Dave Cornthwaite | Adventurer - Author - Speaker -

When Dave was 25 he realised he was a pretty rubbish graphic designer, so he took up a skateboard and crossed Australia. He hasn't looked back, and now he's a record-breaking adventurer, author and motivational speaker, as well as the founder of SayYesMore, aka. don't waste opportunities.

Amongst other things he has paddleboarded the length of the Mississippi, swum 1001 miles, written three books, stayed awake for 72 hours without turning crazy, and for years has tried in vain to get Nutella to sponsor his adventures. But will he give up? Never!
Recent Tweets @DaveCorn
Posts tagged "adventure"

Poul Brix recently took Trikey - my ICE Trikes Sprint - on an adventure, the first since my own journey across Europe.

He has prepared a great write-up on his blog and also sent us a cool list of statistics about his trip. It’s worth noting that Poul’s trip around Cornwall was done with barely any prep, he got the thumbs up just three days before he started. Go Poul!

#TrikeCornwall in numbers:

23.000 feet of accents (never got off to push)

6500+ twitter interactions

1000s smiles received

350 miles cycled

£145 raised (www.justgiving.com/TrikeCornwal)

17% steepest accent & decent

12 Pasties eaten

8 days on the road

3 maps to show the way

1 near crash (bus pulled out in front of me on a downhill section! I love the disk brakes on the trike)

Would you like an adventure on Trikey, or my ElliptiGO? Just drop me a line with a proposal…

Since I limped home from Nice in June 2013 with a damaged back and my ElliptiGO resting quietly in a garage on the Cote D’Azur, I’ve wondered how to get it back to the UK in one piece.

I could ride it myself, but don’t much have the time, and after all, I’ve already completed over 1000 miles on an ElliptiGO.

But someone else could do it…?

I popped the question on Facebook and in two weeks had over 100 applicants from potential ElliptiGO couriers. 

Eventually I opted with Australian Tom Kelly and for the last couple of months he has been riding through Europe slowly gathering tales to tell. 

Here’s Tom’s report on the trip, which ended in London just a couple of days ago:

When I booked my flight to London in February I had no idea what I would be doing in Europe. So I was more than a little excited when Dave posted about the chance to return his ElliptiGO, and subsequently chose me to do it. After a little scrambling to make the flights connect and get final preparations done (including a day learning how to ride the ElliptiGO whilst visiting Monaco), I got going from Nice on the 3rd of May. 
The first three weeks involved stunning views, fairly ordinary weather, and a pleasant though challenging initiation to European touring as I made my way through France and Switzerland. An easy week along the Rhine in Germany followed before making a beeline for Paris via Luxembourg. 
As I neared Paris things started to get interesting with a scary night in a random home and some health issues. In the end I was stranded in Paris for a week trying to recover, but made the most of it by spending plenty of time reading and people watching under the Eiffel Tower.
I took a train to Ghent to make up for lost time (an ordeal in itself), and then spent a week doing a lap of The Netherlands. What a country! The only shame was that Australia went down in a World Cup thriller to the Dutch while I was there. The quality beer helped.
Another fantastic few days with friends in Ghent followed, including a 100km ride on a road bike to have a go at some of the famous cobblestone climbs in the Flemish Ardennes. Respect to the people who race on that stuff!? From there I had 72 hours to cover 250km to London, and it turned out to be a fitting way to end the tour.

The beach at Ostende was lovely, where I camped in the dunes. I just made it to the ferry in Dunkirk in time to cross the channel on Saturday night, before camping at the edge of the white cliffs of Dover (wow). I followed the less-than-direct national bike route from Canterbury to the edge of London, caught a few hours sleep at the side of the Thames, before a long morning trying to navigate my way to my host in London without a map to speak of. It was a relief to arrive.
All in all it was a challenging and rewarding couple of months on Dave’s ElliptiGO, and I’m so grateful for the experience. What a brilliant way to see Europe for the first time!
Stats:
Total Days: 60
Rest Days: 14
Distance: ~2750km
Countries: 8
Cost: $2500
Nights in tent: 27
Punctures: Only one!
Crashes: One (not on ElliptiGO)
Follow Tom’s adventures on www.facebook.com/pleaseberemarkable

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It’s rare that any challenge can happen without help from others. Here are a few ideas for how to create the perfect team. 

If you have a good thing going, there will be people out there who will be willing to get onboard to help out. Whether you’re trying to collaborate with press, sponsors, fundraisers or volunteers it’s essential to first understand what it is you’re trying to achieve.
Then, with your aims and objectives intact, you must assess your skills and abilities to determine what holes are left for other people to fill in your project. 
Three P’s
Passion, potential and purpose are three key factors that will make your project attractive to others. If you’re hunting for volunteers they need to be able to get something tangible out of their involvement. Sometimes satisfaction will cut it, but the more you can offer the more likely you are to find strong team members.
Find your people
Outline the skill sets and qualities you’re looking for and then advertise on social media, tell your friends and colleagues, and most importantly ASK those you know who would benefit your efforts. 
Associated articles
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There can be an assumption that expeditions are all paid for by sponsors, but this is rarely the case. Unless you get lucky or already work for a company who can financially assist you it’s best to set your sights on getting your expedition set up via a mixture of guile, research, determination and passion. 

If you see sponsorship as something to be earned rather than expected, your life will become a whole lot easier. Here’s how to go about finding support for your mission and the ins and outs of what to expect from your sponsorship hunt.
 
For many people harbouring hopes of embarking on a big adventure, sponsorship is the only way to make the dream a reality. Even if gear is obtained for free or cut/price, every bit of help goes a long way.
 

Teaming up with a sponsor (or several of them) can be beneficial: they offer possible finance, cheap (or free) gear, PR assistance and another conduit for spreading word about your project. Receiving external support can also have negative impacts: extra time and pressure go into honouring an agreement, and expectations of commercial return may glaze their perspective of how successful your expedition has been.

The Three Stages of Sponsorship
If you’re organising your first expedition try not to depend on financial sponsorship when you’re planning out your project. You likely have no prior experience to prove that you’re a worthy investment so if sponsorship is the only method you can envisage to covering your expedition you may already be relinquishing control and compromising your objectives. 

There are always exceptions to the rule, but more often than not you have to earn your right to sponsorship. First, if you impress, you’ll get discounted gear, either on a discount or a pro deal. Next, you’ll get free gear. Finally, you might be good enough to be paid by a company in order for you to carry their brand. Later in this blog, I’ll discuss how you can improve your chances of climbing the ladder. The key, as always, is not to expect anything, else you might end up disappointed.

Pick your targets
In an ideal world, you want to find a sponsor who supports you because they like you and what you’re doing, as opposed to only offering assistance because they want financial/sales return. Here’s what to look for in a suitable sponsor:

- They provide a product(s) that exactly fit your needs - this way you can use their gear to the hilt, write/ film accurate reviews, and not go out of your way to find a use for an extraneous product.

- Their brand and attitude matches yours

- They’re not so big that your request will be silently ignored, or that your venture (if they do support you) rarely features in their content streams.

- Only contact potential sponsors if you’d be happy to work with them. You don’t want to go into any type of relationship with someone/ a company that doesn’t share your values.

The Proposal
Ask yourself two questions: 

1) ‘What can I do for them?’
2) ‘What can they do for me?’
However much you believe in yourself, your project and your chances of success, remember that you’re never going to find someone who is as passionate about what you do, as you. Simply, it’s your job to get this across to whoever will listen.

Understand your mission. What are your aims and in what order of priority do they fall? Are you fundraising? Is this for personal development? Do you have a scientific or social research aims? Are you after a world record or world first?

With this in mind, you have to sell your idea, your passion and your unique angle. If accepted your proposal will almost certainly form the basis of your sponsorship agreement. Lay your cards on the table. Don’t bullshit and make your offer sound better than it can actually be, otherwise your Pinnochio butt is gonna go get bit.

The key points - why you’re doing what you’re doing, what you can do to offer return on their support, and what you hope for from them (this is why you’re writing to them).

Ideas for what you could offer to a sponsor:
- Branding on your website (unless you have big media promise and a wealthy PR budget, this will be of minimal value)

- Ongoing content throughout your expedition

- Mentions and links through social media like Facebook and Twitter

- Product reviews: these are valuable for a company that deals in gear. If their gear survives and works well on a long, tough expedition, then you prove that it’s durable, effective and is worth someone else paying for it.

- Clothing and kit branding: if their logo appears on your expedition clothing and other key expedition items, they will have heightened brand positioning in photos, videos and media coverage of your expedition.

- Spread the word: whenever you meet people rave, display and present the gear you’re using. (It helps if you love the product)

- Offer to give a talk to the company/ organisation once your expedition is finished, perhaps at a fundraiser. It’s moral boosting for the staff and a great way for them to enjoy and meet the person they’ve been supporting and following.

- Promise credits in post-expedition products, like films or books

How to approach a sponsor
Ok, now you have an idea of what you need and what you can offer, you need to make contact with the people who might be able to help you.

Most sponsorship seekers resort to email (much faster than letter writing, which is how I started out - to poor effect). You might get lucky, but it’s impersonal and lazy. Try harder.

A better option is to call. Make that personal connection, you can get your point across so much better on the phone than by email.

Even better, engineer a face to face meeting with the decision-maker at the company you want support from. Let them see your eyes shine, feel your passion for your project and give yourself the best possible chance to make an impact.

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Summary

- Be patient.

- Don’t make promises you can’t keep.

- Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure in return for something you don’t need.

- Ask yourself whether you actually need sponsorship for a particular piece of gear. It’s tempting to try and get everything for free but sometimes it’s not worth the effort. Be smart, don’t be a vulture.

- Rejection makes you stronger. Either you don’t have a strong enough idea for that sponsor, or your pitch was too weak. Work out what went wrong and build on your experience. (Most of all, LOVE the rejection! It makes success so much sweeter when someone finally does give you the thumbs up)

- Even if your expedition is a one-off for you, act like you’re building a long-term relationship. Work hard for anyone who helps you, love them, be loyal and appreciate what they’ve done for you. 

Career adventurers succeed because they’ve found a way to offer true, sustainable and consistent value to their sponsors. Act like you’re a pro and you’ll be treated like one, even if this is a one-off.

Off you go now. If you don’t ask, you don’t get. But if you’d don’t think about what you’re asking for, the answer will probably be no.

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If you’re trying to market anything, you need a USP (unique selling point). These comes in various guises. A world record attempt is a tried and tested marketing tool, but there are other methods. A worthwhile charitable aim, a unique mode of transport, a world first (this doesn’t necessarily class as a record), a race, even wearing a costume for the duration of your event.
A key to getting anyone interested in your charity journey is passion. If you’re not brimming with excitement at what you’re about to attempt don’t expect anyone else to show any interest. Know your project inside-out - you should be able to sum it up to to a stranger in a single sentence.
The Internet is your friend. Create a database of newspaper, radio, tv and important web contacts in the cities, towns, villages and areas your event is relevant to. Don’t forget to write to your home town media, too.
When approaching the press try to get a personal contact. Often newspapers will have a list of contact details for their journalists. Sending it to a paper’s generic news or editorial address runs the risk of your story being lost. The personal touch helps to get it attention. Ask around, do your research, don’t be lazy.
Help the journalist out. Write the story as you’d like it to be heard or read. Do the grunt work and make the publishing process as easy as possible. 
Writing a Press Release:
A press or media release is the best way to send a story to the press. Think of a catchy title (imagine your ideal headline). When do you want your release to go to press, if it’s selected? 
Open with a sharp, short paragraph. Sum up the point of your story immediately. Capture the attention of the journalist (and ultimately, the reader.)
Aim to keep your entire release on one page. Include the reason for your project. The inspiration, the details, the team, the route and the ultimate aims.
End your release with Notes for Editors. Include event dates, relevant internet sites and contact details in case journalists want further details or communication.
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How are you travelling? Is weight or compact packing essential? What conditions are you heading into? How remote will you be: ie. is resupply (for food or other gear) possible?
 
Make a list of the gear you need to make your journey possible. List in order of priority and be firm with yourself; do you NEED each item, or will it be a LUXURY?
 
We’re often spoilt for choice in every area of kit selection these days, so do some research and read reviews/ get advice to determine what best suits your venture and budgets.
 
Finally, whether or not you need to pursue sponsorship for certain items of gear depends entirely on your financial and time* budget. There are some great deals on eBay if your budget is tight.
 
*Time is key, can you afford to honour the demands of a particular gear sponsor? Of course, this is sometimes offset by the time spent making the money you need for gear.
 
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First talk of the night at @SnowAndRock. @squashfalconer tells us about becoming a mountaineer #adventure

Less than two weeks ago I rode my ICE Trike Sprint to the Inspired Cycle Engineering HQ in Falmouth, Cornwall to complete a tenth non-motorised journey of over 1000 miles.

It was arguably the most comfortable and peaceful of my endurance ventures to date and I think it would be quite lovely for other people to have the opportunity to travel by Trike, too.

So, with the help and support of ICE, my beloved Trikey is now preparing to be taken on several adventures this Summer, by YOU!

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Three-Wheeled Summer

We’d like to keep Trikey in the UK, and secretly (well, not so secret now) we think it would be quite cool if he (or she, we’re not quite sure) could total up at least 1000 more miles before the Summer is out. Whether this is down to one people or ten, we don’t mind. 

There is one definite: the first journey begins at the home of ICE, in Falmouth. You’ll have to get yourself down there to pick up the wheels (and the lovely people at ICE will give you some brief mechanical tips before you leave).

Send me your plan:

So, quite simply, if you’d like to have a little adventure on Trikey send me an email or a message on Facebook letting me know what you’d like to do, where you’d like to go and when you’d like to do it. Two days, one week, we don’t mind, as long as the adventure is cool and you’re up for sharing it on social media so it can inspire others to go on a journey.

And now the question is simple. Are you in?

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Find out more about my ICE Trike journey, say hi on Facebook, and if you have any questions, ask away.

The mornings only feature the remnants of a head cold, the post-adventure common denominator that chases up the sore muscles that had been put to work day-in, day-out with barely a break for a month.

Only after a brief spell in shoes does the numbness in my toes reappear, but along with the tight quads and tired calves it feels like there’s only a week or so left of physical recovery before it’ll be time to move again.

The processing has begun. Two back to back expeditions. 2115 miles pedalled, a few of them with the assistance of a fairly inconsistent Chilean prevailing wind which decided for three weeks only to prevail in the wrong direction.

20 days on a Whike and a further 23 on another trike - this time sail-less - designed by the Cornish company Inspired Cycle Engineering: two more expeditions of just over 1000 miles, but most importantly a fairly gentle two.

They certainly weren’t easy (sometimes utterly brutal, physically, especially on those hour-long uphills, which are not the ideal realm of tricycles) by any stretch, but individually they held no flame of difficulty to expeditions lasting multiple months - it is the passage of time (and indeed, the days and weeks that remain ahead) that really eats into the psyche and then, once that’s gone, the body.

But back-to-back this was quite the test. It’s something I’ve only tried once before; in 2012 I hopped straight from a Pacific sail to ride a Bikecar across the American South with just a two week gap in between, which offered just enough time to stand up paddle the Wolf River in 7 days.

But this year’s combo was more testing, not least because I’d been off this endurance stuff for the best part of a year and the culprit - my back and its formerly damaged disc - had to stand up and be counted.

I decided this would best be done by sitting down in two consecutive (and effortlessly comfortable) seats.

And now, not only is the aching and the numbness going, but I wake up in the morning without holding my back any more. Which means these two journeys, numbers 8 and 9 in Expedition1000, were a success across the board.

It’ll be a while before Jamie finds the time to create what will no doubt be an artistic take on our Whike journey across the Atacama Desert, but I really hope you enjoy Ben Sadd's calm and pleasant short film about my most recent journey, which really was as lovely as it appears to be in this beautifully shot film.

If this film only serves to whet your appetite, here are all the short videos I made on my ICE Trike, you won’t have to scroll down too far to find a gallery of Instagram stills from the trip, and please do visit the Whike and ICE Trikes websites to check out some awesome-looking (and very fun) three-wheeled riding machines.

Signing out, a formerly weary (and now just a bit sniffly) man,

The best way to spend a Saturday. Ginger Olympics with my friend Sean.

Filmed on an iPhone, edited on an iPad

See our last video together, Big Swimmers