I came to biking quite late (got my licence back in 2010) but ever since, I’ve been well and truly bitten by the motorcycling bug! I did my first big trip in 2011, riding round the Mediterranean coast through Italy, France and Spain, and have done numerous trips since including big long-distance rides solo across the USA, Africa and Australasia. I’m now planning another two-wheeled expedition for 2018-19, inspired by motorbike heroes like Ted Simon, Lois Pryce, and of course Ewan and Charley!
I’m a big fan of smaller bikes and “Volty” was one of my favourites – a retro-style Suzuki TU250X. I rode all over Australia on it. It’s a beautiful bike to ride and big on adventure despite its diminutive size! 250cc is the way to go – as I discovered when I rode a crappy old Suzuki overland through Uganda and Rwanda a couple of years ago!
My first bike, by the way, was a trusty year 2000 Suzuki Marauder GZ250 cruiser. It was basically the bike I learnt to ride on and was pretty bullet-proof, surviving the inevitable newbie drops and crunchy experimental gear changes! Here I am down at Phillip Island, 90 minutes out of Melbourne, on an early trip I did across Australia to raise money for UNICEF.
Every chance I get, I’m at adventure events like the Hubb get-togethers, the Overland Expo and the Adventure Travel Film Festival, seeking ideas and inspiration for my next big bike trip. The photo below was taken in Arizona, USA, in 2013, where I was running Charley Boorman’s stand with his event producer Billy “Biketruck” Ward at the Overland Expo before heading off on my trans-USA biking adventure.
I’m always keen to meet fellow adventure bikers, so please feel free to say hi via Twitter – @jeanied1 – or Instagram – jeanie_davison.
Hi there Jeanie! Nice to have met you and Billy at the Overland Expo. Here’s a great group-shot that captured the moment. http://s290.photobucket.com/user/arewethereyet_photos/slideshow/Billy%20Charley?sort=2 Wifey (Jaime) was given a signed Charlie picture now i’m not getting a look-in in the bedroom! Hope all’s well and that you had a great time. Cheers, Peter (from Somerset remember?)
Great to hear from you – and yes, of course I remember meeting you guys! Thanks so much for dropping by the stand – and for the photos! Glad to see that Jaime is treasuring her Charley picture – too bad for you though!
Happy travelling and maybe see you again on the road somewhere!
Hey Jeanie, Just checking in to see if I missed anything lately. If you ever get over to the states and want some good places to ride let me know. The U.S. has a great many places to ride like Australia. I’m still hoping to get over to OZ with my mates and our wives. Got most of the trip planned and working on some of the numbers for cost. It’s look costly at the moment. Wish us luck.
You have been bitten by the motorcycling bug. One of theses days I hope to get back to Australia and do some riding. I lived in Sydney about 45 years ago for 14 glorious months. I was there on business. There are so many great places to ride there. Me and 3 of my buddies and our wives want to ride the parameter of Australia. Long story… I’m working up a trip plan now. The biggest problem is coming up with finances for all 6 of us. Wish us luck. Maybe you might want to be our guide… I’m looking forward to more of your post particularly any about touring down under… Ride safe…
Hey Texas Rambler,
Great to hear from you – and yes, I am indeed well and truly bitten by the biking bug! 🙂
Australia is a brilliant place for riding – so much open road, and some truly spectacular routes for biking trips long and short (on- or off-road!).
Good luck with plans for your Aussie trip, sounds great. I know how hard it is too to scrape the money together for these journeys but it will be well worth it in the end.
Hope to see you here in Oz very soon – and do keep in touch meantime!
I too have been bitten by the bug… A lot of people and friends don’t understand being bitten…
I did do a little riding when I lived in Sydney. A friend’s car was always in the shop so I would lend him my car (1965 Holden X2) and he would let me ride his Honda 350. Good exchange. I didn’t do any long rides but I did explore in and around Sydney a lot. I rode it a lot to Manly and North Stein. I just about lived at the beaches. Good memories.
I could probably find the money to do the Aussie ride but my 2 buddies would have a big problem coming up with the money. I wish I could afford to pay for all of us… Its a dream that I’m working on to do before we are too old…
Well here’s hoping you find a way for you and your mates to come over to Oz very soon and create some new memories.
Meantime, rubber side down! 🙂
Hi Jeanie. Jim in Illinois here. Great read. You seem to be coming along fine. Hoping my wife and I can make it your way in few years to ride with you. She’s going through many of the same issues as you are. Keep your head up. Your doing great.
Great to hear from you, and thanks for the words of encouragement! When I read back those diaries, it seems hard to believe the difficulties I had in those early days – now motorcycling feels almost like second nature. Almost.
Tell your wife to keep going – it will come eventually and then she’ll never look back!
Rubber side down!
Hope you’re still on track to leave on your RTW adventure this month!
Still planning my Africa expedition, but it’s taking longer to raise the funds than I imagined…
Will be following your trip with interest – ride safe!
All going well on our RTW so far. We are in the States at the moment (Baltimore to be exact) just sitting it out waiting for our bikes to arrive from the UK by ship. We are just hoping that the Government strike due to start tomorrow doesn’t impact on us getting our bikes out of customs !!
If it happens we will have to go to plan B which is fine or would be if we actually had a plan B
Keep saving those pennies
Glad to hear your trip’s going well – hope you get your bikes very soon so you can get on the road!
Rubber side down… 🙂
Jeanie, Picked up your post on the Horizons Unlimited site.
Good luck with your test.
I am on the cusp of a round the world trip with my good pal Mark Rowles. We leave the UK in April. I have just started a blog which is following the preparation for the trip.
As for the right bike for Africa – something light for sure – you will probably have to pick it up a few times. A suzuki dr400 comes to mind – great bike but I’m a shorty so it’s no good for me. To be honest any bike will do it – Ted Simon did his round the world trip on a Triumph Bonneville !
The important bit is to have fun I reckon.