A policeman whose daughter attends Ballater School is to begin a 10-day 3,300+ mile solo motorcycle ride around each of the 51 Scottish, Welsh and English mainland police headquarters.
PC Mark Robinson, who is based at Westhill but lives at Dinnet, is doing the ride in aid of the Royal Marine Association through Commando 999 (C999)′, in an event called Going the Extra Mile 2012.
It aims to raise funds for injured ‘Royals’ for recuparation on return to the UK from overseas conflicts. The much-needed funding will include onward care and welfare for the lifetime of the servicemen and women.
PC Robinson, who was born in Watford and has been a biker for 32 years, will leave Grampian Police HQ at 10am on Monday (April 16) with the objective of ‘collecting’ donations, by way of force crest plaques. These will be handed over for a photo and then returned to the force to forward onto the C999 charity address. These items will later be auctioned to raise money.
PC Robinson, 48, said: “The first day is a doddle. I go to the west coast to Spean Bridge Commando memorial, which commemorates the guys who were trained there during World War Two. After this, it’s a short run up to Inverness for the first night.
The next morning, at 6am, I leave Northern Constabulary HQ for the run to Tayside, Fife, Central Scotland, Lothian and Borders, Strathclyde and Dumfries and Galloway. Then I nip down to Carlisle for the night before beginning again at Cumbria, and then the fun begins again.
“I’ll hopefully average between 320-420 miles per day, that includes about eight stops for photos at HQs with the requisite chats etc.
“The cross country ride continues until I reach Devon and Cornwall on Monday, April 23, and then I have a short run to RM Hasler in Plymouth to meet the returning injured ‘Royals’ from overseas conflicts and see where the money I raise gets used.
“A cuppa and a hour or two later sees me ride up to Taunton for another RM camp for more tea. That night is spent in Reading, when the next morning will be a visit to Kawasaki UK HQ to say thanks to the guys who have supplied my Kawasaki 1400 GTR police demonstrator motorcycle.
“Straight after this will be the ride into my home area of London, where I will visit 10 Downing Street before hopfully meeting Lorraine Kelly (charity ambassador) and senior guys from Commando 999, as well as senior officers from the Metropolitan Police Service.
“After this, I ride the 60 or so miles to Colchester Kawasaki for a half day event planned for me to meet the Kawasaki British Superbike Team where the motorcycling press will also attend.
“After a well deserved sleep, I will be on the road by 6am for the 550-ish mile ride back to Arbroath where I visit the guys at RM Condor. After this, it’s a short run back home to Dinnet where my family and a very cold lager will be waiting for me!
“The following morning, me and a very well used Kawasaki go to Ballater Primary School to meet the pupils and staff who have very kindly supported me with sponsorship money that was raised with cake sales and a collection by the Parent Council.
“The pupils also contributed to my event by making great pictures for me to take to Hasler to brighten up the rooms that the injured guys use.
“I’ll ask the senior officer to choose one he feels deserves a little prize and I’ll award a Royal Marine cup to the winner.”
PC Robinson, whose daughter Lexi is a P4 pupil at Ballater Primary School, thanked Kawasaki UK for use of their motorcycle, the co-operation of Lloyd Cooper Motorcycles (Watford) who assisited in the arrangement as well as supplying kit; Premier Inn, who supplied ten nights accommodation and everyone at Ballater Primary School for their support and kind wishes.
“I am grateful to my own bosses for allowing me sufficient time off to undertake this momentous trip,” said PC Robinson.
“The biggest thanks goes to my wife Liz, for her patience and support for this event that I have been planning since November.
“She has shared the stress, disappointment from rejected sponsorship and suffered me hogging the laptop for over 500 e-mails sent to various police forces and anyone else I needed to bombard with requests for donations.
“The First Minister, Alex Salmond, is also aware and sent me his regards and wishes for the event and hopes that I raise a healthy amount of money for the guys at Commando 999.”
Donations can be made online at: bmycharity.com/GOINGTHEEXTRAMILE2012 and full details can be made by reading the ‘events’ section on Commando 999 website. PC Robinson is a former Metropolitan policeman, has served with Grampian for eight years and now works a frontline response PC.
“I will be updating the C999 site each night, as well as updates to Grampian Police for the internet as well as messages to Ballater Primary for the pupils to see where abouts in the UK I have reached,” he said.