Tuesday, 29 October 2013

October Vlog and the trip budget

Hi everyone,

Thanks for tuning in to my Arctic Ride blog.

Just a quick update this week. I've really been pushing the boat out to local companies to try and get some more sponsors on board as getting to the Arctic by bike isn't cheap. Its like an investment and the old mantra of 'You've got to spend money to make money' and that principle applies to my trip. I'm able to offer companies brand exposure by having there logo on the bike, on this website, and through my documentary. 

So far this bait has caught quite a few companies, see my sponsors page, and the support I've had from them has been great but so far only two have been able to offer me funds towards the budget of my trip.

As a Project Manager by trade, you can imagine that I have managed the hell out of my Arctic project so far so I thought I'd share some of 'management' including the breakdown of the budget for my trip.

So you can see I only have 5 different expenses for my trip. The biggest of which is my fuel and nearly half of all the costs. Due to the global fuel market and the price of petrol in Europe in general this is unlikely to go down and I'm even concerned it might go up. Another item that won't change is my road tolls, unless the kind people at Øresund bridge decide to change their policy. 

As I'm sure you are aware my trip is constrained by the fact I live on a giant island and I have no other option that 
to cross the sea at some point before I get to the Arctic. The most viable option is getting the ferry and itsnot as cheap
 as you would think. I've contacted the big players in the UK ferry industry but to no avail. Alas,my ferry costs are not going to change.

That leaves me with two items I can play with. The first I'll talk over is food. Now those who know me willunderstand that
 I am a BIG eater and on my last trip I actually lost a stone in 4 weeks (Yes even will all theburgers I ate) and even though I will be
 getting a meal and calorie intake plan from NEfit I think trying to skimpon food could end up being dangerous. If I don't have enough
 energy I'm not going to be able to concentrate as well and the riding of the bike for up to 350 miles a day will take it toll. So that leaves
 me with campsites. Luckily this is something that is variable and I'm hoping that as soon as I'm north of Oslo I'll be able to do some wild 
camping which will cost me nothing. But that depends on how easily I find good camping stops and how often I need to take a shower.

Hopefully that has given you a good insight into the financial task that I am taking on doing this trip and just howmuch 
support from commercial sponsors will help. If you know anyone who might be interested please put them in contact with me!

Also this week I made a video blog about riding round on my bike. If you are reading this online you can check
out my video below, or if you are viewing on mobile device please click THIS LINK.

That's all for this weeks folk. Keep sharing, liking, and commenting.

You can donate to my trip at THIS LINK

Ride safe.


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

One Young World - My visit to Johannesburg

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the Arctic Ride 2014 blog. In May/June of 2014 I'll be riding my motorbike 6,000 miles in 3 weeks to the Arctic Circle and back to raise money for brain-injury charity Cerebra, and to raise awareness for brain-injuries and disability rights in general.

The Suzuki I will take to the Arctic in 2014
People with a disability are in a very unique situation when it comes to prejudice and discrimination which a lot of people often forget and something I am very keen to raise awareness for. So why is having a disability unique when it comes to prejudice and discrimination I hear you ask... well let me explain. I'm a white male. Chances are I'll always be a white male therefore, in the future, no one is going to treat me differently for being black, for being Asian, or for being a woman. I don't consider myself disabled... but there is a chance that I could become disabled in the future and thus suffer prejudice and discrimination. That's how its different and I feel most people don't think about this but I want people to START thinking about this. I am against all prejudice and discrimination and I try to treat everyone equally. However, disability rights hold a special place in my heart as my little brother Robbie is disabled and he isn't able to stand up for himself. And that's why I'm here to stand up for Robbie and all other disabled people who can't stand up for themselves.

The man himself, Robbie
Ok... that is quite a heavy opening but this is what was going through my mind the whole 5 days I was in South Africa at the One Young World Summit. I remember sitting in the audience listening to one of the speakers and I started questioning why I'm doing my trip. Yes - Its to raise money for Cerebra who can do amazing things for children with brain injuries and enhance their quality of life.... but its more than that. Its more than just money. Money is a great thing and for my trip to be a success I need my followers and readers to donate so I can hit my target and change those lives. But often people forget that money is just a tool. A very useful and valuable tool. But its just a tool. And there are plenty of other very useful tools out there than can be put to good use. Kindness is a tool. Understanding is a tool. And speaking out against what is wrong is a tool. and the great thing about these tools is that we don't need money to use them, we were given them when we first landed on this giant spaceship flying around the universe we call earth.

Right... you want to know about what One Young World is right? One Young World is a not-for-profit organization which provides opportunities for young adults to join in a global network of socially committed individuals with leadership potential. Its primary activity is an annual One Young World Summit which is what I attended in Johannesburg at the start of this month. The idea of the summit is to bring together over 1300 young leaders from varying companies, organisations, and governments  from 190 countries to discuss world issue and start taking tangible action. I was lucky enough to be nominated by my company HP who paid my way and flew me out to the South Africa. I was also very proud to be selected to be the flag bearer for the United Kingdom the opening ceremony (check out the video of that here).
The Summit 2013 Opening Ceremony
Me handing the Union Jack to Richard Branson at the opening ceremony,
In attendance were also some world and business leaders including Kofi Annan,Bob Geldof, Richard Branson, and Arianna Huffington to name a few. But the most amazing people I met where the other attendees. I met a chap Roberto from Mexico who is trying to solve his countries blood shortage problem. Pradiip from Venezuela who was telling the world of the horrible situation in his country. I met Bert from Belgium... well Bert works for HP like me and was just a general legend. 

Hanging out with Roberto
Doing an interview with Gabon's national TV station
Check out this video below of the highlights from the summit. You'll see a rather dapper chap on 14
seconds :)

That's it for this week folks. Please connect with me for any questions or comments you have about my trip or the One Young World event!

Keep sharing, re-tweeting and liking!

Also you can donate to my ride at my Virgin Giving site. I've had no donations since August so even a small one this week will keep my head up!

Ride safe!


Thursday, 10 October 2013

A blog from the Sky!

Hi everyone,

Welcome to another edition of the Arctic Ride 2014 blog.

Thanks for tuning in. Regular readers will notice that this blog is being posted later than usual. This is because my work has whisked me off to Johannesburg in South Africa to attend the One Young World Summit. 

Usually I post my blog on a Sunday evening ready for all to read on their Monday lunch break but as I’ve been packing and preparing for my trip this blog is being written from 30,000 feet and will be posted when I land and get some Wi-Fi.

So this week has been another busy week. All the kit for my GoPro finally arrived so I am now able to vlog on the bike to keep you all up to date about what I have been doing! My first ‘proper’ vlog is below so give it a watch and let me know what you think!

I’m using the vlog and filming around Newcastle as a practice for my trip. As I’ve said in previously blogs I’m planning to film my entire adventure to the Arctic next summer so that I can share the high, lows, fabulous scenery, and amazing people I meet. The one disappointment about my attempt to the Arctic in 2011 was that I didn’t get enough photos and no video of all the great places I saw… also if I had got my crash and subsequent 5 day stay in Ornskoldsvik  on film it would have made for some good viewing! Hopefully on my trip next summer nothing as serious as that will happen but I have no doubt it will be a fabulous experience to share. My main hope it that it shows just how difficult it’s going to be on my body and mind to ride 6,000 miles in 3 weeks through the Arctic environment.

Also this week I got an amazing gift through the post from Cerebra. I contacted the charity earlier in the week to see if they had a spare donations money box that I could use at events where I am promoting my trip (for those who watched the above blog this is what was waiting for me at the post office and that Mrs Arctic Ride hadn’t been ordering more shoes). Luckily Cerebra had one spare which got shipped up to me but also in the post were a few nice surprises. As thanks for my effort on fundraising through my trip Cerebra provided me with an embossed organiser folder, a Cerebra pen and notepad, a Cerebra t-shirt, and finally, my favourite item of all, a Cerebra Ambassador pin badge J Happy days!

So I guess you’re wondering more about why HP has shipped me off to South Africa for the week? The long and the short of it is that as part of the company’s Corporate and Social Responsibility every year they send some of their up and coming young employees to attend the One Young World Summit, which is held in a different location around the world (next year’s in Dublin so I dodged a bullet there). The summit is a global gathering of the world ‘future leaders’, from companies and countries around the world where they get together and discuss world issues and try and make actionable changes. I’ll certainly have more to add once I return so watch this space for a dedicated One Young World blog.

That’s all for this week folks.

Ride safe!