While most travellers have been talking volcanic ash and longing to get back into the UK, the GlobeBusters Silk Road Expedition was waved off by hundreds well wishers from the Ace Café last Saturday morning under clear blue skies and safe in the knowledge their crossing on Euro Tunnel had been booked months before.
There was relief all round as the bikes rode off around the North Circular because the final weeks preceding their departure had been dogged with worries about earthquakes in China and civil unrest in Kyrgyzstan.
Kevin Sanders, Co-Founder of GlobeBusters and Expedition Leader said; "Our contingency plan, should we not be able to travel through Kyrgyzstan, is to ride north through Kazakhstan, but this meant every rider having to get an additional visa last week. The last of the passports were collected from the Kazakhstan Embassy with just 36 hours to spare".
"We always knew that travelling the southern Silk Road would be unpredictable, and this shows exactly the types of issues we are up against and that's before the difficulty of the remote and tricky riding terrain kicks in. But we're not going this route because it's easy, but because it's hard and we are relishing the challenge."
The 12,000 mile ride is the toughest overland trip offered by GlobeBusters, including the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan and the Tibetan Plateau, and has never been attempted before with a team of riders. Only time will tell if all the bikes and riders will make it to Beijing, but for now they are on the road and heading east, as they will be for the next three months.
GlobeBusters Stats and Facts
1. GlobeBusters Motorcycle Expeditions is run by Double Guinness World Record Holders for global endurance motorcycle riding, Kevin & Julia Sanders, who hold the Guinness World Records for Fastest Circumnavigation of the World by Motorcycle and the Trans Americas by Motorcycle.
2. GlobeBusters is the UK's premier overland motorcycle expedition company and specialises in long distance adventure expeditions of five weeks or more duration that combine the challenges in riding in far away destinations with exciting off -bike activities and cultural encounters, providing the rider with a truly memorable and life changing experience. GlobeBusters is a travel partner with World of BMW.
3. GlobeBusters portfolio of adventures includes the longest motorcycle trip in the world, a five month epic motorcycle journey down the Pan American Highway from the top of Alaska to the tip of Argentina. GlobeBusters offers adventure motorcycle journeys on all continents.