Lions Ask is a series of interviews with fellow motorcycle adventurers. We ask about all aspects of motorcycle touring, preparation, the early days and unique insights from two-wheel travellers’ daily life. If you would like us to interview you, please get in touch!
Jenny and David were always dreaming of travelling the world.
They were pinning all of the exciting locations on a wall map they were hoping to see in their lifetime of adventures.
However, breaking away from the beaten path of having a good job and a nice house did not seem like the ultimate dream.
Not for them, at least.
Since 2015, they have been exploring the world whilst managing their digital marketing business RideUnlimited.
Lions got an opportunity for a short interview to find out all about their story of motorcycle adventure!
Where does your love for motorcycles come from?
I have been around motorcycles my whole life, I was pillion on my dads bikes as soon as my feet could touch the pegs!
My best memories are from hanging onto the back, going along country roads and stopping for coffee and breakfast on our early morning ride outs.
The feeling of complete freedom that came from riding was overwhelmingly exciting, and that feeling never left.
Even after spending everyday riding for a year, I still get that rush when I sit on my bike and hear the engine start up!
How do you balance work and travelling?
It can be quite tricky depending on internet connection! I am a freelance digital marketer working for clients in all types of different industries, but mostly with travel and bikes.
When we were on the road full-time, the first thing we’d do when crossing into a new country would be go to the nearest phone shop and buy a SIM card with as much data as possible. Luckily a lot of my work can be posted at any time during the day, so we would sometimes work first thing in the morning before riding and sometimes late at night when we arrived at a hotel or set up camp.
This system worked well, apart from the times we rode through the more remote areas such as the Bartang Valley or BAM road in Siberia.
For these days we would let our clients know work was going to be hard over the next week or so and tried to pre-schedule as much work as we could, then there would still be posts going out while we were lost on a track somewhere!
Tell us more about your motorcycle!
I have a 2007 BMW G650 XCountry, called Beastie! I bought her from Ritebike in Bradford in 2017.
Before leaving on our trip we increased Beastie’s fuel range by 20 liters using extra front and rear fuel tanks made from aluminum in our garage.
We built a new luggage rack, upgraded with TFX Suspension, and fitted new wheel rims.
Months were spent buying and making parts so we could complete the list on time.
I also painted the entire bike black… I’m not big on colors!
I recently wrote a full blog about my bike if you want to know more.
What can you advise to people who want to travel full-time?
I would say it’s the best thing you can ever do!
Travel expands your way of thinking, it challenges you in ways you wouldn’t expect, you’ll see and experience things that will stay with you forever.
Not all times are good and happy, travelling is not like going on holiday for a long time. We had to be careful with our money everyday and hardly ever stayed in nice places!
But the people you meet and beautiful things you see makes everything worth it.
It sounds cheesy but I do think travelling changes you as a person, you learn how to adapt to situations and overcome things that may have seemed scary once.
You also realise that the world is not the terrifying place the TV can sometimes make out to be. It is kind, generous and welcoming.
Travelling gives you faith in people, which the news can sometimes take away.
What is your dream motorcycle destination?
Ooo I honestly can’t say! My list of amazing places to travel is only getting wider instead of narrowing. The next places might be Africa, India, Pakistan and maybe back to Tajikistan. But that’s just the start, I have travelled around South America backpacking a few years ago but need to go back and ride it!
I’d also love to do America, I can’t wait to visit places that have always amazed me, like New Orleans, Texas – I feel the need to go to some sort of Harley bar in the desert.. I don’t know if they exist like they do in my mind, but still!
I definitely want to test myself in Russia again, my boyfriend David and I plan on riding the Old Summer Road one day and the eastern side of the BAM.
Is coronavirus affecting your plans?
This year we had planned to do our very first motorcycle tour in the Stans. We were all ready to go, people signed up, bikes on hold, route confirmed and then this struck.
We are gutted as it was going to be one hell of a tour, but of course, we have to remind ourselves of the people who are having a far worse time than us and actually losing people.
There’s always another year to do an awesome tour so that’s just being put back a while.
As for David and I travelling, as soon as we get the ok we’ll be packing the bikes and setting straight off somewhere!
What has riding a motorcycle taught you about life?
I think riding a bike filled a piece of me that I didn’t know was missing! When I’m on a bike I’m in my happy place and because of that I feel I’ve become more confident, I know who I am more now.
Do you have a favourite memory from your travels?
Oh god I don’t think I could say, there were so many moments meeting people and being in such incredible places I don’t think I could pick a favourite.
One that has just come to me is camping at Song Köl in Kyrgyzstan. We arrived late at night so didn’t actually see where we had pitched up, just that it was on a sloping mountain and the lake was somewhere in front of us.
In the morning, I got woken up by the sound of horses galloping past us, it was pretty scary! I came outside the tent to see the most beautiful scene, a herd of wild horses running together across the mountains and towards the lake.
The colours were incredible, the sun was only just rising and lit the sky up hot-pink and orange.
We sat there for hours, drinking coffee and just watching.
Do you prefer travel solo or do you have a travel buddy?
I travel with my boyfriend, David, as you’ve probably guessed by this point!
We call our adventures RideUnlimited. We have been together for 12 years now. Although traveling on my own was a great experience when I was backpacking, I would choose traveling with him every time.
We have shared so much now, good and bad times.
We laugh together every day about something we remember from our travels, that kind of thing is priceless. Now we’re planning our next trip and sharing that excitement is really awesome 😊
How can we support your adventure?
I think just by what you’re doing, sharing our story is great so thanks so much! The biking community is the best, feels like one big family so we are lucky to be part of it.