Saturday, 28 November 2015

Devitt & Suzuki

Hi all,

Thanks for tuning in to the latest Arctic Rider blog. Your continued support by reading and sharing my blog, and sharing my story is truly appreciated.

Even though our house is currently full of cold germs passed on via Islay's nursery, and we've managed to have a major leak that's threatening to ruin Christmas, I've been making some good progress on securing backers for my next adventure, The Iron Butt Challenge.

Firstly I'd like to introduce Devitt Insurance. Devitt have been providing UK insurance since 1936 and offer competitive insurance on motorbikes, cars, vans, home, and business insurance.

Devitt were amazing supporters of my 'Arctic Ride 2014' and its is a true pleasure to be supported by the Devitt team again for my Iron Butt Challenge. Not only have Devitt provided insurance for my ride, by they will also be holding a fundraising event at their office next year, and will continue to support The Arctic Rider through media coverage.

In exchange for Devitt supporting my ride, they will have their logo on The Arctic Rider bike, website, and any media or press that goes out.

Special thanks to Georgina from Devitt Marketing team for her continued support, and also to Andrew from Real Safe technologies (Real Rider app) for the introduction a few years ago.

To find out more about Devitt or get an insurance quote please visit their website 

Secondly, I'd like to introduce Suzuki UK. As on my Arctic Ride 2014, I'll be riding my Suzuki GSX650F on my Iron Butt Challenge for Tiny Lives Trust. Suzuki UK have again kindly agreed to support my ride through media coverage, official backing, and support in the bike's preparation. Big thanks to James from the Suzuki UK Press Office for his support.

Also this week, Kirsty, Islay, and I were invited to Newcastle United Football Club to celebrate Tiny Lives Trust Christmas reunion with hundreds of other families who have been supported by the charity and the staff at the RVI Hospital's Special Care Baby unit in Newcastle. It was great meet up with ward staff, new families, and those we know from Islay's time on the unit and was a great reminder of why I'm taking on my Iron Butt challenge. 

At the Tiny Lives Christmas Reunion - 2015

Thanks again for reading, and remember that my donations page for next year if open! Donations no matter how big or small are appreciated. If you would like to donate you can by clicking on this link or the picture below.

See you all soon and ride safe,


Sunday, 15 November 2015

10 Downing Street

Hi all,

Thanks for tuning in to another edition of the Arctic Rider blog.

Hopefully by now you know that I am getting stuck into the planning of my next charity motorbike adventure... THE IRON BUTT CHALLENGE. In July 2016 I'll ride my motorbike the length of the UK from Land's End to John O'Groats in (hopefully) less than 24 hours... all to raise money and awareness for the charity Tiny Lives Trust.

I'm both excited and nervous about my Iron Butt ride but one thing is for sure, its going to be a challenge.

However today's blog is not about my Iron Butt training but about my continued work with the charity Cerebra whom I did my Arctic Ride 2014 for (click here if you want to know more about that).

After my Arctic Ride 2014 fundraising Cerebra gave me the honor of becoming an Ambassador for them. Cerebra has a team of ambassadors, made up of parents, carers, professionals, and others who are passionate about the work that the charity does (like me). My role as an ambassador is to raise awareness about the work of Cerebra, fundraising, and get involved in publicity events.

Previously, in December 2014, I was invited to attend the Cerebra Children's awards at the Houses of Parliament.

House of Lords - November 2014  (Gordon second right)

A few months ago I received an invite from Cerebra and Samantha Cameron (the UK Prime Minister's wife) to attend a charity reception 10 Downing Street (the Prime Minsters House) one of the most prestigious and exclusive locations in the UK. Downing Street only hold a few of these receptions each year so its testament to the great work of the Cerebra PR team to get the charity a slot.

The aim of the event was to raise the profile of Cerebra in London and across the UK, as well as sharing some stories of families supported by the charity, and encourage donations and support.

10 Downing Street, London
I was due to be joined by my wife Kirsty (my biggest supporter for all my crazy journeys) however the day before our little girl Islay came down with Chicken Pox so Kirsty stayed home in Newcastle to look after her.

The reception started a 7pm and after queuing outside with other guests I passed through airport style security at the gates of Downing Street before wandering up to the famous door. It was quite a surreal experience. I'm used to seeing heads of state, celebrities, and ministers entering the door but I was actually walking through it for the first time. After being frisked (again) and giving up my mobile phone (they are not allowed inside hence the lack of pictures on this blog) I headed down a long corridor before being shown up a grand staircase. This staircase was decorated with all Britain's past Prime Ministers. When I got to the top I noticed the last picture was Gordon Brown and there was no room for any more. My only assumption is that David Cameron's photo will be put either on the ceiling or a nice table at the top of the stairs when he leaves office.

The reception itself was fantastic. I met some amazing people including an elderly Scottish couple who had been raising funds for brain injury charities longer than I've been alive, some barristers who support Cerebra and do pro-bono work to help families supported by the charity (I also managed to sell them an Arctic Ride DVD), and some great families who have been supported by Cerebra and are truly inspiring through there resolve, dedication, and love for their children.

I came away feeling a great sense of pride. Pride in the charity that I am an ambassador, pride in my fundraising efforts in 2014, and pride in the children who carry on living life to the full in the face of adversity.

On the way out of Downing Street

While my next ride will be raising money for Tiny Lives Trust, you can still support Cerebra by donating today. One of my favorite was to donate to Cerebra is through their 'Count me In' lottery. Joining the Cerebra lottery is really easy and gives you the chance of winning a great weekly cash prize of £1,500 (plus other prices). It only cost £1.20 a week and can be set up quickly and securely. Click here to find out more information.

Thanks for reading. Look out for my next blog when I have some exciting news about my Iron Butt Challenge.

Ride safe,