Sunday, 23 February 2014

The house of the rising total

Hey everyone,

Welcome to the latest Arctic Ride 2014 blog!

*****90 days to go*****

This week has been VERY exciting in the world of Arctic Ride 2014 and some big news indeed.


Firstly, I found out on Friday evening that the Bikewise team have pledged £500 towards my fund for Cerebra for the trip which is amazing and will go a long way to helping me hit my £2,500 target for the trip.

Big thanks and shout-out to Gary Emerson and Bob Brown who fought my corner and argued my case to the Bikewsie team to help my trip. This is a massive boost and I'll remember this moment when I'm freezing my but off in the Arctic in May.

Check out what Bikewise is about on their website and follow them on twitter.

Also, check out my blog and video from when I attended the BikeWise event in 2013.

Hewlett Packard

I also got the great news that my employer, Hewlett Packard, will be supporting me through their employee money match scheme. So the next £175 that I raise they will match, thus doubling whatever you donate. And on that note it would be great if you could support my trip by donating will 100% of proceeds going straight to Cerebra. 

Click on the Virgin Money image below to donate.

 With the additions above and some recent donations my total is now looking very positive. 

But I still need donations from my followers and readers to help me reach my target. Please give what you can to help brain injured children like my little brother Robbie.

Ride safe!


Thursday, 13 February 2014

100 Days to go

*****100 Days Until Lift Off*****

Wow... OK ladies and gents... It's only 100 days until I leave for the Arctic. It seems like yesterday that I started planning my second attempt on the Arctic and now its coming up very very soon. It almost feels as thought I could be doing this as a full time job but I already have one of those.

In the next 100 days I need to:
  • Get the bike serviced, new tyres, new brake pads.
  • Get a tent and any new camping equipment that I need.
  • Get another sponsor on board to help with the trip funding.
  • Get my helmet resprayed Arctic Ride style.
  • List what I'm going to take with me.
  • Half that list so it will fit on the bike.
  • Get Andrew Pain (author of Going Small: A guide to Lightweight Motorcycling) to cut my half list in half.
  • Download some songs and audio-books for the iPod.
  • Interview with BBC Radio Newcastle.
  • Complete my Arctic Survival training with Nomad-Biker.
  • Get Kirsty (my wife) to complete Home Survival training (fuse box, change light-bulbs, work Sky-Go)
  • Book ferry's
  • Buy maps
  • Finalize route
  • Interview friends, family, and experts for the Arctic Ride film.  
Well after writing that list it seems there is even more to do than I remember... and that's if everything goes to plan. I know from my last trip, when my engine stopped working 2 days prior to departure, that I will be very lucky if nothing crops up before the trip.

Alongside all this planing I've got some very fun, Arctic Ride related events to attend.

3rd - 4th March - Nomad-Biker training

At the start of March I'll be heading to the wilds of Lancashire to prepare for the Arctic environment with Nomad-Biker, a team of ex Commando, Paramedic, Close Protection Operations, Mechanics, and Survival experts, who will teach me how to deal with all the bad parts of adventure travel should they arise.

Artist's impression of me in a homemade shelter

While the countries I am visiting aren't quite war-torn, because of the remoteness of the roads I'll be riding and the regions I'll be travelling in there is every chance I could get in to a potential situation where I would need some survival skills. When you take into account the random nature of the weather in the Arctic (even in late spring / early summer when I travel) means I'll need all the help I can get.

30th March - NEMCRC @ Croft

After attending the NEMCRC Annual Dinner the club have continually been looking for ways to support my trip. Chairman Mick kindly offered me to show off the bike at the Croft motor circuit on the first NEMCRC race meet of the year at the end of March. This is going to be a great way to get my trip out to the wider biking public. Not only will I be showing off the bike and collecting donations but I've also been given the chance to do a lap of the track on my GSX650F which I'm not going to turn down.

16-18th May - Monkey Meet

Since planning my trip I've met some awesome people on social media (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook) who have been great support. No more so than the motovloggers/monkeymeeters. I've been wanting to meet up with these guys and gals for a while and when they announced their annual biker meet up in Nottingham I knew I needed to go and luckily it wasn't when I was away on my trip (that would be been difficult) but it is the weekend before I go. I know that sounds pretty mad but I figure I need to get the bike warmed up for the coldness for the Arctic and the 200 mile journey to Nottingham will certainly be a good introduction to endurance riding that my backside will need.

So in conclusion I got a ton of sh*t to do before I depart. But I know it will all be worth it when I'm away riding in the Arctic.

I want to finish by saying a special thank you to all the people who have supported me so far in my last trip and the planning of the 2014 chapter to Arctic Ride.No more so than my wife Kirsty who has put up with me and my bike-love for the past few years. From me crashing my bike in the Arctic ion 2011, to loosing weekends at bike rallies when she could be shopping or hanging out with friends, she has been the biggest support and was the one who told me to go out there and chase my dreams when it would have been far easier for her to have sat back. Although a part of me thinks that she'd be happy not to have to watch Match of the Day for 3 weeks in a row (although what she doesn't know is that the football season is finished by then and the world cup starts the weekend I get back :D - haha).

If you think what I'm doing is a big challenge then please donate to my trip fund with 100% of the money going to Cerebra. £1, £5, £10, £100. Whatever you can afford all will be gratefully reciveved by Cerebra and will encourage me and keep my spirits up on the trip. My target is £2,500. Click here or on the button below to donate.

Thank you and ride safe.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

NEMCRC Annual dinner

Hi everyone,

Thanks for tuning in to my blog for my charity motorbike trip to the Arctic. On May 24th I'll be setting off on the 6000 mile journey to Arctic Norway and back armed with my motorbike, a tent, a camera, and not much else. And why am I doing this? Well I've asked myself the same question many times but I am doing it to raise funds and awareness for brain injury charity Cerebra.

Since my last blog I've been a busy lad. The highlight of the past few weeks has certainly been attending the NEMCRC annual dinner as a special guest.
Showing off the bike at the NEMCRC dinner
You can check out the full photo album on my facebook page. If you haven't already please like my page to keep up to date with all the on-goings and preparation for the trip.

As I was attending the dinner and it wasn't subzero I got the camera out and recorded a quick vlog. Annoyingly it missed off some footage but its still a good one. Check it out below or click here.

It was great to be invited along to the dinner and show off the bike to all the racing club members. The reception I received was amazing and there were plenty of generous donations going straight to Cerebra.

Well it's only 104 days until I set off so I'm preparing an extra special blog for the '100 days to go' mark so please stop by then to check it out.

Please keep sharing my story and if you would like to donate please click on the Running Total below:

100% of the money goes to charity Cerebra.

Ride safe.