About the Bristows…
The Bristow’s don’t do anything in half measures. If there are two routes, they choose the most challenging one.
They also do things as a family, and everyone has to get involved.
I have been privileged to share many adventures with the Bristow family and to witness the growth of Grant and Craig from boys to men – and perhaps it’s true to say that Mark gets the chance to change from a man to a boy every time they embark on one of these extreme escapades!
I have been witness to the special bond that Mark and Noeleen have with Grant and Craig - a bond that has been cemented by the experiences they have shared in extreme circumstances and by the dangers they have faced together. Although Noeleen’s role is that of supporter, co-ordinator and Mom, she is no less a part of the team and provides the ‘home base’ security so vital in any adventure! Together they have tackled some of the most extreme and most dangerous challenges that Africa has to offer.
It is therefore no surprise to me that they are about to tackle an unsupported motorcycle ride across the whole of Africa.
What makes this adventure different from the others is that they are now all men in their own right. It is also the longest period of time that the Bristow men will have spent together in many years. Thus it will be a tremendously significant journey, not so much physically, but spiritually, as the bonds of family and fatherhood and brotherhood get challenged, tested, and strengthened.
It is exciting that fathers and sons can share this kind of adventure. We need more of this in our society. Perhaps not everyone has the opportunity to motorcycle across Africa – but every father can dedicate special time to spend with his son and pass on the mantle of manhood.
On behalf of everyone at St Alban’s College and fellow participants in the BIG 5 Challenge, it is with great excitement and more than a little jealousy that I say “Good luck, guys, and God bless!”
Teacher, fellow adventurer, and friend.