Saturday, 4 July 2015

What next: The options

Hi everyone,

As I said in my last blog, I'm currently planning my next charity motorbike trip to raise money for the charity Tiny Lives who supported my baby girl Islay when she was first born.

Ever since I returned from Arctic Norway I've been looking at the map to decide where I'm going to head in the future on my trusty steed. I've narrowed it down to 4 options (at the moment).


Arctic Ride: Adventure Alaska (Dalton Highway)

Summary - Ride from the city of Anchorage is Southern Alaska to Prudhoe Bay, the most northerly town in Alaska, deep inside the Arctic Circle. The route is via the deadly Dalton Highway, one of the worlds most dangerous road.

Total mileage - 2,000

Difficulty rating - Very High - Due to the treacherous nature of the Dalton Highway and the potential climate of Arctic Alaska. Off road riding required.

What the experts say - "Every year motorcyclists are killed on the Dalton Highway. Almost half of the highway is paved or chip sealed. The other half can be smooth or baseballs. There are relatively no places to stop along the way: no gas, no convenient stores, no McDonalds. There are stretches of up to 245 miles without gas. You are literally riding through pristine wilderness.  Welcome to the food chain." - Phil Freeman, Veteran of 10+ rides up the Dalton Highway.

Cost Rating - High - Flights to the states + bike rental or shipping.

Time needed - At least Two weeks including travel to and from Alaska.


Dalton Highway, Alaska

Iron Butt Challenge - UK end to end

Summary - Ride the length of the UK, Lands End to John O'Groats (874 miles), in less than 24 hours. Officially 117 people have competed this challenge.

Total mileage - 1,800

Difficulty rating - High - Ultra long distance single day ride with over 1/3 on country roads. Time limit and major fatigue.

What the experts say - "Know your limits. If the longest ride you have ever taken is 300 miles in a day, don't plan a trip with a string of endless five- hundred mile days. Iron Butt Association surveys also warn of an important trend in long distance trip planning. Discounting weather or other problems; after an initial mileage peak on days one and two, daily average mileage will steadily drop during trip days three to seven. If the pros have this type of mileage attrition rate, would you plan on any less?"Archive of Wisdom, Iron Butt Assosiation

Cost Rating - Low - Fuel + food.

Time needed - 3 days. 1 to Lands End, 1 to complete the challenge, 1 home from Scotland.




Mongol Rally

Summary The Mongol Rally thunders 10,000 miles across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia each summer. There’s no backup, no support and no set route; just you, your fellow adventurists and a tiny bike you bought from a scrapyard for £11.50. Must be done on a bike no bigger than a 125cc.

Total mileage - 6,000

Difficulty rating - Very High - Ultra long distance, off road, 125cc size limit, across barren countries...

What the experts say - "Bollocks to tarmac, ABS and gadgets that help you find your navel. The Mongol Rally is about getting lost, using your long neglected wits, raising shedloads of cash for charity and scraping into the finish line with your vehicle in tatters and a wild grin smeared across your grubby face. Neither your bike, nor your life, will ever be the same again" Mogol rally website,

Cost Rating - Very High - Entrance fee, fuel for 6,000 miles, repatriation home for the bike and I.

Time needed - 3-6 weeks.




Arctic Ride: Trans Siberian Highway

Summary The Trans-Siberian Highway is the network of federal highways that span the width of Russia from the Baltic Sea of the Atlantic Ocean to the Japan Sea of the Pacific Ocean. It stretches over 11,000 kilometres from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok.

Total mileage - 9,000

Difficulty rating - Very High - Ultra long distance across barren countries...

What the experts say - "Stretching almost 7,000 miles from St Petersburg to Vladivostok, the Trans-Siberian Highway - much of which was built by gulag inmates - varies from pristine motorway in the west to dirt track in the east. For most of the year, conditions are excellent (if a little cold), but during the warm, wet summers, sections of the road have been transformed into an impassable quagmire" - The world's most dangerous roads, Telegraph Travel supplement

Cost Rating - High - Fuel for 9,000 miles, repatriation home for me and the bike

Time needed - 4-7 weeks.



The above has been my thinking over the past year or so (and I've looked into them in a lot of detail). For me its all about how I can mixed my passion for motorcycling with challenging myself and raising a whole load of money for charity. You've got to spend money to make money.

I've taken the liberty of creating my own version of 'Top Trumps' to compare the options and I'd be grateful for your opinion.


CLICK HERE to vote for your favorite. My choice will be announced in due course.

Ride safe y'all.

Gordon

2 comments:

  1. The End to End in a day is fun if hard work.

    My ex wife and me did the End to End on a Kawasaki Z550F back in the 80s in one day - we rode Newcastle John O Groats on the Friday night after work, stayed at Mr's Greens B&B and set on for Lands End at 6am on the Saturday, we got to Lands End at 1.30am Sunday morning put the tent up and had a few hours sleep before riding back to Newcastle on the Sunday in time for work on the Monday morning.

    By the time you reach the M5 the coffee stops to stay awake become more frequent. Having a pillion who kept falling asleep helped as she kept falling asleep and hitting the back of my helmet with hers, it was annoying but keeps you alert.

    It's a lot of tiring hours in the saddle but you really do feel like you have completed something few others will do when you finish it.

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