Big biking adventures across the globe
This week we're taking a look at The International Motorcycle Touring Club.
The club was founded in 1932 when a group of intrepid motorcyclists who had previously been exploring the continent individually met in a London pub to exchange information about their experiences of touring abroad.
Travel in Europe was very different back then; although motor traffic was scarce, so were garages and with roads being either cobbled or dirt mechanical problems for motorcycles were plentiful – especially when you consider that bikes of the time only had sprung suspension at the front.
By sharing information the club made touring more accessible and it wasn’t long before members were venturing to the Arctic Circle, the Sahara Desert, Eastern Europe and North America. In 1938 the first organised tour, or ‘Partitour’ took place, paving the way for the IMTC as it is today.
These days the club organises several Partitours per year; European destinations across the whole of the continent are still very popular and past expeditions have included travel to North Africa, Australia and the USA. An average day’s riding is five to six hours in the saddle and the idea is to travel individually so that everyone has their own journey to discuss when the group meets up of an evening.
Partitours are all about the taking the scenic or more interesting route rather than simply munching miles, although there’s always a more direct option for those who want a shorter day. True to the club’s origins individual members still organise their own adventures, such as a recent trip to South America where a party of ten crossed the Andes.
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In addition to overseas events the club organises four UK based weekends per year as part of their thriving social scene, an aspect to membership that is so popular that most people stay members for life. The five regional groups also hold monthly meetings and get togethers, so there’s always something going on.
2017 is the IMTC’s 85th anniversary and although foreign travel has become easier, the club still has a place, drawing on its accumulated experience to provide enthusiastic motorcycle tourists with support, information, advice, assistance and camaraderie on the road.
Where is it: Wherever members choose to go.
What does it cost?: Annual subscription is £27, £33 per couple.
When is it: Regional groups meet monthly with tours throughout the year.
If you want to get your meet in MCN, email: firstname.lastname@example.org