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R5Ker tackles 48 states in 48 days for air ambulance service

Published: 12 October 2019

Updated: 11 October 2019

A 61-year-old Brit has ridden across all 48 contiguous (connected) US states in just 48 days to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance Service.

Gordon Wilson, a retired senior lecturer from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, departed Orlando, Florida, on August 1 before completing his ride 10,000 miles later in Alabama on September 17.

Rather than fly his own bike out for the trip, Wilson, who’s been riding in the UK since he was 17, decided to use a rented Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail 10 from EagleRider, who have been supplying rental bikes since 1992.

Gordon poses by a waterfall

He told MCN afterwards: "I’ve ridden in America a few times but on this bigger ride, there were more variables like high winds, massive storms and hot temperatures."

Starting with a fund-raising goal of £10,000, Wilson is taking donations on his Just Giving page until the end of the year.

In addition he’s planning a series of talks at various motorcycle clubs where attendees will be invited to donate. He also said why he decided to help the air ambulance.

"I regularly talk to riders who have had big crashes and nine times out of ten, they are airlifted to hospital," he told MCN.

Gordon and his rental Harley-Davidson

"It costs an awful lot of money to keep our service going," charity spokesman, Jim Entwistle, said, adding the Great North Air Ambulance is called to over 1500 incidents every year and is a charity reliant on donations to operate its three helicopters.

"The money Gordon raised will help provide air ambulance services across the North of England. A lot of people don’t realise that we are a charity, so when you’ve got people like Gordon riding across 48 states, it’s going to raise interest.

"We owe him one, so we’ll be rolling out the red carpet upon his return."

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