2RTW: Two Years on Touratech Suspension
Hand on heart: Ive been really, really impressed, says British motorcycle adventurer Simon Thomas about his Touratech Suspension shocks, which were fitted two years ago. After riding 30,000 miles through Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Belize and Guatemala he gives us this positive feedback.
For more information on Touratech Suspension please click here.
2RTW: 1 Dream, 2 Riders and 122 Countries
Up to now, world-record setting motorcycle adventurers Simon and Lisa Thomas have spent 11 years on the road. They have travelled 533,000 km through 78 contries of their planned 122. Their aim? To circumnavigate our planet, riding all seven continents, set 5 Guinness Endurance world-records, raise money for 3 charities and fulfill a lifelong dream.
"0ur Dream is Still Alive and Well"
Over the last couple of months Simon and Lisa Thomas have taken a bit of personal time in order to 'sort-out' their plans and finances (or lack thereof) for the next couple of years. Lisa writes:
"After New Zealand it was our intention to return to Africa and reach those parts that we had not been able to go to when we first started our trip. However timing and finances were against us yet again and the countries we wanted to ride through were in political upheaval ie Egypt - Jordan - Syria. The costs associated with our travels in Australia and New Zealand had also taken their toll.
During our time re-visiting the USA we had planned to drop into Mexico and then return for the summer of 2014 for our continued travels up through Canada and then Alaska and at last reach the most northerly point in the Americas! However, our 10 year US visa had finished (we had our original just prior to leaving the UK in 2003) and we were told that in order to obtain another we had to return to our home country! Of course this is just not possible and so we are currently trying to organise an interview to 'explain' our very different circumstances to a US consulate here in Mexico in order to obtain a further 10 year visa allowing a 6 month entry per visit. Sounds easy - but isnt!
A 6 month period, rather than the 90 day visa which covers the entire north American continent, is essential if we want to ride 'north of the border' and actually SEE something! ;-)
So - what now?
We are both in Mexico still waiting for the interview and taking time to re-work many areas of our website, which although greatly improved since our original, has many background coding issues. The improvements will include better search facilities and more detailed reviews of our equipment and bikes, whilst also allowing for more interaction. We have also decided to host a separate photographic website alongside and associated with our 2ridetheworld site.
It is also the time for us to begin our first book and DVD!! This is a frightening task as you can well imagine. I think this is the reason we have held off for so long ;-) We have just collated and re-categorized ALL of our video footage (many months of hard work!) plus beginning the structure of our first book. How long will this take? Well - the first DVD will take time as we want/need it to be as professional as possible. The book?? it sounds easy but we are at the stage when we just wonder if we have bitten off more than we can chew! ;-) although it is great remembering things that happened many years ago as if it were just yesterday.
We are also still planning to ride through the East coast USA- Canada and Alaska - visa (& financially) dependent before heading back to Africa and East/West Europe. There is a possibility that we may get the chance to ride Dominican Republic and Haiti...something we are working hard on achieving. As you know our dream is still alive and well."
2RTW Pit-Stopping at Touratech Mexico
Goodbye Australasia, hello USA
After almost 11 months in Australia Simon und Lisa Thomas again crated the bikes and flew to New Zealand, spending a month riding both the north and south islands, before they made their way back across the ocean to North America where they celebrated their TENTH YEAR anniversary of being on the road! Here is their latest update:
New Zealand was such an amazing place to ride and a huge contrast from Australia which is a surprise as they are so close together when you look at a map! Our time in NZ was unfortunately way too short but with our plans constantly changing we decided that we would not renew our Carnet (a kind of passport for the motorbikes needed in some countries) for this year which meant we could only ride in NZ for 4 weeks. (we had entered on the carnet when it only had one month left to run).
A drastic change of plan
Our reasons for not renewing the Carnet? Well...it had been our intention to return to Africa this year - 2013 -so we would then have renewed the Carnet, but upon looking at our intended route we realized that we would possibly be running into a massive amount of political tension once we hit the north east of Africa.......!! Understatement?
A familiar continent
So, for once I had my sensible head on and made the plans for us to return to the USA.
Anyhow NZ was getting a bit cold for us (yes, weve become quite soft in our old age it seems!) and so heading away from winter and back into summer seemed very appealing ;-)
Since arriving in the USA we have been busy re-visiting old friends and have relished the opportunities we've been offered to share our new digital presentation 'A Decade of DISCOVERY' with BMW Motorrad dealers on the west coast of the USA.
In Late May we were riding from L.A. hard on the throttles and pushing west to Flagstaff to join in with one of the most dynamic Overland Fair's in the USA, the Overland Expo. Pulling into the motorcycle and camping area we were immediately immersed in energized conversation and warm hugs of welcome from both old friends and new.
Sharing our new 2RTW digital presentation with a room full of smiling faces and sharing stories of travel, marvel and exotic lands was the ideal way for us to celebrate our 10-Year on the road Anniversary. Chatting and drinking with Ted Simon into the wee hours of the following morning just made the evening perfect! A big thank you to Terry, Sandy and Jack Borden (Adventure trio), Fonsie, Carla King, Chris Scott (Adventure Riding Handbook), Lorraine Chittock, Ken and Carol, Renie, Billy and many, many others that made our time in Flagstaff so memorable.
The costs in Australia and NZ hit us hard and so being able to update you all with our stories, photos and videos since we left here (USA) almost 5 years ago has been tough but a privilege!!
A surprise visit. True to form and with only a little persuasion required, my mother, Tricia, flew out from the UK and spent an wonderful 10 days touring California and Nevada with us. At 75 years young she happily hopped on the back of Simon's and my bike during her 10 days with us and traveled total of 2,500 miles from LA-to Death Valley (132F) -Las Vegas- Sonoma-Yosemite and back! What a great time and a ride I will always remember!
Alaska and Canada are our next major goals and only then will we return to Africa where our route will take us up the east coast, through the Middle East into Eastern Europe.
But hey! you know Simon and I...plans always change!
Fore more pictures and information visit the new 2RTW website: http://2ridetheworld.com/
Reaching our 6th continent was monumental for us. Yeah weve been on the road a long time now (we are in our 10th year), but Australia was and is a huge milestone. But reaching Australia was also scary as it has brought home that we are closer to the end of our journey than we are the beginning!
Since arriving in Darwin in the Northern Territories, we have ridden down to Brisbane on the east coast, travelling extensively in beautiful Queensland. Whilst there we were fortunate to enjoy taking what seemed like thousands of photographs of the humpback whales breaching in Hervey Bay. We have just ridden the accurately named Worlds Longest Shortcut crossing the entire continent from East to West on near enough 2500 km of dirt, red sand and corrugations!
We made sure we took time to explore the amazing Red Centre: Alice Springs, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas). There is no way we can use just words to explain how awe inspiring these most famous rocks in the World are! Just have a look at some of our photos in our album on Facebook called 'the worlds longest shortcut'.
We are currently in Perth, Western Australia having just spoken at BMW AutoClassic where the bikes are now getting some TLC. In the next few days we will be heading over to Adelaide and Melbourne. Once we reach Melbourne we will be attending Australias largest motorcycle Expo (Nov 23 to Nov 25) at the invitation of both Touratech Australia and BMW Motorrad Australia. Our bikes (and us!) will be there on display for the entire duration of the show...its gonna be fun!!
Good-bye Indonesia, hello Australia
After leaving Indonesia, world-record setting motorbike adventurers Simon and Lisa Thomas sent us a very big and excited hello from Australia. Simon writes: Our bikes and gear passed quarantine inspection so we can now begin to ride. We're heading south asap as we are presenters at the Horizon Unlimited meeting here in Oz. We just need to sort a few bike items before we can hit the road.
From Australia, the 6th and penultimate continent, Simon and Lisa will head to New Zealand before attempting to reach and ride on the Arctic ice shelf. The pair will then return to Africa and head north for Europe where they will ship to the USA to start their last leg, riding to the northern tip of Alaska.
Until their next update Simon and Lisa have sent as fantastic pictures from their journey through Indonesia sit back and enjoy!
Horror of a Crash, Devastation and Many Helpful People
2011 was for us a year to remember. During this year we have experienced a range of emotions, joy in our travels, horror of a crash, and devastation due to the sudden death of Lisa's most cherished Father.
We started with wonderful travels through Cambodia, Laos and northern Thailand, then the big GS experienced engine trouble which required a total re-build in Chiang Mai, Thailand. After 5 weeks we were ready to go ahead again and after a return visit to Bangkok we were heading south to Malaysia our 73rd country.
We had a wonderful time in Malaysia - the country is amazingly green and the people warm and friendly. As some of you know we had a great opportunity to ride on the island of Borneo, in Sarawak, courtesy of World Tour Rider Magazine and Tourism Malaysia. It was here that Simon had a bad accident leaving him slightly injured and his bike (with nice new engine parts!) in bits along the road in Sarawak.
Simon suffered with a damaged right leg and broken rib but our panic set in as we wondered how the hell we were going to afford the parts required! Simon needed time to heal, the bike need $!! Amazingly this is where some wonderful donations were received from friends around the World and then Touratech Germany stepped in and covered all Touratech and BMW parts! We were totally blown away by all of this support and without all of you and Touratech we would no longer be on our journey. The big GS was taken in disgrace back to Kuala Lumpur where, after 6 weeks of waiting for all of the parts to arrive, the rebuild began.
During this time Lisa received some devastating family news: the sudden and unexpected death of her father. This news hit her hard and during the remaining months of 2011 took a serious toll on her health, from which she is still trying to recover. This has made us realize that, once more, you only live once and life is all too short: make the most of it and the most out of having your friends and family around you. Lisa's father did live life to the full, enjoyed many a special time with us over the years we have been away, times which we will treasure.
Not only had Simon been working hard on the bike in the last few months of 2011, he had also been involved in a movie- cast as a Viking King (yep!) in the 'Hollywoood backed' movie called which was shot entirely on location in Malaysia! Thanks so much Sean Nunis, for this opportunity and seeing Simon as a Viking King! Sean is a fellow biker and line producer for the movie. Watch out for this in the movie theatres this year 2012! Can't wait to see it and he did have a few lines too.
By the end of Dec 2011 both the bike and Lisa were ready once again for the road. It had been a long while for us to be off the road and we wanted to thank all of you for your continued messages of support during this time. So we hit the road again but for once returning the way we had come.....
2012 sees us back in Thailand and enjoying wonderful Bangkok whilst obtaining visas for our onward travels! Australian visa and Indonesian visas have been applied for. These next few weeks will see us working hard on doing this whilst waiting for our visas.
2012 will also see us celebrate our 9th year on the road...yep...we started May 2003. So many things have changed but its good to see that our friends are still here with us. We hope you all had a great start to 2012!
Chok Dee Krap (Good luck in Thai!)
The latest 2RTW video update covers the months of rebuild work as Simon's 1150 GS is resurrected after his accident on Borneo.