Chasing Horizons - Sam and Clare
Hey hey people! Well... kind of new here although my glorious other half is a frequent visitor and I have been mooching about in the background for quite a while!
Not one to stay quiet though... I thought I'd post and introduce what myself and what's about to happen...!
Approximately a year ago Sam and I met through the wonderful world of the internet (what would we do without google nowadays – bosh in what you want and voila!) With Sam stupendously passionate about motorbikes and me being so desperate to learn to ride it seemed inevitable that our combination would be perfect for a motorbiking duo! This, coupled with the desire to travel and do something mega for charity, we figured “What the hey, let’s go all out and do a charity round the world trip on motorbikes” and that’s just what we’re doing! So, in just over 6 months, I have to learn to ride a motorbike (wheeeeeee), Sam needs to acquire a new license (he has a shoddy one from Dubai) and we both have to plan a world tour on motorbikes for the superb charities The World Land Trust, Wales Air Ambulance and Riders for Health!... Happy Days Ahoy!!
Sam and I enjoying the Bristol Air Fiesta!
*UPDATE* After talking through various routes and looking closely at time scales, our route has changed for the last time! We’ve decided to chase the weather... always a plan batman!
So leaving around 20th - 24th November (date to be confirmed in next 2 weeks!) here goes:
EUROPE (November 2012)
UK – FRANCE – SWITZERLAND - ITALY
NORTH AFRICA (December 2013)
TUNISIA – LIBIYA – EGYPT
EAST AFRICA (January - March 2013)
SUDAN – ETHIOPIA – KENYA - TANZANIA – MALAWI
SOUTHERN AFRICA (March - May 2013)
ZAMBIA – BOTSWANA – NAMIBIA – SOUTH AFRICA (CAPE L’AGULHAS)
NORTH AMERICA (May - September 2013)
CANADA (TRANSLABRADOR HIGHWAY) – ALASKA (PRUDOE BAY) – U.S.A – MEXICO
CENTRAL AMERICA (September - October 2013)
BELIZE – GUATEMALA – HONDURAS – NICARAGUA – COSTA RICA - PANAMA (DARIEN GAP)
SOUTH AMERICA (October 2013 - January 2014)
COLUMBIA – EQUADOR – PERU – BOLIVIA – CHILE – ARGENTINA (USHUAIA)
Depending on monies and times, we are then considering routing back through Australia, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Home!
As above, we're doing this all to raise awareness of three main charities:
Wales Air Ambulance: Knowing we are off traipsing around the world, we really wanted to have a charity which was rooted back to our homeland. Being the Welshy that Sam is and with my history in the services, we are stupendously happy to be supporting the Wales Air Ambulance and consider it as a charity close to our hearts.
World Land Trust: We're both pretty keen on supporting the natural world and the WLT are quite simply awesome in what they do to help preserve endangered habitats and species! Our route passes many of their projects, particularly in South America. We plan on visiting as many as possible on our journey!
Riders for Health: We first heard about Riders for Health early last year and were instantly overwhelmed by their tremendous work. With numerous projects all over Africa, Riders for Health have devoted teams who dedicate their time and expertise ensuring health workers have access to reliable transportation so they can reach the most isolated communities with regular and predictable health care.
How We're Doing It:
I am incredibly lucky to have Sam as my lovely other half for this trip as he already has completed a half-way RTW trip on his motorbike in the past. A few years back Sam and his mate took themselves from Dubai all the way up through the Middle East, Europe, Canada to Alaska before heading back to the UK. Sam was riding a KTM 990 Adventure S which he still has today, however, unfortunately it still has Dubai licence plates and so is not rideable :( Boo hiss! Despite riding for the past 8 years and having been half way around the world, his Dubai licence cannot be transferred to the UK soooo he has to take all the tests again! Utter bummer!! However, he's keen to see what habits he has picked up and correct them. Right now though, his riding skills and knowledge of travel is proving to be invaluable!
Batman Sam on his Trip:
Sam and his mates bikes:
With Sam to advise, we're plodding our way through all the relevant paper work (carnets, visas etc), finances and planning out a pretty hard core training program (both riding and fitness) for the next 6 months. Being an utter n00b myself I have been liaising with the national campaign Get On for some time now and they are giving us their full support in getting me up and running and Sam back up to scratch! Much of our trip will be followed by Get On through their website as they're hoping to promote lady riders, road safety and adventure planning. I'm chuffed as nuts about their support and excitement in the adventure - it's a bit of a booster for us lady riders and what's achievable if you put your mind to it! We're really fortunate actually as, not only have we got the support from Get On but also from Capitalize (the PR company who did Big Earths Long Way Round/Down and also do the PR/set up for the UK Bike Shows annually) and also have Big Earth giving us the big thumbs up too! We are super lucky to have various sponsors on board as well... the coverage we're getting for our charities is superb and not only that, we're getting lots of fantastic advice for training and preparation!
Financially we're having to change our house to a buy to let and release some equity there. We're also working ridiculously hard and pulling funds in where we can! The house will be rented whilst we are away which will give us a boost of petrol money per month.
As above, we are stupendously lucky to have various sponsors on board. We will release more details on this next week once the site is launched! Exciting :D
What's Happening Right Now:
As mentioned, I have never been on a motorbike before! I did have a scooter 10 years ago when I was 16 but had an unfortunate incident whereby a lorry didn't take time to look where he was going and ended up making me mount a roundabout to save myself from becoming a pancake! Due to this and my history in the police witnessing many bike incidents, close family and friends never encouraged me to get on a bike and excuses were made leaving me all dreamy eyed and a bit sad my bike love would probably never happen!
So... Yesterday was absolutely mega beyond belief and a dream come true for me!... it was my first day on a motorbike with Ace Motorcycle School, Bristol!! I popped up to Bristol with Sam by my side all bouncy yet slightly butterflied bellied to my Get On hours free trial you can do!
My instructor, Neil, was stupendous! I couldn't recommend the school enough for anyone who is wanting to learn to ride and are a wee bit nervous! Absolutely lovely people! I bopped about for the hour on a 125cc and then was plonked on a 500cc (really chuffed about that... apparently they only let 1 in 10 people hop on a 500cc within the first hour!) and I was wibbling my way through cones in no time!
I was just stupid happy afterwards... it's all become much more of a reality and well... I cannot wait! There will be more on the training on our website which is due to launch next week so please take a looksy (www.chasinghorizons.co.uk)! More piccies and videos are about on our Facebook page too if you wanna peek: Chasing Horizons Facebook!
We are just finalising when where who what and why but next week we hoping to start our CBT and Module 1 and 2! After that we have to arrange our advanced, off road riding and squeeze in a trip to Morocco on the bikes to get some dune experience! Busy busy busy!
We're both extremely excited yet incredibly focused on a massive task and adventure ahead! Without a doubt there will be loads of photos, video footage and blogging galore! If you guys have any questions or would like to see anything in particular, just let us know, we'll happily do what we can! Great to finally post on here properly! Let the adventure begin!
:welcome: to the HUBB.
The world is your oyster, good luck in your endeavours.
All the info you need is on here so good hunting.
By the way I'm loving the boots!
Have fun both.
Hahaha! Thanking you kindly Mister!
Naturally the boots will change (looking for Sidi Crossfires eventually!) but for now they're my kick bottom boots that seemed suitable for pottering about for an hour on trial! :D
Looking forward to reading more up on The Hubb! I read the forums frequently :D
We're going to be do as much promotional work with them as possible! In an ideal world we would love to be able to raise money for them which we will be directing through our website (there will be donate buttons in place for people wishing to contribute to the charities!) I think our main aim, however, is to raise awareness for all three charities!
As we're lucky enough to have the support of Get On and Capitalize we have future opportunities for magazine articles and lots of social media drive. We have for some time been discussing the potential of filming and it's still in the pipeline!
We are visiting projects in South America for the World Land Trust (as well as hopefully seeing their conservation in the UK). The Wales Air Ambulance we'd like to do some local advertising and PR work and Riders for Health we're aiming to visit a number of their projects through Africa.
By blogging, social media, spending days with them and their PR teams, plus the PR we will be getting from various sources... we're really hoping our followers will become more aware of their good work :)
CBT tomorrow guys! We're being guided by a bunch of Welsh ex coppers (and when I say Welsh they're proper proper Welsh!) It's going to be tough enough me figuring out what they're saying to me let alone learning to ride! Hahaha!
They're superbly lovely though so cannot wait (although slightly nervous!) Sam's doing his too (poor blighter having to do all the tests again!) It will be interesting to see what habits he has accumulated!
Fingers crossed we get through it in one piece! First proper little step to a mahoooooooooossive journey! Happy Days!! :D
Good luck! You'll be fine....... :D
As some of you have seen... we PASSED! Hoorah! It was a bit of a damp and dull day heading over to Swansea and I was awash with sleepiness, nerves, want-for-a-pancake (shrove tuesday) but it was a lovely day all the same!
Smart Motorcycle Training in Swansea were phenomenal. Ianto, who we have met a few times before, cracked me up so much throughout the day! He really knew how to blow away the nerves! With very clear, concise and simple instructions the guy was full of beans and keeping us on our toes all day!
As I had the Get On hour on the friday previous I felt a little bit more confident in what I was doing but the thought of pootling along on the open roads amidst traffic didn't half put the heebie jeebies up me! Ianto managed to build my confidence though and with Sam pootpootling along aside me in the car park I was more than happy!
We made our way out onto the road and things seemed much easier gear changing than they had in the car park... I'm guessing this was due to more room for acceleration and movement! I was constantly chatting away to myself in my helmet though reminding myself of the actions (alongside Ianto talking to me all the time on the comms... he was such as star at reassuring me, such an absolute star).
I did, however, manage to stall three times on my first roundabout...
First Stall... Me: "Oh Bugger bum poop and fudge... right... must be the nerves... start her back up again... brumm"
Second Stall... Me: "Seriously!?!? Seriously! Maybe too much clutch again!?"
Third Stall... Me: "Whaaaaaaat the MONKEYS is going on!?! Getting biting point... accelerating enough... why?! WHY!? I need to get my butt into gear.. oh. Oh hang on... gear. FUDGE I've been sat in second! YOU PRATT SOUTHERN!"
Hahahaha! I felt like such a muppet! I think that was probably my only major glitch (on the busiest roundabout in history too... what a nincompoop!) I did have the odd boshing the gear into neutral as opposed to second but after an hour or so out I was much much smoother!
Sam had a good day too! He enjoyed being back on a bike as it's been a while! He found it odd having to do exaggerated movements to check mirrors so the instructor could read what you were doing but other than that (and finding it odd not to stand up over humps... he's used to off roading in his KTM 990 Adventure) he loved it! I did think he might find it all a bit tedious seeing as he's ridden for 8 years and done half way rtw already... but Ianto and the team made it interesting enough for us both which was awesome of them! Sam was nervous though about not passing! I guess the pressure is on when you have an expectation of 8 years riding! Curse Dubai licence and being unable to transfer!
Anyway, I yabber on! A wet sticky-rain day but a great one all the same! Am still smiling now and excited about Mod 1 (although remain nervous in a good way!) Our first big step though... :D
Some piccies of the day for you:
Ianto, my Welsh instructor from Smart Motorcycle Training in Swansea and I outside prior to the day starting!
Me riding into a container! Haha! I did manage to turn... it's just the way the pic looks! Honest gov!
Both Sam and I on the bikes! Couldn't be a happier duo!
We'd just gone out on the roads for our first ride about and had stopped for a warming cuppa! I was only just properly settling in and eager to jump back on asap!
POOCH giving Sam and snog! Chris - another Smart Motorcycle Swansea Instructor - had a beauuuuuuuuuutiful malamute husky pooch! He was ENORMOUS but stupid friendly! Absolutely adorable hunky man of fluff!
The website is due to be launched over the weekend where there will be much more information about the day and what we're doing/riding/gear etc so please take a look in the future at www.chasinghorizons.co.uk
In the meantime, you can see more piccies and videos here: Chasing Horizons Facebook Page and regular updates on Twitter - Chasing Horizons. Please pop on and take a goosey goosey gander at our frollickings! We'd love to see people on there :) Thank you so much for all your support and well wishes!
Chasing Horizons | World Travel on Motorcycles
The website is up and running! Sam and I are really chuffed it’s *finally* made it to the wonderful world of the interweb! Due to minor glitches here and there, it’s been slightly delayed in coming but we pulled off a few all nighters, drank ourselves a high sharehold of caffeine and VOILA! We’re off!
We’re awaiting on the arrival of some gear before we put the details up in the gear section… not long though (I cannot tell you how excited we are about this!) There will be reviews of Rukkas Arma S and Rukkas Armiinas suits as well as the X Lite 551 helmets so keep watching and let us know if there’s any details you’d like us to particularly look at with regards to the items! As for the bikes… we’re nervously awaiting some news and will be putting more details up in the next couple of weeks.
Please do go have a snoop about and feel free to make comments! If you have any feedback or questions you’d like us to answer in our FAQ section please ping us an email or post in the thread :) We'll respond as soon as we can!
If you fancy it, jump onboard the twitter and facebook pages – all updates of piccies/videos and blogs can be pinged to you wherever you are!
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Hi Claire (and Sam)
If you have anytime in the run up to your big departure, It would be great to meet in Bristol some time.
Me and my wife are in a similar situation as we prepare for our round the world trip next year. I have been riding for 7 years (4 as a licence holder) but Liz (fantastic missus fox) has only been riding a couple of months with her CBT, planning to take her test in the next 2 months.
Hey Hey there!
Sounds like a plan! Had a look at your charity run to Morocco - great read! We're hoping to head out there soon although bit concerned about time, training and temperatures! Might end up doing a trip to Spain instead if it falls too late in the summer! Perhaps you could give us some advice there!
We are up to the eyeballs for the next couple of weeks but there after we'd definitely be up for a meet up and chat! Ping us an email and we'll arrange something!
In other news, new diary posts on training and a visit to the Wales Air Ambulance! If you fancy a cuppa tea and a read take a looksy here:
Diary | Chasing Horizons | World Travel on Motorcycles
:) Thanks for all your support people! Don't forget, feel free to bug us with questions and requests! Bed time now as more training in Swansea in the morning! Woohoo!
Sooooo... today we were practising the mod 1 test and I was doing mega up until the point I decided to take the swerve test at 30mph... but on my arse as opposed to on the bike!
What a muppet! Wasn't having any problems and just needed to bring my speed up slightly. Chris told me to release the throttle once through the speed trap so when I headed back round, I concerned myself more with the speed and upon bopping through the speed trap my head went blank other than "I need to slow down now... Ooo look I'm heading right for the cones.. Ooh lets brake... wham bam thank you ma'am wheee I'm on my butt!"
Not the brightest of things but I tell you what... so happy I've thrown myself off a bike in a controlled area and now know what it feels like and what I did wrong/how I could have avoided it. Better now than on the road. Despite dented pride, thwacked headlamp and bruised hip and knee... I did manage to get back on and do it again to a pass standard although it took me a couple of runs to get the speed and confidence back up.
Such a bummer as I was doing really well with the whole test and my ride around day on Friday was spot on and included plenty of dodging pot holes at speed, steep turns and control!
Never mind, onwards and upwards! I'm sure there will be more incidents in the future (off roading specifically in mind here!) so I'll take it on the chin (and knee... and hip), learn from it and move forward!
Test on Wednesday... will try my best not to do any sideways manoeuvres!
Take a look at the site for more of a read: www.chasinghorizons.co.uk
Hey hey people!
Been off the radar for a week or so due to training and working our socks off! Though we did have a day off to look around a reclamation yard where we found this:
Sam pondered for a moment whether we should change our mode of transport for the trip :D
The training so far has been superb! The team at Smart Motorcycle Training have said I am a natural (oo la la!) however, I made a superb fluff up and decided it would be a stupendous idea to throw myself round some cones on my derriere at 30mph as opposed to the bike! Not my finest moment but fortunately in a controlled environment. It served as a good lesson of what to do when you hit something small (... e.g. not brake when on top of it! I'll only end up on my butt!)!
So I have encountered my first tumble (of which I am sure there will be many when the off roading courses take place) and despite being a bit bumped and bruised, all is good!
We've now had our Module 1 tests too... and passed! Weh hey! Here are a few of the clips from the day...
Sam starting up for his Module 1 Test featuring Ianto our nutty Instructor!
I was slightly nervous here after throwing myself off the bike during the practice swerve test a week and a half prior:
Sams awesomely controlled slalom and figure of 8... a little too tight though for Iantos nerves!
Celebrations and mickey taking... Having passed with no minors and Sam with two (one due to forgetting rear observation and the other for riding too slow... when doing the slow riding section of the exam!) It's probably going to be the only chance I will have one up on him when riding so I relished the opportunity whilst it lasted!
We now have a nice Sunday ride planned this weekend and then will be out on Module 2 on Monday! Feeling a bit more relaxed about this one... Module 1 just felt so sterile being in a playground like fenced off area! Still a wee bit apprehensive but fingers crossed eh!
Lots more vids, pics and diary entries below:
Chasing Horizons Webby
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Chasing Horizons Twitter
If you get the opportunity, any "likes" on our Facebook page would be massively appreciated!
Cheers guys and girls! Looking forward to joining you all soon on the road!! :D
Thought would say hello as Mister Fox's other half - was great to hear that you guys are based in Bristol with similar plans to us would be great to meet up!!
Hope plans are going well at the mo and good luck with Mod 2 tomorrow :thumbup1:
Hey Hey Mrs Fox!
I thought I had replied last week to this! My bad... mustn't have been awake from all the sleepless nights with Mod1 and Mod2!
We're starting to free up in the next few weeks, we'll have to arrange a meet up! Sunny Days too! :D
Just a quick bosh of the thread though! New blog entries and photos on the site for our training on Module 2... of which we passed! Hoorah!! The diary entries include the likes of:
For more have a looksy here:
Enjoy the read peoples! If you get a chance, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter as the more people we have, the more our sponsors will give towards our charities! :) Thanking you!
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Thaaaank you SUPER amounts :)
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