The proposal was to ride from Moscow, Ayrshire to Moscow, Russian Federation and back; leaving mid-June 2011 and arriving back in Moscow, Ayrshire, around the end of July. It was not envisaged that a large number of bikes would complete the entire ride. Rather that half a dozen or so riders would make the ride from Moscow to Moscow and back, raising sponsorship from anyone they could get to donate. The ride was promoted through the motorcycle press and other media to UK and European biking groups, who were encouraged to raise sponsorship and join up for different legs of the trip. The route took in various locations that are significant to the Poppa Guttmann story, and a few fund-raising events were organised along the way.
The riders were accompanied by a fully equipped support vehicle in case of breakdowns and repairs, and sponsorship was sought for navigation equipment, rider communications and vehicle servicing.
James Humphreys: the trip was the brainchild of this 69-year old Scottish engineer and management consultant. Jim is a keen motorcyclist and the idea of riding from Scotland to Russia and back holds particular appeal, since Scotland and Russia share the same Patron Saint (St. Andrew). James has 20+ years' experience lecturing on Business Management and Marketing to Degree and Post Graduate Students. During his business career, he acquired a great deal of international experience, living and working in Zambia, Malaysia and Singapore. His involvement with the Poppa Guttmann Trust comes as a result of his friendship with Philip Lewis, a Trustee.
John Rynne: after 30 years' varied service with the Metropolitan Police, John decided to do a bit of travelling. He bought a couple of round-the-world tickets for himself and Brigid, and rented out their London home. A relative newcomer to biking, John had only ridden about 300 miles when he arrived in Boston on the first leg of their trip. When they left, 3 months later, there were 15,000 miles on the odometer. The kindness and hospitality that John and Brigid encountered during that trip, forever altered their own attitudes towards other people. John returned to work for the Met until he and Brigid retired to France in 2007. John is an Open University Graduate.
Brigid Rynne: originally trained as a florist, Brigid has built up a colourful CV working for industries as diverse as fashion, shipping, biotech, medical communications and the NHS. Always up for a challenge, she has never allowed lack of experience to stand in the way of an opportunity! Brigid came into biking after the 1989 transport strike brought London to a standstill, and it was she who introduced John to two-wheels. Brigid is an Open University graduate and has also recently qualified as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language. Her involvement with the Poppa Guttmann Trust comes through her cousin, Mike Mackenzie, the Trust's Chairman.