What next: The options
As I said in my last blog, I'm currently planning my next charity motorbike trip to raise money for the charity Tiny Lives who supported my baby girl Islay when she was first born.
Ever since I returned from Arctic Norway I've been looking at the map to decide where I'm going to head in the future on my trusty steed. I've narrowed it down to 4 options (at the moment).
Arctic Ride: Adventure Alaska (Dalton Highway)
Summary - Ride from the city of Anchorage is Southern Alaska to Prudhoe Bay, the most northerly town in Alaska, deep inside the Arctic Circle. The route is via the deadly Dalton Highway, one of the worlds most dangerous road.
Total mileage - 2,000
Difficulty rating - Very High - Due to the treacherous nature of the Dalton Highway and the potential climate of Arctic Alaska. Off road riding required.
What the experts say - "Every year motorcyclists are killed on the Dalton Highway. Almost half of the highway is paved or chip sealed. The other half can be smooth or baseballs. There are relatively no places to stop along the way: no gas, no convenient stores, no McDonalds. There are stretches of up to 245 miles without gas. You are literally riding through pristine wilderness. Welcome to the food chain." - Phil Freeman, Veteran of 10+ rides up the Dalton Highway.
Cost Rating - High - Flights to the states + bike rental or shipping.
Time needed - At least Two weeks including travel to and from Alaska.
|Dalton Highway, Alaska|
Iron Butt Challenge - UK end to end
Summary - Ride the length of the UK, Lands End to John O'Groats (874 miles), in less than 24 hours. Officially 117 people have competed this challenge.
Total mileage - 1,800
Difficulty rating - High - Ultra long distance single day ride with over 1/3 on country roads. Time limit and major fatigue.
What the experts say - "Know your limits. If the longest ride you have ever taken is 300 miles in a day, don't plan a trip with a string of endless five- hundred mile days. Iron Butt Association surveys also warn of an important trend in long distance trip planning. Discounting weather or other problems; after an initial mileage peak on days one and two, daily average mileage will steadily drop during trip days three to seven. If the pros have this type of mileage attrition rate, would you plan on any less?" - Archive of Wisdom, Iron Butt Assosiation
Cost Rating - Low - Fuel + food.
Time needed - 3 days. 1 to Lands End, 1 to complete the challenge, 1 home from Scotland.
Summary - The Mongol Rally thunders 10,000 miles across the mountains, desert and steppe of Europe and Asia each summer. There’s no backup, no support and no set route; just you, your fellow adventurists and a tiny bike you bought from a scrapyard for £11.50. Must be done on a bike no bigger than a 125cc.
Total mileage - 6,000
Difficulty rating - Very High - Ultra long distance, off road, 125cc size limit, across barren countries...
What the experts say - "Bollocks to tarmac, ABS and gadgets that help you find your navel. The Mongol Rally is about getting lost, using your long neglected wits, raising shedloads of cash for charity and scraping into the finish line with your vehicle in tatters and a wild grin smeared across your grubby face. Neither your bike, nor your life, will ever be the same again" Mogol rally website,
Cost Rating - Very High - Entrance fee, fuel for 6,000 miles, repatriation home for the bike and I.
Time needed - 3-6 weeks.
Arctic Ride: Trans Siberian Highway
Summary - The Trans-Siberian Highway is the network of federal highways that span the width of Russia from the Baltic Sea of the Atlantic Ocean to the Japan Sea of the Pacific Ocean. It stretches over 11,000 kilometres from St. Petersburg to Vladivostok.
Total mileage - 9,000
Difficulty rating - Very High - Ultra long distance across barren countries...
What the experts say - "Stretching almost 7,000 miles from St Petersburg to Vladivostok, the Trans-Siberian Highway - much of which was built by gulag inmates - varies from pristine motorway in the west to dirt track in the east. For most of the year, conditions are excellent (if a little cold), but during the warm, wet summers, sections of the road have been transformed into an impassable quagmire" - The world's most dangerous roads, Telegraph Travel supplement
Cost Rating - High - Fuel for 9,000 miles, repatriation home for me and the bike
Time needed - 4-7 weeks.