In December, 18 year-old gap-year student Ollie Plunket is set to embark on an epic adventure bike ride of a lifetime: a seven month, 24,000 mile, solo ride for charity from the southernmost tip of Argentina to the top of Alaska. Ollie is hoping to raise £100,000 for Fisher House UK, a charity that has grown from a sister organization in America, who will open new home-from-home accommodation in March 2013 for families visiting wounded soldiers in hospital.
“I wanted to fuse both my love of travel and my intention to do something useful with my gap year, and this perfect combination also links to my future career in the armed forces,” Ollie explained. “I hope this makes a real contribution to the welfare of wounded servicemen and their families.”
Aboard his Yamaha XT660Z Tenere, Ollie will begin the trip in Ushuaia, Argentina, cross the Andes in Patagonia, and from there, follow the west coast the rest of the way until reaching Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Ollie plans to camp along the route when possible and is hoping to do as much off-road riding as he can. “I have absolutely no support which is what I think so exciting,” he said. “I have done my best to learn mechanics, first aid, Spanish, travel safety, off-roading skills and more, just because I have to be completely independent and sort out any issue by myself, not even another rider to help me get out of trouble - just one man (boy) and his bike!”
Ollie plans to spend time volunteering with the Fisher Houses that are already established in California, Washington State and Alaska during his journey. The charity provides free housing to the families of injured service personnel being treated at the hospitals to which they are sent: in the UK this is the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The first Fisher House in the UK is set to be within walking distance of the hospital and will also provide counseling and rehabilitation to the soldiers and their families.
To find out more about Ollie’s adventure visit www.olliesodyssey.org.uk 100% of all donations will go straight to Fisher House UK, for more information see www.fisherhouseuk.org, and to donate see www.justgiving.com/olliebikeride.