Adventure Bike Ride night
07 January 2014 17:20
Wednesday March 5th - 7:30PM. Adventure Bike Riding Night & Meeting
Shire Park Social Club Welwyn Garden City Nearest Post Code AL7 1GB next to Tesco HQ on the Shire Industrial Park
Will Wilkins is keen to come along to a TRF night to do a presentation and question/answer session on his amazing Woolongong to Woolwich ride. In addition he may also be able to bring along Graham Field, author of 'In search of Greener Grass' and avid adventure rider.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to sell up your house and ride half way around the world? Well that’s exactly what this homesick English couple did. They loaded up their bikes and set off from Australia for London to have a nice cup of tea.
It was Kate's idea to ride rather than jump on a plane. Excitement and blind enthusiasm fuelled her sales pitch. She totally ignored her lack of experience (she'd only got her licence a year before) and her longest ride to date was 20 minutes and never in the rain.
Will said: "The recommended 12 months to plan an adventure of this size was squeezed into two. We rushed around filling our passports with visas, getting our carnets and prepping the bikes. Finally we saddled up and hit the starter buttons. This was the Big One. 15,000 miles to the UK.
"The scenery along the way was stunning. The vastness of the Australian Outback contrasted with the lush jungle of Thailand. The soaring Himalayan Mountains were replaced a few weeks later by the endless Kazak steppe.
"We endured searing heat and at other times were clearing the icy snow from our visors. These experiences will stick with us for a long time, but the thing that is truly etched into our memories are the people we met along the way.
"The man in Pakistan who flagged us down just to shake my hand, simply to thank us for coming to his country. The Indian family who's motorbike had broken down while taking his two children to school.
"Our knowledge and tools rescued him and the father thanked us by kissing my hand, the ultimate show of respect in the Hindi culture.
"Again and again the kindness, openness and generosity we experienced gave us a warm feeling in this sometimes seemingly cold and closed world we live in.
"Not all experiences were positive. Being run out of town by a hostile Kazak policeman was not a high point. Worse still was when border guards laughed in our faces as we attempted to negotiate our way out of a 14 hour delay whilst attempting to enter Russia.
"When all seemed bleak though, the angels came back to help us, Hells Angels that is, who showed us such hospitality and generosity that it brought tears to our eyes.
"Seemingly simple things like finding somewhere to sleep, ordering a meal or deciding on which fork to take in the road became a real challenge depending on which country we were in, how hot it was or how exhausted we were after a long day in the saddle.
"We chose to move quite fast across the surface of the planet, completing the odyssey in just five months. This schedule added stress but we're not the types to hang around in any one place. It was a choice that worked for us but might not suit everyone.
"And so, what about you? Are you gagging to saddle up and ride off around the world? Come and have a listen, ask some questions and hopefully leave, ready to live your dream.
"What it boils down to in the end is if the idea of heading off and doing ‘something big’ is itching, do yourself a favour and have a bloody good scratch!"