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!

15 Comments Add Yours

  1. Claudio

    Hey buddy
    still going strong? We finally made it ocer to South Africa and will be spending the next few months on the roads over here.
    Take care and Merry X-mas and a Happy New Year in South America.


  2. Kevin Beretta

    Hi Adam,

    Happy New Year from Canada. 2 feet of snow in Vancouver, a first in a few decades. Going stir crazy from not riding but just returned from Mexico for a week of sun.

    Hope South America is fun … see you in a year or so up here!

  3. Stephan Sitzler

    Hi there…

    saw u guys at the start of the dakar in bs as! BIG UP!!!! doing this without any support vehicles is hmmm brave, or loco, or whatever!

    may the racing god be with you!


  4. daniel & Katie squirrell

    Hi Adam,

    Very briefly chatted with you today in Coyhaique, strangly enough we are launching a travel site later this year so keep in touch it would be cool to have a roving reporter!!

    Perhaps we can have an email chat about the idea at some point.

    Best regards

  5. Werner

    Hi Adam!

    Hope you had a nice christmas happy new year and a GREAT Dakar!!!

    Your site is looking nice! We try to get our site working this year…;-)) too!!

    Greetings from Perth Werner+Claudia

  6. Moran Gad

    Hey Adam,
    Got your web site from Sunny and Cecilia.
    I´m ridin a KLR and looking for a partner at the moment, got sick of traveling alone.
    So if you wanna´ join me…
    I´m in coihaique, chile and going south today to Rio Tranqiulo ( or maybe a bit more to the north).

    Write me back telling where you are, if you wanna´ meet, and we´ll find the way to meet.

    Adios, Moran.

  7. Irwan

    Bro, remember me i was at performance motor in singapore and shake your hand. the tall tanned guy… gd luck bro and ride safe.

  8. Geraldo

    I saw you today (April 16) in the middle of the traffic in São Paulo, Brazil. I’m visiting your website because I got curious to know who was the crazy guy riding that bike with two huge boxes attached to it.
    Good luck with your trip, hope you enjoyed São Paulo.

  9. Schneider


    I’m french and have read your article:
    I’m one “cousine” of Pierre-Emeric.
    Do you know that he is disappearance in Aconcagua?
    Sorry for my english…

    If you can talk about this informations,

  10. Anton

    Hi Adam

    Just thought you might like to know we made it into Peru yesterday (through the Desaguadero (sp?) border). We parked up on the Boly side and Wendy stayed in the car. I managed to do Boly immigration and customs, then went to the other side and got Peru immigration and customs no worries (for W too, without them sighting her!). The customs were both very accommodating. So we thought we were all good to go, and drove straight through, but no…

    Just crossing over the Peru side, and there´s a Police post as well that we were meant to visit (and sign our vehicle into a book). Yes, we´d done an ¨infraccion¨ because we had driven 2m in Peru without insurance (shake heads in disbelief!). They said I should have bought international insurance in Chile, but I said we´d asked and it was only valid in Argentina, so it wasn´t possible to buy before Peru, and where could we buy it? Oh, nowhere in Peru…

    The 3 police including the boss were all in on it, and they were going to impound our vehicle, all the rest of it. They said there was a new law for transiters, but I said I´d heard stories of this from friends, and unless they showed me the law I wouldn´t believe them, at which they shook their heads again in disbelief.

    Long and short of it is they didn´t show me the law, and over time it changed to having a festival for their virgin in a month or so, and would I like to collaborate? I told them it was illegal, and they said I misunderstood, it was just as friends – if I didn´t want to, that was fine. I said I didn´t want to, but where could we buy insurance. Eventually yes, we could buy from a place in Puno or Cusco, and thankfully were on our way.

    Thankfully haven´t been stopped again (yet).

    Only other thing to note if you cross that border is there´s a clown sitting by the boom with what looks like an official ticket book trying to sell you a peaje – I´m pretty sure it´s not official, so I called his bluff and he didn´t pursue it. Mainly that was because I saw a certain grin in his eyes to his mate when we came along.

    Don´t know if you´re crossing that border, but hope it helps anyway.


  11. Denise Peter Lowe

    hi Adam finally got email drop us a line we are in Townsville seeing our new grandson just beautiful its starting to warm up a bit so don’t know where to from here hope you are well and still travelling safe keep in touch
    Denise and Peter xxx

  12. John Fields

    Adam, Hows it going I am going to do a bit of reading but it sounds like you have had an amazing time. Joe gave me the website it is good to hear from you and see that all is going pretty good from the sound of things. I actually work for Triumph now my email is john.fields@triumphmotorcycles.com been here for about 12 years now so been a long time. Email me let me know how things are going. Thanks,

  13. Larry

    Adam, I’m the gringo with the camera at Bruno’s, Rio Dulce. How can I get pictures to you?

    Great pictures on your site!!


  14. Sean Deany

    Dear Adam,

    Good to see that your still on the road and having an experience of a lifetime. I met you at the Guesthouse in Georgetown and a second time in Bangkok, while on my bicycle tour from Singapore to Spain. Once again great photos and hope to see you if your in Melbourne sometime in the not too distant future.

  15. Smruti Swarup


    Your blog is very inspiring. It gives hope to people who do not have sufficient resources, but have that fire inside for adventure.

    Keep it up.