On 20th August 2019 I attempted what I considered was the impossible, for me at least, as I’d never attempted anything similar before, it was a mental challenge, a challenge that would push me to, and far beyond my riding limit.
I had just made a spontaneous decision to ride way beyond the furthest distance I had ever ridden and without sleep, or very much consideration for my own wellbeing. I would ride continually, through the night and day and into the next evening, only stopping for fuel and to rehydrate myself in a bid to arrive at my destination half way across Europe as quickly as I could, all for the benefit of providing the ultimate level of customer service, I had 1,300 miles to go.
It was Tuesday, the kids were away and I was looking forward to some personal time with my girlfriend, we’d even planned to go somewhere for a day or two on the bike at some point before they came back home. As it was the summer holidays and they were off school, we didn’t get to spend much time together as a couple, what with my work commitments and being away on tours, so I was really looking forward to this opportunity, to have that much needed time together. I sat down for the evening, flicked the TV on, it was 8pm and dinner was nearly ready when I had news that my tour guide running the Croatia Tour had injured his back. As an owner of a tour company, its horrible news to receive. He’d been taken to hospital in Zagreb that evening for assessment and at the time it didn’t look good. First indications showed he’d trapped a sciatic nerve, which, can be easily done lugging heavy bags around. You only need to lift awkwardly and “booom” something goes in your back, turning your day into a nightmare, I’ve been in that situation, I’ve experienced it, so I’m fully aware of what he was going through and how it must’ve felt, its a horrible feeling as some of you will relate to, even more so for him as I know, having spoke to him, he was feeling awful for letting me down. Its life, these things happen and it certainly wasn’t deliberate, or an act of stupidity, so you have to manage it the best you can despite the frustration and apprehension. Yes, I was concerned, both for him and also because the tour had to continue.
Unbeknown to me at the time, a quick jab of some medication and all would be okay by morning.
I spoke to my clients, who were all now at the hotel for the evening, they didn’t seem too pleased that their tour guide had been taken ill to hospital and to cut a long story short, wanted me to do something about it and “fast”. It was my understanding they weren’t too confident navigating themselves, as they’d had issues with the sat nav the previous day or two. Despite my efforts to assure them I was on hand to assist and fully support them by providing reassurance that my tour guide should be fine and would return to the hotel by morning based on experience of this type of injury and how the hospital deal with it. From my own personal experience of this injury, I know they can administer pain relief drugs and injections to stem the pain. However, the customers weren’t happy about this, despite my attempt to reassure them that the tour guide will be with them by the morning, he and I had already discussed this from the feedback he’d received from the doctors and nurses and the plan was for him to get a taxi once the hospital had administered the injections and then been discharged, heading back to the hotel before it was time to set off for the next day.
In desperation, I dropped everything, literally. I pushed my dinner that was now about to arrive in front of me to one side, said to my girlfriend “I have to go and sort this out, put the dinner in the fridge, I’ll have it another day” and 10 minutes later I was saying goodbye to her and I was out the door. It all, happened so fast I didn’t have time to think about it or devise a plan of how I was going to do this. It felt like an emergency situation, in such cases, one doesn’t think, one just does what they feel they have to do and for me that was to get on my bike and ride to Croatia, no matter what it took, what strain of pressure it employed or what the consequences would be mentally, I just knew I had to get on that bike and start making an effort to get to Croatia to support my clients and be there for them. My girlfriend tried to reason with me, we momentarily discussed other options such as flying out there and using the tour guides bike but if my presumption was correct and as anticipated, he’d need his bike the next day and then I’d be left with no option to hire a bike or return home. I had no intention of returning home before the end of the tour, clearly the clients had lost some faith in his ability and to rectify this I knew I’d have to stay with the group to regain their confidence, I was in this till the end.
I grabbed a wash kit, some change of clothes and a phone charger and shoved it into my panniers in a disorganised manner any teenager would have been proud of, I wasn’t happy with this as it usually took me a couple of hours to pack for a tour and as this was an 11 day tour, it still had 8 days left until completion. I stood for a moment, contemplating the challenge I was about to subject myself to, I’d never ridden this kind of distance before and for the first time in the last hour of deciding to head off and join the group, it occurred to me that I’d have to ride non stop to get there in reasonable time if the situation required me to takeover leading the group. This meant I wouldn’t sleep until I arrived, being as I would be heading to bed usually in a couple of hours the realisation of what was to come slowly started sinking in. I hadn’t planned this, I had no mental preparation, no time to work out how to overcome mental exhaustion or fatigue. I hadn’t even prepared my bikes as they sat there in the same state they were in from returning off the last tours. I knew the Crossrunner VFR800X needed the chain tightening at the very least, thankfully, an easy job on the Crossrunner due to its single sided swing arm. But the Africa Twin was in bits. My predicament was that the last Eurotunnel train left at 23.50 and it was now nearly 21.30. I had 168 miles to ride to get To Folkestone to make that train.
The Honda Africa Twin Crf1000l was dismantled and undergoing some modifications prior to my upcoming tour to Europe, In a couple of weeks I’d be heading off on a 21 day camping tour with customers through central Europe as far as Greece, so the bike was being prepped for this. I had no choice but to take the Honda Crossrunner VFR800X, a perfectly suited road bike which I knew was also very comfortable soaking up the miles. So in hindsight, I’m glad that was ready to go, reassuringly, with at least 5,000 miles before a service was due.
I didn’t tighten the chain, I’d leave it until I got on the train to Calais and adjust it onboard.
I felt like I was in a tornado, everything changed in a moment, one minute I was about to sit and eat dinner with my wonderful girlfriend and enjoy the time together alone, the next, I’m kitted up, helmet on, sat nav configured for the routes I needed for the next 8 days, laptop packed, pants, socks, tshirts, wash kit and chargers all squashed into my panniers in no particular order and the bike was running. It was dark now, the sky was clear and stars glistened brightly in the sky. Although it was August, I was beginning to wonder if I should have put my fleece on, I only had a tshirt on under my Goretex jacket. Again, I settled with the notion that I’d do it on the train if I needed to, after all, how cold can it be in the middle of the night in August!
I pulled away, sad that I was leaving Vicky so quickly, there was no longing goodbyes, I just upped and went. I felt odd, emotional perhaps but I now needed to focus on getting that train. I turned my Bluetooth helmet intercom on and connected my phone, activating the music playlist to give me some company and distraction, “Low Battery”, came from the digital voice in my ears, “fuck it”, I hadn’t charged the Bluetooth unit. This rattled me, I loved listening to music when riding and above all that’s happened, this seemed to me like a catastrophe. I took the Bluetooth unit off my helmet and carefully plugged it into the 12v charger on my bike and tucked it into the tank bag, hopefully there’d be enough juice in it by the time I reached the tunnel to use it through France. I picked up my speed, looked down at the sat nav informing me I’d make it to Folkestone Terminal by 23.45. I really didn’t have time for delays. I put my head down out of the wind as I joined the unlit dual carriageway and with my head being pummelled with an array of thoughts and feelings about what’s just happened and what I’m about to do, slowly began to sink in. I needed to get that train no matter what.
I joined the M20 motorway and with approximately 38 miles to go before turning off on junction 11a for the Eurotunnel terminal I had made good progress. The sat, nav, had estimated my arrival time at 23.25, which I thought would be plenty of time to get onboard the 23.50 departure. After 5 miles on the M20, disaster, the overnight roadworks had shut a section of the motorway due to the works being carried out to convert it to a Smart Motorway. I had to come off and detoured to the next junction, this wasted so much time it was infuriating. I finally got back onto the M20 but now the sat nav was letting me know I was due to arrive at 23.40. I had no way of picking up speed due to the speed cameras in place. I didn’t want to risk getting a fine and points on my license, it was frustrating, I was willing for time to stop.
As I rolled up to the check in stall, I punched the code for my ticket in, which, Vicky had kindly booked for me during my journey up here. My heart sunk, I’d missed the train. It was now 23.43 and although it was technically 7 mins before departure, I had to take into account the rigmarole of getting through customs and passport control. I probably wouldn’t get onboard in time. I was furious, if I hadn’t been diverted I would of made it. The machine offered me the next available time, I guess it wasn’t so bad, as the next train was 01.20 in the morning. I had a long wait.
I decided to grab a coffee and a snack from the terminal, unfortunately their card machine was out of action, I didn’t have any cash on me so had to use the cash machine in the foyer. I waffled down a coffee, accompanied by a tepid sausage and egg roll, warmed up in the microwave, it tasted like a defrosted leather shoe.
On the way here I had to get fuel, with a full tank, it provided me with enough to get here but now the reserve orange light was flashing at me, it may have been partly due to my right wrist at times being a little too generous. It occurred to me by the time I reach Calais, disembarking the train, that the petrol stations may be closed, it would after all be just after 2am in the morning. I quickly dismissed the thought from my mind, finished my coffee, lit a cigarette and called Vicky to say goodnight.
On the train I dug my tools out and began to adjust the chain, I managed it with difficulty as the train was bouncing about as if though we were riding on speed bumps, I lay down on the floor next to my bike and tried to catch some sleep, albeit it would only be for 30 minutes or so, it was worth trying.
I exited the train, having not managed to sleep, probably due to the noise, perhaps my mind was too full of “what if’s”. or the simple fact I should have been in bed with my girlfriend, fast asleep, or maybe not! As I left the terminal i approached the Texaco garage just a few hundred yards on the left, to my horror, all the lights were off, it was virtually in complete darkness but as I neared closer, I saw one petrol pump lit by the overhead spotlights. Perhaps there was hope for me. If I couldn’t get fuel here I may be in trouble, I thought to myself. It would have been unlikely anywhere would be open this time of morning, so I began to get apprehensive about the thought of sleeping in a deserted petrol station in Calais until such time it became open or some lorry driver took pity on me and directed me to a 24hr garage only the freight drivers knew about. I must’ve had around 25 miles of fuel left and the nearest one shown on my route on the sat nav would be 32 miles away, I couldn’t run the risk of breaking down on the motorway, it would be too dangerous and foolish to even attempt such a ridiculous idea.
Fortunately, as I rolled up to the petrol pump it looked like it was alive, I had a momentary dance in my mind to celebrate, even if it was still premature. It worked, I put my card in the machine and I had fuel, I had never been so excited about getting petrol and began to wonder if tiredness was already creeping in or if I was just pleased that I didn’t have to try and sleep behind the petrol station shop among the discarded cigarette ends and dog piss. It was at that moment I realized this journey had become a challenge, a mission, to see if I could mentally and physically make it. I suddenly, for a while, forgot that my objective was to get to my customers as quickly as I could, instead, I found myself in a situation whereby I was challenging myself, it would be a personal achievement to reach that distance in the time I had and that’s how it went, I wanted to do this for me, to prove to myself I can ride 1,300 miles in 24 hours. Even now, when I write about it, it somehow doesn’t seem that far when you write down on paper but the process and mental strain as well as the amount of determination would become far harder than I would ever imagine. Towards the end, I had no idea each mile would feel like the hardest miles I will ever ride in my life.
Carl Reese from America holds the world record for the longest distance ridden on a motorcycle, although it was on a proving track in Texas, he racked up 2,115 miles in just under 24hrs, only stopping an hour short because his mechanic advised him to due to the condition of his rear tyre. I remember reading about it and how he had to fight with the tiredness and the hallucinations. It was scary to think of, knowing that you’re balancing on two wheels travelling at a speed of over 100mph constantly for 23hrs, especially on an 8 mile track, the boredom and repetitive scenery must’ve been extremely hard.
Fueled up, I lit a cigarette just beyond the forecourt and looked around. It was quiet, with only the sounds of a few generators on the lorries breaking the nights silence. The only light in the area was polluted light from the motorway just half a mile away. It was eerily quite, despite having been here a hundred times, i’d never been here so early in the morning and the silence was proving slightly unnerving for me. I took my Bluetooth headset out the tank bag and connected it to my phone, loaded a playlist and sped off into the darkness to join the motorway. As I rode along the French motorway it didn’t surprise me that my only company was seeing a dozen or so HGV lorries, otherwise the roads were empty and it was soothing having the road all too myself. I picked my speed up and made use of the absence of Gendarme’s. After 100 miles or so, I began to realize something, there were no petrol stations open. Unlike the one at Calais, with the dimly lit pump, I hadn’t even seen one petrol station of the many i passed with even a light on above the pumps, yet alone anywhere else. I was beginning to get a little concerned knowing that I had about 50 miles left to find a garage or I’d be leaving myself only about 30 or 40 miles of fuel left, especially at the progressive speed I was travelling at.
I continued on-wards, there was little else i could do. Soon I had ridden 150 miles and again i was beginning to grow concerned about the lack of available fuel stations, could France really close all their garages at night? Perhaps they knew idiots like me would be about and shut the place down. I was starting to feel like I was the only one on the road other than the odd lorry I had to blast past.
I approached my 4th petrol station since being in France and decided this time I would exit the motorway onto the slip road and physically ride up to the pump to see if it was still working, even if the shop was closed and all the lights were off. As I rolled up to the pump once again, I was dumbfounded to learn that the card machine wasn’t even lit, the payment screen was pitch black, thinking there was another terminal, as there often is at the end of the pumps, for you to put your card into, I scanned the forecourt, only then to notice the padlocks on the fuel pump handles. There’s no way I’m getting fuel here. I had to continue on the motorway.
I had the orange light of doom pop up on my dash, followed by a warning on my sat nav that fuel was getting low. i had at a guess around 40 miles of fuel left and began to wonder if instead of sleeping in the petrol station at Calais, I would be sleeping on the side of the motorway, at least until a recovery vehicle came out to save me. To my amazement, in the distance, 8 miles after getting my low fuel warning, I saw something, It was beautiful, bright lights lit up the horizon in a multitude of colors, from green and blue, to reds and yellows. It could only mean one thing, I was either already hallucinating and was seeing a UFO or it was a petrol station. Luckily for me and my private parts, it wasn’t a UFO, so I was pleased that my bits and bobs wouldn’t be fondled with by aliens this morning, It was a petrol station and the most beautiful petrol station I had ever seen, like an oasis in the desert, it was magnificent, I was happy and it meant I could get warm drinks and sustenance. It’s odd when you ride for so long in a state of isolation, no one to check for behind you, no one to talk to or keep you company or even to focus your attention on when you get bored, so when something so simple as seeing a petrol station comes into view its like finding civilization after months of trawling the desert or a forest searching for help.
I made full use of the available services, I used the loo and paid €1 for the privilege of pissing onto a spotless ceramic bowl, washed my face in cold water, then nearly had my balls blown into the back of my skull, thanks to Sir Dyson, bought an expresso coffee from the self serve machine, along with some water to top up my Kreiga hydration pack and some sugary waffle things that looked like bees wax. I scoffed some of the bees wax, drank my expresso, had a cigarette and was ready to go again. I felt refreshingly hyper thanks to the coffee beans and was now “progressing” along the French motorway singing along to Iron Maiden tracks, at least for an hour until the caffeine and sugar began to wore off, at which point I suddenly had a mental crash. My body had been stimulated and for a while I’d tricked it into thinking I was wide awake. Now, however, I was having a come down, I suddenly felt low, followed by tiredness, I mean, really tired to the point I wondered if this continued to worsen I’d be backing out of this challenge. I sucked the life out of my hydration pack hose and gulped down over a litre of water in what felt like a few seconds. Fortunately, I began to come back to normal, still tired, I promised myself to stay off the caffeine for the now.
For the rest of the morning I cruised along in my own little world, daydreaming about random things. Petrol stations seemed to be coming alive now and on my next stop, just after filling with fuel and eating a less sugary snack, I noticed the sun was just breaking cover on the horizon. The sky was beautifully clear, not a cloud in sight, I was grateful for this and thanked the weather angels, no I didn’t really, I was just pleased it wasn’t pissing down with rain. I was cold though and another reason for seeing the sun coming up meant it would become warmer. On the Eurotunnel I threw on a baselayer, as it had become chilly. Throughout the night the temperature dropped to around 9°c. I still had my thin enduro style gloves on which did make my hands very cold but I was determined not to change them, as they were giving me a reason to stay focused and preventing me from getting too warm and cosy, which, I thought would make me lethargic.
I reached the Austrian border by about 7am. Traffic was building up quite heavily now around the ring roads of the major cities and towns, slowing my progress but more so, making me concentrate harder, which I was finding a little difficult.
I got a call saying my tour guide was now out of hospital, feeling much better and on his way back to the hotel. They’d pumped him full of muscle relaxants and was sounding more upbeat. At this point I did question whether or not I should turn around but taking into account his mobility could be temporary I continued on. I had committed to this and I’d see it out to the bitter end
As I headed through the Alps the temperature dropped dramatically, an hour ago it was in the high teens and now the temperature had dropped to a miserable 6°c. What was far worse was that it started to rain, this was shortly followed by sleet, sleet in August for fucks sake, who’d of thought. My gloves were saturated and because I couldn’t be bothered to stop and do up the 627 zips on my Klim Badlands Goretex jacket and trousers I just ploughed on through it with the attitude that I’d be out of this shitty weather as quick as I entered it. Okay, so maybe not that quick. I started to get wet, water seeped in through the vets, my hands began to freeze but I was determined not to stop, it was as if I was having a battle of wills with the weather “you will not force me to stop and do my zips up you bastard, never…..”
After 25 minutes of being pelted by sleet and rain, it stopped, and soon the sun came out of hiding and decided to warm me up again. I was feeling warmer and every 10 minutes that passed it got warmer still. I won.
By mid afternoon I’d been riding with only around an hour and a half break in total, I’d been on the road now for 18 hours and I was just about to approach the Slovenian border. As I came closer to the border I hit a wall, not a brick or a concrete wall, a mental wall, suddenly the blood drained from my body, I went cold despite the temperature being in the low 20’s celcuus. I carried on trying to fight it but it became far harder than any of the previous times, where I’d just drink some water from my hydration pack, open my visor and shove some of the sugary bees wax down my neck. My head was dropping and I was conscious of the fact I was starting to fail to remember short sections of the journey. I was forced to pull over and for the first time I was properly struggling. I stepped off the bike and felt disorientated. I sat on the motorway layby, drivers who’d stopped looked at me with concerned expressions, my hand on my head, looking down at the floor, feeling dizzy I thought I was going to pass out, so much so that I placed my bike keys in my pocket in case someone took advantage and rode off with it.
I drank water, laid down on my back and closed my eyes for a moment. I genuinely felt as though I could fall asleep for hours. I realised at this point I hadn’t slept for nearly 36 hours. I hadn’t eaten much and hadn’t rested. My mind had been so focused on my mission I forgot to follow the basic rules of survival. I didn’t want to go to sleep, even though I was tempted to book into a hotel and get some sleep for a few hours, Vicky even pleaded with me to do just that but I knew I could climb that wall and carry on, I wanted to keep going and with that I slapped myself in the face a few times, gulped some more water, threw myself on the bike and chucked my helmet on then jumped on he bike and sped off, leaving a layby full of tourists wondering what the fuck is wrong with British bikers, sorry guys, I probably didn’t set a good example back there.
As I crossed the border into Slovenia, having realised I didn’t buy a vignette in Austria, now hoping I can get one on the return in case of ANPR cameras, I trundled onwards to Croatia. I made a few stops for fuel, each time struggling to get back on the bike, not from physical fatigue but mental fatigue. My brain was now tired, so much so I was becoming even more disoriented by the hour. I decided to take 30 minutes rest by grabbing some food, a warm meal might help, so I had a burger and scoffed the lot, I was so tired I didn’t realise how hungry I’d become. I was desperate, so I sipped an expresso, giving zero fucks for the side affects. Tiredness is a horrible thing, the more tired you become the more dangerous it is, being a mental state used for torture I can see why. I began to devolp Pareidolla, a condition that causes hallucinations amongst other things due to sleep depravation and fatigue. Pareidolia is the tendency for incorrect perception of a stimulus as an object, pattern or meaning known to the observer, such as seeing shapes in clouds, seeing faces in inanimate objects or abstract patterns, or hearing hidden messages in music.
On one stretch of motorway, the sun was shinning brightly and created shadows under the overpass bridges, I was convinced that the shadow beneath the bridge was an enormous log, a huge tree trunk lying on the tarmac covering the whole width of the road, how or why didn’t matter, it was my reaction that concerned me, as now I was breaking like a mad man, trying to stop myself and avoiding hitting it until a moment later when I realised it wasn’t a log or a giant tree trunk. It was a surreal experience and quite unnerving to say the least. I now know I was dealing with Pareidolla. The log incident spooked me, despite this I continued riding but cautiously now. I was deeply concerned about my safety and my mindset. I remember many years ago, driving home from London after a very long day, it was early morning, no cars on the road, I was tired. I suddenly saw a horse run out into the motorway, I braked hard, as you do but as quick as I did, startling myself in the process, it was gone. I continued driving and moments later saw a sign warning of dear. I realised the tiredness had fooled me, mixing my brain up and causing me to see things, the sign warning of dear potentially being on the road must’ve been the trigger. I did pull over and I did rest making the remainder of the journey home without issue.
I was now near the border of Croatia and the light was fading, this had been on my mind throughout the day, on and off, I’d been worried about the final stretch, the final run from my last fuel stop to the hotel near Plitvice Lakes. It also meant I’d be riding in the dark, animals possibly milling about heading home. I’d ridden the road several times on the tour in the past but never in the dark. I wondered if I would hallucinate so much I would become a nervous wreck and would need to pull over, submitting to the sleep gods and failing to make the last few miles because my body and mind simply wouldn’t take any more abuse. I’d come so far now, I was nearly there, just over 100 miles to go seemed like a walk in the park on a sunny warm day, compared to the last 1200 miles. But it wasn’t. It was hell.
I got caught up in traffic, holidaymakers and commuters clashed in a tidal wave of traffic, bright lights shone into my eyes, with no other light to filter the glare, with no streetlamps present on this road, it made for some of the toughest riding I’d ever done. The blueish, white, high powered headlights from modern or executive cars were the worst, they literely burnt my fading eye sight, my eyes already drooping, eyelid muscles struggling to hold them open, I battled through, unsteady as I went, it was terribly nervwrecking and quite frankly, fucking lethal. By the time I’d navigated my way along the D42 road I was virtually blinded, the headlights had taken their toll on me and each time a car came towards me I was struggling to keep my line in my lane, I didn’t even have so much as a white line on the side of the road to fix upon, as they had long faded away. I had to pull over even though I now had only 20, or so miles to go. I pulled into a driveway, stuck my hazard lights on and then fell off the bike. Due to being so tired I’d forgo to put the side stand down, instead I flicked my hazard lights on, I must’ve thought the bike was stable as I was losing my balance slightly, the bike just fell over and I tumbled off it. I managed to pick it up without too much drama, I really wasn’t interested in scratches and I was certain no real damage was done, even in the dim light given off by the floodlight from the house, I coukd see all was OK. I had a cigarette, drank the last of my water from my backpack and called Vicky. I was broken and I had to fight impeccably hard to find the last single solitary drop of energy and will power to get back onto the bike and finish the last few miles. I had come to the point where I didn’t give a shit. My mind was shot to pieces, I’d been concentrating for almost 23 hours with short breaks for fuel and ridden virtually constantly for that length of time. I’d ridden through France, into Germany, Austria, Slovenia and now in Croatia and it’d been 39 hours now since I was last asleep.
I threw myself onto the bike like a rag doll, slumped in the seat, my head hanging like a tired table lamp that’d lost its rigidity, my hands grabbed the grips, limp and almost lifeless. I fired the bike up, proud that it had got me so far without missing a single beat or giving me any reason to worry about it throughout this process. I pulled away and onto the dark unlit Road deep in the Plitvice National Park and counted down every mile.
It was just coming up to 9pm when I pulled into the hotel car park. There was no fanfare, no bunting, no banners, just a car park full of cars. I stopped the engine having pulled into a parking space, put my sidestand down and rested my head on the handlebars for a few moments. My head was banging, like a thunderstorm was raging inside but at the same time I was full of adrenalin. My heart was racing, perhaps due to tiredness but I liked to think it was because I made it, in one piece, without being killed or knocked off or without falling off in motion.
I think the success was sheer determination, a willingness to get here no matter what, to prove to my customers I cared that much I would subject myself to what I now know to be a tortuous experience. Yes I had hallucinations, I nearly passed out in a layby and yes, I was on the verge of being delirious but believing in myself and forcing myself to be convinced it was humanly possibly, despite having never done anything so challenging was what gave me the will power. That and plenty of water kept me going. I also found riding faster helped me concentrate better, I don’t mean at break neck speeds, it meant my mind was Working harder, and although that potentially was making me tired quicker, it helped me to stay focused and not drift off from the manotony of motorway riding. I was buzzing, excited, although exhausted for my achievement.
I walked into the restaurant where the customers were having dinner, introduced myself quickly and advised I’d brief everyone in the morning. I headed up to the room to see my tour guide, lay on the bed to go to sleep but I couldn’t, I was overtired.
Finally I drifted off and fell to sleep for the first time in 42 hours having ridden 1,300 miles in 23 hours.
I thought I meant it when I said I’d never do anything so stupid ever again, that was until I decided to attempt to break the world record for the longest distance ridden on a motorcycle in 24hrs, which I am planning for 2020. In a bid to break the record I will need to ride more than 2,119 miles in 24hrs on a track. Mad, yes, crazy, probably, stupid, who knows but I don’t have any medals, trophies and this for me would be something to be proud of. Something I can show my kids, their kids and something that I can look back on to say, “that WAS the hardest 24hrs of my life.”