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International Darwin to Isle Off Man for a couple of mates on their bikes

Discussion in 'Roads, Touring, Journeys, and Travel' started by davidk, Jun 3, 2016.

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  1. Now that's an epic
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  2. certainly is! ....would be awesome to do something like that! (y)
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  3. yeah that's awsome! when I lived in Townsville I knew a guy who rode to Darwin with some friends, about 1000kms each way give or take. they had to carry their own fuel. 40+ degC, road trains, roos etc etc that sounds tough enough, couldn't imagine what 30,000kms would be like (and then home again?). maybe ValvolineValvoline might like this story.
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  4. *sigh* <3<3<3 If only.... :cool:

    A possible dream for sure. Just to be able to touch the ground on a sports tourer would be awesome! hehe
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  5. Totally EPIC.

    Can't get any more epic'er than that.

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  6. They are Epic Dudes....
  7. Now now wait a sec, there's only one epic dude around here.lol
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  8. These stories make me feel like I am wasting my life.
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  9. Don't think of it that way Vertical CVertical C!! ....You don't have to do large epic trips to make something meaningful. Also realise that from the greatest challenges, comes the greatest satisfactions. By this I mean: The article said these two guys were given the boot in their jobs. I've been through redundancies before and it's not nice to say the least. We all have our own stories; it's what you choose to do after that's what matters. No matter how hard it may be; you can still get even little wins. :happy:

    Also realise that to undertake such long trips, one generally ends up doing them alone. Because of circumstance. People that can take so many months off, have to face and take many sacrifices. These aren't really mentioned in articles since they take away from the romanticism of the story. :angelic: It is these trips, that make you realise however, that the people that you meet along the way, are what makes the trips, true adventures and most importantly.... makes you appreciate other like-minded soul's connections. Like the peeps in NR throughout Oz. (y)
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  10. Yes VC I agree, and the destination WOAH! they are having the best weather ever on the IOM.
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  11. Want.
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  12. For most TT fans, a visit to the races in June involves a run across the UK (or possibly the continent) and the hardest part is queuing for the ferry in Liverpool or Heysham.

    But for Eddy Corlett, 30, and his friend Colm Connolly, 32, this was altogether too simple and the two workmates decided they would ride their bikes from Darwin in Australia to this year’s races.

    At the start of the adventure when the bikes finally arrived in Timor

    Somewhat ambitiously, they already have a ferry booking in place and, having set out in November last year, the plan is to be on the 6.30pm boat in Liverpool on June 1, in time for a few practices followed by the main event.

    In the interim, they will have covered around 20,000 miles travelling across 17 countries, encountering a whole spectrum of weather conditions, road conditions, not to mention in some cases hostile political climates.

    The trip started badly when the pair took a flight to East Timor at the end of November, expecting their bikes which had been loaded into a container for shipping, to arrive the same day.

    ‘Unfortunately, there had been a break-in at Darwin port and our container had been opened. We only found out about this when we had arrived in East Timor. It took nearly a week to confirm our bikes were all right and could be released and put on the next ship,’ said Eddy.

    At a border crossing

    Even when the ship arrived, on December 10, it took six days for it to be unloaded, following a public holiday.

    They were finally on the road on December 17, more than two weeks later than planned.

    ‘We pushed hard across Timor and Indonesia to get to Medan, Sumatra, covering around 3,000 miles and seven islands in 14 days. The longest ferry crossing was 16 hours.’

    From Medan, a further ferry crossing awaited, to take them to Penang in Malaysia.

    Scenery along the route

    ‘We got to Medan on the night of Sunday January 3 and after a lot of searching finally managed to make contact with our shipping agent, late on Monday morning.

    ‘We got customs clearance and by the skin of our teeth we were able to get the bikes loaded that afternoon - they delayed setting off by an hour for us. The boat only sails once a week so if we had missed it, this would really have set us back. We caught a flight the next morning and met the bikes at the other side. We’d really like to have gone on the boat but were not allowed,’ he said.

    From Penang, the next target was to reach the border of Myanmar for mid-February, travelling via the island of Koh Samui and Bangkok.

    ‘We rode through Cambodia going off road into some pretty difficult trails. We exited Cambodia into Laos and about 40 miles from the captial Vientiane my gearbox went bang: a broken tooth had lodged in there and shattered third gear. ‘Luckily we found somewhere to stay in a nearby village and next morning arranged for the bike to be taken by pickup to Vientiane. A French motorbike tour operator put is in touch with the only mechanic in Vientiane who works on big bikes,’ he said.

    Eddy Corlett contemplates a laudable but appropriate suggestion

    Even when the bike was stripped, the fastest way to get hold of the spare parts in such a remote part of the world was to have them shipped from Yamaha in Belgium to the UK where Eddy’s father then forwarded them using an agent in London.

    The breakdown meant they spent three weeks stranded in Vientiane, which meant entry permits had to be altered and they would not reach Myanmar on schedule.

    ‘On the evening of Thursday February 18, I finally had a working bike again. During this time Colne had ridden on through the north of Laos and crossed back into Thailand, as we had planned.

    ‘On February 19. I crossed back from Laos into Thailand, riding 450 miles to meet up with Colm at the Mae Sot border. The following morning we crossed into Myanmar.’

    The race was then on to cross India before their visas expired on April 4.

    ‘We had planned to ride some high altitude mountain passes in both Nepal and India but unfortunately the weather was not on our side and most of the roads in Jammu and Kashmir were closed due to heavy snowfall.

    ‘We did get to ride some great trails in Nepal but here the fuel shortage was the problem rather than the weather. There was no fuel on the day we arrived in Pokhara, so we decided not to push on further north to Jonsom and instead carry on west - not such extreme altitude but absolutely stunning scenery and a great ride,’ he said.

    April 4 saw them crossing on schedule into Pakistan and continuing to Islamabad then meeting a guide a week later on the northern border of Pakistan. The plan was to ride north through the Karakoram Highway and the Khujerab Pass at an altitude of around 15,000 feet, passing through the Himalayas and Kashmir.

    Unfortunately heavy rainfall and flooding had caused massive landslides all over the north of Pakistan.

    ‘There were reportedly 100 landslides blocking the road. We were told one was 400 metres long and up to 70 metres deep,’ said Eddy.

    With no definite time scale for reopening the road, the pair decided instead to head south through Iran

    Visas in place they completed the next 700 miles under armed police escort, stopping at one point in the desert town of Quetta near the Afghanistan town of Kandahar.

    Since then, they have continued to Turkey, Greece and onto Corfu.

    Despite all the setbacks, the pair remain on schedule for the Isle of Man ferry.

    The idea was hatched as Eddy was working as a plant operator having arrived in Australia in 2008. His father, Nigel, is Manx though the family is now based in Southampton, but his uncle still lives in the island. He and Colm, who is originally from Ireland, decided when they returned home they would ride rather than fly. In the process they are both raising money for charity, Colm for the Irish Cancer Society and Eddy for the UNHCR Refugee Fund.

    Eddy said: ‘We knew back in July redundancies were planned for November so we got chatting about plans after the job.

    ‘Colm was keen to do a motorbike tour before returning home to take the reins on his father’s farm in Ireland.

    ‘I was considering a move back to the UK and had always dreamed of returning overland by motorbike so I suggested that rather than do a two-week tour why not buy bikes in Australia and ride them all the way to the UK? Timing was perfect to get to the Isle of Man for the TT in June. So one thing led to another and before we knew it, we were buying bikes and applying for visas.

    ‘We have funded the trip through savings and are raising funds for charity through justgiving.org.’

    Eddy said the biggest low was the gearbox failure on his Yamaha Tenere; and the 17-day delay was disheartening, using up so much contingency time right at the start.

    Highlights have been catching the boat in the nick of time at Medan, the spectacular scenery in Nepal and finally getting his bike repaired after the gearbox self-destructed.

    He said he was immensely grateful for family support, including the back-up from his father, posting bike spares when needed - and he’s equally grateful his bike has a gel seat, an essential accessory.

    ‘The real highlight for both of us will be to ride off that ferry onto the Isle of Man. We are hoping we might get into the pit lane areas and have our tee-shirts signed by the riders. Who knows - maybe we could do a parade lap!’ he said.

    Read more: http://www.iomtoday.co.im/news/isle-of-man-news/darwin-to-douglas-motorcycle-tour-to-culminate-at-2016-isle-of-man-tt-1-7902491
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