A 1000 mile journey by bicycle rickshaw LINKING all elite MEMBERS


Dave Cornthwaite is an adventurer, motivational speaker, filmmaker and author. His journeys are shaped by a philosophy to SayYesMore and Expedition1000, a project to undertake twenty-five different non-motorised journeys, each over 1000 miles in distance.

Ranulph Fiennes recently talking about Dave's adventures, saying "Dave Cornthwaite's Expedition1000 is the most ambitious adventure of the 21st Century. Nothing else matches it for scale, ambition or persistence".

He has broken nine world records to date, including the longest journey by skateboard during a crossing of Australia in 2006, and the world's longest stand up paddle board journey, source to sea down the Mississippi in 2011. He has swum 1001 miles down the Missouri, sailed across the Pacific and kayaked from Oslo to Helsinki, amongst many other projects and ventures.

Dave is the founder of life-fulfilling social enterprise SayYesMore, is an ambassador for Ordnance Survey, was voted one of the 50 most inspirational people in London in 2016, and in 2017 was named in the San Miguel Rich List as living one of this planet's remarkable lives. 

Dave has built a strong following since his adventures began in 2005, in part thanks to his daily commentary from the midst of adventures that takes the audience along on the highs and lows of every journey. After speaking for the Elite Travel Group in Cork at the end of 2016 he will be back again at the Mallorca conference in October 2017, and during his speech there we hope he can announce a new journey in alliance with Elite.

This journey, earmarked for the Spring of 2018, would be the 15th leg of Expedition1000, and the aim of the journey would be to complete a journey that links every one of Elite's members. Dave would pedal a bicycle rickshaw over 1000 miles, inviting celebrities and members of the public (and Elite) to join him en route in a unique vehicle.

And along the way he will stop at each one of the Elite's member offices, holding an hour-long social media masterclass, passing on over a decade's worth of experience in creating an online brand and engaging audiences across all mediums of online networks. 

Beyond this direct investment of skills into Elite's membership, the journey will reach out to local media in each Elite member location, drawing attention to their presence with elements of adventure, fun and Dave's infectious Say Yes More message. 

This film about Dave's life of adventure has received almost 250,000 views on Facebook alone

Mode of Travel

A bicycle rickshaw is rarely used for a long-distance journey due to its size and weight, but it is perfect for this adventure.

There are multiple forms of rickshaw, but all offer the chance to take passengers on a journey, just as Elite does on a daily basis. Visually, a rickshaw is ideal for 'carpool karaoke' - style online episodes (that can be shared across Elite's social networks), branding directly on the side and rear of the rickshaw, and allowing journalists to jump on board for an interactive news piece.

An open bicycle rickshaw

A closed shell bicycle rickshaw. Dave would be happier than this guy.

Timeline and ITINERARY

Covering 5-6 weeks in April/May 2018, this journey will begin and end at Elite HQ (or another location of your choice), drawing a line between all Elite member organisations, as shown in the map below. 

Dave and his team will work closely with Elite staff to ensure that each member is ready to get involved with the trip and welcome Dave as he arrives at their offices. 

The Power of a Story

Dave makes a living from telling stories. Whether it's to businesses, schools, festivals or thousands of attendees at TEDx events, he understands that it's not what you do that's important, it's how and why.

This is the perfect narrative for a unique story. Dave often shoots his adventures solo with his trusty DSLR and flying camera drone, the bicycle rickshaw will be set up with cameras and on different sections of the trip photographers and filmmakers will contribute to what will ultimately become a film and online story that people can follow forever more. 

Dave's TEDx in front of thousands in Brussels, March 2017

A live tracking map will enable all followers and Elite members to follow Dave's progress, and daily output for social media and YouTube will make this an engaging endeavour to join, in person or from the armchair (or Elite desk). 

Dave's skill set will allow:

  • Daily video diaries
  • Promotional shoots
  • Daily photos of landscape and journey
  • Live Q&A via streaming video even as Dave is pedalling
  • Capture of stock photographs and footage for Elite's social media network
  • Skills to be shared in person with all Elite members

Ultimately, a final, professionally edited film of the journey would be the end product, to send out to film festivals around the world as well as exploring viral potential on line.

The romance of adventure travel always turns heads and we all too often forget just how beautiful our back garden is. This journey is just as much about ensuring that the Elite membership all feel part of something bigger, as it is about awareness and promotion.

A positive, inspiring and unique project like this is the glue that can bind distance members together, and the stories that will undoubtedly unfold will bring a personal, human tale to Elite as an organisation.

Sponsorship Background

Dave has worked with companies for over a decade to carve out his own niche in the world of adventure, and thrives on building long-term relationships rather than one-offs.

Dave has spoken at Facebook, Google and YouTube, and worked with brands ranging from Apple to SLH, Berghaus to Blacks, Jawbone to Manfrotto.

To find better advertising is almost impossible.
— Dario Valenti, Hase Bikes

This journey is not just a unique and wide-ranging social media campaign as the quest is underway, but it's an investment into a future relationship. From sharing stories of this journey at future Elite conferences to becoming a life-long loyal ambassador of Elite, Dave riding around the UK isn't just for the Spring of 2018.


Based on previous adventures and taking into account new relationships with global blogging sites and a YouTube maximisation agency, there is no reason to believe that this journey wouldn't reach an audience of over 500,000 across a period of 6 weeks.

One of Dave's recent journeys, a self-supported, 4 week ride around southern Japan on a kick scooter, received over 48,000 video views, reached 521,000 people and had an eventual engagement (likes, comments and shares) from over 4,000 people.

And these were just through Dave's own channels - not including posts from the partners he worked with on the journey.

Dave's current social media audience is as follows

  • Facebook: 11,691 / Organic post Reach: 41,254 / Average post-engagement 120+
  • Twitter: 18,056
  • Instagram: 6,168
  • YouTube Views: 383,404
  • Live audience reached per year (in speaking engagements): 13,700 +
  • Total website visitors in last three years: 760,000+

In the Summer of 2017, Dave is due to travel 1450 miles along the Norwegian coastline on a world record breaking journey partnered by Schiller Bikes, Hurtigruten and Visit Norway, with a total new audience over 1.5 million. His audience is just about to grow, fast, so this is just the time to be talking about a partnership for 2018.



On Facebook, out of over 11,000 fans, 38% are in the 25 - 34 category, 28% are 35-44 years old and 14% in the 45-54 age group, most are based in the UK (over 4,500) with over 2000 following from the US. Currently he only has 82 fans in Norway, but that is likely to increase this year!


Dave's primary sponsorship fee for a journey is £7000 a week, including:

  • total dedication to the project for the agreed duration
  • unlimited media interviews
  • multiple tagged social media posts a day
  • copyright free footage and images archived for free use by the sponsor
  • an end-of-journey presentation to the sponsor at an agreed date/event
  • all equipment and tech (bar transport) needed
  • all photography and filmmaking, including commissioning external crew(s)
  • A trailer for the journey for use on Elite channels, specifically focused on Elite's business and interaction with the trip
  • A final, fully edited film (between 10 and 15 minutes) to be sent out to film festivals worldwide, and share online.

Additional costs for this journey would include:

  • Purchase of the transport, in this case a bicycle rickshaw. Estimated cost: £5000 (to be further researched once style is agreed)
  • Social media workshops. Usual charge per hour for group workshops = £750 + travel. Of course, travel here is already covered in main sponsorship, and economies of scale will bring per workshop cost down. To be discussed, but to start the bidding and fix a budget in time for the July 18th Pitch: £300 per workshop.

Estimated budget:


TOTAL: £60,000