written by Tim Bourne (please sign up to receive updates of our journey)
On 21st July this year, I met Sam and Oli in the Cow in Westbourne Grove. I was surprised to find them with a blow up globe and an idea to travel to the other side of the World to ride bikes like these.
Having all agreed to do it, what was more surprising was that our wives and partners agreed to let us go.
We started off thinking we’d be able to ride the Golden Triangle of Asia Thailand, Laos and Vietnam). But quickly discounted that idea (too logistically complex, too many borders, too much risk of getting caught in border conflict and too little time).
So here’s where we’re going:
11 hour flight to Bangkok
Day two we fly to Phnom Penh for a quick overnight stop before meeting with Bernard Reid and his crew at Red Raid to pick up our bikes and go over the journey plan one last time. In the event of a disaster these guys will (hopefully) be a call away to help us get out of any trouble we’ve managed to get into.
For the next eight days, we’ll be travelling across Cambodia all off road, travelling eight hours a day in an ultra humid 95f (35c) across terrain that looks like this:
Staying frankly anywhere that will have us after a day of sweat, dirt and bike oil. Then back to Phnom Penh, a brief stop over in Bangkok and a return flight home, hopefully all in one piece.
That’s the plan anyway.
What have we done so far?
We’ve done what all boys like to do first when entering a new sporting challenge: we’ve bought lots of kit! (Never knew how much you need to ride a bike safely off road).
Here’s a quick rundown of the list so far:
Aria Tour X4 helmet, Oakley goggles, MX trousers, Nike dri fit tops (lots of them), Nike dri fit pants, Max bike boots – I’ve gone for sidi Crossfire 2 in grey, MX top breathable and aerated, Lightweight mx gloves with Kevlar, Hydration backpack with 3l bladders, Knee pads, Fox wheelie kitbags.
Next we got into training. Apart from Sam, we are embarking on this with virtually no off road experience, so consider training essential.
Luckily Oli found Adventure Riding Academy and more specifically Patsy Quick, probably the best known female off road rider with battle scars from Dakar to prove it. So we’ve conquered stage 1 and 2 trading and about to do stage 3.
We also have a full day of off road riding planned in Somerset this month and then a one day motocross track day booked for later this month.
Andy Henbest will do his training in LA and join us in Bangkok, and then we’ll all make the journey to Cambodia together.
That’s it. By the time we leave, we will have amassed a hugely unimpressive 24 hours of training/off road experience each. I hope that’s going to be enough!”