2 Ride The World...5-years on the road and we're only half way!

hello’…well with a little time on my hands, as Lisa’s been ill so can’t travel, I thought I start a thread. We were introduced to this forum only recently when we were helping Nick Sanders with web stuff re Parallel Worlds. Nick great on a bike, not so much with forums:D

Anywho…It had been a long time coming. For years we’d laughed off our throwaway comments of chucking everything in and riding off into the wild blue yonder to explore exotic lands. But how could we do that? How could I just walk away from a telecom company I’d built from scratch? How could Lisa throw away the great sacrifices she had made to earn a computing degree as a mature student and say goodbye to her new career as an IT analyst?

We were just starting to earn good cash, but were plagued by the nagging sense that there was more to life. Every so often, after a bad day at work, we would open a bottle of wine (or 3;))and explore this travel fantasy. We’d allow ourselves to consider the idea. Hell, why not? We’re capable, self reliant, determined. Surely we could… Then the real world would flood in: what about work, the mortgage, pensions, career paths, insurance, blah, blah, bloody blah. More important, how could we afford it?

Over the years, the topic raised its head with noteworthy frequency. Finally it became clear that this was more than just an idea. We gave ourselves a month, 30 days, to seriously think about it before making a final decision. D-day arrived on a cold, wet Monday morning, midsummer in the UK. After a few deep breaths, we agreed. We’d sell everything and make our dream a reality. There is a side note to that. Lisa cheats…yep. We’d aggreed to both give our yes/no answers at the same time to make sure one wasn’t infulencing the other. “OK, so after 3, ready”? “one, two, three…YES”!!! I yell, grinning, hands in ther air like I’m doing the mexican wave. Lisa’s silent, not a murmur, her expressionless face quashing my schoolboy excitement. Oh ****??? It took her all of 30 seconds (which is a bloody long time) to finally crack a monster grin, say ‘yes’ and start making fun of me. Yeah, yeah, apparently my face was priceless.

…and so after selling everything, and yes we mean everything, we named my R1100GS Tinkerbelle (it’s a Julia Roberts thing) and Lisa’s F650 GS…Tarzan (it’s apparently a good looking, naked, muscled man thing) addorned them with lots of adventurest style goodies and set off a full year before Ewan & Charley left for the ‘long way round’.

Well, here we are 5-years later (currently in Mexico), still on the raod and on the same journey…broke, slightly mad and grinning like we’ve been dipped in chocolate and thrown to the lesbians.

I’ll post a few photos but here’s a video clip made by the ‘Beeb’ back in 2006.

cheers for now.

Simon T

you can get more info at www.2ridetheworld.com

What’s taking you so long Ewan and Charley did it in 12 episodes and have been the long way down since you set off.

Maybe you need to get faster bikes:hehe:

Wow. You two are fantastic. You make Ewan and Charlie look like amateurs!

Good luck and please do keep us posted.

wow. and i thought wales were abroad :wink:

Hi LOKI-JME,It’s a bit sad really, after X-rays, pills, various penatrating probes, tests and spending 6 million dollars, they couldn’t rebuild us and we’ve both been diagnosed with 'Geographic Dyslexia.

We only left our houes for a nice liitle ride to Brighton beach for tea and cakes and have spen the last 5-years trying to get home…not!

Go faster, just you wait. Next week the stablizers come off the bikes and then we can get a move on, possibly hitting giddying speeds as high as 38mph. Any faster and there’s a good chance the Flux Capacitor will kick in and send us back to the begining.:w00t::cool::stuck_out_tongue:

We have had a cance to watch the last Ewan and Charly’s ride and thought it was pretty good fun, although we did get one guy in South Africa ask us in all seriousness…“how do you arrange with the helicopters to drop off the fuel to you when you cross the Sahara”?:w00t::w00t: I remember Lisa answering politely as I tried not to giggle.

Here’s a small movie of our route to date, bit more intersting thatn a static image. I’ll post some photos soon.


Simon T

Nice one Simon! My missus and I are also at that point where life is treating us pretty well and it would be a big step to jack it all in and go travelling. However, our first trip will be to ride form the UK to Thailand (or as far as we can without being shot or traded for camels). Second trip (or possibly first) is to get to Macu Pichu (sp?) before they close it to the public. Maybe we’ll still bump into you - it doesn’t sound like you’ll be home by then… :slight_smile:

Fridayman our advice would be to get on the road as fast as you can. Simple advice I know, but bearing in mind no matter what happens once the journey begins, no matter what problems and difficlties you’ll face none will be as genuinely nerve racking as the ‘the decision to go’, itself was. Truly the scariest part of the entire journey so far, for Lisa and I was the first step and all that would ‘thought’ it would mean.

Lifes just to short to regret the things you didn’t do.

Here’s a few of our shots of Machu Picchu. It is simply stunning and a truly magical place. How can anyone not want to ride a bike there?:slight_smile:


Simon T

We should have called the ride ‘up & down & around the world’, it would have been a better description.Funny, the things you decide from the saftey and comfort of your duvet on Sunday mornings whilst your trip planning. Well, we thought If we’re going around the world lets also see if we can ride to the most Northelry and Southerly points on each continent. Seemed like a good idea at the time:w00t:

Leaving in ealry 2003 and with bags and zips full to bursting we set off and past Wales, Ireland and Scotland found ourlseves in Norway and reaching Knordcapp on Mid-summers eve. What a ride. The temp dropped to -23 on the road to Hammerfest. We’d never ridden in anything like it. That said Norway was breathtaking and the Fjords like somehting from the sets of Lord of The Rings.

The photo above is two days North of the Arctic Circle.

In summer the Sun doesn’t set, making sleep dificult. A bright 1:00am ride seemd like the thing to do:cool:

Into Russia and the riding became instantly more demanding. This was the main road South into the Naval City of Murmansk.

So, we’re on a logging route. No towns, city or air museums for that matter…just a mig stuck in the ground. Bizzare! Below is a perspective shot.

Out of Russia we rode through the Baltic countries, Easterna and mainland Europe. We were desperate to get to Africa. The ride over the mountains into Spain was breathtaking.

I’ll post some photos of Africa soon.


Simon T

well…what can i say…?im in absolute awe…really fantastic tale thus far and i am green with envy…i really am…

your doing only what most bikers dream of …bloody well done…really…ur both doing soo well after all that has gone wrong …

anyways…please keep us posted and ride safe guys…

till the next time


Do you guys have an online trip log? Or Horizons blog?

Thanks for the kind words…

Hi Fridayman,

Yes, we don’t have anything on Horizons other than we contribute to the forum etc.

We do have our own website, which is www.2ridetheworld.com . There is diary, photos, galeries, our whole GPS log ofr download. Hints, tips etc. BAsically a ton of info that we wanted to pass on. Hope you enjoy.


Simon T

what a fantastic journey! totally in awe.

how do you fix the bikes when they misbehave?

Hi Hallspeed,Basically if the bikes plays up ‘we fix’ them with what ever is to hand. I know that sounds an off-hand answer, but it’s just that simple. Niethr of us were mechanically minded when we left the UK, but…‘desperation is the mother of all tutors’.

I’d rather breakdown in Africa or South America than Europe any day. 9 times out of 10 you’ll find someone, somewhere who’ll help fix broken bits. In Africa in particular there’s a different mind set. Things just have to work and if they dont you fix them untill they do. The ingenuity is remarkable. As opposed to “no sir, we dont have that part in stock but if you like to leave a huge deposit or pay in full we see if we can be bothered to order it and we’ll all hope it arrives at some point in the future”.

Here’s a few images from Morocco and the Northern Sahara, we spent weeks here practising sand riding before the desert crossing. Also broke my drive shaft and needed to wait another 5 weeks for the new one. What an incredible place. If you get teh chance go, it’s all closer than you’d think.


Simon T

These were from our first day in teh Sahara. It took us 4-days to run the shortest route down the West coast. We learnt very quickly how valuable our practise in Morocco had been.

We thougth we’d done so well on the first day, after another 3 we were exhausted.


Simon T

May be you can come through Austin, Texas as you make your way around the world. If you do, give me a shout. I’ll see If I can find some Celis Wheat, or Shiner Bock.

Hi Tinker,We’ve been in and out of Texas a few times. We’ve been touring the USA for a while now in fact we were staying with friends, we’d got in contact through www.advrider.com in Argyle, North West of Dallas for about 3-weeks whilst we overhauled the bikes in his garage. Here’s a link to some of the work done. Mines the red and white 1100GS: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=260061

Aaahhhhhh!!! The pleasures of Shiner Bock, now that brings back memories…and subsequant headaches:)

Out of interest, where are you posting from, London or the USA?


Simon T

Don’t mind me asking but how do you make your way? Is it all paper maps or GPS? Do you use roads or cut across land offroading?

Would be an amazing experience to do what you did.

Hi Davio,As far as navigating concerened we use both GPS and Maps, we genreally pick up one country map per country, sometimes they’re great and other times not worth wipping your bum on:w00t: Lisa carries the maps. I have an old Garmin GPS V hooked up to my bike which is what we use day-to-day for getting from a to b.

Right now we actually need to replace the GPS as the Garmin V seen much better days and we’re only ‘half way through’ our inteded journey of 122 countries. The bikes are holding up well with the 1100GS having now 145,000 miles and the 650GS showing 104,000 miles.

As far as preference is concerned re road or dirt, we’d normaly lean toward taking the dirt trail, but that said depending on which country you travelling in you may not have a choice, although there is a lot more tarmac out there than many ‘biking adventurers’ would lead you to believe. Bolivia’s a good example, one of the poorer countries in South America where only 5% of the entire road/path structure is asphalt.

But when the riding is like this who’s complaining. Here a few I took of Lisa whilst riding in the Altiplano region. The images here are all above 16,000 feet alt. Beautiful but freezing:D

…with the exhausting riding of the Sahara done we’d reached Mautitanias capitol Nouakchott, on New Years eve 2003/2004. I remember a stange mix of exhuastion and exctement taking over as we lay outside the tent that first night. We did our best to keep tired, red soar eyes open, before conceding defeat and sleeping on the beach on the outskirts of the city.We wanted head South East. We waited at Lac Rose for the final leg of the 2004 Dakar Rally to see freinds finish and then pushed on.

Our learning curve was about to get steep. En route to Mali’s capital, Bamako we chosen an ‘off the beaten track’ route, run out of water, halucinated and faced our first tough water crossing. If the bikes didn’t make it there was no ‘recovery option’, the trip was over and 3-years of planning was sunk…literally. We’d imagned once or twice how we’d deal with this kind of obstacle. We’d wanted to be relaxed, cool, even blase. That didn’t happen and I was more like the little scared boy who didn’t want to go to ‘big school’ on the very first day!:w00t:

I wish we’d taken more photos or video but at the time we were dealing with managing our panic attacks.

Bloody hell those photos bring back some vivid emotions!


Simon T

Simon, this is truly inspiring stuff. Well done making that decision. I’ll have a good rummage through your website later, but in the meantime I hope Lisa recovers to full health and you can carry on. Kudos in spades. :slight_smile: