Over the year since Simon was taken from us, the people and plans behind C.A.R. have been changing and shifting almost weekly. “The best laid plans of mice and men…” etc. etc. Life goes on and the unexpected twists, turns and hurdles are seldom far from any of us. To those who really wanted to be with us but were thwarted will read this knowing how much Simon appreciates your enthusiasm and encouragement – without which his father could not possibly have helped make C.A.R. real.
Within the final month before departure we decided to go the 4,000+ miles without any back-up or support vehicle – despite generous offers of help from Volvo Sweden and others.
We’re taking everything we need in the luggage and empty pillions of five Triumph Motorcycles – two of which will depart from Hastings Pier on the 15th June, heading to The Bike Shed in London’s Shoreditch. There we hook up with two more Triumph riders while the fifth, Archery Champion Tony Weston – Simon’s instructor and inspiration – will be en route to an Archery Tournament in Germany before joining up with the other four in Denmark on Sunday night, 17th June.
Much care and discernment has been applied to finding the “right” equipment and clothing for the machines involved. Four brand new Triumphs have been generously provided by Triumph themselves, and the fifth is forever known as “Si’s Tiger”. Simon had parked his 2010 Tiger 1050 ABS at his mother’s house in Amersham, and never returned to collect it. Thames Valley Police collected and looked after it until May 2018, when Simon’s Dad bought it from Simon’s estate – specifically for C.A.R.
As Adrian returned to motorcycling in 2015, Si recommended a Caberg motorcycle helmet to replace a now ageing BMW lid. When Caberg heard this, they went into ‘overdrive’ and have provided all 5 C.A.R. bikers with a 2018 Tourmax. Simon was, again, spot on. Caberg helmets are fabulous, very high spec. and far from the most expensive.
Charley Boorman, one of Simon’s greatest heroes and partner with Ewan McGregor in the stunning TV series Long Way Round and Long Way Down has been both a good friend and loyal supporter of C.A.R. Simon must have watched both DVD sets more times than any of us can count!!!
Charley will be with the ride away from The Bike Shed on June 15th. We won’t see the kind of extreme and hostile surfaces Charley and Ewan had to cross on their BMWs, but we will have to cope with the midges of Arctic Scandinavia… (some of which are big and numerous enough to pick up a fully loaded Triumph Tiger and drop it in a fjord…allegedly).