A LIFE-LONG motorbike fanatic who suffers from terminal cancer has kick-started the ride of his life at Fort Nelson in Fareham.
Andrew Gordon saddled up for a 5,000 mile motorcycle trip across the UK coast to raise funds for the hospital that has treated him.
The 51-year-old will travel to the Isle of Skye, Isle of Wight and Isle of Man as well as the coasts of England, Scotland and Wales.
A canon was fired at the restored Victorian fort in Portsdown Hill Road to salute the beginning of his journey, which will take him and 10 of his friends two weeks.
Andrew, from Cranleigh, near Guildford, said: ‘I worked at Fort Nelson in the early nineties as a senior conservation officer so it seemed the perfect place to start.
‘It was one of the greatest places I’ve had the pleasure of working at.
‘One of my life long ambitions has been to ride around the coast roads of the UK.
‘I don’t feel like I have a great deal of time left on this earth now so I want to do something special that will define who I am.’
So far he has raised £7,000 for The Royal Marsen Hospital, in London, as a way of saying thank you for their support in treating him for neuroendocrine cancer.
Andrew’s cancer is a group of tumours that develop in the intestine, but they can also be found in the lung and the rest of the body.
The father-of-three said: ‘It won’t be easy considering my health, but in my opinion there is no better way of raising money for cancer research than combining my love for motorcycling and raising the money to give something back to a truly wonderful hospital.’
Andrew left on August 20 and he is due to finish his venture back at Fort Nelson next Tuesday.
So far he has taken in the sights of Ramsgate, in Kent, Driffield, in East Yorkshire, and Berwick-upon-Tweed.
He said: ‘I would love it if anybody wanted to join me on the road.
‘All I ask in return is that people enjoy the ride and the moment with me and make the whole experience worthwhile.
‘As long as I can still ride I know I am still alive.
‘It has helped me through some difficult moments of my life, along with the unfaltering love and support of my family.’
Andrew’s cousin Louise Howard, 37, from Ewhurst, Guildford, said: ‘I think he’s the bravest man I’ve ever met.’
To donate go to justgiving.com/andrewsrideout.