Global motorcycling adventurer, Steph Jeavons, has arrived home in Wales, having lead an all-female riding troop along a 2300km (1429-mile) ride to Mount Everest Base Camp.
Setting off on Sunday, 15 September, Jeavons lead a gaggle of 23 riders through Tibet, alongside a support crew, in a challenging ride known as 'Girls On Top' that saw 12 fellow women arrive at the camp.
Hampered by heavy rain from the outset, some riders were forced to pull out through exhaustion and injury, while others' off-road ability unfortunately wasn’t up to the challenge.
"There was no respite, it was all a tough slog. A couple of them got injured and couldn’t continue. A couple also pulled out through sheer exhaustion," Jeavons told MCN.
"There was an exceptional amount of rain coming our way and the alternative was to not try at all and everybody was up for trying. It just proved too much for some of them."
Joined by a support vehicle carrying a medical and mechanical team, with supplies including tools and oxygen, the journey was run in tandem with adventure firm, Nomadic Knights, with women from six nations all paying $5980 to take part. Pillion and support truck slots were also available for $5480.
Travelling on Royal Enfield Himalayans, Jeavons added: "The bikes didn’t do too badly. I wasn’t entirely sure how they would do, but I was quite confident and they surprised me.
"They are good workhorses and they pulled through anything and proved to be a great dual sport bike. I’d certainly do it again on these bikes."
Despite the adverse conditions, the Jeavons claims that one of the highlights of the trip was the bond created between riders, adding: "The teamwork was amazing and even the most novice and tired of riders were getting off their bikes and helping others.
"That feeling of achievement is addictive and we find ourselves asking 'why am I doing this?' and then you find yourself doing it again! The feeling of achievement and self-worth from a good adventure is second to none. There’s no shortcut to it."
If you would like to take part, places are now available for the next trip, with a deposit of $850. Taking place in September 2020, the ride will be open to both male and female riders, with slots available on either a Royal Enfield Himalayan, or the new Royal Enfield Bullet Trials Works Replica 500.
Steph Jeavons to lead all-female bike troop to Everest Base Camp
First published: 20.09.19
Intrepid motorcycling adventurer, Steph Jeavons, is currently leading the first-ever all-female riding group from Kathmandu to Mount Everest Base Camp, aboard a fleet of rugged Royal Enfield Himalayans.
Starting on Sunday, 15 September, and ending on Saturday, 28 September, the ride titled 'Girls On Top' consists of 90% tarmac and 10% gravel, with riders expected to arrive at base camp, 17,000ft above sea level, on Wednesday, September 25.
"We have a good group. They all have the right attitude and that will stand them in good stead as we work our way through everything the road throws at us," Jeavons told MCN from Nepal.
Joined by a support vehicle carrying a medical and mechanical team, with supplies including tools and oxygen, the ride will end a few kilometres from the finish line, with an electric bus taking the riders to the camp.
"The conditions so far are not in our favour and so our first challenge as we head for Tibet will be the mud. From there we will have to deal with a sharp increase in altitude and dramatic change in temperature.
"We have to manage this with total dedication to ensure we don't miss any signs of altitude sickness," she added. "Safety is our main priority here and we have a fully qualified doctor as well as a highly experienced team to help us through this."
The event is being run in collaboration with adventure touring company, Nomadic Knights, after Steph met with tour guide, Alex Pirie, and his wife, in India, during her solo ride around the world, across all seven continents, aboard a Honda CRF250L.
"We got talking about how wonderful it would be to work together on an epic project that would not only stand out as a less than an ordinary journey, but would encourage and inspire women to really push themselves to their full potential," she explained.
"Over time we decided nothing else would do but Everest Base Camp. It would be a dream we would both work towards over the next couple years.
"I have ridden in the Himalayas and actually higher than base camp alone. Alex did this trip back in May and has organised many trips in this part of the world. He is the expert here and I have full trust in his expertise and that of his team."
Women from six nations are taking part in the trip, with each rider chosen to participate based on their general health and attitude. The cost of a slot on each bike was $5980, with pillion and support truck slots also available for $5480.
"We are working with a mixed group here. Our biggest requirement was attitude and willingness to work as a team. With this, we can get through anything, but have no doubt that this is going to challenge everyone involved."
If you would like to take part in a similar adventure, places are already available for 'Girls On Top 2', which will take place between September 13 and September 26 2020.
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