A former police officer is aiming to motorcycle Scotland’s equivalent of Route 66 in one day to raise funds for charity.
Mark David Robinson is travelling the length of the North Coast 500 on Saturday June 19 in aid of North East Rider Volunteers Scotland (NERVS), a charity he volunteers at.
He has completed a number of sports-related challenges in the past with all donations going towards organisations close to his heart.
NERVS provides free transportation for the Grampian Health Service.
Mark, who is originally from Watford but currently lives in Dinnet, said: “Over the years, I’ve done Lands End to John O’Groats by motorcycle in one day, as well as Lands End to John O’Groats and back to Lands End in just two days.
“In 2012, while serving in Grampian Police, I rode a marked police bike to all 51 of the police force HQ’s at the time on the mainland in 10 days and 3,500 miles for Commando 999.
“The following year, I went to the four furthest most compass points and police memorials for Care of Police Survivors on my motorcycle. And later that year I did a six-hour gym endurance event, lifting 107.84 tons to raise funds for Commando 999 again.
“After Storm Frank (in 2015), I arranged a huge fundraiser for the victims in Ballater and raised just over £16k in one evening. You can see I’m keen to do my bit.”
Mark, who is now a quarry dumper driver, was inspired by Captain Tom to tackle more charity challenges while being furloughed.
This included walking one million steps in 23 days and donating all earnings to the NHS.
He added: “I’d seen Captain Tom starting his historic walk and thought as I was half his age I could do something too.
“I like a walk now and again and worked out I had 24 days before returning to work. I had a quick chat with my wife and popped outside to walk one million steps in 23 days.
“I’ll be honest, blisters aren’t much fun, neither is walking over 20 miles a day. But as it was me against the 463 miles ahead, it was crack on and walk.
“The first 490,000 steps were local – on South Deeside Road, and so on – or I’d have my wife drop me off at the far side of Aboyne and I’d walk to Ballater. I did that a few times but the hard surfaces killed my feet.
“I did the remaining 510,000 steps on a 675 step circuit around Monaltrie Park in Ballater. I wore a track in the grass too. It was hard but if it was easy everyone would do it.
“My family thinks I’m barking mad but I’ve never failed in any event, so they support me and know when things are hurting me to give me some time and space to chill out.
“Friends were kind enough to chip in with sponsorship too. If memory serves, I raised around £2,000.
“After the walk, I had two weeks off at Christmas and cycled on a gym bike at home the 874 miles from Lands End to John O’Groats for Care of Police Survivors.
“I fancied doing something else on my motorcycle and thought of raising money for NERVS. I’m hoping to raise in excess of £500.
“I’m a volunteer motorcyclist for the charity. I volunteer one day per month as my day job and family take up my free time.
“I would be contacted by the controller and attend our office in Dyce, collect one of the marked bikes or cars and convey surgeons instruments, prescriptions, etc. in the north east.”
Mark will be joined by his friend Brett Bonas throughout the journey.
The pair will be starting at Inverness Castle and plan to return within 17-18 hours having covered 516 miles.
Mark’s current employer, Leiths (Scotland) Ltd, is covering the cost of his fuel and hotel.
Visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkRobinson124 to make a donation.