Neil is in for the long haul
With more than 100 miles to cover each day across some of the roughest terrain on Earth, the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) is not a competition for the faint-hearted.
Held in southern Finland in August, the event is reserved for the very best riders on the planet and has even been described by some as the 'Olympics of motorcycling'.
And braving this mighty challenge this year is Gullane 20-year-old Neil Chatham - and the young enduro star couldn't be happier about the difficulties which lie before him.
Chatham, whose past exploits include being named Scottish Clubman Enduro Champion in 2007 and Best Newcomer to the Scottish Expert Class in 2008, has made it into the Scotland team for the event and will be going all out for glory in this year's competition, which runs August 8-13.
The six-day competition will be made all the tougher by the fact that only he is allowed to do any work on his bike over the course of the competition or fit the new tyres needed at the end of each day, while the only tools he can use for this are those that he can carry with him - making the race a true test of endurance.
What's more, there will also be a series of specials tests for Chatham and other competitors on each day, in which he will have to race against the clock to get the job done.
But Chatham is absolutely delighted with his selection for the national team.
"This fulfils a lifetime ambition for me," the young racer said.
"It has always been my objective for as long as I can remember to compete in the ISDE and I am really grateful that the SACU [Scottish Auto Cycle Union] has given me this opportunity."
Chatham made it into the three-man Scottish team, which also includes Aberdeen 18-year-old Fraser Norrie and more experienced Elgin competitor Ricky Mair, despite a broken wrist last July cutting short his 2010 season.
He had earlier beaten off competition from riders from all over Europe to earn a place in the UEM Promotional Enduro Team based in Tuscany, allowing Chatham to race in the World and European Championship events.
Despite his tender years, Chatham did himself proud, finishing a superb seventh in the WEC Youth World Cup out of the best young enduro riders from across the globe.
This season, Chatham has decided to concentrate on the British Championship scene and he has done himself proud already and currently leads his class in the British Enduro Sprint Championship.
And though he is not giving his full attention to the Scottish Enduro Championship this year while he concentrates on the British events, Chatham battled a cold to start the first two rounds of the championship with a first and a second place at Lossiemouth this month.
With over six hours' riding on the Saturday's event and four hours on the Sunday, the latter of which he won, Chatham was delighted with his performances and glad to get more experience and preparation under his belt ahead of his big challenge in August.
Chatham is grateful to sponsors KTM UK, Drysdale Motorcycles, Shell, Fox, Metzeler, Hardcore Racing and Jewelultra Diamondbrite for their support.