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 12 - icebergs and sunshine

Hello there! 

Thanks for tuning into my Arctic Ride Iceland blog, riding my motorbike to the Arctic Circle to raise money for Tiny Lives Trust & Cerebra. 

Day 12... wow. What a day! I started the day waking up inside a national park and a stones throw away from a glacier, where I’d camped last night. I wasn’t in the mood for breakfast so just grabbed an apple and started packing up my gear. I was on the road early knowing I had a long day ahead of me, with over 250 miles (a long way on these roads) to do to get me back to the port where I’d catch the ferry tomorrow morning. 


The scenery along Iceland’s south coast (just like yesterday) was again truly stunning! You almost get immune to how beautiful it is as it’s constant. From one mountain range to the next, it’s just epic. 

I stopped a few times to snap some photos, then I pulled into the ‘Iceberg Lagoon’ on recommendation of Olafur. Wow. This place was even more remarkable than the rest of South Iceland. It’s like a different world. 



I carried on East eating up the miles. I stopped at a small services where I ordered a panini, only for it to be burnt in the toaster. I ate it anyway as it was the last one they had and they gave me a refund, cash-back!

With about 100miles to go the road turned to gravel once more. The first section was also roadworks and the road was filled with deep and heavy gravel. I really struggled riding on this kind of terrain and I had to take it really easy to make sure the bike and I got across in one piece. After a few kilometres the gravel eased and it become a more ‘regular’ unpaved surface, so I was able to pick up some speed while riding on the pegs. 



Apart from the odd gust of wind, the weather really picked up today and I got to enjoy the roads and in relative warmth, although my all-in-one rain suit stayed on, so I’m not sure it was actually ‘warm’. 


I made it to the town of EgilsstaĆ°ir in East Iceland in time to do some quick shopping, and catch the England football semi-final. Alas it was not meant to be but the locals made me really welcome, even if most were rooting for Croatia.
After the game I started the ride over to the port-town where I’d camp for the night. Due to the Northerly nature of Iceland, it was still super bright even though it was past 9pm so I was able to stop and get some shots at the top of the mountain pass, and stop at my last waterfall (this time with no other tourists) before getting to the campsite and settling down. 



Aside from crossing The Arctic Circle, this was definitely my best day in Iceland and I leave with a good taste in my mouth. This country is nature in its rawest form and, put simply, is stunning and wild. I’ve loved seeing the sights of South and East Iceland and finally riding without the wind trying to take me out. I’d highly recommend anyone come and visit, but bring warm clothes and a wind break. 

Tomorrow I set sail for Denmark (I was meant to visit the Faroe Islands on the way home, but change of plan) and then have another 1,000 or so miles before I get back to Newcastle.

Thanks you again to everyone for the support, messages, and donations. It seems like ages ago that I crossed the Arctic Circle, but my journey is still far from over. You can still donate at www.virginmoneygiving.com/thearcticrider after some very generous donations we’re now closing in on £5,000!! Super effort from everyone. 

Ride safe everyone

Gordon. 

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