Welcome to the The Arctic Rider blog. This summer I'm heading to Canada and Alaska to take on the mighty Dalton Highway to raise money for Tiny Lives Trust and Cerebra, 2 great charities.
Since my last blog, there have been some major developments.
Firstly, I've booked my flights! So I now have an official start date. I fly to Calgary from London on the 27th June meaning my departure date from Newcastle will be 26th June. That gives me just 45 days until liftoff! Wow its getting close.
|'Morning Gordon' at Newcastle station|
|Suzuki Bikes UK HQ|
|Biker selfie with Nathan.|
|My new best friend... The Suzuki VStrom 1000 XT|
I must say it was both an exciting and nervous experience. The bike looked even better in person and was brand brand new.. with only 3 miles on the clock. It felt great to sit on and firing up its v-twin engine for the first time was exhilarating. However this made the whole trip suddenly feel real, my challenge was no longer a google maps route, or a budget on a spreadsheet, its starts right here.
It took me 6.5 hours in total to get home with my hospital pit stop, which was longer than I had hoped. I pulled in 100 miles from home for a quick drink and to put my waterproofs on, but even with these stops, I'm clearly not 'bike fit' and not ready to do 400-500 miles per day every day for nearly 3 weeks.. another item added to the preparation list.
|My Suzuki 'fleet'|Collect the bike from Suzuki GB HQ in Milton Keynes
- Test the bike out on a pre-trip trip to Scotland
- Arrange and complete off road training (I'm now booked in with Duns motorcross! Woop).
Book my flights to Canada
- Book the bike freight to Canada
- Canadian Visa
- US Visa
- Arrange insurance and breakdown cover for Canada and USA
- Arrange adventure travel insurance
- Buy new sleeping bag
- Draw charity raffle (tickets here)