This time last year, the Horizons Unlimited (HUBB) meet up at Baskerville in Wales was our first experience of off road riding.

This year we went back as ‘presenters’ to share a snippet of our story and what we hoped would be helpful information. It seemed we did have some useful advice and after many chats, it seemed our trip was also inspiring others to commit to their dreams too. That makes me feel all warm and fluffy inside.

Quite a few people photographed the presentation so I thought it might be helpful to include it here. We focused only on Riding the Pamir Highway as a Novice (there were lots of other presenters covering Russia and Central Asia so we focused on an area we knew others weren’t doing).

Note that the download does include notes so if you’re researching, you should be able to hopefully find it useful – if not, feel free to pop us a mail :-).

In other news… what else did we get up to at a weekend long adventure biker’s meet?

Watching the off road training (disappointed that David Knight wasn’t back) was tainted by my constant retort that they’ve got it so much easier than us… there’s no mud!

2017 off road motorbike training with Lee Walters
2017 off road training with Lee Walters – just a bit of dust 

 

Howard in the mud HUBB 2016
2016 off road motorbike training – a whole heap of mud!

Riding off road and green lands with the TRF

Being the experienced riders we now are (there is sarcasm in that statement), we took the opportunity of HUBB to go for a ride out with the TRF.  I have to admit, that experience and countryside had me debating between Wales and Cornwall! It was stunning and I had no comprehension that there were so many awesome green lanes and tracks in Wales.

Every day is a learning day

Much of the riding reminded me of riding in Kyrgyzstan… that sounds like such a wrong thing to say, but it does. I’d comfortably say if anyone can master the Welsh hills with confidence, you’ll have no problems riding Central Asia; Kyrgyzstan or the Pamir. You might want a bit more practice on sand for Kazakhstan.  As always, I was a bag of nerves entering the tracks that afternoon. Eventually I got into the swing of it, but after Friday’s ride over from Eastleigh and two hours off roading on Saturday, I became acutely aware how bike unfit I had become.

The learning? If you don’t use it, you lose it pretty damn quickly. Have to keep practicing… must sign up to the Edinburgh Trial.

Here are a few snaps that capture the afternoon. Jo and Jack, our comrades on the ride taught us about the Taffy  and Paddy Dakar and we learnt they’re aiming on Mongolia next summer (as a honeymoon!), so we told them heaps about our trip too.

four bikes on the side of a Welsh grass hillside, beautiful sunshine
The view the opposite way was even more beautiful than our bikes
Edward the bike stopped in some deep ruts looking at the view
Bloody ruts!

Green rolling hills in Wales on a motorcycle rideAnna putting her gloves on, sat on her bike overlooking the beautiful Welsh hills on a summer dayWelsh hills with motorbikes parked

Other cool things that happened this weekend

  • We met a remarkable woman whose solo motorcycle trip to South Africa became life changing; she now runs a women’s motorbike mechanic workshop / apprentice scheme in Tanzania. I could write a whole blog all about her, but instead, here’s the link to her website. Absolutely amazing. I hope Howard and I go to visit her one day.
  • I realised how much I love talking about our trip and how many questions people still have. We’ve both committed to trying to post more useful info for people looking to do something similar to us in the near future – watch this space!
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