The Arctic Circle project -Stop being a tourist be an adventurer- is about to start. Graham Hoskins explains how the week prior to the departure of this once-in-a-lifetime journey is spend.
Saturday morning is our departure date and like everything about this trip it is going be hectic and busy. We actually have a crazy night of travel because we are getting a freight ferry rather than a passenger ferry, which means we will be boarding at around 2 AM in the morning.
Despite the hectic week we are now in that great period of time where pretty much all the prep that can be done is done. Whatever happens now, we are going with what we have and we will simply work it out as we go along. Which is what the adventure is really about….
Now it is that time again; counting down to the day of departure! And of course, despite all the best planning and all the best preparation, once more everything seems to be compressing up like a concertina into the week right before we leave.
With an 0530 start on Monday (sign of things to come?) we start this last week with a fabulous training day with the team at Trailquest. This provides us with a fascinating insight into a totally different style of training to that which I have been used to in the past. As Richard at Trailquest explained to us, they provide ‘expedition training’ which covers riding and adventure skills with the primary objective of getting home safely. Richard gave us some great instruction both on the bikes and about our expedition – just wait until you see the pictures of us in our very fetching mosquito net hats – advised due to the number and voracious hunger of nasty insect critters as we head north into Norway and Finland.
The next day is a day we’ve all looked forward too; even though it starts with yet another early start (second taste of things to come). The gorgeous Michelle (Mrs H!) dropped us off at Triumph for possibly the most exciting part of any trip prep – getting the bikes. The atmosphere was absolutely chewable. There was even a pre-trip jig or two being performed in the Triumph car park. Who knows what the visitors thought! Hopefully we gave them a good laugh.
I still think we looked a bit like Storm Troopers with our black-and-white REV’IT! kit and matching white Caberg Tourmax crash helmets. We need to get a few miles under our belts before we look like weathered adventurers. Either that or roll around in the dirt a bit…
Graham – creates and films life changing travel adventures that anyone can try in just two weeks. In 2010 he rode 7000 miles through fifteen countries and in 2012 he followed the iconic Dakar Rally styled route through Dakar to Gambia in two weeks.
Martin – runs an event management and marketing company and until recently, was heavy involved with the BMF Motorcycle Shows. We all know that you are only as young as you feel, but Martin feels like he is the oldest in the team, because he is.
Mark – Our competition winner. Been riding bikes since he was a nipper but not so much adventure riding. An ex-(almost)world champion martial arts specialist, his day job now is an airline pilot, but we think we’ll be allowing him to take point if there’s any trouble with the locals.
Tom – More than our cameraman and director, Tom is an integral member of the team. He worked with Graham on the Dakar Dreams TV series and is now producing the internet TV series ‘Adventure Bike TV’.