History

I’ve been passionate about motorcycles since I got an NSU Quickly at the age of 14. I rode that bike every chance I could and started to learn the basics of maintenance and repairs. After leaving school I landed a mechanical apprenticeship where I had a good grounding in all aspects of repairs and servicing. The NSU had given way to a Fizzie and then at 17, a beautiful chrome and maroon BSA C15.

Having completed my apprenticeship I applied and was accepted by VSO (voluntary service overseas), and was sent to Sierra Leone for 2 years to manage a workshop repairing and maintaining the motorcycles, landrovers and trucks being used in a rural development programme.

When I returned to the UK, I started work for a Yamaha main agent for a while, until the travel bug bit again and I was off, this time overland to Australia on my 1961 350 AJS that I found and rebuilt in Sierra Leone. I went with my partner Gill, so two up we travelled 28,000 miles in 18 months across 12 countries on the bike, and 4 countries off the bike before the money ran out and we had to return to reality. Not for long though, as I was called up to go to Zaire and manage a workshop to keep the trucks rolling that were supplying food aid to Rwanda refugee camps in and around Bukavu.

After that amazing and sometimes scary experience, I worked for an independent bike shop and 2 classic bike specialists until it was time to travel again, this time on a 1986 R80G/S. Again 2 up with the same long suffering pillion, the trip this time was from home in the UK to Capetown via Nord Kapp in Norway; a 32,000 mile odyssey that saw freezing mountain passes with the temperature down to -3 and the searing heat of the Nubian desert in Sudan where the day time temperature rose to 48 degrees.

After 12 months I was back at my job with the classic bike shop, servicing, repairing and restoring a variety of customer’s motorcycles. I went on my final long distance trip on the R80G/S. In 2006 and returned to Sierra Leone on my bike travelling with a friend on a KTM.

All my motorcycle trips were self funded and unsupported; there was just me, or me and my partner and the bike.

Apart from the long trips, I take my bike touring around the UK and Europe as often as I can.