WHEN Gert van Kerkoerle contacted Diabetes UK to say he wanted to organise a fundraising event, they were expecting a coffee morning.

But the 44-year-old surprised them with the Sugarrun – a 5,500 motorbike sidecar ride from his Great Bentley home to the Arctic Circle and back.

Gert, who runs a garage in Great Bentley, sets off on August 21 on a three-week round trip with girlfriend Katrin Dittrich and pal Rob Merryfield, from High Wycombe, who has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

After visiting Gert’s family in Eindhoven, Holland, the trio will travel through Germany and Denmark before reaching Sweden.

They will then either take the western Arctic Highway or travel the “Google” route to Nordkapp, on the Norwegian coast inside the Arctic Circle.

As it is summer, temperatures should only be just below freezing.

Gert wants to raise money and awarenessfor the charity which supported him after he discovered he had type two diabetes eight years ago, when he weighed nearly 25 stone.

Since then he has lost a quarter of his body weight.

Gert said: “I want people to understand that type two diabetes can be managed and you can live a full and active life, but it is also a serious condition which in many cases can be prevented.

To support him, visit justgiving,com/sugarrun2014