THE ARCTIC RIDER STORY

"Gordon Stuart (AKA The Arctic Rider) is on a mission to ride his motorbike across the Arctic Circle in every country possible, while raising money and awareness for causes close to his heart."

“It started in 2011 as a charity ride to the Arctic Circle that didn’t really go to plan, and has become a near obsession with the Arctic, an obsession with riding a motorbike, and an obsession helping organisations who help others” - Traverse Magazine, November 2017.

To date, Gordon has raised over £13,000 for charities, ridden over 14,000 miles as part of the challenges.

Gordon is an Ambassador UK-brain injury charity Cerebra and global youth leader forum One Young World, and fundraiser for special care babies charity Tiny Lives. He is keen motorcyclist, writer, and film maker.

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Day 10 and 11 - Still windy, but warmer wind

Hello!

Welcome to the latest instalment of the Arctic Ride Iceland blog. Apologies for missing last nights blog! A double issue awaits this read. 

Day 10 - I packed up the bike first thing from Bogarnes planning to ride South to Reykjavik then up into the mountains to visit Giyser and Gullfoss waterfall (two of Iceland’s biggest attractions). Whilst it was a breezy start, I did see some blue skies and thought my weather luck was changing. As soon I got on the road I realised I was mistaken. The dark clouds drew in and the heavy wind blew me across the road once more. Only a 6km tunnel gave me any relief and I was starting to wonder if I’d ever experience Iceland without a gale force wind. 

I got close to Reykjav√≠k and found the road to the mountains that led to the attractions. I knew I had about 60 miles to do but after only 20 miles of the being blow around the road I pulled in. This was getting dangerous. The roads were narrow, there were lots of tour buses, and sheer drops either side of the road. I couldn’t control the bike and keep it in my lane, so I decided it was safest to turn around. My aim of this trip was to make it to the Arctic Circle and make it home again, and this seemed like a risk not worth taking. 



I rode down the mountain pass and then headed into Reykjavik city centre. I came here with my wife Kirsty and our friends Ant & Christine back in 2014, so it was great to be here again. This city has changed so much since then though, with high rise hotels, food quarters, and tour guide huts lining the once empty harbour area.



I treated myself to a Icelandic delqecasey, a hot dog. They are genuinely lovely.. I had 2.  I then mootched around the city for a few hours, before heading over to see Olafur and Hronn, a lovely Icelandic biker couple who had invited me to stay at their place in the suburbs. 

They gave me the most incredible welcome and I was treated to a proper warm shower, chicken casserole, coffee, and 2 types of Icelandic beer!! Great Icelandic hospitality. We spend the night chatting bikes, Route planning for my trip east, and learning about each other’s countries. It was great stuff. 

I can’t thank them both enough for the wonderful time they gave me, which all started chatting about the football in the ships bar last week, and Olafur celebrating England’s win over Columbia with me! Meeting likeminded folk is one of the best things about travelling, and makes me feel happier about the crazy world we live in. 

Day 11

I set off from Olafur and Hronn’s place and headed 10 minutes across the suburbs to meet with Jon and Ming, my other biker buddies who ever on both sea crossings with me earlier in my trip. I met them at their Air BnB and we have some more bike chat and Iceland weather chat over cup of tea. Then Jon kindly interviewed me for his radio show (www.exilefm.com) talking all about The Arctic Rider project and the Iceland trip so far. 

I then started my journey East. I had a few sights planned to see along the way thanks my Icelandic buddies, and a planned to do a big day. We’d checked the weather too last night and it looked as though I might get a dry and wind free day. The weather forecasters were wrong. For the first 2 hours East the wind blew and blew and blew. It wasn’t quite as bad as day 10 or my first day in Iceland, but it was enough to see me riding at about a 25 degree angle. I did manage to stop and take some photos at a volcano but my camera, and nearly the bike, kept getting blown over. 



The further east I traveled the lighter it got until it was more of a strong breeze than actual wind. On the route along I stopped at somespectacular waterfalls. Iceland is beautiful. 



I then finished my day camped near a huge glacier which is covering a volcano that’s ready to blow.... fun times. 8 hours on the road riding a lot of Southern Iceland. 



Southern Iceland is like a different world. From crazy waterfalls, and mountains bursting out of the ground, to huge volcanic ash beaches... I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when riding along. I’ve got some amazing footage in the GoPro which I can’t wait to share with you all. 

Thank you so much for the recent donations too. We are so close to £4,500 now. Everyone will be getting a special thank you when I return (and get better internet connection). 

Tomorrow, I head 250 miles East back to Seyoisfjoror, where on Thursday morning I board the ship leaving Iceland. I’ve still got a lot to see in East Iceland before that and I’ll also need to try and find somewhere showning England’s World Cup semi final!

Today’s mileage - 238
Total mileage - 2143

Ride safe,

Gordon. 

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