Preparing for the Arctic trip ahead

Cross-country trips weren’t anything new for Alan McGuinness. (A former telecommunications engineer from Horwich, Lancashire.) Hitting the road on his reliable BMW GSA 1200 across many different countries and terrains over the years. ‘I’ve done cross-country trips through Kazakhstan, the Middle East, etc’

However, when taking on his latest cross-country adventure across the length of the Arctic continent, Alan knew that his bike was in for some of its harshest riding conditions yet.

Alan at the start of the arctic trip in front of bike

The trip, which was spurred by the tragic passing of Alan’s wife, who after three years battling cancer sadly passed. ‘It was after the death of my wife, that the emphasis became live, do, experience.’ Alan always had the idea in mind. But, after facing such a life-shattering event, it became clear it was a trip he needed to accomplish.

It was one Alan had planned for extensively. ‘The Arctic Circle had always been a big box I’d wanted to tick.’ And so, staying with friends in Denmark he began to plan the route ahead. ‘A friend redirected me and organised a great route through Sweden stretching through Lapland and the top end of Norway…’

During previous trips, Alan had used competing protective sprays to ensure his bike was protected on the long journey. However, he found them lacking in their usability: ‘The viscosity of it was very gloopy and very gluey, very thick. Not user-friendly in that sense.’

Finding the solution

That’s where we came in. Alan came to us looking for a solution. He needed a protective spray that could withstand the harsh changing weather conditions he was set to experience. He also needed to avoid corrosion damage to the bike while also remaining easily applicable, easy to remove and not affecting the bike’s performance.

we recommended our revolutionary: Travel size Steelgard 5-in-1 spray. Confident that our protective spray could offer strong guaranteed corrosion protection while also keeping the bike in perfect condition we put our spray up to the challenge.

Before setting off on his 5,000-mile trip Alan prepared. ‘I cleaned the bike to within an inch of its life. Then I coated the whole thing in Steelgard before setting off.’

Confident in the Steelgard’s corrosion prevention and ability to keep his bike protected, Alan set off on an incredible once-in-a-lifetime journey on two wheels and the results?

Steelgard vs the Arctic

As we hoped, the Steelgard spray was able to keep Alan’s bike protected through over 5,000 miles of harsh and tough riding through, varying arctic terrain. ‘The second I put a bucket of hot, soapy water on it, it was like I’d never left. I don’t throw band-aid praise around for the hell of it but it’s an incredible product.’

The bike before and after the arctic trip

Steelgard’s unique ability to tackle varying conditions, displace moisture, and prevent corrosion became vital for protecting the bike during the journey. ‘the kind of environments we’re going through, the varying weather conditions, the sun, the rain. 5,000 miles later and the bike looks brand new again.’

Alan's bike in the arctic next to mountains

One of the features that makes 5 in 1 spray so adaptable is that its specially designed formula leaves a minimally visible coating. This avoids the ‘gloopy, gluey’ texture of other competing brands. This ensures that as well as protecting the bike, it also leaves an unobtrusive layer. This avoids the gluey texture and aesthetic effect of other competing brands.

A trip to remember

When asked about the highlights of his trip, there was only one answer ‘The Midnight Sun at the Nord Cap. This unique natural phenomenon takes place during the summer months. It sees the sun remaining in the sky well into the night, hence the name: ‘The sun never goes down, so I’m there at 2 o’clock in the morning in broad daylight.’

broad daylight at 2am the midnight sun in full effect

However, he was quick to mention that the constant sunlight didn’t exactly help with sleep... ‘You’re staying in log cabins trying to sleep and you can’t really because your body clock is all up the wall because you’re four days in and it’s still not gone dark yet.’

Still, if Alan was losing sleep, it wasn’t over the condition of his bike. Steelgard 5-in-1 was originally released in 1970 and is specifically formulated to meet Ministry of Defence requirements. Making it perfect for the harsh and constantly changing weather conditions of the Arctic. Or, just the ever-changing weather conditions of the UK.

Alan in the arctic with his bike during the midnight sun

Future adventures

Returning home with his bike looking as road-ready as the day he set off there was, of course, only one question left, what’s next?

With a hearty laugh, Alan already has ideas for his next adventure. ‘I originally planned a trip through Russia. But, with the current state of things, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen soon. So, the simple one is The Italian Dolomites. I’ve done the Swiss Alps, and the French, so it’s likely the next step.’

When asked for a recommendation on where to travel next, his answer came easily. ‘Get a flight to Zurich, rent a car or bike and just go to the Swiss Alps. I’ve been all over the world there’s nothing else like it.’

Wherever Alan’s future adventures might take him, and his BMW, what’s clear is that a can of Steelgard 5 in 1 will be joining for the journey. At only 400ml, 5 in 1’s easy travel size makes it an easy travel companion. Bringing a can of 5 in 1 spray in your travel case is roughly equal to taking an extra pair of shorts. (but far more practical)

‘It was the perfect barrier and that’s what you’re after. You want all the elements and the crap to attach to the product, not your bike, that’s exactly what it did.’

We wish Alan all the best on his next trip with 5 in 1 spray.