About me, Adam Lewis…
I got my first bike aged sixteen, a Yamaha DT50MX to ride to college on. Two years later I started road racing and two years after that I joined the British Championship where I spent ten years riding mostly in the 600 Supersport class but also Production, Single Cylinder and the Triumph Speed Triple Challenge. I raced in North America on three occasions and also Northern Ireland and Austria.
I stopped racing at the end of 1997 and two year later bought a Yamaha R1 on which I toured France and Germany . Paranoid about losing my licence on it, I traded it for a new Suzuki DRZ 400, went trail riding and entered a few enduros. Being 5’4″, I found the DRZ was too big and heavy for competition so traded it for a Gas Gas EC200 which I absolutely adored and spent the next three years riding enduro events in Wales and the south of England. In the middle of that I rode a Yamaha YZF426 in the inaugural year of the Winter Supermoto British Championship along with a friend, Danny. I later sold the Gas Gas to buy the BMW for this trip.
Professionally, I spent the last twelve years working as a Technical Support Engineer for Stannah Stairlifts. My hometown is Andover, Hampshire, England, UK. Other hobbies include Mountain Biking Snowboarding and Photography.
Go to My Racing Days photo gallery
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 two weeks! 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 temporarily. 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 BMWs
Our planned departure date was 14th March 2006. After a quick blast across Europe we would slow down, once we meet some warmer weather! Hopefully, we thought, this would be somewhere in Croatia. We would then proceeded via The Balkans and Bulgaria to Turkey and the Moto GP at Istanbul. Following a detour into Syria we would cross Iran, Pakistan (ShandurPass, Karakoram Highway etc), India and and on to Nepal. From there we would airfreight to Bangkok before touring Cambodia, Laos, back into Thailand, Malaysia and onto Indonesia before shipping to Australia. We planned to spend approximately 4 months riding from Darwin to Uluru, Cape York (right to the tip!) then down to Sydney before shipping to New Zealand. We would arrive in winter and so have a break from riding. We were shipping our snowboarding gear to a friend’s parents’ near Dunedin so that we could spend 3 months snowboarding and celebrate my 40th birthday. When the spring breaks, we would overhaul the bikes and tour the islands, working our way back to Auckland for shipping to Chile.
In Chile we would spend a week or so in language school before heading south to Tierra del Fuego and the New Year (2008). Then winding our way north across Patagonia to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Columbia where we would arrange to fly over the Darien gap and into Panama. From here we’d 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 winter 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 solo and have been doing so since October 2007.
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!