Monday, May 07, 2007

Charley and Ewan prepare for the Long Way Down

This time, it's from the UK to South Africa...

On their much-publicized Long Way Round trip in 2004, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman rode from London to New York – a distance of about 24,000km – on their BMW R1150GS bikes. Back in December last year, we said that they’re planning more rides, the first of which would be in 2007. Well, the boys and their BMWs are ready – bring on Long Way Down.

Starting from John O'Groats in the UK, the duo will ride 25,000km across 20 countries, finishing in Cape Agulhas, the southern-most point in South Africa. The bikes will again be BMW R1200GS machines, which is just as well because the two will be traveling through demanding terrain, across Libya, Sudan Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Botswana. No walk in the park, eh?

Their travels will again be made into a television series, called Long Way Down. You can register for more details and updates on the official website here.

British rider, Elspeth Beard, who rode around the world in the 1980s. Alone. On a beat-up BMW R60/6. Respect...

On a slight tangent, we thought we should mention here that long-distance bike travel is not just for richie-rich celebs. For those who dream of doing their very own Long Way Somewhere, you may want to read about one Elspeth Beard, a British woman who rode around the world in the early-1980s. Elspeth rode alone, on a 1974 BMW R60/6, and without a back-up crew of any sort. And remember, no cellphones, email or internet in those days! Read her amazing story on the Motorcyclist magazine website here.

Update (May 15, 2007): One of our readers, Paul Blezard just wrote in and sent us these pictures of Charley and Elspeth. Paul, a journalist and photographer, was in Namibia last year with Charley, on a BMW SA trip to the Fish River Canyon, where they rode BMW’s R1200GS Adventure bikes. Here are the four pics, all of them clicked by Paul Blezard:

Charley and Elspeth together during an event in 2005, at the Vines of Guildford

Paul Blezard with Elspeth Beard...

Charley and Elspeth with the BMW which Elspeth rode around the world!

Paul and Charley together in Namibia last year

Also see:
American Borders: Around the US on a Russian-made Ural sidecar combo!
2007 Cannonball Bike Run: Let the madness begin...
The future's bright, the future's Benelli
The very amazing Carver One. Order yours now!
AC Schnitzer-tuned BMW K1200R Sport


GSA12rider said...

A few inaccuracies here!...

His name is spelt "Charley".

They didn't use a R1200GS last time - It was an R1150GS Adventure.

They're not using a R1200GS this time - It is an R1200GS Adventure.

PNB said...

Elspeth Beard met Charley Boorman in 2005 at Vines of Guildford when Charley did his Long Way Round talk. Elspeth rode her globe-trotting R60 to the event and I have a photo of the two of them, both with her bike, and with his R1150GS.



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