We set out from Sydney, Australia on motorcycles which might have been mechanically ideal but which also had dreadfully uncomfortable seats, to conquer the world. Charlie had submitted his PhD thesis in biology and I was an unemployed art director. Both at loose ends. For no particular reason, we decided to ride to the Guinness brewery in Dublin – a destination that morphed into around-the-world for both of us, though at different times.
We were both 31; we spoke two languages between us (English and, in my case, German); on our bikes we had a pannier full of tools and one full of spares as well as our own gear; and we had very little idea of what awaited us. But we knew we were going to have fun.
We had designed our own ‘adventure luggage’, had fitted long-range tanks as well as spare petrol and water tanks and were rolling on Trials Universal tyres. There were few other round-the-world motorcyclists in 1977, but we were never lonely. I was covering the trip for radio station 2JJ with weekly sound cassettes and motorcycle magazine Two Wheels with monthly despatches. We met some wonderful people on the way, including my future wife.
If you’d like to read a little more about my friend Charlie’s and my adventures on our ride aboard our small but carefully prepared Honda XL250s, you now have an opportunity at no charge. The book of the trip, now named The King of Any Kingdom, is being serialized in MCNews.com.au starting with at Around the world with The Bear:Part One, Beginnings.
Cheers, The Bear
A Note from the Editor: The Bear is a legend and we are incredibly fortunate to have him on the ADVrider content team. I highly recommend you follow this serial about the ride that made the man.
*From A Bush Christening by Banjo Patterson.