Some sound advice…

I recently received an email from Tim Moss, a freelance expedition organiser who (amongst other things) has led trips to all seven continents, made first and first-British ascents of several mountains in various parts of the globe and generally undertaken amazing aventures of the sort that travel dreamers like me, well, simply dream of. Tim was also the Logistics Manager for the first stage of Sarah Outen’s current London2London expedition, which I’ve been following closely; he is, therefore, a guy who knows his stuff.

Tim very kindly offers advice and encouragement to aspiring adventurers on his website, so I asked him what his take on sponsorship is and how best to go about getting it. Although certainly not naive – I always knew that this would be the most challenging part of the pre-journey arrangements – it’s still surprising just how many potential sponsors I’ve contacted who don’t even bother to acknowledge that I’ve done so. Any hints or tips on how best to approach this subject are therefore always much appreciated.

Tim made several useful points in terms of how to structure requests and the etiquette and ethics involved. Interestingly, he also stated that his first take on any queries of this sort is to ask whether sponsorship really is needed.

It’s a good point. Would a lack of sponsorship stop me from completing this expedition? Would the restrictions that naturally come with the caveats that comes with external funding really enhance the experience of cycling in South America, or would they prove to be cumbersome or restrictive?

Other than the straightforward financial and material benefits, I think forming partnerships with various like-minded companies and individuals will make this journey a far more inclusive and interactive one. And the idea of Cycling South America isn’t just to have an amazing experience but to inspire others who are also stuck in a rut and dissatisfied with life, and show that they too can get up and do something about it. That I don’t have the financial means or the connections to do this completely off my own back is, I believe, as integral to this story as the desire to circumnavigate a continent on two wheels is.

So for the time being I’ll continue to seek sponsorship and support from interested parties; any contribution, no matter how little or small, will help immeasurably in turning this dream into a reality. If you’d like to donate or get in touch for a discussion you can find my contact details here.


About keithruffles

I'm planning to take on the ultimate challenge - to cycle around the entire continent of South America!
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5 Responses to Some sound advice…

  1. Tim Moss says:

    Hi Keith, I’m glad my cynicism didn’t put you off your hunt for sponsors! Good luck with it and thank you for the very generous introductory paragraphs!

  2. Andy Porter says:

    More little pearls of wisdom, Keith. Always take a sink plug with you on your travels, especially if visiting far–flung outposts. There is nothing worse for a chap, after a hard day in the saddle, to book into the local ‘traveller’s rest’, only to find that some blighter has made–off with the venue’s one–and–only sink plug. It can be a huge let–down, and inconvenient, unless you come prepared. In my years cycling away from Blighty, that little round piece of black rubber, possibly on a chain, can be a life–saver. I have found that by lending your plug to other travellers in the same unfortunate situation as yourself, it will make you quite popular. Plugs are a conversation ‘ice–breaker’ and a great way to make new friends.

    • keithruffles says:

      Thanks, Andy – I’ll be sure to carry one with me! Reminds me a little bit of Michael Palin’s search for a bathpug in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky…

      • Andy Porter says:

        Here is another little piece of advice, Keith, that will guarantee you the ‘red carpet’ treatment on your travels. Trust me, it is a tried–and–tested method of navigating the world, whilst often not paying for anything at all. It is a trade secret that has been passed–down the generations to those working in the newspaper profession (sorry to bring–up old wounds). A journalist colleague of mine who, whenever, he wanted to take a holiday, ‘somewhere nice’, would contact the chosen country(s) department for tourism. He would state that he was a travel writer, undertaking a special assignment in that country to report on the standards of accommodation, food and hospitality offered to UK holiday–makers by the local travel industry in that particular country. This approach to travelling–whilst–writing, Keith, can actually pay dividends for the ‘journo–on–a–budget’. I would say that it is more advantageous to use this method of financing your trip, than go cap–in–hand to commercial sponsors. Time to polish the Press badge.

      • keithruffles says:

        I have to admit I would never have thought of that..! It’s brilliant – in fact I’m going to Moldova for a month in January and I’m quite tempted to give it a test-run..!

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