THE RIDERS GROUP 1
A man of few words to begin with as he decompressed from his hectic workload. However, when he did unwind, he was a barrel of one liners and a generous, caring soul. Oh and a card cheat who constantly kept trying to play on 8s when he should have missed a turn! What a great trip it was for Amir with life changing outcomes.
STUART AND VANESSA SCARFE
A couple of legends who are always great fun. Stuart barks directions at his Mario kart sized princess whos out in front ripping it up on her little pocket rocket triumph making it all look easy! I did call Vanessa Velma from scooby doo once! I’d like to take that back now due to an incredible transformation with funky hairdos and tattoos, cool! Stuart you’ll always be shrek though eh. What a burger that was in Brasov. You’ll never know mate, you’ll never know.
JULIAN AND LIZ UNDERDOWN
What can I say! Constant laughs and endless fun throughout. The card game couple who started something that got out of control quickly with everyone playing their heart out instantly. Liz I’ll never forget the change in your nature when it wasn’t going the way you thought it would. Competitive doesn’t cover it, I’ve never had someone team up with literally anyone at the table to beat me before. Julian, I’ll just use your words and say “Your a good old boy” yoooooo knooooow.
GRAHAM BRIAN FLINT
Now there’s a lot I could say about this old war horse but I’ll keep it short. Harder than a bare knuckle gypsy boxing champion and rougher than Tarzan’s feet, Graham and his alter ego Brian get up every morning looking like times nearly up….. and then that war horse mentality kicks in and down he comes ready for action! He throws his rusty old leg over the TDM bead seat and boy can he ride it. Never holding me back once, Graham was on me like a bumper sticker the whole way and even though he portrays Victor Meldrews meaner, moanier big brother, he’s an endless bag of laughs. Joking aside you have my utmost respect Graham, for 76 your inspirational on a Turbo Diesel Motorbike. That is what TDM means is it not?
JOHN AND JENNY ELMES
What a team you both are. One rides the bike like the wind and the other sits on the back not the least bit phased. I know we’ve still never seen the 100% kiwi nature but I reckon we were getting closer by the day. A former bike racing champ in New Zealand, John can certainly get down the road no problem. Crap at Go Karting though but that’s a story for another time. Sorry I couldn’t help it. Hopefully see you guys back over this neck of the woods some day for another blast.
TREVOR BURRIDGE AND DOREEN REID
The Harley Davidson duo who just wafted along, roaring through the countryside with those big pipes growling away all day. Rain or shine, these two still get where they are going even if it means filling their boots with water quite literally to the brim! That photo of you standing in the shower Trev that Doreen took emptying your boots will stay with me forever! It’s the facial expression that does it. You both needed some cosy Harley Davidson onesies after that day. Well done.
The welsh James Bond. Slick, sharp and suave always. Nigel done more miles than the rest of us filling his need to hunt out WW2 sites along the way. Nigels strong points are his riding and his wit, maths however might need a bit more work. When he done the sums on his fingers and toes to work out the exchange rate and lift £30 out a Romanian cash machine, he ended up with £300 by mistake. That evening Nigel switched to the dark side and set up a poolside money lending business at the hotel. Bet you’re still grateful everyone else was skint and needed some cash too!
A true gentleman and unofficial photographer of the trip. Davids photos were fantastic and his tortoise and hare approach to daily riding, still mystifies me to this day. I’ve never passed anyone as many times in a day, who was stood taking photos at the road side, only to arrive at the hotel and meet him, showered, changed and on the way back from a walk about the place. I know your scientific background and I am on to you sir. That’s not a BMW RT at all is it? it’s a sneaky government funded time travelling device that you were testing under the guise of a motorbike holiday! I bet you’ve got a Delorian in the garage too.
Linden keeps his BMW GS so clean you could eat your dinner off it. Not a spot of dirt or dust on it anywhere. Sadly a few days in the pesky ABS unit decided to test us by playing up. Did it stop him? No chance because he was on holiday and if blinding everyone with a stuck on brake light meant that’s how it had to be, then that’s just how it had to be. The so called sheepskin seat cover still makes me curious, I’m certain I saw a bear outside the hotel with a bald patch on its back!
PAUL AND NENE TARR
Well where do I start with these two? One rides like the devil and the other, when she’s not sleeping on the back takes epic photos along the way. We’ve been here there and everywhere together now on bikes, and we’ve had endless laughs, however I feel I upped my game on this one when I pulled out a line of traffic and photobombed you on the passing. How I am going to beat that I do not know.
ANDREW AND LEIGH PERRY
We’ve been down a few roads together now and what fun we’ve had along the way. Endless jokes and not a serious opinion about anything is just how it should be. kind, funny, sharp and good looking are all words I could never associate Andy with……ever! Leigh, on the other hand is elegant and kind and funny always. Clearly she has an abundance of patience as she guides Andy through his life and bears witness to the fact that he is indeed actually that crazy! He could be the boy who came to change the world, or he could be the guy who finishes it off! Your medal is in the post Leigh.
DELBOY AND THE BRANDY SWIGGER BEV
As you may be able to tell from their names, Derek does indeed have a lot to put up with. Derek is not guided by sat nav like the rest of us, he’s guided by GPS! That’s short for Global Positioning Spouse! After all you never hear a sat nav cry out ” turn left twat” Always great fun, Derek and Bev are always up for some abuse, if not I apologise now. Still can’t believe I was dumped on the euro train for a welsh man. Heartless Bev!
TONY GRAHAM A.K.A SCRATCHER!
Well I’ve heard a few tales in my time, but Tony’s explanation for the screams that came from two innocent ladies room was different. Upon entering the wrong room on arrival at his hotel, Tony who’s clearly quick on his feet, managed to get undressed and into their shower, back out and sprawled across their bed before they got back from the shop. When the screams rang out, Tony said it was all a simple misunderstanding and thankfully he was only scratching himself on the bed relaxing? Having entered the same room when I arrived at the hotel and meeting both women with screams of theirs and my own, I thought it only right to send innocent Tony there when he arrived, who knew they’d be out. eek. I’m so glad they were though.
DIRTY DAVE ATKINSON
Dave is one of those blokes who seems to slip into the background then slip out and assassinate me with a comment or two. With all the ammunition he needs on tap from my father, he’s never short of a suggestion or well made point when the time’s right. An absolute legend on tour and all round solid bloke, I’m always grateful for his company, mainly because he sticks vigorously to the speed limit with my old man which gives me enough time to get out of sight and not get stuck in to my mother for going too fast.
DAVID MORRIS THE FLYING SCOTSMAN
Dave rides his bike very well and has been all over the place on it. On this trip he decided to find out just how far up into the air he could get a GSA. The answer, a good 20ft or so! Sadly, Dave, after a bout of illness blanked out on the first corner of the Transalpina and fired himself and his bike off the road. I’d like to point out that Dave is a fully trained professional and he does all his own stunts and ask that you don’t try that at home. Being from Aberdeen in Scotland, it seemed only fitting to rename him the FLYING SCOTSMAN. Some people will do anything for a 1250, you could have just traded it in like the rest of us do. Until the next one, you take care!
BILL THE BUFFALO BYFIELD
When he’s not diving onto classic cars or trying to hot wire them with his Geordie accomplice, he’s on a bike trip with his maxed out accessory wise GSA. The years of Billy you need to behave better, went right out the window in Krakow! Tony was right, you cant hot wire a vintage car that has no wires. Best of luck to you both with your classic car restoration business, the worst excuse the hotel receptionist has ever heard I’m sure.
KEVIN THE HUMAN SWISS ARMY KNIFE JOHNSON
Kevin is that guy who is travelling with enough supplies to survive the apocalypse. Extra snood? No problem I have 5 spare with me, no motorway vignette? no problem I have two. With enough tech and gadgets to shame a cyber terrorist, Kev was the go to guy for stuff you forgot or lost. Making a swiss army knife look under prepared, Kev bailed us out more than once and was a fantastic help on the day of Daves jump over the river attempt. If he ever becomes an agony aunt his universal advice that fits all problems will be around forever “just screw the taps open”
ANDREW ROCK IT OR LOOSE IT HARBACH
Andrew is a super cool guy who just makes touring look easy. Never stressed or hurried, he just wafts along and does his thing during the day. In the early evening he does his ritual sprint about town and countryside on his 5 to 10k runs. Then after that he talks the guide into a rock concert in Krakow! What a night it was too. Plenty of laughs and a good rock out to burn up some energy, just what was needed. Even if the first act sounded like they were trying to sing while someone hit their feet with big hammers. I know I’m getting old!
BIG MIKE MAHONEY
The wandering giant who roams Europe on his bike hunting out new roads and historical sights. The organiser of the ride out day in Austria, Mike hit gold with his fantastic waterfall suggestion. Now, he used to drive an RT like a majestic swan I once said on a previous trip! He now he rides a 1250 GSA like a scalded cat. Liverpool are top of the league on 24 points as I write this, will they hold on? Thanks for the great company again big chap and I’ve taken up bridge, give me a few years and i’ll give you a game.
ROBERTO DEL TORRO JAMIESON
Rob is a raging, aging old school biker dentist. He takes his job very seriously and refers to himself as, and I quote ” Some say dentist, I say intergalactic dental chair pilot, a warrior in the eternal struggle against decay” and do you know what? none of us could say otherwise. An absolute legend and all round top bloke who I’d be proud to call my friend……but not my dentist after some of those stories. only kidding mate I’d trust you with my life…..just not my passport.
THE UNSTOPPABLE MR CONRAD DOWDING
Cons unstoppable, just a pity his bike wasn’t the same. The mighty GSA on which Conrad has done 53 thousand miles on in 3 yrs dropped a piston bearing. Its ok though because BMW put a brand spanking new engine and gearbox in it so he can do it all again. At 82 yrs old, he really is an inspiration to us all and im always honoured to be in his company. Pam clearly had her hands full with this guy. If he’s this crazy at 82, I can’t imagine what he was like at 28! Ride safe sir.
THE SUPPORT GUIDES
The boy done well. A great guy who was always there on hand to sort out everything that needed sorting. It’s never easy to run your own trip when there’s another guy in the background watching. Mark grew into the trip so well, I was no longer needed, so I played cards and drank a lot. With his special unique use of the queen’s English, I’ll just say you didn’t not do well and I’m not grateful for all your help. Well done and good luck for the future.
LOOPY LOU SWADEN
Where do I start here! calm, in control, grounded, all words that clearly don’t fit this stark raving mad lunatic. Lou got me on the second trip with only 5 days off in between and what a fantastic job she done of carrying me through. The orange guides shirt of destiny was passed to her from the get go and she stepped up and smashed it big time. Lou stepped up like a trooper when Dave’s unfortunate accident occurred and I can’t thank you enough for your effort that day. I especially enjoyed the determination you showed to return to the group with me when we left the hospital. I believe the wanted posters are still being handed out yet.
Well it wouldn’t seem right if I didn’t give myself some abuse. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your stories and for being fantastic riders and company on the trips. The Magellan family gets bigger every year and it’s a real privilege to be a part of that. I’d like to thank everyone who got me through my hangover in Austria and for the kind words and dirty looks. I will never drink again until the guides night out in a few weeks and don’t be surprised too much if I land on your doorsteps now that I have a full list of all your addresses. Seriously, it’s been a pleasure and I look forward to riding with you all again soon.