• 86th Edition, Winter 2011

    "Not that I wanted it to happen, but it simply had to - just too long time since my last stunt. I must say, it was a thrill and still is riding down those gravel roads! Feel the bike sliding from side to side when the rear tyre is about to pass its limit and grip on the gravel, while a sky of dust is raising behind me as long as the eye can see. I would kill myself if I had a 990 Adventure! Bump and there I lay in the curve with the bike next to me, it all went so fast... It means work in Santiago. In fact I was thinking about having an accident that morning when I got out of the bag."

    Mick Hoy, Denmark, in Chile

  • 85th Edition, Oct/Nov 2010

    "I was on America's loneliest road (route 50) heading across the Nevada desert in the middle of a thunder storm. I was by far the tallest (and only metallic) object in the desert. A sitting target for a bolt of lightning. And then it happened, a huge crack of thunder and then I saw a streak of lightning off to my right. I was stone cold petrified. I heard another roll of thunder. A few seconds later two bolts of lightning. One some way off to my left and the second much closer. It cracked right across the sky ahead of me and right across the road from my right to left. I actually ducked down on the bike (as if that was going to make any difference). Should I speed up? Slow down? Get off the bike and lie down in the middle of the desert???"

    Dom Giles, UK, in Nevada

  • 84th Edition, Sep 2010

    "We come upon our biggest and deepest water crossing on this trip. Mike tests the depth of the water first to determine the best route to take. Then he confirms with the locals that we are heading in the right direction. The locals watch with great interest as Mike starts the crossing. We did not realize how far the motorcycles were submerged in the water until watching the video. Luckily the motorcycle does not suck in water or stall."

    Mike and Ruby, Canada, in Mongolia

  • 83rd Edition, Jul/Aug 2010

    "Leaving Magadan, my first day on the dirt roads, incredible people living a really rough life who housed us for the night...We rode last night until Midnight... really pushing my limits.. Exhausted both mentally and physically from the rough roads, but we got there.. I get slower as I get more tired.. and poor Walter is very very patient with me.. he will deserve a medal if I can make it to Irkutsk ;-) He is a really good teacher, and I have learned so much riding in the last 2 days."

    Sherri Jo Wilkins, Australia/USA, in Siberia

  • 82nd Edition, May/June 2010

    "We were feeling pretty spooked when we went into Guatemala. Everybody we'd met so far regaled us with tales of violence. Checking it out on the internet only added to our concern. The US government website lists in detail over a hundred serious armed robbery and assaults on US citizens alone over the last year, the last being a couple of weeks back – all in the areas we planned to visit...

    In the morning we woke up to find hundreds of big bikes in the church plaza, so we loaded up and joined them and were immediately surrounded by bikers chatting and taking our photos. My attention was caught by the sight of four burly, shaven-headed, heavily tattooed bikers, heads bowed as they and their bikes were blessed by a diminutive priest. However, something told me not to get my own camera out at this point..."

    Sheonagh Ravensdale and Pat Thomson, UK, in Guatemala

  • 81st Edition, April 2010

    "I spent my last night at The Outpost in Arusha, and early the following morning, set off for Kenya. It was raining again, and I debated whether or not I should get my rain gear out, but decided against it. It seemed that the rain was just part of a few isolated showers that would clear up north of the town...

    I spent the first half hour trying to extricate myself from this frontier town, and by the time I finally got onto the A104, the Garmin Girl and I had 'had a few words' and were no longer on speaking terms. She had taken me on what seemed like a tour of the entire town. down dirt tracks, through areas that were awash in mud and puddles of dirty water and around just about every traffic circle in Arusha. In exasperation, I finally resorted to ignoring her altogether and asked directions from half a dozen people, before managing to point the Big Fella in the general direction of the Kenyan border."

    Ronnie Borrageiro, South Africa, in Tanzania

  • 80th Edition, March 2010

    "We had read about the fierce wind speeds and the difficulties that they bring, whether you are on a BMW GS or a Suzuki DR 350, but until you are actually in it you cannot appreciate the difficulties it is going to bring. Even without the wind it is not an easy ride, the ripio is extremely bad in places. I think we were travelling in wind speeds of over 160KMH at points, struggling to keep the bike upright with absolutely no shelter from the unforgiving wind."

    Kev and Lorraine Hatchett, UK, on Ruta Cuarenta in Argentina

  • 79th Edition, February 2010

    "On two sides there were railings, but passengers had put down mattresses on the other side of them directly on the edge of the deck overhanging the waters of the lake below. Floor space was so rare that the largest pieces I could find would just about accomodate a single foot. To stand with two feet together was pretty well impossible. And there were still passengers trying unsuccessfully to do that, carrying bags as well.

    Shortly after midnight an authoritative-looking man entered our lounge and screamed orders in Arabic, waving his hands all around, exhorting everyone to get off the floors, sit on the seats properly, as others were still stranded on the few one-foot-sized pieces of empty floor that remained outside. He grabbed the life jackets that had been strewn around the floor as makeshift mattresses, stuffing them furiously back into their lockers. Then peace broke out and an interesting night continued..."

    Ken Thomas, UK, on the ferry to Wadi Haifa, Sudan

  • 78th Edition, January 2010

    "It was time for the bike. Entering the covered cargo hold the stench was a little strong to say the least. Damage to the fairing revealed the bike had been moved from its original position and dropped at some point, just a little paint though. Hands appeared from all directions. A hand on the back box meant they helped unload thus entitling them to payment. Carol did her best to keep them away from the bike as I wheeled through the throngs of people with the horn and siren screaming for clear passage. Reaching the end of the boat two planks were positioned and I quickly disembarked leaving our helpers on the boat. During the drama 'assisting hands' that were on the bike almost pushed me off the board, and I screamed at them to leave the bike alone."

    Ken and Carol Duval, Australia, in Brazil

  • 77th Edition, December 2009

    "It had been raining through the night, not a lot but not a little, so the road that I had enjoyed cruising in on had now turned into South America's longest skating rink, It wasn't that it was rough, it was that it was as slippery as hell, you could hardly stand up on the bloody thing, much less ride a heavy motorcycle on it. That fifteen kilometres took us two hours with just about everyone taking a fall, it was a bad start to the day. Nine o'clock that night we all arrived in Medellin safe and sound if a little wet, the Medellin boys had got us there in one piece... I never take for granted the extraordinary effort that bikers will go to to look after their own, it makes me proud to be part of this small band of brothers. "

    Frank Butler, Papua New Guinea, in Colombia


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