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 13 & 14 - Goodbye Iceland

Hello,

Welcome to another edition of the Arctic Rider blog.

Day 13

I awoke early to the sound of my alarm. I was determined not to sleep in as I had to be at the port by 8am to check in for my ship to Denmark. As I packed up the tent, I got chatting to a couple of other British bikers who’d been touring around Iceland for a few weeks and were on their way home. As it turns out one of them lives in Gosforth, about 5 miles from my house! After barely hearing another native British accent (apart from my ship buddy Jon) I bumped into a Geordie thousands of miles from home. 

We chatted about how bad the weather had been and they told me how both their bikes had been blown off the road in the West Fjords  and they were rescued by some Icelandic truckers. Luckily they escaped major injuries but their bikes had taken a beating. I think I got lucky that I didn’t have a serious incident during my trip. 


I got packed away and rode the few hundred metres from the campsite to the ferry. I was frustrated to fine the motorbikes would be boarding last. I managed to pass the time by speaking to a few others bikers and taking one last looks at the Icelandic scenery. 



Before long it was time to board the ship. I got a bit more space this time but the straps and availability of places to tie the bike down to where very limited as per my outbound journey. A few Swedish guys gave me a hand but we were all equally worried about our bikes. 

I got onto deck, found my shared ‘cabin’ and laid my stuff out before heading out into the open deck to say bye to Iceland. 

It’s been a really emotional visit to Iceland. I wholly underestimated the conditions and faced my riding fears head on, not only with the weather but gravel roads also. I’m also proud I came out the other side. It’s true what the say, it’s the journey that makes it, no the destination (although that’s also pretty important for an Arctic Ride). 

With another 2 days onboard ship, I took to grabbing some tasty lunch (Icelandic sausages,  potatoes, green, and sauce), charged up my devices, and backed up my media. Then I spend the rest of the night writing my blog for day 12 and trying to post it! (Sorry for the delay). 

Day 14

Day 14 started at 3am. The ship was docking the Faroe Islands and I can only presume that my ‘cabin’ was next to the bow thrusters as the noise sounded like an Apollo mission take off. Alongside that, and new passengers coming aboard and making a lot of noise, I didn’t get my head back down until about 4.30am. 

I managed to sleep until about 6.30am before getting up and having a cup of tea and looking out on the ocean. 

Today has been a mix of podcasts, eating, lisenting to music, starting to write articles for my media commitments back home, and FaceTiming the family. There is a gym and small pool onboard, but after 2 weeks on the road not eating properly, I’m keeping my energy for the 1,000 miles of motorway that awaits me when I roll back into mainland Europe tomorrow. 



As I write this blog I’m looking out over the North Sea knowing, as the crow flies, I’m just a few hundred miles from Blighty, but I’ve still got a lot of riding to do. 

That’s all for today folks. As always thanks for reading and for being part of Team Arctic Rider. 

Ride safe. 

Gordon. 

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