A BWLCHGWYN man who rode 12,000 miles to the Arctic Circle has hailed a Wrexham Leader article for opening doors while on his travels through Europe.

In June, John Peers, 59, undertook an Arctic Circle solo motorbike ride covering 12,000 miles in 30 days, but before heading north.

He had ridden east all the way over to the Ukraine. A total of 24 countries borders were crossed each country with its own language and 18 with their own currency.

That ride was in aid of the Lady Taverners Charity and now John is preparing for his next adventure this time to Asia in aid of Blood Bikes Wales leaving from Wales on August 27.

After riding through western Europe he will ride down to Athens in southern Greece from where he will board a ferry over to Turkey.

Crossing southern Turkey will see him close to the borders of Syria, Iraq and Iran before he heads north into Armenia and Georgia.

The return journey will see him ride through Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia but with more than 2,000 followers on social media John never feels he is on his own.

He said: “The likes of Facebook means that you are in contact with people at the end of every day, my average mileage per day is about 400 miles so I’m usually riding from 8am to just after lunchtime.

"I then spend the rest of the day exploring where I am and then from 9pm it’s chatting to people on social media.

"People will give me ideas of places to visit en route and I have even stayed overnight with friends of friends in countries far afield as Estonia, Sweden and even Serbia. "

The climate changes he experienced were equally extreme, 36 degree heat in Croatia down to minus 10 degrees overnight in his room in the Ice Hotel in Sweden.

On the power of social media, John added that the Wrexham Leader's coverage of his last trip had a most unexpected and quite spectacular bonus due to the powers of the internet.

The Leader mentioned John was going to ride through Belarus and this was picked up by a Belarusian newspaper which translated the article in Russian, even giving John his own Russian name.

John was then able to show the article in countries previously within the Soviet Union and that helped him explain what he was doing - so much so that in one country he was introduced to the local mayor, and wined and dined and "treated like a minor celebrity".

The Blood Bikes Wales charity is close to John’s heart.

He said: “Blood Bikes is an entire volunteer charity but in addition to the motorcyclists themselves we also have fundraisers and controllers without whom nothing would work.

“In addition to carrying bloods from hospital to hospital we also carry breast milk for premature babies and anything thing else which requires an urgent delivery, saving the NHS tens of thousands of pounds every year."

He added: “I am so proud to be a member of Blood Bikes and would encourage anyone who would like to know about what we do to contact me, we give talks to schools, nursing homes, Women’s Institute.

"I’m hoping to raise several thousand pounds on this trip for this great cause."