Back in the UK. . . trip complete. . . what an adventure!
Having left the UK in March 2009, after almost 18 months on the road I'm now back home in the UK.
In a way it seems like a dream that never really happened.
I had very high expectations of this trip, and it turned out far far better than I had guessed it could. I have been extremely lucky; no proper accidents, no major bike problems, no real robberies or problems with the authorities. As well as this, I do actually appreciate how lucky I am to have the chance to do a trip like this. I was helped out by the people I met, time and time again. I've been completely blown away by the kindness of strangers.
SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS . . .
The 'Road of Bones' in Siberia
In many ways, this was the highlight of my trip. The only part that can really be called an adventure. Terrain that tested our bikes and bike skills. We flirted with bears, and briefly lived with no food or drinking water.
Simon was a fantastic travel partner, a pleasure to share this adventure with you bud.
Racing in the 'BAJA 250'
A textbook example of being in the right place at the right time. Kay I owe you a huge thank you for making this possible. Big love.
We were taking on a lot; an extremely challenging race course, on a stock bike, with very little race experience. Amazing... I'd do it again in a second!
Char's account here.
Char and I finally getting our shit together
Char and I have been close to inseparable for over four years now. But it's taken a long while for us to.... get our shit together.
Char joined me in Seattle, 6 months into my trip, and had her bike shipped in from the UK.
After a few months of adjustment period, we were on the same wavelength again, and as happy as we've ever been together.
Working in Istanbul
The first leg of my trip was a bit of a dash. It took time to slow down from the manic, flat-out pace of pre-trip activities.
Istanbul was the first time I really stopped. I found a fantastic hostel, where I stayed long enough to be offered a job.
My mother flew out to deliver bike spares, and we had a superb holiday together. Dancing together at a gipsy festival on the first night was certainly a highlight.
Growing to love the USA
We had a planned to spend a month or so in the US. Never a place that had appealed to either Char or I, we didn't have a great deal of positive stuff to say about America.
But our experiences there changed everything. We met a lot of extremely nice people; we were shown huge kindness and generosity. The landscapes and topography were awesome.
So after travelling in this big country for 9 months, we developed a deep love for the place. It's not without fault, but please don't knock it until you've tried it.
Riding the 'Trans America Trail'
4,800 miles of off road is always going to be an interesting project.
Nick, a good buddy of mine from the UK, flew out to join me for this off-pavement adventure.
Just a few weeks before he left, Nick fractured his shoulder/arm in a few places. This didn't slow him down in the least.
It was a very optimistic aim to do the whole TAT in the time we had. Despite a dozen or more punctures, 3 snapped frames, an accident and a total loss of brakes, we did it in 18 days.
Exploring Mongolia with Dad
There's no disputing the statement, that Mongolia is an interesting place. In fact it's really nothing like anywhere else I've been in the world.
At 65, some might say that Peter, my Dad, is getting a bit old for this kind of thing.
But he did extremely well. We spent a couple of weeks riding off road, fording rivers, and wild camping. Which we both thoroughly enjoyed.
Not your run-of-the-mill Saga holiday.
Read Dad's account of the trip here.
Whilst in Baja, Mexico, I hatched a plan. A project that would continue after my return home.
For a good few years I've had a couple of big ambitions. One, to ride a motorcycle around the world, and two, to
run my own business.
So with a few months of the trip still ahead of me, I started investigating the possibility of doing just that. Supplying adventure motorcycling gear.
Six months later, and things have come a long way. I've invested all I could beg/borrow/steal, into stock. I have made some great contacts, and got my hands on some fantastic products.
So if this bike travel deal is something you're into as well, maybe I can help with the gear.
My online store will very soon be live, at WWW.ZENOVERLAND.COM
Mention this site, and I'll do you a deal!
Me casa es su casa . . .
Come and meet us in Wells, come and stay. Whoever you are, if I know you well, or you've just been on this site a couple of times... Come and visit. Wells is a beautiful place.
We stayed with dozens and dozens of people on this trip, and were made so welcome by everyone we met. We are now in the fortunate position of having a nice home, with spare room and often spare bikes. We're really keen to host people and get to know you.
Don't hesitate to get in touch, you are more than welcome here. Email, or call on 07974 134904.
Charlotte is happily back working with the law firm she was with pre-trip. I am happily back with the Engineering firm I was with pre-trip.
But, we are both working 3 days a week, leaving time for some of the other things
we feel are important.
I'm putting more and more energy into the business I've started, and it seems to be slowly picking up pace. I hope to get involved with some bike events, to host some events, and to start to produce my own products. Mixing my engineering experience with my passion for bikes and travel.
We have a really nice litte house in the tiny city of Wells, and are starting to feel settled after a long time on the road. We've had some friends that we met on the trip come to stay, and it's been an absolute pleasure. We hope to see some more of you.
We're planning a trip to Asia next year. Hoping to travel Tibet, Nepal and India.
I'm still riding a lot, with a view to competing in more events. Racing, rallies. Anyone selling an XR650R!?
Life is good.
The most important thing.
I can't stress this enough. The most significant thing I have learned from this trip, is how kind people are.
If I were to hear the stuff I preach now, before leaving the UK... I would disregard it as shitshitshit that didn't apply to real life.
I have been show such incredible generosity.
I have been put up in peoples homes for several months, had fuel/hotels/meals/bike spares/drinks/tolls paid for, by people that I have barely got to know.
Thank you to everyone that has helped me, I really do appreciate it. I am fully aware of the karma from which I have benefited, and I'm seeking to readjust to this imbalance.
In particular, I wish to show great thanks to:
Aleksander+family | Biker Safe House | Ante | Dario | Goran | Anton | Nikola | Fjaka | Ivan | Gasho | Bernard | Ognen | Tase | MaviGuestHouse | Ali | Burak | Bahadir | Jean | TiffanyCoates | Murat | Mirzo | Firuz | Laziz | VladTashkent | KaragandaBikePride | Simon Taylor | Dima | Zaya | RussianSniper |
Barbic | Roma | Evan | Artem | Susanne | Ljubov | SusumanPeople | Andre+Costya+Nadya+Sasha | Eugene | VladBike | Yuri+Joanna | Karl | Becky+Sean | Eric | Carl | Skip+Renatta | GSguy | SteveSF | Luke+Kate | Todd+Christina | Statdawg | Alex | Don+Joni | Randy+Sherry | Brett | Luke | Jenny | Skye+Mary+Bob+Zoe | Rob+Becky | Nicky | JavaBen | Stephen+Sharon | Ted+Jennifer | Tony+Liz | Evan+theconferencebike | Erdem | John+Lisa | Charlie+Kim | Kay+Marsha | Chip | Andy | StevenSF | Scott Conley | Colebatch | Scorpion | Dillon | Allen+Joy | Craig Johnson | Kurt King | Francis Poe Jefferson | John+Mary | Dylan | EthanNYPD | David+Francine | Chris Dawe | Benny | Danny Hicks | Kevin & Steve Rooney | Minnesota Motorcycle gang | Aladdin Freight | Officer Harrell | My Parents | Charlotte | DJOROB | NickFish | CharliesCycleCentre | HorizonsUnlimited | Grant+Susan | ADV | BestRest Products | Kriega | HID50 | BikeVIS | The people I've missed out.
Last Updated: Thursday 23rd September 2010
Now somewhere near:
Wells, Somerset, UK, Home