Among the challenges he’ll face are crossing Botswana’s Okavango Delta and the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. “Both of these places are teaming with wildlife,” enthuses Michael, who qualified as a photographer while in the army. “I’m planning on hooking up with a world-renowned wildlife photographer over there; hopefully the resulting images will be sold on my return with the profits going to charity.”
“I’ve funded the trip, kitted out my bike and purchased everything I need myself. Not a single penny has come from a sponsor,” he says. “I’m doing the ride plus a whole year of charity events in order to raise funds for Neuroblastoma Alliance UK, which helps fund treatment for childhood cancer, and the Pilgrims Hospice in Kent.”
Michael plans to spend four-to-six months completing his adventure, which will start out at York Minster and culminate in raising a flag at the Cape of Good Hope in memory of those close to him who’ve lost their battle with cancer.
“My wife’s parents passed away from cancer within a very short period of time. Then my wife had a very serious cancer scare,” Michael explains. “On January 15, 2013, a little boy called Jamie Inglis died from Neuroblastoma. He was seven when he died, after being diagnosed with cancer when he was just three years old. I was in the Army at the same time as Jamie’s dad and as soon as I learnt of Jamie’s death I agreed to dedicate my trip to his memory.”