About Me

Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom
A mature life long biker, the first road bike I owned at 17 was an old 250cc BSA C12, then I progressed to a 350cc Norton Navigator, then '57 650cc Triumph Tiger 110, then a '61 650cc Triumph Bonneville T120R. I followed this with an 850 Norton Commando, Triumph Trident T150 and T160. Following an argument with a car and 22 months off work, I owned a Moto Guzzi 850 California for 10 years, then a MotoGuzzi 1000 California. Now riding a 1998 Triumph Trophy 900cc, a 2000 Triumph Sprint RS 955i and a 2002 Tiger 955i and 2012 Tiger 88R. I was employed by a National Rail Company as a Project Manager, but I am now retired, having accepted redundancy. I am based in the South West, and living in a small Devon village. I took and passed the the IAM Advanced Test with DAM, (Devon Advanced Motorcyclists) and did some training with North Devon RoSPA Motorcycle Section. So that's it, except I have 26 call ducks, 6 rabbits and look after sick, injured and orphaned hedgehogs, and do a bit of volunteer stuff for Devon Air Ambulance. Contact me groves564@btinternet.com

The Journey has only just Started and will never End.

Wecome to my first blog, fired up like an old BSA, and dribbling oil already.The date is 10th January 2009.
I would like to share with you some of my journeys and adventures of the last 30 years, but more importantly, my last few years of riding, in Morocco and Maurintia, and then in 2008, my solo trip through Spain, Morocco, Maurintia, Senegal to the southern most village in The Gambia, and back.
Also, to record the planning and adventures of a journey that will take Tony, a biking friend and neighbour, and myself, through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan to the Himalayas in India.


Where it began.

My first trip to Europe was in 1974, on a 850cc Norton Commando, with two mates, also on Commandos, Bob on a 750cc and Keith on a 850cc. Keith took Linda his wife, Bob rode solo and I took another mate, Sammy, who was intending to go on his 650 Triumph Trophy, but failed to get it rebuilt in time. A four week trip took us to the South of France, Italy and Switzerland. Bob had an aurgument with a armco barrier in the Swiss Alps, and bent his Commando, which we managed to get repaired, and he headed back early with Keith and Linda, whilst Sammy and I headed on through Germany and Luxemburg, back through France and home.

This was the start of my love for riding in Europe, and the mountains in particular.

Two days after returning home, after the trouble free trip abroad, the Commando spat me off on the M5, when the front end set me into a tank slapper at full throttle while overtaking a Suzuki 550 tripple.

I managed to ride the Commando off the M5 and sold it the next day to the dealer I had bought if from new a few months earlier, brand new. I knew I would never be confident on that bike again.

After a short spell on a 650 Triumph Trophy, I bought a new Triumph Trident T150, and after breaking up the piston rings during a rather fast ride I bought a new Triumph Trident T160.

I had a couple of trips to Europe on the T160, almost trouble free, the points messing up on one trip, sorted by fitting some Bonneville points I bought in Austria, and a gentle drop near Cannes in the South of France, that broke the front brake lever, sorted by having a lift into Monaco by a local BMW rider, and buying a lever at the Triumph dealer.

After writing off the T160 in an augument with a car in 1976, and having 22 months off work, I only rode in the UK, on an assortment of bike, including a 350 Matchless and a 650 BSA Spitfire Mk 2. In 1981 I bought an 850 MotoGuzzi California, and started riding in Europe again. Every year, France, Spain, Portugal and Italy were the countries of choice, the mountains the destinations. 3 or 4 weeks were the norm, depending on getting time off work. In 1995 I bought a 1000 MotoGuzzi California, and continued the European trips and a trip to Ireland. Then with a 2000 Triumph Sprint RS, a couple of trips to Assen for the WSB and Moto GP, but continued European trips on the Guzzi until I bought a 1998 900cc Triumph in 2005, and continued the European trips, untill 2006 when I ventured into North Africa.



Countries and Principalities which I have visited on my various bikes: 38 so far.

France, Spain, Andora, Monaco, Portugal, Italy, Switerland, Austria, Luxumburg, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Holland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal. Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia, Poland, Ukraine and Slovakia.







Journey to Morocco 2006

After 30 years of travelling Europe, I decided on a trip to Morocco, and in March 2006, set off on the Triumph Trophy 900 for a three week trip, intending to travel across the Western Sahara. After ridding down through Spain and crossing the Med to Morocco, I rode through the Riff Mountains, The High Atlas Mountains, rode down near to the Algerian Border, and then to the edge of The Western Sahara, at Tan Tan. I had a puncture, got stuck in a sand storm, met some good guys, and some not so good guys, lost over a stone in weight. I never got to travel through the Westen Sahara, but I'll be back.

Trip to Mauritania 2007

In 2007 I returned to Morocco on the 900 Triumph Trophy, this time accompanied by neighbour and fellow bike nut Tony, who rode his KTM 990 Adventurer. We rode through Spain from Santander, crossed the Med to Ceuta, then down the Atlantic Coast, took the 800 mile route through the Western Sahara, and crossed the border into Mauritania. We stayed the night in the nearest town, and headed back the next day, riding back on the same route across the Western Sahara, then rode over the High Atlas Mountains, and then the Riff Mountains. Back in Spain we rode through the Picos De Europa Mountains, before taking the ferry back to Plymouth. The following slide show is from this 2007 trip. (The date on the blog is when I posted it). Oh, and the bloke who thinks he's an orange is Tony.

2008 Solo To The Gambia

In 2008 I decided to go for a ride just a bit further into Africa.
I set off on the trusty Triumph Trophy, took the Ferry to Santander, rode to the Med and the next day arrived in Morocco. Riding through the Riff and over the High Atlas Mountains for the third time in as many years, I headed down through the Western Sahara, through Mauritania and Senegal and into The Gambia. And back, in under three weeks,and just under 8,000 miles. I had many adventures, which I will record another time.

Valencia Moto GP 2008

Valencia Moto GP 2008
Now that was a fun and explosive Trip!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Contact The Desert Traveller

Contact me by e mail: groves564@btinternet.com
I would also like to hear from anyone who has ridden in South America, my next planned destination.

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