Sunday, 18 August 2013

And his name is...

Hello there,

Welcome to the Arctic Ride 2014 blog. In May and June of 2014 I will ride my motorbike solo, 6,000 miles from my home town of Whitley Bay in the North of England to Nordkapp, Norway the most Northerly point in Europe and 500 miles North of the Arctic Circle. Its going to be an epic journey which I very excited yet very nervous about.

Now I know in the tagline I say that it's a solo motorbike ride but that's not strictly true. I will have an accomplice..

Gordon and Cerebra Bear (A.K.A. ???)
As you can see from the photo I will be taking my Cerebra Bear with me on my Arctic Ride as my mascot. I was presented with him as a thank you after my trip in 2011. However when I decided he was going to come to the Arctic with me I knew he needed to have a real name.

Big thanks to those who suggested names and voted (as I couldn't decide by myself with all the great suggestions). So here are the results....

In 5th place with 6% of the vote was... Pads.

In 4th place with 9% of the vote was... Sebastian

In 3rd place with 18% of the vote was...Whitley

In 2nd place with 21% of the vote was... Robbie

Meaning in 1st place with a whopping 45% of the vote and the OFFICIAL NAME of Cerebra Bear is....


Brian and Gordon
Brian proved the most popular name and I can see why with it being an anagram of brain which is apt with me raising money for brain-injury charity Cerebra. Big thanks Hayley Goleniowska (A.K.A DownSideUp) for the suggestion. Coincidentally Brian is the name of my dad which certainly made a few of my family chuckle when they saw the suggestions coming in. I just hope my Dad didn't keep voting just so it would have his name!

I'm really glad that I've managed to get Brian on-board as planning my trip is almost like having another full time job.. it never stops! I know some of you might say "Just take a step back" but I can't. I'm so passionate about raising as much money as possible I know that I need to keep going to keep the momentum up to raise awareness and ultimately raise much needed funds for Cerebra. To keep this going I really need your help to spread the word about what I am doing and to support my social media channels and watch my videos on YouTube. These kinds of things really help my cause commercially when trying to get companies on-board to sponsor me to assist with things like fuel and ferries.

My busyness has been further escalated by my imminent house move and the fact that my wife Kirsty has unfortunately broken her little toe meaning she can't really walk so we are super busy trying pack ready for the move.

That is all for this week folks. Look out for next week's blog where I will be talking about my photo shoot with my supporter Allinson's Photography and I will be showcasing/reviewing my new Reevu helmet.

Thanks also to all those who donated this week. The total is already at £375! Which is super! Big thanks to you all.

Ride safe y'all.


Monday, 12 August 2013

Bikewise 2013

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to another edition of the Arctic Ride 2014 blog!

This week's blog is all about my trip to the BikeWise show in Durham on the 27th July. BikeWise is an annual motorbike show held at the Durham Constabulary Police Headquarters. The event sees thousands of bikers flock to Durham to see stalls from local bike clubs, clothing and helmet stalls, dealers, and anything BIKE related. I was lucky enough to be asked by the NEMCRC to attend with them and be on their stand.

NEMCRC  have recently become a sponsor of Arctic Ride 2014 (click for blog on this) and it was a pleasure to attend with them and represent them at the show. Being at the show allowed me to get out there what I am I doing and why to a large biker community audience. To help promote the Arcic Ride 2014 brand I got the bike logo'd up with my sponsors and the charity's logo. I also got some literature printed off and my wife Kirsty baked some motorbike related cakes and we popped them on the stand to help raise some funds.

Cakes on the Arctic Ride 2014 stall
Now the day didn't get off to the of best starts. After a stressful Saturday prepping for the event, I awoke early (about 5am I recall) and looked out the window to see grey skies and endless rain hitting the ground. "Any day but today" were my first words to Kirsty as we were packing the panniers in the living room. Although after checking out the forecast I was reassured that by about 10am all the rain would be gone and I just had to get through the 30 mile ride to Durham in the rain and that was it. Now I know a lot of bikers will be reading this but for those of you who aren't bikers I think I speak for the majority of the biking community that riding in the rain isn't fun, especially when 2 up with 3 boxes loaded with gear. Throw into the mix an almost unbelievable amount of rain and spray on the motorway and it certainly wasn't fun.

Anyway, we made it down to Durham without incident and got ourselves set up for the day. Punters started arriving from 10am onwards and from then on it was go-go-go. Between Kirsty and I we were almost always chatting to someone about my trip and it was great to get such positive feedback from the biking community. We also sold plenty of cakes and got the word out about Cerebra and the wonderful work they do for brain-injured children.

Another reason for attending the event was so that NEMCRC could officially present me with a sponsorship cheque. I was lucky enough to get this presented to me twice. First by Michael Anderson, NEMCRC club President.

NEMCRC President Michael Anderson and Gordon at Durham BikeWise
Then, expectantly, the club brought 2003 World SuperBike Champion Neil Hodgson to the stand to come and have a chat with me and present the cheque to me on the Club's behalf as a special thank you.

Gordon and Neil Hodgson
It was an absolute dream of a day and I can't thank NEMCRC enough for inviting me along.

Here are a few of the comments from some of the folk I chatted to on the day:

"Its sound great what you are doing! I'll follow your progress closely"

"Can I come with you?"

"Norway eh? I've been there... what do you mean your riding the whole way? Why aren't you getting the ferry?!"

"You must be mental!" - Neil Hodgson - 2003 World SuperBike Champion.

After the show, the sun had finally decided to show its face so I was able to enjoy the ride home after a very successful day.

Please check out my video from the day at BikeWise below:

Please comment, like and subscribe on YouTube. Its does a great deal for the commercial side of my trip and helping to get more sponsors on board.

Thanks is all for this week folks.

A reminder, if you haven't already, please VOTE for the name of my mascot. CLICK HERE for details. Voting closes this week.

Unitil next time... Ride Safe.


Please support my trip by:

Twitter - 'Follow' @arcticrdie2014
Facebook - 'Like' Arctic Ride
YouTube - 'Subscribe' to my channel

Donate Virgin Money Giving

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Cerebra Bear name vote

Good day!

Welcome to the Arctic Ride 2014 blog! In May and June of 2014 I will be riding my motorbike solo 6,000 miles in only 3 weeks to the top of Europe and through one of nature's most barren and un-populated landscapes... the Arctic Circle. This challenge is all in aid of raising funds and awareness for brain injury charity Cerebra.

In planning my Arctic trip over the past 6 months, and on my previous motorbike endeavors, I've come across plenty of bikers and travelers. One thing I have noticed is that both solo travelers and groups often have a mascot or good luck charm travelling with them along the way. I realised that when I set of for the Arctic next May I'm going to be on my own for a good few weeks and after the back luck of my 2011 trip (see my blog post the day after my accident) I thought I could do with a good luck charm to come along on the ride with me.

Cerebra Bear chilling on his Suzuki
My immediate thought came to my Cerebra Bear which was given to me as a thank you from Cerebra after my bike and I limped home in 2011 not making it all the way to Nordkapp but raising a chunk of money in the process. Cerebra Bear will not only act as a companion but also he'll be able to get in some photos so that you don't have to see my ugly mug for 6,000 miles straight! Also, he will be able to represent the charity when I'm not around :)

Cerebra Bear and Gordon at an Arctic Ride photo shoot!
Now after discussions with Kirsty we realised we couldn't be calling him Cerebra Bear for the next 18 months as outside of our house we'd probably sound a bit crazy so ran a YouTube video introducing the bear and asking for opinions on names.

Between Facebook, twitter, my blog, and YouTube the number of suggestions was fantastic and there were so many that I really couldn't decide so I've opened up a vote to all my viewers to decide what his name should be. Please use the survey below to submit your vote!

Thanks again for stopping by! Please keep supporting Arctic Ride 2014 by spreading the word about what I'm doing and by logging on to my social media links, YouTube and if you have a few spare pennies please chuck them into the jar on my donations page. All links below.

Ride Safe




Donations at Virgin Money Giving