pannier

Hi all,

I thought I would go against tradition and blog on a day that's not a Sunday. And the reason... well I'm excited, that's why.

So over the past few weeks I've been stalking gumtree and ebay trying to find a bargain on some hard panniers to carry all my gear for my trip.

I've got some throw-over soft panniers that I've had since I first started riding (2004) and as ace as they have been, its time to upgrade. I think I came to this realisation on my 2011 when the contents of the left pannier fell out on to the campsite grass where the bottom had split open. Needless to say the Ray Mears in me soon used some cable ties and string to patch it up but, in all honesty, I'm getting to old (lazy) for that shizz and need to get some hard panniers. Also the benefit of hard panniers is that your spare gloves don't get wet inside your panniers when its been peeing it down with rain in Norway for 8 hours straight (I'm only just realising now how much of a complex these soft panniers have given me).

Fully fitted luggage

So, back to my new panniers. As I think I mentioned in a previous post I already had a top box but when I first went to fit the rack for it to the Suzuki it was missing some vital spacers and bolts. Luckily when I got the rack for my panniers these were included. Soooo on Wednesday night, after the the busy-ness of Mrs Arctic Ride's birthday over the weekend, I set myself an hour to fit the new rack. To fit the side boxes you need to move the indicators and I made this video just before I did that.




My famous last words of 'all I need to do now is move the indicators' came back to bite me in the backside as it took me a further hour to move and re-fit the indictors when I thought it would take about 5 minutes. Doh! Well that taught me a lesson... don't comment to how easy something is until you have finished it. I was going to do another video showing the final product but I was far to annoyed after taking another 60 minutes out of my life to re-fit the indictors, so these photos below will have to do.

Starboard Quarter View

Port side view
That's all for today folks.

Twitter - 'Follow' @arcticride2014
Facebook - 'Like' 
Arctic Ride 2014
YouTube - 'Subscribe' - Arctic Ride 2014

Donations - With 100% going to charity CerebraCLICK HERE TO DONATE

Ride Safe,

Gordon

Sunday, 23 June 2013

The Results are IN

Hi everyone,

Wow... has it really been a week since I last blogged? Its been busy busy as always at my end and not only with Arctic Ride stuff but I've also been changing jobs at work (which means I have been doing double work) and its my wife's birthday on Tuesday (25th June) so I've been buying presents and hosting a party.

Anyway, back to what you are all here to read about... ARCTIC RIDE 2014.

Thanks to all those who have been viewing my blogs over the past months and to all of you who voted on my route over the past week, the response has unprecedented with 146 voters. It really motivates me to know that so many people are following and backing my challenge to the Arctic Circle. I had voters from all over the UK as well as France and the USA :)

So... the results are in. Those of you who managed to tune in to last weeks blog will know there were two questions asked, which route should I take home? and which route would you like to take.?





So for question #1, out of all the responses, amazingly the vote was evenly split between Finland and Norway with 42% each. Both are great routes, which I can now see you all agree with, but I feel rather sorry for Sweden (16%). Maybe I didn't sell it very well, maybe you were worried I'd gorge myself on meatballs, maybe its because you don't want me to be mentally scared by returning to the town where I was stuck for 5 days in 2011 and went to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 3, on my own, in a 20 seat cinema with only couples for company (I'm totally not bitter by the way), or maybe you just thought it was generally not as interesting as the other two routes, we'll never know.

Now that the results are in I'm very glad I asked my question #2 as this could well help me decide which way I would go.



Its the seems the majority of you reader folk want to hit the roads of Norway (53%), enjoy the fjords and drive Atlantic Road. Again, poor Sweden got the least votes with only 16% and Finland came in 2nd with 32% of the vote.

After these results I've pretty much ruled out Sweden but I'm yet to decide between Norway and Finland. Its really going to depend on what kind of time I am making on the actual trip, so you'll have to tune in next May/June to find out :)

In other news this week, I had a great surprise when a fellow biker and acquaintance of mine contacted me. Philippe from France is a guy I met on my 2011 trip in Sweden at a camp site and he got in touch with me on facebook out of the blue. In 2011 Philippe made it into my Day 4 Blog as he was also riding to Nordkapp. Click on this link to check out what I (maybe it was Kirsty) wrote.

As I mentioned a few weeks ago I've been getting my luggage sorted and I've been able to grab some AMAZING deals on eBay (I would highly recommend buying this way rather than new) which are due through the post this week. Once I have all the parts I'll be mounting them to my bike and I'll be sure to put up some photos so watch this space. 

For the trip I've got to be very space conscious as I'll be away for 3 weeks and I need a lot of kit to stay warm and full up. Luckily for me a twitter buddy of mine, Andrew Pain author of Going Small – A Guide to Lightweight Motorcycle Touring, has kindly offered to give me some advice on what to pack and what not to pack (Andrew/Blue - if you are reading, I still owe you an email).

So thats all for this week folks. Thanks for tuning in and viewing my blog. Please keep spreading the word about my trip.

Twitter - 'Follow' @arcticride2014
Facebook - 'Like' Arctic Ride 2014
YouTube - 'Subscribe' - Arctic Ride 2014

Donations - With 100% going to charity Cerebra
CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Ride Safe,

Gordon

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Brewer rumbling again...

Good morning all,

Once again I, Kirsty, have taken the blogger reigns from hubby Gordon to express some more thoughts on the latest development with Colin Brewer.

If you haven't read the previous two blog posts about this, they are here:

8th May 2013 - http://www.arcticride.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/colin-brewer-local-councillor.html

13thMay 2013 - http://www.arcticride.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/colin-brewer-and-so-battle-continues.html

The first one explains what we are discussing here and the second is an update on more recent events involving Brewer. It seemed that after saying those now famous words 'all disabled children should be put down' he then went on to compare them to 'deformed lambs' justifying his words.

I know from everyone that I speak to about this issue that it is outraging a lot of people and the last I had heard he was 'off sick' and the Council were waiting to speak to him. They were also saying that they have no powers to sack him and can only recommend that he apologises, which he did for his previous comments. An apology, which was, by no stretch of the imagination, genuine or sincere.

I realised that I hadn't heard anything more recently about this issue and so asked Gordon to put some feelers out on twitter. It appears that the situation was stuck, waiting for him to come back from being 'off sick.' This angered me as it seems that he is very much in control of the situation. I am glad to hear that the police are investigating but it seems that they are trying to find a crime to fit the act and not the other way around.

I do not think that it is fair or justified to not have sufficient protection for disabled or vulnerable people, whether they are children or adults. We, as a country have made great, positive strides to punish those who attack people due to their race but it seems that disability has been left trailing behind, with the hope, perhaps, that people just 'wouldnt go there.'

Unfortunately, someone did.. Brewer..and now it seems that no-one was prepared for it and so cannot do anything about it. I am, probably with my lawyer head on, trying to find out exactly what the law is and why nothing can be done. If anyone has any clear answers to this, please let me know as I would be very grateful to hear them.

Now, whilst casually looking through twitter last night, I came across a YouTube video someone had posted or RT'd from someone else. I clicked on it and low and behold... its Brewer talking to some parents/protesters outside of a council building. Please all watch and share this video. I do not know the people who took this video but if you do, I would love to be put in contact with them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuvQa0uTXuw

Bear in mind that this video was made outside with possibly a phone so its best heard with earphones in if you have them :)

Now, to say that this video made my blood boil is an under statement. Not only does he look down on the mother who is telling him that his son fears for his brothers life in case the 'nasty man comes to get him,' he also has no answers for any of the allegations. He made spurious claims about 'representing someone else's views' and 'taking the flack for someone else.' Now, I thought that he may well be spineless but this just proves it. He has also come up with a whole new reason for making of the original comment..Its disgusting and I know that people have been trying to protest and speak to the Council and even spoken to 10 Downing Street about it. I wonder, has anyone made a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman? They deal with complaints once the councils procedures have been exhausted and I wonder if enough people made a complaint that they would investigate.

The last e-petition received in excess of 7,500 signatures but is not available to sign as it is closed. I have made another e-petition which is being reviewed at the moment and when it is available, I will make another blog post with the link :)

I think that's it for now... let me know if you have any further information or comments on the above and I will keep u in the loop.

Kirsty (Wife of @arcticride2014)

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The Route Home - Vote

Hi everyone,

Thanks for tuning in to my Arctic Ride 2014 blog.

So now you should have seen all my route home options from Nordkapp; Sweden, Finland, & Norway. If you haven't managed to read them all click on the country names or the pictures below to find out more about them.

I really appreciate everyone who is reading my blog and I would love to hear your opinion on which route you think I should take home. So I've set up a vote form below where you can tell me which route you think I should take. Once I have the results I will publish them in one of my up and coming blogs and it will pretty much decide my route home :)


Option #1 - Sweden
Option #2 - Finland
 

Option #3 - Norway


Thanks for voting on my route. Your opinion is much appreciated.

Also in the Arctic Ride news this week; Merchandise sales are really picking up and I have send out a few orders already this week. If you would like to support Arctic Ride 2014 you can buy a polo (shown below), neck warmer or bike patch. Click on the Merchandise tab on the top link bar or CLICK HERE.


Arctic Ride Polo Shirt

For those readers in the UK you will know that today (Sunday 16th June) is Father's Day, so I'd like to wish my Dad a happy fathers day. Without my Dad taking me out on the back of his Goldwing when I was little I probably wouldn't have the biking passion in my blood.

My Dad and I in Netherlands in 2011

Thanks again for reading and please keep spreading the word and following me on my social networks and if its just been payday and you can spare some cash please donate to a great cause. All links below:

Twitter - 'Follow' @arcticride2014
Facebook - 'Like' Arctic Ride 2014
YouTube - 'Subscribe' - Arctic Ride 2014

Donations - With 100% going to charity Cerebra
CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Ride Safe,

Gordon



Thursday, 13 June 2013

The time next year.. The Route Home (3)

Hi all,

Welcome back to the Arctic Ride 2014 blog. With the 'This time next year...' blogs over the past few weeks I feel like I've been blogging loads which has been so fun. I've done my first two potential routes home; Sweden and Finland and today I will talk about my final option home through Norway.

Now I'm not going to be boring and do the exact route back that I took to get me to Nordkapp. I've designed a slightly altered route which will see me stop at different places along the way home and take some slight detours. As with all routes, it depends on my progress up to Nordkapp, if I'm behind on my schedule I'll have to take the quickest route back, if I'm doing better than expected then I can take some more detours :)

 
 
As with all my routes home I will start in Honningsvag. I will ride 265miles through the mountain roads to a 'town' called Olderdalen which has a small ferry port. As well as a ferry port it has 261 inhabitants and has a grocery shop... I think this town epitomises the phrase 'back end of nowehere'.
The following day I will travel another 234 miles to a town called Bognes which has a small ferry port (are you seeing a theme here).
 
Bognes, Norway
You can see the entire town in this picture and by the looks of it the ferry is bigger than the town. It looks as though I will be stocking up on supplies in Honningsvag before I start heading south.
 
The next day I will do another 200+ mile day heading back through the mountains and leave the arctic circle :( and spend the night in the town of Mo I Rana. Mo I Rana is home to the Arctic Circle Raceway which is the biggest race track in Norway. I hoping at this time of year it might be open as I would love to get the chance to test the Suzuki out on it.
Mo I Rana, Norway

Arctic Circle Raceway
From Mo I Rana I'll keep heading south along the West coast of Norway until I hit the familiar city of Trondhiem. From here, rather than heading straight South to Oslo I will head West into  Fjord ridden Western Norway. One of the main reasons for taking this route is to ride some of the worlds most amazing roads including... The Atlantic Highway.
 
The Atlantic Highway
 
After riding The Atlantic Highway I will stay the night in Molde before heading across central Norway to Olso via Lillehammer. From Oslo I will catch the overnight ferry to Denmark and then ride South to Germany and then onto the Netherlands. As with my other routes depending on how i am doing for time I will either ride to Calais and cross to Dover or get the Ferry straight from Amsterdam to Newcastle.
 
So that's it, route home #3. I'd love to have everyone opinion on my routes to see which you would most like to ride and which you think I should do. Watch out for a survey coming your way very soon!
 
Thanks again for reading and please keep spreading the word and following me on my social networks and if its just been payday and you can spare some cash please donate to a great cause. All links below:

Twitter - 'Follow' @arcticride2014
Facebook - 'Like' Arctic Ride 2014
YouTube - 'Subscribe' - Arctic Ride 2014

Donations - With 100% going to charity Cerebra
CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Ride Safe,

Gordon
 
 
 
 

Monday, 10 June 2013

A wee ride out

Hi everyone,

So on Sunday I attached my flip HD camera and got the bike out to enjoy the unusually warm June weather.

I decided after I got home to make it into a Vlog about what I'm doing on my trip. I've got a few mentions for my YouTube and Twitter biker buddies so watch out for those.



The music on the video is by Nick Gladdish. If you like it, please check him out at www.nickgladdish.com

There will be plenty more videos to come over summer while the weather is good, including some riding tips from my sponsor and North East motorbike school Newcastle Rider Training

Newcastle Rider Training
Tomorrow I'll be blogging about the route home #3 so look out for that!

Finally today I want to say happy birthday to my cat Cleo... she's 3 today :)

Happy Birthday Cleo


Thanks again for reading and please keep spreading the word and following me on my social networks and if its just been payday and you can spare some cash please donate to a great cause. All links below:

Twitter - 'Follow' @arcticride2014
Facebook - 'Like' Arctic Ride 2014
YouTube - 'Subscribe' - Arctic Ride 2014

Donations - With 100% going to charity Cerebra
CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Ride Safe,

Gordon

Sunday, 9 June 2013

The Sun is shining and I'm out biking

Hi everyone,

Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog.

Wow... what a beautiful week its been in Newcastle. The sun has been out everyday and so has my Suzuki :) So much so that my back tyre is getting very close to the legal limit so before I do any more big runs out I will definitely need a new one. I think its got just enough in it to get me around the doors for another few weeks so more biking for me.

I hope you have been able to keep up with my 'This time next year...' blogs. If you haven't seen them yet they go over where I will be and what I will be doing for each day of my trip next year from Day 1 leaving home, to Day 13 arriving in Nordkapp. Click on the links or see the Blog Archive on the right hand side of the page.

Also, I have been blogging about 'The Route Home' as I haven't quite decided which route I will take to get me home for my trip next year. This is partly because I want to experience as many places as I can and also that it depends if I'm making good time by the time I make it to Nordkapp so I know I need to have a few options to get me home. So far I have blogged about options for Sweden and Finland... click in the country names to check out about them and watch out this week for more options.

On Friday morning this week I was surprised by an email from Motorbike Helmet maker Reevu. Reevu are based in the North East of England and have kindly offered me help with my trip. As all bikers know motorbike helmets serve one purpose - to protect. Reevu have taken this concept further, producing the world's first motorbike helmets with an integrated rear vision system that helps prevent accidents.


To me this seems like a no brainer and I'm shocked that no one has thought of this idea before. I can't wait to try it out and, of course, use it on my trip. For more information about the Reevu helmets visit their website http://www.reevu.com/

This week I got my top box rack through the post and I set aside Saturday morning to fit it. I bought it second hand from eBay saving myself near £90 on the RRP price and from the pictures it look in good condition. When it came through the post I checked it out and it all looked good. However, when I came to fit it on Saturday morning I noticed that there were 4 spacers/washers missing form the kit meaning if I was to fit the rack without them my tail fairing would take a battering and get very scratched and dented. So its now a waiting game to see if the eBay seller still has the spacers otherwise I'll be off to B&Q to get some washers and do some DIY on my rack.

As I was thinking about my topbox and luggage in general this week I got my top box out and created a draft version of where my stickers and logos are going to go when I received them.

Top Box Logos
Side Boxes
As you can see there is still some space for more sponsors. If you know of anyone who might be interested please get in contact with me. I can offer at a lot in terms of exposure and the funds I am looking for are relatively low.

Finally this week my mate Paul popped in with his R6 for a cuppa with me and the wife so I thought I best get a picture of the bikes.



Thanks again for reading and please keep spreading the word and following me on my social networks and if its just been payday and you can spare some cash please donate to a great cause. All links below:

Twitter - 'Follow' @arcticride2014
Facebook - 'Like' Arctic Ride 2014
YouTube - 'Subscribe' - Arctic Ride 2014

Donations - With 100% going to charity Cerebra
CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Ride Safe,

Gordon

Thursday, 6 June 2013

This time next year...The Route home (2)

Hi all,

Thanks for tuning in.

So yesterday I blogged about my route home #1 through Sweden via Finland before heading into Norway and Denmark. Up for discussion today is the potential route #2 heading through lots more of Finland and riding through no less than 8 different countries :) My initial thought is that the guy at the post office is going to be pretty annoyed with me when I go asking for 8 different currencies... haha.


This route will see me ride south through Norway heading into Finland's Lapland region (I'm doing my best to locate Santa and his Mrs to give them my list). This route into Finland lies slightly further East than my potential route through Sweden as discussed yesterday. I will then travel the length of Finland until I finally arrive in capital Helsinki 4 days later. I will then catch the overnight ferry to Tallinn in Estonia which, after 2 weeks of camping in Scandinavia with their mosquitoes , I'm sure I will be pretty glad of.

Helsinki, Finland

From Tallinn I will ride south through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These three ex-soviet countries will present me with some of the worst roads known to Europe and will take plenty of time to ride though which will automatically delete the rest day which is planned into route one. As I know from the experience of my 2011 trip, planned rest days are vital if I get behind at all on my trip which is always possible.

After Lithuania I will head West into Poland and ride the width of the country before doing the same with Germany. For this route, and due to my tight shedule, I will have no other option that to ride straight to Amsterdam and catch the overnight ferry back to Newcastle.

The good points about this route is that it will allow me to ride in 5 countries (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland) I've never ridden in before and in some of the most challenging roads Europe has to offer which is great from a biking point of view. Also I will visit 3 countries I've never been to at all (Finland, Estonia, Lithuania) as well as some of the best cities Europe has to offer (e.g. Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Kaunas, Warsaw Poznan and Berlin). Also I'll probably save a few bob on petrol by riding through the eastern bloc countries rather than mainly in Scandinavia as route #1 would be.

The draw back are that this is a very 'Blue Sky' route in that there is really no room for error or to get behind on the plans. If I'm late getting to Helsinki I would lose a day as the ferry to Estonia is 6hours and to do that during the day would eat into vital riding time. Again if I'm late making it to Amsterdam and miss the daily ferry I don't then have the option time wise to ride back through Belgium and France and cross at the channel.

So that's route home #2 discussed. Over the weekend I will release my third and final route option so I hope you are excited.

Once I've blogged about them all I will cast a vote to all you readers to see which you would like me to do and base my decision on this and a few other factors.

Thanks again for reading. Please share what I am doing with others and if you have a spare few bob please visit my donations page or get yourself some Arctic Ride merchandise.

Ride safe,

Gordon

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

This time next year.. the Route Home (1)

Hi Everyone,

I hope you have all been enjoying reading my 'This time next year...' blogs all about my route to the Arctic Circle & Nordkapp. Its been really fun to write and learn about all the places I am going and I feel good that I have my route planned there already. Now I have the task of figuring out which way I'm going to go to get home :) Over the next few days I will be exploring the route home and all the different options availble to me in the timeframe.

Today's route option is: Sweden.

This will see me leave Honningsvag (A) and the North Cape and then head south, rather than back west from where I came from Alta and Tromso. This route will take me of the E6 which is the main road up the west coast of Norway.


I will continue to head south through Northern Norway (B) until I get to Finland. From here I will travel due south along the Swesish/Finnish border until I hit the baltic sea at Tornio (C) in Finland. From here I will follow the east coast of Sweden. On this route I will pass the town of Ornskoldsvik (D) where on my 2011 trip I had my accident which halted my progress. I'll be sure to take a photo of the spot where I sat beside the road wondering what I would do with a blown tyre and a bust wheel.

Outside Ornskoldsvik in 2011
 From here I will continue South following Sweden's Baltic coast. At the town of Sundsvall, around 300miles North of the captial Stockholm, I wil turn West and head through the Scandinavian mountains until I reach Oslo.

From Oslo I will catch a short overnight ferry to Frederikshavn, Denmark. From Fred I will ride South through Denmark and into Germany where I will head west towards the Netherlands. Depending on how I'm doing for time I will either catch the ferry home from Amsterdam to Newcastle or I will ride through Belgium and France and cross the channel to Dover before heading North home to Newcastle.



Thats all for today... tomorrow... Finland :)

Ride Safe.

Gordon

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

This time next year.. day 13

Hi all,

So this is the big one..my exciting news for today is that I will be at Nordkapp today in 365 days! So it seems that the number 13 is not unlucky for some! This will be (hopefully) the best day of my trip so far. Its the place I didn't get to on my last attempt and where I can say I will be at the most northerly point in Europe and one of the most northerly points in the world! I may well be cheesy as well and scream 'I'm on top of the world...almost' ha ha If I do though, I will film it..of course. :)



My plan is to set off from Alta and travel to the North Cape, pose on the edge of the cliff and then come back and stay in Honningsvag, the closest town to Nordkapp, and I hear there is a good campsite there too.




On the way to Nordkapp, you have to go through a tunnel and luckily for me they have just got rid of the toll for this :) This tunnel cuts through the mountains and under a lake which will be amazing.



I have been looking at the roads in this area and am really looking forward to riding on them. I have been following a fellow biker buddy who is travelling 100,000 miles (Tea Pot One) and had reached Nordkapp as few days ago. His pics show the amazing-ness of the roads and make me so excited! If you are on twitter follow him and his blog. :) Here's a pic off google maps to show you what I mean:



I think that it would be great if the mountains were still covered in snow, but the roads clear, of course. I would also love to see one of these on my journey at some point. Although preferably not on the road after a tight bend.. that would be dangerous!




I think there are a few things that I need to do to celebrate this feat.. one is drink this..



The other is to eat one of these.. :)



So, like I said before I will be camping in Honningsvag.



So after my days riding, it looks like there are some good souvenir shops to go to, lots of restaurants and an ice bar (very apt.) There are also some Sami tents to see and some local culture so I think that after such a great day, it will certainly be packed with stuff to do :)

Writing this blog is making me feel a bit nervous and have sweaty palms. I mean, don't get me wrong, this will be an amazing journey and I cant wait to go, but also it is going to be a difficult one, a solitary one and even though I will be meeting new friends on the way, a lonely one. Its all part of the challenge and I will be relying on my wife, family and of course my twitter family to help me get through it. :)

That feeling of my achievement will also be epic.. its something that I have thought about for a number of years, attempted once before and hopefully will become a reality, 365 days from today.

I am really grateful for the amount of support I am receiving from people I speak to about my trip and hope that all of you will sponsor me on this journey and follow my progress. If you do feel that you can spare £1 or $1 please please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/arcticride2014 or if you would like to help spread the word of my trip, please purchase some merchandise. ALL profit from the merchandise goes to Cerebra and I make nothing out of it. Please click on the link if you would like some: http://www.arcticride.blogspot.co.uk/p/merchandice.html

I hope u have enjoyed reading the blog today and if you have missed any of the last few days, then catch up.. :) I also have some more exciting blogs coming up, so keep watching and following me :)

Ride Safe

Gordon

Monday, 3 June 2013

This time next year.. day 12

Hi again all,

So hopefully after my rest day in Tromso, I will be fully refreshed and ready to head off again on my journey! :) The other positive is that because I am only going to be the maximum of one time zone ahead, it wont affect me on my adventure. :) Its funny writing this blog post when it is sunny outside and thinking about how cold it will be up in Alta.

Day 12 will see me head further North for around another 192 miles to the town of Alta. Alta is the northernmost city in the world over a population of 10,000.



Alta, like a lot of Norway is great for activities like skiing and is surrounded by mountains.



Because of the temperatures and the period of time it is chilly through the year, Alta is able to have something we could never have in the UK, an igloo hotel! I have always wanted to go to one but unfortunately it will not be there in May when I go and is only open from Mid January to Mid April. But then again this just means that I will have to go again and take the wife who will probably be annoyed with me if I go without her! ;)


I could always try and build my own igloo whilst I'm there! ha ha or maybe make a den out when wild camping... just like I used to when I was young! :) Something else I got momentarily excited about was a reindeer farm..as in a looking after type farm..not a lets grow them to munch them type farm! A Reindeer is something that I never saw on Arctic Ride 2011 but I would love to, whether its wild or organised. :) However, the Reindeer farm is only open between Mid July to Mid August! Back to the drawing board for me!

One good thing that is going to be open (fingers crossed) is Alta Museum. There are 1.2km of boardwalks around the museum where you can see carvings made into the mountains, thought to be between 2,000 and 6,000 years old!

One funny final thing is that when looking for things in Alta, I came across a review for a restaurant that serves food including Grouse, Cloudberries and Cowberry..yeah something to try... I guess..ha ha

Right..that's it for day 12, please check back in tomorrow for some exciting news :)

If you would like to sponsor me on my journey please click on the link :)  www.virginmoneygiving.com/arcticride2014

Until Tomorrow

Ride Safe

Gordon

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Robbie to News Reader

Greetings,

Thanks again for logging on and reading my blog.

Robbie and Gordon

How quickly are the weeks going at the moment? It only seems yesterday since I started planning the trip and now it's less than a year to go until lift off. I hope you have been able to keep up with my 'This time next year...' blogs. As this time next year I will be on my adventure, I thought I would give you a taster of my plans  and where I will be visiting. If you haven't had a chance to read them yet you can use the 'Blog Archive' links on the right hand panel of the site.

So this week I was lucky enough to be asked for another interview to talk about my trip. This time it was from Garrison and Ralph at Those Diner and Motorcycle Guys. As they are based across the pond I spoke with Garrison on Thursday evening (midday for Garrison) via Skype to record my interview before it was aired on Saturday morning on BlogTalkRadio in the live Those Diner and Motorcycle Guys show. If you didn't get a chance to hear it you can listen to the podcast of the show here. My interview starts around the 39 minute mark.

My wife Kirsty and I spent Saturday afternoon hanging out with my little brother Robbie (the inspiration for my trip). We decided to make another video for YouTube after the great feedback we got after Robbie's interview about Arctic Ride. This time Robbie again interviewed me about my trip but we turned this into a News show. You can see it below here.


Hopefully over the past few weeks you will have seen that my YouTube channel has now got some videos on and as the weeks go on you will see more and more videos on there. You can support me by subscribing to my channel and viewing my videos. All money raised through the adverts on my YouTube Channel are going towards the funds for my trip so the more you watch the more fuel I'll have in my bike :)

Two new videos from this week are my interview with BBC Newcastle and my run out to Scotland last weekend where the lads and I had a rather funny encounter with some Japanese tourists :) well worth a watch. Click on the links to view.

Finally, this week I received a letter from the House of Commons, and no they haven't asked me to be Chancellor of the Exchequer yet. The letter was from my local MP Alan Campbell who has agreed to back my trip and support me. Its great to know that people from all walks of life are supporting me, whether they are a paramedic from the USA, an IT geek who sits round the corner from me in my office or a respected member of a political party.

Thanks again for reading and please keep spreading the word and following me on my social networks and if  its just been payday and you can spare some cash please donate to a great cause. All links below:

Twitter - 'Follow' @arcticride2014
Facebook - 'Like' Arctic Ride 2014
YouTube - 'Subscribe' - Arctic Ride 2014

Donations - With 100% going to charity Cerebra
CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Ride Safe,

Gordon

This time next year..day 10 and 11

Hi all,

So the reason why I am combining these two is because of them will be a rest day. Like with my other rest day, if I am behind with my miles for any reason, I will push on and keep going. On my whole trip, I have three rest days which is not many but I am hoping I will be able to keep on track and use them to positive effect. I would like to be able to show people the trip through my eyes and explore Norway. I think about my little brother and the other children like him who are never going to be able to experience something as special as this trip and will never be able to have a driving license and I want to be able to show Robbie, my little brother what its like.

Day 10 sees me leaving Narvik and heading around 155 miles or so, all going to plan to Tromso, another place that I have never been to. :)



Tromso is the capital of the arctic and the second largest city and urban area north of the Arctic Circle in Sapmi (following Murmansk - Russia.) It also contains the most northerly university in the world..that's pretty impressive! :)



Tromso is a popular place for many reasons. There are quite a few attractions here which I will be having a look at on my rest day, like the Arctic aquarium with the bearded seal.. I think this is a must to see, an Arctic Cathedral, museums, and the science centre of Northern Norway. It is also good for skiing (apparently) and so there are some cable cars I can have a go on too! :)



One of the other things Tromso is famous for is linked to a topic I have discussed before, the amount, or should I say lack of night and day up in the Arctic Circle. Tromso has a midnight sun from 18th May to 26th July and so I will definitely have to take an eye mask with me! Twilight in Tromso is long which means that there is no real darkness between late April and mid-August. The polar night is from about 26th November to 15th January. Unfortunately, or maybe luckily, I will not be here during this period. Although, this is a reason why Tromso is famous.



It is in the middle of the Aurora Borealis zone, or northern lights zone, something I have not yet seen, but hopefully will one day. :) Because its in the middle of the zone, this means that it is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights and this can be seen between 6pm and midnight but isn't visible between late April and Mid August.

Northern lights aside, it seems that Tromso is going to be great place to visit. :) Doing these blogs is really making me look forward to my trip and the more I explore these towns and cities, the more I hope you are wanting to follow me on my journey :)

I will also be close to my destination of Nordkapp and only a few days away. I will also be almost half way though my trip and probably starting to miss home and my family. But what will keep me going is the fact that people have believed in me enough to sponsor me as much as they feel able. If you would also like to sponsor me, please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/arcticride2014 All money will be welcomed by the charity, Cerebra.

If you are reading this and not following me on twitter, please do. @arcticride2014

That's is then for day 10 and 11. Please visit again tomorrow for the next instalment :)

Until tomorrow,

Ride Safe

Gordon