Ex-Police Officer Rides the NC500 for Charity
Ex-police officer, volunteer and all-round good guy Mark Robinson and his pal Brett Bonas took on the North Coast 500 in June, in aid of the North East Rider Volunteers Scotland (NERVS).
“This was my first event with someone else since 1992 and I was delighted to welcome an ex Met Police pal Brett Bonas, AKA Goody. He was responsible for introducing my wife and I 20 years ago and have remained good mates ever since.”
The pair left their Inverness hotel on Saturday 19th June at 3:30am on their BMW R1200RT motorcycles clad with Maxxis tyres, and left off from the official start point of Inverness Castle at 4am sharp.
“At this point my new tyres were only 200 miles old and coping with the greasy main and rural roads.”
Within two hours, the pair reached Applecross on the west coast, having seen some dramatic roads, captivating views and hairpin bends, putting their combined 62 years of motorcycling experience into practice across the beautiful but challenging tarmac.
As they approached Ullapool, the rain began, 8 hours before their finish line. Determined not to allow the weather to dictate their success, the pair knuckled down.
“After the first few minutes of testing the tyres through the wet corners, it quickly became evident the tyres were going to play ball and allow me to push them every bit as progressively as riding in the dry… It’s strange not to have a noticeable step between wet and dry riding… The STs are probably half the price of the other tyres, but better in the dry, better in the wet and able to give me the confidence to push a heavy RT on wet roads as hard as I thought safe.”
The determined pair headed west before turning north, following the coastline to Durness before arriving at John O’Groats for the traditional signpost picture and then south back to Inverness.
Both riders completed the entire 516 miles in 12 hours and 45 minutes, raising over £1,000 for the North East Rider Volunteers Scotland.
After riding two hours to the Inverness starting point, the 516 miles of the NC500, and then the ride home, Mark and Goody rode 698 miles in under 17 hours total and neither bike missed a beat. It’s worth noting that Mark has six RoSPA Gold Awards which means he is highly qualified and puts safety first at all times when riding.
This was not Mark’s first sponsored event, having been inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore in 2020 to complete one million steps in 23 days, donating all proceeds to the NHS, and using his time off at Christmas 2020 to cycle on a gym bike at home the 874 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats for Care of Police Survivors, as well as other riding challenges over the years, too.
Mark would like to thank Grant Milne at Leiths (Scotland) who paid his hotel for the night before the event, and covered the cost of fuel.
“It’s gestures like this that help the planning of events like this to happen.”
Mark would also like to thank Goody, who ‘just fancied coming along for the ride’, and his family Liz, Lexi and Sophie for their ongoing support. Mark has thanked Maxxis for the tyre contribution, but in turn, Maxxis would like to thank Mark for his unwavering determination to make a positive difference and devote so much of his time to charitable causes.