WHEN north Essex resident Gert van Kerkoerle contacted Diabetes UK to say he wanted to organise a fundraising event, they expected him to host a coffee morning.

But the 44-year-old surprised them with his vision for the Sugarrun – a motorbike and sidecar round-trip ride from his Great Bentley home to the Arctic Circle.

He said: “When I mentioned the Arctic Circle, they couldn’t believe it.

“We’re keen bikers and I do an average of 25,000 miles a year. We go biking in the snow in Austria and all that sort of thing.

“We thought why not take it to the extreme and see some proper snow.”

Sponsor Gert at www.justgiving.com/sugarrun2014

See Monday's Gazette for more.