The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
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Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
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Ride TalesAn easy way to post your ride reports, whether it's a weekend ride or around the world.
Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is.
See the announcement in the forum for details on posting.
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When it comes to meeting people out in the bush( or anywhere really ), I am at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to describing them accurately in a way that would resonate with other people. Almost my entire military/civillian proffesional life has been working in remote areas as such and working either in small teams or on my own and compounded with doing a big solo trip....that sort of effects the way you deal with people. You could say I tend to miss certain social pointers about people.....you could definately say I will pretty much speak to anyone and do not alter my own personae when talking with people.
Hence the regular occurence at my present ( heavily populated ) work where I tend to amuse/abuse/insult/flatter people at apparent random whim....not doing it intentionally, just the the way I come across when being honest.
" Do you think this approach is wrong ".....Manager
" Yeah, you are bloody clueless and could not organise a piss-up in a brewery " .........is apparently not the sociably acceptable response. Too honest.
Hence, I do not really describe people unless I have spent time with them..they are either alright or not, I get along with them or they are going to get on my bad side.
Perth was to prove to be my own " bridge too far " for a few reasons.Namely my chaotic approach to trip planning ( I prefer the term Surprise planning ) and also because of the completely crazy weather that I just happened to have timed right to be stuck in.
With whole swathes of Australia being cutoff from land travel, it would have been pushing common sense beyond reasonable limits to attempt some parts of the trip...so to keep the trip going, I would just change plans as the situation arose.
Backup Plan Alpha would normally be to find a bar/pub/hostel and ' party likes its 1999 ' until divine inspiration hit me, or I had in insulted enough people that it was prudent to move on.
I seriously looked at the Nullarbor Desert crossing to get to Perth but as you know, this is some serious distance and in perfect isolation...especially off season. If I could have found a vehicle to tag along with to take all the fuel and water, I would have done it. But as I was solo.....the fuel stages of the trip would mean I would be travelling at 99%-100% fuel capacity ( including jerrycans ) and would leave a 0%-1 % margain of error for problems....pretty suicidal for a fat bloke on a little bike from England.
Anyone coming from ' Olde Europe ' will be familiar with the chaotic approach to building and planning that is prevelent in old european cities, understandly really....back in the middle ages you could not blame their lack of foresight in anticipating that London would have 10 million people living there one day and have 44,000kg trucks tramping everywhere.
New cities like Canberra have not got the 800-1000 years or more, cancer like growth of a city to contend with. Very well set out and reminded me of a lot of American type cities in its setout.
The Australian military Museum is a must see if you are here. Some especially moving displays and an incredible World War I depiction of a ariel dogfight with a full blown movie surrounding the stands.Apart from that I rested a few days and had a couple of meals, maintained the bike and felt the need to move on again....I have never really felt at ease in cities.
The first and only place in Australia that I got a parking ticket.
The little DR650 is sat on top of one of its panniers to keep its backend up in the air while I trooped off to get a repair on the rear tyre.....pretty obvious the bike was broken and not just parked up....the clue being it only had one wheel!
Got back to a $100 ticket taped to the bike, well done fellas...nice to see that traffic wardens have the same approach all around the world.
Sat on the Spirit of Tasmania on the forward deck passenger seats ( cattle class ) It occured to me that I had not read a newspaper, watched a news report or see anything at all about " home " for nearly seven months.....apart from a handful of phonecalls to my parents, I had been completely isolated from world events apart from the immediate concerns of weather reports for the next leg of the journey.
Information overload is a curse of the modern age, people assuming that you have to be contactable 24 hours a day is its sister curse.....how utterly refreshing to not be weighed down with those bloody mobile phones/text/twitter/facebook.
Tasmania plan of action
Ride off the ferry and turn right......then see where I end up.
Cold air, rain and wind.....Oh my Lord, how I have missed the feel of the old God Awful British weather.
Not knocking the Aussies and their gorgeous country, but........there is only so much warm/hot, dry weather that the average English chap can take. Having spent the last 7 months covering up my palid flesh in the manner of a Tuareg tribesman to avoid sunburn, to actually be able to step outside and feel cold wind is a blessing.
Following the costal roads west, and just diverting to take pretty photos or to explore an area on the map was the goal for the next week. The chance of wild camping was such that it was far less hassle to find a AYHA hostel of a registered campsite if I was not up in the wooded hills on my own. The only rule of thumb was that If I didnt like the vibe from an area of it was in the middle of town, I would give it a miss.
The first town off the ferry ( Devonport ) , had a nice little tourist information building. As was the routine, I popped in to have a chat with the nice ladies inside to see if there was anything special happening in Tasmania and get a general chance to browse their wall sized map and come up with a battle plan.
If there is one thing among many that the Aussies do well, that is to cater for tourists to an exceptional degree...I had yet to bike through a single town on the entire trip that did not have a useful tourist board or a manned tourist centre.
Outside while doing my little routine of trying to find my bloody notebook..that I had yet again packed at the very bottom of my panniers...I heard a nice sounding road bike pull up, nice little thump to it somewhat similar to an old BMW.
A young lady biker riding a rather nice and new looking Guzzi, kitted out with some panniers and whatnot,parked up and we got chatting.
Fran , had only very, very recently passed her motorcycle test and one of the first rides she decided to go.....a kind of baptism of fire....was to ride from her home near Geelong and do a tour of Tasmania. Including the WESTERN EXPLORER ROAD C249. This is/was a constructed road for access to the west part of the island that took a quite interesting kind of meander down the edge of the map, and essentially looked off the beaten trail.
Having already caught my eye, and having asked in the tourist office about this route....I was told it was quite challenging and consisted of compacted dirt/gravel with a very distinct bright white sand construction...apparently bad weather could make it a bit of a problem.
A lot of other times I had been told the same thing and the road would turn out to be a breeze.
After a cup of tea, Fran asked....Or I offered ( my memory is rusty at my age ) If I would travel with her for a little while, just as backup/travelling buddy. As I was going to do this route at some point anyway, we agreed to travel together over the difficult ( possibly ) part of the Island.And as everyone knows, accomodation costs shared are far cheaper than solo.
So after stopping at Stanley for the night, having some decent food and drink..we got some sleep, ready to crack on with the Explorer the next morning.
Had a slight diversion for some cream teas at this little place up in hills.
Fran, had literally passed her test a few days before....she had gone and bought a new, very nice roadster Moto-Guzzi and panniers, and as her very first trip....was going to attempt an off-road/onroad tour of Tasmania on her own.
The Western Explorer turned out to be a doddle, It started off with almost a gentle introduction to off-tarmac travelling and became a quite pleasent track that with a lot of slopes and bends, with the occasional bit more exciting stuff.
The road surface to my inspection appeared to be a glossy kind of white sand that compacted really well and created a very good surface, every once in a while this would result in a bit of a wobble for Fran, due to a heavy vehicle leaving hardened ruts and an unusual angle....but she appeared to be fully enjoying the ride and was getting very obviously smoother as she went.
I was thoroughly enjoying myself as well, I was enjoying actually helping someone out while doing a nice relaxing ride. A little treat on the way as such was a stopover at a river crossing..... The Fatman over the Pieman.....a little toll ferry with a place to relax and eat on the home bank.
After a couple of very enjoyable days just pootling along the back roads on the western side of Tasmania, we finally came back onto tarmac and Fran led the way to a town that she had prebooked a lodge in, the name of the town escapes me but it was very much like a fishing village that had been transplanted from Scotland and plonked right next to a river....complete with a paddle boat cuiser going up and down.
It was really pleasent to have someone to bike with for a few days, as you get a new perspective when you travel with someone new...and start to notice stuff that, maybe you kinda overlooked after travelling so loong.
We had a walk around the town, a few s and a meal and decided on our plan of action.
Having left the off-road stuff behind, I asked Fran if she was fine with the rest of the roads as in my opinion she was a quite capable rider, and I really did not want to shadow her and possibly take something away from experience ....after a bit of map planning,she said she would be great, and we would meet up again in a few weeks time at her house.
Next morning I waved farewell to Fran and she headed South while I headed roughly north onto the logging trails and mountains.
Now, I must admit I totally fell in love with Tasmania when biking through the hills.......coming up through a low lying cloud bank with a massive forest all around you, and the abundance of little logging tracks to deter down and get lost.
After 2 days of playing in the hills and camping, I decided to head for Hobart and make this my base of operations for the next week or so. I arranged to stay at the Hobart YHA and they organised a secure place to lock my bike up during nights, just inside their Bar's access alleyway.
I immediately set out and explored the area with quite a bit of enthusiasm and discovered that the road going up to the highest point overlooking Hobart was an absolute cracker of road, the views were great when clear and just as exciting when it snowed and the cloud cover was low....in this case it gave it a surreal kind of feel.
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Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
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