Chasing Horizons - Sam and Clare

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by Pheebs, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Pheebs

    Pheebs Adventurer

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    Hey hey people! Well... kind of new here although my glorious other half is a frequent visitor and I have been mooching about in the background for quite a while!

    Not one to stay quiet though... I thought I'd post and introduce what myself and what's about to happen...!

    Background:
    Approximately a year ago Sam and I met through the wonderful world of the internet (what would we do without google nowadays – bosh in what you want and voila!) With Sam stupendously passionate about motorbikes and me being so desperate to learn to ride it seemed inevitable that our combination would be perfect for a motorbiking duo! This, coupled with the desire to travel and do something mega for charity, we figured “What the hey, let’s go all out and do a charity round the world trip on motorbikes” and that’s just what we’re doing! So, in just over 6 months, I have to learn to ride a motorbike (wheeeeeee), Sam needs to acquire a new license (he has a shoddy one from Dubai) and we both have to plan a world tour on motorbikes for the superb charities The World Land Trust, Wales Air Ambulance and Riders for Health!... Happy Days Ahoy!!

    Sam and I enjoying the Bristol Air Fiesta!
    [​IMG]

    The Route:
    *UPDATE* After talking through various routes and looking closely at time scales, our route has changed for the last time! We’ve decided to chase the weather... always a plan batman!

    So leaving around 20th - 24th November (date to be confirmed in next 2 weeks!) here goes:

    [​IMG]

    EUROPE (November 2012)
    
UK – FRANCE – SWITZERLAND - ITALY

    
NORTH AFRICA (December 2013)

    TUNISIA – LIBIYA – EGYPT

    
EAST AFRICA (January - March 2013)

    SUDAN – ETHIOPIA – KENYA - TANZANIA – MALAWI


    SOUTHERN AFRICA (March - May 2013)
    
ZAMBIA – BOTSWANA – NAMIBIA – SOUTH AFRICA (CAPE L’AGULHAS)

    
NORTH AMERICA (May - September 2013)

    CANADA (TRANSLABRADOR HIGHWAY) – ALASKA (PRUDOE BAY) – U.S.A – MEXICO


    CENTRAL AMERICA (September - October 2013)

    BELIZE – GUATEMALA – HONDURAS – NICARAGUA – COSTA RICA - PANAMA (DARIEN GAP)


    SOUTH AMERICA (October 2013 - January 2014)
    
COLUMBIA – EQUADOR – PERU – BOLIVIA – CHILE – ARGENTINA (USHUAIA)

    Depending on monies and times, we are then considering routing back through Australia, Asia, Middle East, Europe and Home!


    Charities:

    As above, we're doing this all to raise awareness of three main charities:

    Wales Air Ambulance: Knowing we are off traipsing around the world, we really wanted to have a charity which was rooted back to our homeland. Being the Welshy that Sam is and with my history in the services, we are stupendously happy to be supporting the Wales Air Ambulance and consider it as a charity close to our hearts.

    World Land Trust: We're both pretty keen on supporting the natural world and the WLT are quite simply awesome in what they do to help preserve endangered habitats and species! Our route passes many of their projects, particularly in South America. We plan on visiting as many as possible on our journey!

    Riders for Health: We first heard about Riders for Health early last year and were instantly overwhelmed by their tremendous work. With numerous projects all over Africa, Riders for Health have devoted teams who dedicate their time and expertise ensuring health workers have access to reliable transportation so they can reach the most isolated communities with regular and predictable health care.

    How We're Doing It:

    I am incredibly lucky to have Sam as my lovely other half for this trip as he already has completed a half-way RTW trip on his motorbike in the past. A few years back Sam and his mate took themselves from Dubai all the way up through the Middle East, Europe, Canada to Alaska before heading back to the UK. Sam was riding a KTM 990 Adventure S which he still has today, however, unfortunately it still has Dubai licence plates and so is not rideable :( Boo hiss! Despite riding for the past 8 years and having been half way around the world, his Dubai licence cannot be transferred to the UK soooo he has to take all the tests again! Utter bummer!! However, he's keen to see what habits he has picked up and correct them. Right now though, his riding skills and knowledge of travel is proving to be invaluable!

    Batman Sam on his Trip:
    [​IMG]

    Sam and his mates bikes:
    [​IMG]

    With Sam to advise, we're plodding our way through all the relevant paper work (carnets, visas etc), finances and planning out a pretty hard core training program (both riding and fitness) for the next 6 months. Being an utter n00b myself I have been liaising with the national campaign Get On for some time now and they are giving us their full support in getting me up and running and Sam back up to scratch! Much of our trip will be followed by Get On through their website as they're hoping to promote lady riders, road safety and adventure planning. I'm chuffed as nuts about their support and excitement in the adventure - it's a bit of a booster for us lady riders and what's achievable if you put your mind to it! We're really fortunate actually as, not only have we got the support from Get On but also from Capitalize (the PR company who did Big Earths Long Way Round/Down and also do the PR/set up for the UK Bike Shows annually) and also have Big Earth giving us the big thumbs up too! We are super lucky to have various sponsors on board as well... the coverage we're getting for our charities is superb and not only that, we're getting lots of fantastic advice for training and preparation!

    Financially we're having to change our house to a buy to let and release some equity there. We're also working ridiculously hard and pulling funds in where we can! The house will be rented whilst we are away which will give us a boost of petrol money per month.

    Bikes/Equipment:

    As above, we are stupendously lucky to have various sponsors on board. We will release more details on this next week once the site is launched! Exciting :D


    What's Happening Right Now:

    As mentioned, I have never been on a motorbike before! I did have a scooter 10 years ago when I was 16 but had an unfortunate incident whereby a lorry didn't take time to look where he was going and ended up making me mount a roundabout to save myself from becoming a pancake! Due to this and my history in the police witnessing many bike incidents, close family and friends never encouraged me to get on a bike and excuses were made leaving me all dreamy eyed and a bit sad my bike love would probably never happen!

    So... Yesterday was absolutely mega beyond belief and a dream come true for me!... it was my first day on a motorbike with Ace Motorcycle School, Bristol!! I popped up to Bristol with Sam by my side all bouncy yet slightly butterflied bellied to my Get On hours free trial you can do!

    My instructor, Neil, was stupendous! I couldn't recommend the school enough for anyone who is wanting to learn to ride and are a wee bit nervous! Absolutely lovely people! I bopped about for the hour on a 125cc and then was plonked on a 500cc (really chuffed about that... apparently they only let 1 in 10 people hop on a 500cc within the first hour!) and I was wibbling my way through cones in no time!

    [​IMG]

    I was just stupid happy afterwards... it's all become much more of a reality and well... I cannot wait! There will be more on the training on our website which is due to launch next week so please take a looksy (www.chasinghorizons.co.uk)! More piccies and videos are about on our Facebook page too if you wanna peek: Chasing Horizons Facebook!

    What's Next:
    We are just finalising when where who what and why but next week we hoping to start our CBT and Module 1 and 2! After that we have to arrange our advanced, off road riding and squeeze in a trip to Morocco on the bikes to get some dune experience! Busy busy busy!



    We're both extremely excited yet incredibly focused on a massive task and adventure ahead! Without a doubt there will be loads of photos, video footage and blogging galore! If you guys have any questions or would like to see anything in particular, just let us know, we'll happily do what we can! Great to finally post on here properly! Let the adventure begin!

    Wheeeeee! Haha!
    #1
  2. DetoX68

    DetoX68 Been here awhile

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    I'm in. :lurk
    #2
  3. Jedum1

    Jedum1 Adventurer

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    Keep it coming.:thumb
    #3
  4. BELSTAFF

    BELSTAFF ADV NOMAD

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    I need another rtw to follow so I'm on this like a fat on a donut
    #4
  5. BigFatHead

    BigFatHead Outerspace Hillbilly

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    Subscribed :thumbup
    #5
  6. sheikyabooty

    sheikyabooty Adventurer

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    Hey guys, long time member here on Advrider! I am the other half of this dynamic duo doing this trip and I am sure that we will be picking your collective brains on a lot of things bike and travel related, as I have seen great things done by people on here and the generosity and friendliness of all the members. As riders and travellers thats the one thing we are looking forward to is the open road (or dirt trail!), and the meeting of strangers and all the friends we will make along the way.

    Thanks for any following support, and hope to meet up with a few of you guys along the way. We shall also let you know when we have the website up and running, any comments would be greatly received!

    Sam :)
    #6
  7. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am.

    Joined:
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    :y0! Unlike your Sam, I ain't so bright. What's a 'lorry'? Glad you survived it ok.
    #7
  8. Pheebs

    Pheebs Adventurer

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    Aww thanks people!! Nice to have some followers and supporters! :D

    Lorry = Truck! Pardon my English!

    CBT tomorrow guys.... excited... not quite sure it's happening yet for real and a wee bit nervous!

    And so it begins... muhaha!
    #8
  9. C-Stain

    C-Stain Accredited Nincompoop

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    I'm in!

    Too bad you're flying in to Toronto though...missing out of the wonder hospitality here on the East Coast!
    #9
  10. DetoX68

    DetoX68 Been here awhile

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    How was the CBT Pheebs?
    #10
  11. Pheebs

    Pheebs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Hey hey people!

    As some of you have seen... we PASSED! Hoorah! It was a bit of a damp and dull day heading over to Swansea and I was awash with sleepiness, nerves, want-for-a-pancake (shrove tuesday) but it was a lovely day all the same!

    Smart Motorcycle Training in Swansea were phenomenal. Ianto, who we have met a few times before, cracked me up so much throughout the day! He really knew how to blow away the nerves! With very clear, concise and simple instructions the guy was full of beans and keeping us on our toes all day!

    As I had the Get On hour on the friday previous I felt a little bit more confident in what I was doing but the thought of pootling along on the open roads amidst traffic didn't half put the heebie jeebies up me! Ianto managed to build my confidence though and with Sam pootpootling along aside me in the car park I was more than happy!

    We made our way out onto the road and things seemed much easier gear changing than they had in the car park... I'm guessing this was due to more room for acceleration and movement! I was constantly chatting away to myself in my helmet though reminding myself of the actions (alongside Ianto talking to me all the time on the comms... he was such as star at reassuring me, such an absolute star).

    I did, however, manage to stall three times on my first roundabout...

    First Stall... Me: "Oh Bugger bum poop and fudge... right... must be the nerves... start her back up again... brumm"
    Second Stall... Me: "Seriously!?!? Seriously! Maybe too much clutch again!?"
    Third Stall... Me: "Whaaaaaaat the MONKEYS is going on!?! Getting biting point... accelerating enough... why?! WHY!? I need to get my butt into gear.. oh. Oh hang on... gear. FUDGE I've been sat in second! YOU PRATT SOUTHERN!"

    Hahahaha! I felt like such a muppet! I think that was probably my only major glitch (on the busiest roundabout in history too... what a nincompoop!) I did have the odd boshing the gear into neutral as opposed to second but after an hour or so out I was much much smoother!

    Sam had a good day too! He enjoyed being back on a bike as it's been a while! He found it odd having to do exaggerated movements to check mirrors so the instructor could read what you were doing but other than that (and finding it odd not to stand up over humps... he's used to off roading in his KTM 990 Adventure) he loved it! I did think he might find it all a bit tedious seeing as he's ridden for 8 years and done half way rtw already... but Ianto and the team made it interesting enough for us both which was awesome of them! Sam was nervous though about not passing! I guess the pressure is on when you have an expectation of 8 years riding! Curse Dubai licence and being unable to transfer!

    Anyway, I yabber on! A wet sticky-rain day but a great one all the same! Am still smiling now and excited about Mod 1 (although remain nervous in a good way!) Our first big step though... :D

    Some piccies of the day for you:

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    Ianto, my Welsh instructor from Smart Motorcycle Training in Swansea and I outside prior to the day starting!

    [​IMG]
    Me riding into a container! Haha! I did manage to turn... it's just the way the pic looks! Honest gov!

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    Both Sam and I on the bikes! Couldn't be a happier duo!

    [​IMG]
    We'd just gone out on the roads for our first ride about and had stopped for a warming cuppa! I was only just properly settling in and eager to jump back on asap!

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    POOCH giving Sam and snog! Chris - another Smart Motorcycle Swansea Instructor - had a beauuuuuuuuuutiful malamute husky pooch! He was ENORMOUS but stupid friendly! Absolutely adorable hunky man of fluff!

    The website is due to be launched over the weekend where there will be much more information about the day and what we're doing/riding/gear etc so please take a look in the future at www.chasinghorizons.co.uk

    In the meantime, you can see more piccies and videos here: Chasing Horizons Facebook Page and regular updates on Twitter - Chasing Horizons. Please pop on and take a goosey goosey gander at our frollickings! We'd love to see people on there :) Thank you so much for all your support and well wishes!
    #11
  12. EmilianoXR650L

    EmilianoXR650L Been here awhile

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    Estaremos pendientes !!!!
    #12
  13. Mike_MRS

    Mike_MRS Been here awhile

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    Let's face it you cant really fail a CBT, but well done anyway :evil
    #13
  14. Pheebs

    Pheebs Adventurer

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    Heh funnily enough that's why we went with the guys who trained us... they do fail people on their CBT! The school's run by a bunch of ex coppers who, having seen a fair whack of nasty motorcycles accidents, don't want the responsibility of passing people who are clearly not safe to go jump on a scooter and then splat under a car!

    Great fantastic school! Really want you to pass... but for all the right reasons! :D
    #14
  15. Pheebs

    Pheebs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
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    www.chasinghorizons.co.uk

    HOORAH!

    The website is up and running! Sam and I are really chuffed it’s *finally* made it to the wonderful world of the interweb! Due to minor glitches here and there, it’s been slightly delayed in coming but we pulled off a few all nighters, drank ourselves a high sharehold of caffeine and VOILA! We’re off!

    We’re awaiting on the arrival of some gear before we put the details up in the gear section… not long though (I cannot tell you how excited we are about this!) There will be reviews of Rukkas Arma S and Rukkas Armiinas suits as well as the X Lite 551 helmets so keep watching and let us know if there’s any details you’d like us to particularly look at with regards to the items! As for the bikes… we’re nervously awaiting some news and will be putting more details up in the next couple of weeks.

    Please do go have a snoop about and feel free to make comments! If you have any feedback or questions you’d like us to answer in our FAQ section please ping us an email or post in the thread :) We'll respond as soon as we can!

    sayhello@chasinghorizons.co.uk

    If you fancy it, jump onboard the twitter and facebook pages – all updates of piccies/videos and blogs can be pinged to you wherever you are!

    Chasing Horizons Facebook
    Chasing Horizons Twitter
    #15
  16. Pheebs

    Pheebs Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Hey people!

    So the training continues! I hopped on a 500cc yesterday and had a pootle about on an incredibly lush day in sunny Wales! All things are going well and we're loving every minute of it! We also saw the Wales Air Ambulance yesterday - great charity! If you fancy a cuppa tea, a read and a mooch through photos and videos then take a peak below for new diary posts:

    http://www.chasinghorizons.co.uk/diary/

    [​IMG]

    Facebook - Chasing Horizons

    :) Thanks for all your support people! Don't forget, feel free to bug us with questions and requests! Bed time now as more training in Swansea in the morning! Woohoo!
    #16
  17. FargAT

    FargAT Been here awhile

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    I'm in! :lurk
    #17
  18. TravelBike

    TravelBike keep on..... :-)

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    I'm in ! :wink:
    #18
  19. Pheebs

    Pheebs Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Hey hey people!

    Been off the radar for a week or so due to training and working our socks off! Though we did have a day off to look around a reclamation yard where we found this:

    [​IMG]

    Sam pondered for a moment whether we should change our mode of transport for the trip :D

    The training so far has been superb! The team at Smart Motorcycle Training have said I am a natural (oo la la!) however, I made a superb fluff up and decided it would be a stupendous idea to throw myself round some cones on my derriere at 30mph as opposed to the bike! Not my finest moment but fortunately in a controlled environment. It served as a good lesson of what to do when you hit something small (... e.g. not brake when on top of it! I'll only end up on my butt!)!

    So I have encountered my first tumble (of which I am sure there will be many when the off roading courses take place) and despite being a bit bumped and bruised, all is good!

    We've now had our Module 1 tests too... and passed! Weh hey! Here are a few of the clips from the day...

    Sam starting up for his Module 1 Test featuring Ianto our nutty Instructor!

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    I was slightly nervous here after throwing myself off the bike during the practice swerve test a week and a half prior:
    <object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/RkXVT0Vr1MA?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/RkXVT0Vr1MA?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    Sams awesomely controlled slalom and figure of 8... a little too tight though for Iantos nerves!
    <object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/c4q1Wl44CsM?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/c4q1Wl44CsM?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    Celebrations and mickey taking... Having passed with no minors and Sam with two (one due to forgetting rear observation and the other for riding too slow... when doing the slow riding section of the exam!) It's probably going to be the only chance I will have one up on him when riding so I relished the opportunity whilst it lasted!
    <object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/Qy6dS7t7tbM?version=3&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/Qy6dS7t7tbM?version=3&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>


    We now have a nice Sunday ride planned this weekend and then will be out on Module 2 on Monday! Feeling a bit more relaxed about this one... Module 1 just felt so sterile being in a playground like fenced off area! Still a wee bit apprehensive but fingers crossed eh!

    Lots more vids, pics and diary entries below:

    Chasing Horizons Webby
    Facebook Chasing Horizons
    Chasing Horizons Twitter


    If you get the opportunity, any "likes" on our Facebook page would be massively appreciated!

    Cheers guys and girls! Looking forward to joining you all soon on the road!! :D


    *edit* Ooo err not sure why the vids aren't showing? Moderators any idea (or anyone else want to hazard a guess?!).... Ooo I take that back they've just loaded! Odd!
    #19
  20. Pheebs

    Pheebs Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    55
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    Bristol
    Just a quick bosh - new blog entries and photos on the site for our training on Module 2... of which we passed! Hoorah! The diary entries include the likes of me getting lost on back streets 15mins before my test, Sam being a grumpy morning dinosaur, lots on THE most miserable examiners in the world and a number of piccies. Some extracts:

    and

    ;)

    For more have a looksy here:
    Our Diary

    Enjoy the read peoples! If you get a chance, please please please with cheese and cherries like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter as the more people we have, the more our sponsors will give towards our charities! :) Thanking you!

    Facebook Fan Page

    Thaaaank you SUPER amounts guys and girls!! Not long now... 4.5months in fact! Aieeee!

    :D
    #20