Dad Noel plans epic 48,000km motorbike trip
Noel Dempsey is a man on a mission. He's planning to travel 48,000km from the most northern part of North America right down to its most southern tip in Argentina on a motorbike.
For Noel (56), from Offaly, the epic Pan-American Highway will be trip of a lifetime and a chance to raise money for his favourite charity, but he's also only well aware of the risks involved.
"Most of my training has been building strength in case I have an accident in a remote area and end up with the bike on top of me," he said.
Dad-of-two Noel said his children are grown up and he has no particular responsibilities, so an eight-month road trip is something he can do without too much pressure.
"I'll be heading to the States next week and I have a brand new 700cc BMW GS waiting for me, and I'll start in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. If you go any higher than that you're in the Arctic Circle and need a permit," he told the Herald.
"I'll be travelling on a lot of tracks and rough terrain. If I like a place I'll stay a few days, and if it takes nine or 10 months then what's the harm?
"One area where I'll have to have my wits about me is the Dalton Highway in Alaska, made infamous by the Ice Road Truckers TV show."
Noel will be raising money for Sphenoid Ireland, a new charity formed from a voluntary organisation with its roots in suicide prevention - firstname.lastname@example.org