Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Off-road training and the Easter Egg Run

Hello!

Its been a few weeks since I announced that I will be heading to Alaska in 2018 to take on the notorious Dalton Highway to raise funds for Cerebra and Tiny Lives.

I've been working flat out on lots of different items including; a sponsorship prospectus, project plan, contacting airlines to try and get sponsorship for my travel across the Atlantic, as well as designing a new logo for the ride (see below).
The new Arctic Ride Alaska logo

Arctic Ride Alaska is going to be by far my most difficult charity challenge yet for a few reasons.

  1. First of all I'm going to be on the other side of the planet, very far away from my support network and a full 9 hours behind UK time. This means I'll only have a short window to report back to my sponsors, media, and most importantly my wife and children. 
  2. Secondly I'm not going to be riding my own bike. The cost of transporting my bike to Alaska and back was going to be more than I paid for the thing, and a sports tourer isn't exactly what you want for the Alaskan terrain.
  3. Thirdly, over 1,000 miles of the 2,000 mile trip is off road. To put than in context, thats more off-road than the entire length of the UK, or riding London to Rome!! ...Did I mention I haven't done any off-road riding since I was 11 and suffered broken bones from a crash!


Due to the fact I have practically zero off-roading ability and I won't be riding my own bike, I've enlisted the help of the UK top off-road training school MotoScotland to get me into shape from my Alaskan Adventure.


Clive and the team at MotoScotland have already given me some great advice about riding the Dalton including what kind of bikes I should be looking at (more on than for another blog). Very generously, MotoScotland have also booked me onto one of their off-road weekend courses to give me a taste of what life on the road will be like in Alaska. I'm very pleased to announce that MotoScotland are officially the first partner of  Arctic Ride Alaska.

MotoScotland offers off road training & experience days on the UK's largest off road centre (50,000 acres of stunning Scottish Highland landscapes). Everything you need to off road is included in the price. MotoScotland is the first UK off road training centre to have its off road training courses endorsed by government, motorbike insurers and council road safety departments. Courses start from £249 and you can find out more at http://www.motoscotland.com/

Durham Easter Egg Run
This weekend I was able to get out on my bike with 1,200 other bikers supporting the annual Durham Easter Egg run. Assisting hospitals in Durham and Darlington in the North East of England, the Easter Egg run sees all attendees donate Easter Eggs to be given to sick children at each hospital, with a ride out between.



It was a spectacular event to be a part of with hundreds of supporters lining the streets of Durham and Darlington to cheer us on. It was also a great way to see the biking community coming together to show we're a bunch of scary, bread growing, leather wearing nutters (we are that as well).

Thanks for reading, Thats it for this blog but now that I am getting into the flow of planning the trip there will be lots more to come including; bike selection for the trip, the route, fundraising ideas, and corporate sponsorship and support updates.

As always, ride safe!

Gordon

Saturday, 1 April 2017

2018 Charity Motorbike Challenge Announcement

Hi Everyone!

Thanks for tuning in.

For those who didn't see my announcements on social media last week, I've finally made public my plans for my next charity motorbike challenge.... I'm going to ALASKA in 2018 to take on the DALTON HIGHYWAY!

I created a 2 minute promo video about my challenge which you can view below or on my YouTube channel.




In summary, 'Arctic Ride Alaska' will see me fly across the Atlantic to Anchorage in Southern Alaska to then ride 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.

The total mileage of the ride is 2,000 miles with about half of that on the notoriously dangers Dalton Highway. I will be required to do a substantial amount of off-road riding.


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), MotoQuest - Alaskan Motorcycle Specialists.

www.motoquest.com/
I'm taking on Arctic Ride Alaska for 3 reasons:

To find out if the 'average rider' conquer the fabled Dalton Highway?

To investigate how Dangerous is the Dalton Highway traveled by motorbike?

And most importantly, to raise funds for two amazing charities who I have supported on my previous challenges:


  • Cerebra - Working wonders for children with brain injuries. Who supported my little brother Robbie during this childhood.
  • Tiny Lives Trust - Supporting premature and sick newborn babies and their families on the Special Care Baby Unit at the RVI hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. My daughter Islay was born prematurely in 2014 and spent time at the Special Care Baby Unit.
I have set up a Virgin Money Giving page for those wishing to donate.


I've got lots of plans to make this my biggest challenge yet, and I'll be revealing some of these ideas soon and posting regular updates on my blog and social media pages. If you are interesting in supporting or being involved in my Alaskan adventure, then please get in touch!

Thanks for reading, and until next time.... Ride Safe,

Gordon