Saturday, 31 May 2014

Day 8 - The Arctic Circle

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Day 8 of my Arctic Ride blog!

I can't believe I've been on the road 1 week and I'm still not turning around yet! Most bikes trips last for a few days so it's weird to still be travelling North.



I started my day departing my cosy cabin in Nesna on the West coast before riding another stunning mountain pass through to Mo I Rana to meet Hallvard. One thing I have noticed as I travel further North is that the roads are getting harder and harder to ride. As they get smaller, the surface becomes poorer, and more gravel enters the scene. A few times this morning I felt the back end start to go on the gravel so I had to ease up and adjust my position.

I headed to Mo I Rana to meet my friends and guides Hallvard, Roy, and Aud who rode with me yesterday. We started the day by having a coffee and a bite at a cafe that Hallvard said I would like the name of... Bimbo's... Maybe it means something different in Norwegian.


I knew I was going to be heading into the mountains again so I suited up with my thermals and waterproofs. This proved to be enough to keep me reasonably warm on the way to the Arctic Circle.

Riding the road up North was again great fun and suddenly I was in the dream if been having for the past 14 months and moments away from the Arctic Circle. As I climbed higher and higher into the mountains, the greenery faded and was replaced, at first by moss, and then by snow, and more snow. Then there it was, the Arctic Circle.


I pulled in, a bit overwhelmed that I had ridden my motorbike from Newcastle to the ARCTIC CIRCLE! 

I went and got my photo taken and got Mrs Arctic Ride a few bits from the gift shop while the feeling settled in.

Even though this isn't my final aim for the trip (Nordkapp is) this was a big milestone for me and my adventure.


I then headed back down the mountain and stopped for lunch where I was kindly treated by Roy to some reindeer meatballs. Verdict = awesome :)

At this stage I was leaving Helgoland region and this is where I said goodbye to Hallvard, Roy, and Aud from RamZalt MC club.


I can't thank them all enough for their kindness, hospitality, as support of my trip. It made me feel really special to be taken in by the bikers from Norway and I'll remember it forever and have made some new friends.

Hallvard had fixed me a bed in a town just short of Bodo back on the West coast so I headed North along and took on another few smaller mountain passes on my route. Along the way I sports my first moose and the trip and some reindeer. Kirsty asked me what the difference was so I consulted GordApedia as decided:

Moose - crossed between a horse, Ox, Reindeer - proper massive.

Reindeer - Rudolph's mate

I then met up with Marie and Jochen who were kind enough to take me on for the night and cooked me a warm meal.

It's so great to be welcomed into people's homes like this and have new folk to chat to every night and leant new things about this great country.

Also today the weather finally caught up with me and I got some light rain. I'm hoping the sun / dry will return tomorrow in time for me hitting the west coast :)

Tomorrow I hear to the Lofoten isles and plan to make it half way to Tromso.

Thanks for checking out my blog and for all the support.

And thanks to those who recently donated (and had before) and got my target above £3100!! This is amazing! Thanks all.

Until tomorrow.

Ride safe.

Gordon

Day 7 - Nordland, Reindeer, and Hell

Hello and welcome to the blog for day 7.

Day 7 was another action packed day (you get a lot of those on the road) with a lot of miles to get through.

After getting a decent nights kip at Lars' place and a hearty breakfast (Danish bread and eggs) I set off from Trondiem for Northern Norway.

In the morning I went through Hell! No, literally I drove through the town of Hell just north of Trondheim.


I did have a minor hiccup with my kit in the morning though as my camelback leaked as I hadn't tightened the cap properly so I got a wet arse and Brain, my mascot, got soaked too!

Luckily after an hours riding the sun came out and dried me off. Also the roads cleared of traffic about 10am so I really started to eat up the miles before stopping for lunch in a picturesque little town.


Even though the sun was out, as I get further and further North it's still cold especially with the wind chill when riding the bike.

After doing close to 150 miles I then entered Nordland, aka Northern Norway. This was significant as it puts me well on my way to both the Arctic Circle and Nordkapp.


I then met up with Hallvard, Roy, and Ase from RamZalt MC club from Helgoland. Hallvard had spotted my ride on the internet and got in touch before I departed England to say the club would like to support me by escorting me through their region and give me someone to ride with.

The first surprise the club gave me was some lunch. And not just any lunch but reindeer curry! It was very tasty! We then set off for the town of Mosjoen and on the way through we had to slow to a standstill as a herd of reindeer crossed the road in front of us... Truely amazing.


The road here are perfect for biking (in the dry at least)! And that is just the main routes, never mind the twisty mountain roads. We stopped for fuel in Mosjoen and Hallvard told me the club had booked me into a camping cabin for the night free of charge and Roy presented me with a RamZalt Tshirt and patch... Which made me feel very nice ad welcome. Big thanks to the MC club for their help and support.

To get to the cabin we road along a fjord edge road, through several tunnels, and then took a short ferry along the fjord. This country is amazing and I would  recommend anyone to come and visit.


So I got parked up and settled in my cabin for a warm nights sleep about 100 miles from the Arctic Circle. The photo above was taken at 11pm, again no signs of seeing nightfall and that will be the case for the next week and a half for me.

The ride is starting to take its toll on my body after 2200 miles in 7 days. The past two days I have a terrible pain in my right shoulder which shows no sign of abating even after some painkillers. I think it's the position I had been riding the bike with but there is nothing more I can do about this until I get home as I have another 3800miles to cover! Any sports massage people out there who can help when I return, get in touch, because it hurts like Hell ( not the town ;) )

Tomorrow I head for Mo I Rana and the Arctic Circle :)

Ride safe,

Gordon

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Day 6 - The Road to Tronhiem

Hello all!

Wow I can't believe Day 6 is done and I'm getting further and further North. I'm now in line with Iceland and getting closer to the Arctic and the most North I've even been.

It's national holiday in Norway today and I started my day packing the tent and then looking for a petrol station. The first one I came to was shut, and with only half a tank I thought 'the woman at the campsite has lied to me about petrol stations being open on national holidays' luckily my negativity was turned on its head like an egg timer when, 50yards down the road, there was a petrol station that was open as a can of irn bru in a Scotsman's hand (it was open and empty). I filled up and hit the road for Trondhiem.

Like yesterday, the road was amazing and I saw the snow peaked mountains I would be passing through. Dispite the slow speed limits, I was making good progress through the pass when suddenly the traffic came to a stop. As all bikers do, I jumped to the front of the que to find an over turned lorry blocking the whole road.
I went and spoke to a few people and it turned out this was the only route north and we would just have to wait.


I took this opportunity to lay in the mountain sun and drink some water. 

After about an hour a tow trick arrived to clear the lorry away and in the mean time I saw the police leading a guilty looking driver (I have no proof of this) from the woodland. To reiterate he did look guilty but most people would when being led away from the woods by the rozzers.

I was then on my way again and riding the twisty roads at a perfect pace. Then, as I got closer to Trondhiem, I stopped in a town where I met Lars from Trondhiem MC club and some of him pals who escorted me into town. 


It was great riding in a group again and not worrying about the road signs. 

Soon enough it was mid afternoon and we were at Lars' place talking about bikes.

Lars took me to visit the Trondhiem MC Club clubhouse which has it's own bar, workshop, storage area, and off road course. Amazing for the £15 a year membership!


I was then taken on a tour of the city by Lars (population 150,000) and ended the evening chatting bikes and about Europe over BBQ.


Massive thanks to Lars and the folk in Trondiem for hosting me! It's great to have a proper, warm bed for the night. Tomorrow I head for Nesna near the Arctic Circle.

Wish me luck.

Ride safe,
Gordon

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Day 5 - Mountain passes and gravel

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Day 5 of the blog! I can't believe I've been on the road the best sort of a week and I'm 1800moles from home and in Norway!

You might think I'll make it to Nordkapp in no time tvthis rate but the motorways are no more and it's strict 52mph sped limits and twistys all the way to Nordkapp from here.

With my wife Kirsty swanning off (having a well deserved holiday) I'm on blog duty again so don't expect as much humour. I live writing ten really and hope you enjoy reading. She has been so supportive and understanding as have been social media guru while I'm offline and riding! What a star!!

Today had everything, the best road I've ever ridden (E16 / 15) snowed mountain passes, waterfalls, road so close to rapids I got water on my face, glorious sunshine, gravel (I know Paul Mcanlly - I was bricking it) prop planes landing over my head, empty roads, and a full days riding with a friend.



I had planned to take the E6 route to Otta but said friend, hans, said there were roadworks and lots if gravel so recommend I take a more Western route North.

So I set off this morning and ride with Hans who was heading to West Norway. After a spot of lunch we hit the mountain pass road, and boy what a ride. Ingot it all on my gopro for my film but until that here is a picture.


There was lots more snow at the summit and got down to near freezing (crazy considering it was 20+ on the way up. Down the other side of the pass we went out separate ways and I rose east along a fjord vally until I came to Otta and set up camp.

By far my favourite campsite with river and mountain views. Tomorrow on to Trondhiem for a BBQ at Lars' house... If I must!! Haha.


And I'll leave you with that view. Another 200 odd miles done and as I write this blog all I can hear is the tweeting of the birds, flow of the river, and the sound of my sparkling water fizzing away.

Thank again for all the support and for reading. And the new donations that came through the last few days (all very generous). That now me over £3000 for Cerebra. I feel truly blessed I have so many great supporters and followers.

Special shoutout to my lil bro Robbie today! You're with me in my heart the whole ride!

Until tomorrow, ride safe.

Gordon

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Day 4 - when the going gets tough... Ride to Oslo

Greetings!

Welcome to day 4 of Arctic Ride 2014.

Today I've ridden another 360 odd miles from near Malmo in Sweden to Norways capital Oslo.

I started the day on a bit of a downer. I has a sh..ocking nights sleep and got a bit of bad feedback about my trip. After being pissed off and feeling sorry for myself I had a look on facebook and twitter and saw all the support and well wishes. And I pretty much decided.. Stuff the 1 negative person.. I'm doing this for a reason and I'm going to ride my bike to the Arctic.

I set off fully loaded up the motorway. Today's as progress was hampered slightly but not being on the autobahn and the notorious Scandinavian police find.

The weather was sunny but cool ad windy so I stopped after 120 miles rather than 160 to warm up.

It was here Brian and I grabbed a sandwich and saw a woman drive up to a petrol pump on a lawnmower, fill up, and leave :s not what i usually see at the pumps in whitely bay. Usually The most entertaining scene is a charv trying to figure out what a litre is. Luckily I good some footage (me chuckling in the background) of said woman and it will be going in the film.

I stopped again when I got to Norway where I was met by a half Norweigen half Polish man who was interested in my bike.. And my wallet :s he kept saying... You must have loads of money to have a bike like that able be here... I soon used my 'I off to meet my mate' line and escaped.

No so much of a lie, but I wasn't meeting my mate Hans for another 4 hours.

I found my way through the Oslo rush hour to my campsite only to find it's not open until June. So I trebled across the other side of Oslo, again through rush hour, to another campsite.


I got my camp set up and cooked some pasta and sauce, this time with sausage :)

My friend Hans from Oslo then paid me a visit and we checked over my route. Turns out the next stretch if road is all road works so he recommended a snowy mountain pass instead which he is going to ride with me.


Thanks again for all the support and sorry for any spelling mistakes (it's hard just on an iPhone). If you want to hear anything on these blogs just message me and ask and I'll include it.

Tune in tomorrow to see how cold I got up the mountain!

Ride safe.

Gordon 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Day 3 - welcome to Scandinavia

Ahoy there blog readers!

It's Gordon here and Welcome to day 3 of my trip.

I hope you have been enjoying the blog pots by my wife Kirsty and I. It's seems Kirsty's posts are getting better reviews for her humour so I'll try and keep up.

It was another glorious day across Europe an after being awoken by a crow (who needs an alarm clock) I paid up for the campsite, got showered and hit the road.



I knew I had a few miles to cover (460 ish) but luckily I had the autobahn on my side so I made good progress. I passed Bremen and Hamburg before continuing North past Flensburg (where I first met Lirsty) and then into Denmark.

I stopped just past the town of Middlefart (teehee) and had a bite of lunch (pitta bread, cheese triangle, and vacuum packed booked sausage) - for those who maybe don't quite think I'm roughing it this time, I'll have you know there was a Burger King at that services so I did pretty well to resist knowing my love of burgers.

I carried on east through Denmark and saw lots of other bikes on the road but still no Brits. I went what I'm sure must be the two biggest bridges in Europe ( one was about 11km long) and got some awesome gopro footage (but you'll have to wait to see it). I then pressed on into Sweden, getting lost (again) on the way past Cophenhahen airport (I think the gord-nav was playing up in the heat).



I finally arrived at my campsite in Landskrona,Sweden at around 7pm local time 460 miles later. When I arrived at the reception I booked in and the guy said "you've been here before" ... I had a little smile to myself thinking it must be my handsome good looks and Geordie/Scottish twang that reminded him, however it was his computer as I have him my passport to check in... Still not as famous as Charley and Ewan!

I pitched my tent before grabbing some scram and getting the wifi to work.

It's been another beautiful day here and a lovely sunset to boot.


Tomorrow I set off for Norway and hopfully arrive dry again in Oslo by evening.

Thanks to EVERYONE for the support and for all the follows, likes, and comments on twitter and facebook. I'll reply to as many as I can when I have wifi. They really keep my spirits up on the lonley road :)

Ride safe and cya soon.

Gordon

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Day two - Dover to the home of the Autobahn :)

Hey all,

Kirsty here. Just in case you don't know me (and if you don't..shame on u.. tee he he), I'm the wife of Gordon, arctic rider. He doesn't have wifi and spending most of his days on the back of his bike to complete his challenge of riding 6,000 miles from Newcastle upon Tyne to Nordkapp in the arctic circle (and back.. hopefully.. ) So he will be trying to write some blogs and social media updates and I will be helping with others. We speak to each other each night and he updates me on what goes on so that I can share it all with you lovely readers. :)

So day two saw Gordon travelling from Dover, UK, across the channel to the continent through France, Belgium, Netherlands and finally to Germany.

He had a very early start getting the first ferry across to Dunkirk and had got a link with a production company in Dover who were going to help him with some filming but unfortunately the guy's car helping him broke down, (hope its sorted now) and he literally missed the boat.. he he so he went stag! ( for the first time in 6 years.. ;)



He had a great time on the ferry and was given access to the VIP lounge (i think he pretended to be Charly Boorman... lol) This gave him the opportunity to catch up with some social media and grab some free tea and coffee and re-charge himself before the long day ahead! :) The only thing he thought was strange was that instead of the deck - strapper down-erer guy strapping down and securing his bike.. Gordon was thrown the strapping and had to do it himself.. well nothing is totally for free these days!! lol

Unlike day one, the weather was glorious and not quite as monsoon-like as it had been in the UK.. let's just hope that he remembered to put sun cream on that Scottish pale skin... or else I will have a lobster-like hubby and as I'm pregnant, I cant have sea food!! ha ha ha ha

Also, as it was Sunday, he said that traffic was light and so he managed to travel 410 miles in total and still arrived in sunlight.. something he wont have to worry about when he gets almost 100% daylight as he gets further north! He wasn't supposed to be doing that amount of mileage.. but he managed for the third time to get lost in Eindhoven.. he claims its the lack of signs.. but I just think his gord-nav hasn't fully warmed up! :)

His final resting place (for the night... he's not dead..lol) is Lembruch in Germany. He is about 500m from a lake which is nice. :) Its a cheap campsite (1 euro per night), but the only problem is that the owner has left for the night and so he doesn't have a key for the showers.. (i can almost smell him from here..and that's without my super sensitive pregnancy nose.. lol) I suggested that he has a bath in the lake but i guess he is worried about das loch ness monster (the German version).. (yes i did make that up.. although it is also prob on Wikipedia.. lol) He is hoping that the guy will be back early so that he can use the facilities before leaving in the morning.



The other problem he had this evening was that he has forgotten to take matches.. this means that he can't light his stove.. cheese and pittas and a club bar (biscuit covered in chocolate for all those non-brits out there).. oops.. this is the one time it would be a healthy advantage to smoke!! Although he didn't seem to eat well tonight.. he said that there are plenty of bugs who have been biting him... they obviously have good taste!! he he

He's also been having some banter or crossed wires with a German caravan type guy who didn't totally understand him.. not surprising with Gordon only knowing phrases such as 'Where is the train station' and 'two beers please'.. prob didn't get him too far! lol

The plan for tomorrow is to travel to Sweden.. this should be around 464 miles to a place called Landskrona so watch out for the next update!

That's it for tonight folks!!

If you haven't and would like to sponsor Gordon on this epic journey, please go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/arcticride2014

Check back tomorrow for more adventures and Ride Safe Gordon!

Kirsty and Sweet pea (my bump name)

xxxxx

Mileage today - 410 miles
Total miles - 770

Dover to Lembruch, Germany

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Day 1 - Waves


Hi everyone,

So I'm finally on my way to the Arctic.

I had a great send of this morning from St Mary's lighthouse in Whitley bay with my friends family and Cerebra there. I waved goodbye to my pregnant wife Kirsty and hit the Tarmac for Dover.

I was escorted through Tynside by a police biker and several other bikes and was joined the whole way to Dovet by my friends Ant and Christine.


The weather on the ride down was truly awful however my new boots did the trick and kept my feet dry. On the 360 miles ride I encoured rain that would have been out of place in the Noah film. Luckily my bike acted like the arc and kept me safe from the wave after wave of rain that kept coming.



After 9 hours on the road due to much needed stops and heavy traffic I arrived in Dover greeted by sunshine and some welcoming camping neighbours.


I was also able to use the campsites offices Wi-Fi to get this blog out so big thanks to the camping centre here!

I must say a massive thanks to everyone who came down this morning up support me and for all the good luck messages on facebook and twitter!!

That's all for today! Check out my facebook page or YouTube for today's video blog!

Ride safe,

Gordon

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Monkey Meet and 6 days to go

Good day folks,

Welcome to the latest instalment of the Arctic Ride 2014 blog! It's now only 6 days until I set off my mammoth charity ride to the Arctic Circle.

Donations have been coming in thick and fast so thank you to everyone who has donated so far! I'm getting so close to my £2,500 target that I might actually break it before I depart next Saturday.

If you want to donate visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/arcticride2014 

Now one would think that the weekend before a 6,000 mile ride to the Arctic Circle you would use it for trip prep or get ting the last few item arranged... Well not me! I decided to do a test day and ride my bike 410 miles in 12 hours so I could meet up with the best and worst of the UKs (and beyond) moto vloggers in Nortingham at the annual monkey meet.


On a beautiful May morning I set off just after 6.30 am and headed to Teeside to meet up with my mate Paul before the 160 mile ride to Nottingham.

A few hours later we arrived in Nottingham and met up with nearly 100 bikers ready for a ride out around the countryside and a few stops along the way.


Not only did I meet some of the legends of the moto vlogging community ( and there were lots) but I was also lucky enough to have the support of te organisers for my trip with cakes made to be sold for my fund for Cerebra.


Massive thanks to @PicklePoo, @Mrs_Rudder and the rest of the folks for all your help and the money raised!

I've spend my Sunday cleaning the bike ready for the big off on Saturday and a practice run putting up my tent (8.04 is the current record which needs to be improved if I'm not to get wet in Norway).

Thanks for reading and please keep sharing and supporting my ride.

Ride safe.

Gordon

Thursday, 15 May 2014

9 days to go,Motorcycle hut offer, and a helmet

Hi everyone,

I'm coming into the home straight for Arctic Ride prep and with only 9 days to go, its all coming together.

I want to take the opportunity to say a massive thanks to all my sponsors, those who have donated, all my supporters on social media and beyond, and a special core of people, many of whom I didn't know this time last year, who have been instrumental in making all the preparations for my ride a success.

I'm now over 85% of the way towards my target of £2,500 for Cerebra.


The guys at MotorcycleHut.co.uk have come on board to support my ride and have kindly offered with all donations to my Arctic Ride fund, you will get 20% off at MotorcycleHut.co.uk


All you have to is donate any amount to Cerebra via my giving page, and you will get the offer code through to you. And if you have already donated and want to buy from motorcyclehut - then get in touch with me and I'll get the code to you... simples!

Finally this week, I've been having some work done on my Reevu helmet by Bruce at The Helmet Design in Canada. Here is a sneak preview at whats its going to look like! 





All will be revealed on the first day of my ride so get down to St Mary's Lighthouse in Whitley Bay if your local (click here for event details) or watch out on my social media for pics and videos on Saturday 24th May.

That's all for this week folks. Keep donating!!!

Ride safe.

Gord

Saturday, 10 May 2014

2 weeks to go

Hi everyone and welcome to the Arctic Ride 2014 blog.

If you are new to the blog please check out the other pages on the site on the navigation bar including 'What is Arctic Ride 2014', 'The Charity - Cerebra', and 'The Route'.

Its with great sadness that I start this week's blog with the news of the passing of Mick Anderson, NEMCRC Chairman, and great supporter of Arctic Ride 2014. NEMCRC are a sponsor of my trip and I've got to know Mick well over the past 12 months and he has been nothing but kind and generous to me. My thoughts go out to his family.



Back to the trip and the work never ends. I've had another busy week doing interviews, buying kit, and getting my head around going. My wife Kirsty has been busying me buying practical items like insect repellent, sun tag cream, and fold down plastic cups. I have been buying items like a Suzuki lanyard, business cards, and an Arctic Ride mug... I think I need to start being more sensible.

Front page news
As I write this blog I realise that this is my last weekend to get any big jobs done with the bike or buying items as next weekend I'm in Nottingham at the annual MotoVlogger meet up and then the weekend after... I'm off!! Wowza Hasn't that come around fast!

I'm really looking forward to a week on Saturday when I set off from the iconic Lighthouse in my home town of Whitley Bay heading to the Arctic. I've got several of my biker buddies joining me on the first leg but there will be one important biker buddy who won't be able to make it... my Dad. 

Camping in Netherlands in 2011 with my Dad.


My Dad is the main reason I got into bikes and, even after 8 years of riding, is still my first port of call for bike related issues and advice. He lives in France and was planning on meeting meeting me when I hit the continent and riding through to Germany with me. However due to an issue with his eyes, he's not allowed to ride his bike at the moment and thus can't join me on the trip. The circumstances around his eye issue are a little ironic... back when I just a wee boy and in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster in the USSR my dad organised a solo motorcycle run to Kiev and Chernobyl to donate lollipops to the children impacted by the disaster. He was a fireman at the time and wanted to give something back to the fireman, some of whom gave their lives, and their communities who had gone through so much during the terrible times of the nuclear disaster in 1986. Fast forward to 2014 and after experiencing some vision difficulties he visited specialist eye doctor France. The doctor discovered that my dad had radiation damage to his eyes that would require an operation to fix. The long and the short was that this radiation was caused by my dad's motorbike run and subsequent visit to the Chernobyl power plant in 1989.

Chernobyl 1986
Finally this week, I'd like to say a massive thanks to everyone who has donated! I've now passed the £2,000 mark and closing in on my target of £2,500 for Cerebra. If you haven't donated already, please give what you can at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/arcticride2014 

Thanks for reading and ride safe!!

Gordon

Sunday, 4 May 2014

3 weeks to go....

3 weeks to go..
3 weeks until I sit on my motorbike for 22 days straight...
3 weeks until I give up my warm house, comfy bed, oven, and chilled food...
3 weeks until I live the dream I've been having for the past 14 months.

It's really starting to hit home that I've actually got to go and do this.



I sat in my garden this morning, sipping away on a chamomile and honey tea, watching my cat eat some grass which she would throw back up when back in the house. I turned to my wife Kirsty and uttered the words "Sh*t, I've actually got to go and do this now". Kirsty responded with her usual upbeat response of 'You can do it' and 'You've done plenty of long rides before'.



But this time is feels different. In the last few weeks I've been feeling the weight of expectation on my shoulders slowly increasing like a worlds strongest man contestant trying to squat a skip that is being filled with liquid concrete. "I'm going to ride my bike 6,000 miles in 3 weeks to the Arctic Circle and back"... How easy it rolls of the tongue. I can't remember how many times I've said it over the past weeks to journalists, people on Twitter/Facebook, friends and work colleagues. But as the newspaper articles are printed and plonked on my desk at work,as I hear my interviews go out on radio, and as my twitter feed is filling up with online articles, suddenly I'm not just doing this for me, I'm not just doing this for the charity, but I'm doing it for every person who gives me a pat on the back or sends me a message of good luck.

Sweden, 2011
As some of you may know, back in 2011 I attempted and failed at this journey. I still managed to raise £1,700 for charity, but didn't meet my riding objective. I still remember that feeling, sitting next to the side of the road in Sweden with my bike un-rideable due to my crash waiting for the recovery truck. I felt like crap and at the mercy of my machine. It wasn't my physical condition that caused my stop, it wasn't the mental state, it was the fact that lost in a fight with a Jockey wheel lying in the road. And that's whats making me slightly anxious.

I know I'm up to the fight physically, I know I can handle the loneliness of the road but the unknown of the bike letting me down keeps running through my mind. What if I drop the bike? What if run of petrol? What if a reindeer hot wires the bike and steels it in the night? All questions I can't answer.

That all seems a bit down beat so to clarify.. I CAN'T WAIT TO SET OFF! I know its going to be the ride of a lifetime.

It has been a busy old 2 weeks since I last blogged. I've been doing lots of work behind the scenes getting things ready including buying equipment, interviewing people for my film, and following up with some of my sponsors for the final push.

Also I've been getting some press coverage too. I've had some articles in some of the papers here in the North East and some online stuff too. Devitt Insurance Ltd named me one of the Musts to follow on Twitter for bikers and MoreBikes.co.uk wrote a great article about my trip. Great stuff.

Also, I'm very pleased to announce that there is a Baby Arctic Rider on the way due in September! Kirsty and I are both very chuffed to be having a little girl and Kirsty continues to be super supportive about my trip.

A new addition to the Arctic Ride clan
Thanks for reading and please keep spreading the word about my trip.

And if you haven't already PLEASE DONATE!!!!!


Its safe and secure!

Ride safe!

Gordon