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Make a Difference Have you 'made a difference' while travelling, by fundraising or donating time and energy to a worthwhile cause? Are you a non-profit organisation or individual who knows of an opportunity for travellers to help out in a less developed country? Tell us about it and provide contact details.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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Old 9 Jan 2015
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Arctic Ride 2014

Hi all,

In May/June of 2014 I completed the ride from the UK (via France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway) to Nordkapp and the Arctic Circle. Total mileage was just over 6,000 miles there and back completed in 22 days. I did the ride in aid of charity Cerebra who have helped my little brother over the past 15 years rasing £5,000 in the process. I also filmed my whole adventure and made it into a DVD with profits going to the charity. I crashed on my first attemt to the arctic in 2011 so reaching Nordkapp was a great feeling.

Trailer for the film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCq7Id5VkeI

Below is a write up I did for Devitt Insurance who sponsored my trip.

“I kicked off my boots and unzipped my jacket after another long days riding and got ready to start making dinner. I’d put my tent up for what seemed like the 100th time and unloaded the bike. Having ridden over 400 miles on twisty, gravel covered roads my whole body was aching. I hadn’t slept well in nights due to forgetting to pack my air bed pump and the freezing temperatures at night. Riding alone on the road was starting to take its toll too. Nothing had gone ‘wrong’ but I was craving some real company other than meeting other bikers at petrol stations and answering tweets and Facebook messages.

After a hard days’ ride I really wanted some home comforts but it was something I’d never seen before, the midnight sun, which raised my spirits. I was here, only 200 miles from my destiny, Nordkapp, the most northerly point in Europe and deep inside the Arctic Circle.
I never thought that a glance at a half setting sun would ever be the instant switch from feeling low to becoming content and at peace with life.

I’d been planning this motorbike journey to Nordkapp for over 4 years, an idea born out of a late night conversation talking about dreams. I’d had plenty of these types of conversations in the past but from the moment it left my lips those 4 years ago I knew I’d make it to Nordkapp one way or another.

"I took off my helmet and felt a cold mountain breeze across my face. As I got off the bike I turned back to see the road I had just ridden."
Having battled through the disappointment and feeling of failure after a crash in Sweden 3 years ago during my first attempt to the Arctic, I remembered just how far I had come both literally, being 2,800 miles from my home in Newcastle, and metaphorically. It was as I looked up at the sun that I thought of two things in my life back home; my 6 month pregnant wife Kirsty, who had been my biggest support and motivation; and my little brother Robbie who my adventure was all about.
Robbie suffered a brain injury as a baby which has left him brain damaged and with learning difficulties. He’ll never get the chance to ride a motorbike 6,000 miles to the Arctic and back or be able to sit on a patch of grass, next to the bike of his dreams, with just a tent and a mess tin full of pasta and realise just how precious life is.
My ride was not only for Robbie but to raise money for brain injury charity Cerebra who have helped him and my family over the past 17 years and do great work all across the UK.

"The reason for Arctic Ride 2014.. My little bro and the amazing charity Cerebra photo taken at the day one launch"
I set off, solo, from my home town of Whitley Bay in Northern England at the end of May with the goal of reaching Nordkapp in Norway. Over 3 weeks I battled 6,000 miles of freezing temperatures, monsoon type rain, gravel roads, snow covered mountain passes, lorry crashes, and some of the world’s most amazing roads on my Suzuki GSX 650F to reach my goal.

“Here I was at the gateway to the Trollstigen, Norway's most notorious mountain pass...”
I passed through France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway before reaching the Arctic Circle and Nordkapp. It was the most difficult and arduous 3 weeks of my life, but at the same time the experience of a lifetime and I am so glad that I was able to be an ambassador for Cerebra and my little brother along the way.
Devitt have kindly provided me with insurance for my nine country trip to the Arctic.”

"To me . My ride may have made only a small difference but it was born out of a desire to do something different. Follow your dreams and live the life you want to live, I assure you that you won't regret it."
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