In the beginning…
Back in 1991, during a sabbatical from Road Racing, I got involved in Mountain Biking.I read about two guys who cycled over the Karakoram Highway from China to Pakistan. The KKH claimed the lives of over 400 men during it’s twenty year construction and finally opened in 1986. Another story involved a solo cyclist travelling the length of South America. Whilst cycling across Patagonia he would look out of his tent to the horizon; across a flat, featureless landscape. Every day he cycled and every day he would awake to the same view; and so it would be for 2weeks! I could not possibly imagine this and so decided I would have to see it all for myself. Before long though, I had returned to Road Racing and all my travelling plans got shelved. Eventually, some 15 years later, an off-the-cuff remark from Danny Burroughs whilst MTBing in North Wales led to the following plan…
- To ride around the world on a pair of BMW F650’s.
Our planned departure date is 14th March 2006. After a quick blast across Europe we will slow down when we meet some warmer weather! Hopefully, this will be somewhere in Croatia. We will then proceed via The Balkans and Bulgaria to Turkey and the Moto GP at Istanbul. Following a detour into Syria we will cross Iran, Pakistan (ShandurPass, Karakoram Highway etc), India and on to Nepal. From here we will airfreight to Bangkok before touring Cambodia, Laos, back into Thailand, Malaysia and onto Indonesia before shipping to Australia. We plan to spend approx 4 months riding from Darwin to Uluru, Cape York (right to the tip!) then down to Sydney before shipping to New Zealand. Here we will arrive in winter and so have a break from riding. We will be shiping our snowboarding gear to a friend’s parents near Dunedin so that we can spend 3 months snowboarding and celebrate my 40th birthday. When the spring breaks we will overhaul the bikes and tour the islands, working our way back to Auckland for shipping to Chile.
In Chile will spend a week or so in language school before heading south to Tierra del Fuego and the New Year (2008). We will then wind our way north across Patagonia to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia where we will arrange to fly over the Darien gap and into Panama. From here we will ride through all of the Central American countries except El Salvador before crossing from Mexico to the Baja peninsula. Riding up the peninsula we will enter the USA and work our way up to Canada via Yosemite, Yellowstone etc. At the Canadian border it’s crunch time. We will have been on the road for 2.5 years. If it is time to go home we will head east to Boston and a plane home. If not, and we can earn some money, then there’s the possibility of a winters snowboarding in Canada before returning via Alaska, Siberia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan etc.However, 2.5 years is far more than anyone can plan for and the return home will remain open-ended until it is in sight.
UPDATE: After 5 months in New Zealand Danny decided to stay on whilst I decided to ride on. Hence, since October 2007 I’ve been riding solo.
Why ‘Short’ Way Round?
Danny and I are both 5’4 and follically challenged. That makes us short on legs, short on hair and short on cash! Thanks to Ian Cobby for that one – genius!