Why Mongolia? A damn good question.
My father died when I was a young kid and thereafter we had to travel everywhere by bus. A 10 mile journey to Sunderland seemed like a big trip to me.
As a child I enjoyed reading stuff like “Swallows and Amazons”, adventure and travel type books and at school apart from football and girls the only subject I was interested in was geography.
Then my older brother got a motorbike and I was so jealous of his trips around the UK and just the freedom it gave him. I started reading BIKE magazine and loved any features about travel to exotic places.
As soon as I could, I bought a motorbike and travelled to all kind of weird and wonderful far away places like Hartlepool.
Being made redundant at the ripe old age of 21 led me to move to London to do Business Studies and at the same time commence working as a courier to get me through college. I then carried on full time as a bike courier as at the time it seemed like the best job in the world getting paid to ride my bike. It also gave me the freedom to work like mad for 9 months, save some money and then take off round Europe on my bike for 3 months doing odd jobs here and there whenever I needed a bit more money.
The travel bug had well and truly bitten. Whilst working in London I met the man Paul Knight aka “Milky” who’s responsible for this trip to Mongolia, but I’ll come back to him in a minute.
In 1985 I moved to Manchester, a city where I didn’t know Deansgate, the main road through the centre of the city to set up my own courier company.
Over the years I’ve been round most of Europe on road and off road on my bike, then turned my attention to off road bike trips through Morocco and Namibia.
Last autumn “Milky” said over the phone “Guess where Dave Chip and myself are going next year?” The answer was Mongolia “Do you fancy it?” and the die was cast.
Milky’s plan was to fly the bikes to Mongolia and ride back. “The Long Way Home”
The trip evolved fuelled by nights of beer and curry. Two of my mates, Dakar racer and finisher Lyndon Poskitt and all round party animal and entertainment officer Ian Rae were also up for it when news came through from Milky in London that plans had changed and they were only riding to Iran and back.
Lyndon by now had decided he fancied riding and racing his bike round the world so wanted to ride to Mongolia and carry on round the world and laid back Ian said “Count me in for anything”
So it’s “Ready, Steady, Gobi”