Hi, my name is Phil and this blog describes a Solo Round The World Motorcycle Trip I am starting in May 2012. The blog also contains info on other motorbike trips I have made. It is named after the Lee Marvin hit from the 1969 film Paint Your Wagon. It just seems to sum up how I feel when I am on the road. I was born..etc..etc..

If you would like to give your support and make a donation to the Anthony Nolan Trust please use the Virgin Money Giving link on the right. If you would like to advertise on the blog please email me at

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

24 April 2012

Well quite alot has happened since my last entry and this a quick resume of progress.

My intial plan for this trip was to get to India overland, via Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, and then push on through south east asia by the nose following method. However, I have had a major change of plan for various logistical reasons and have now decided to loosely follow the Mondo Enduro route. For those of you who have never heard of Mondo Enduro, they are worth a quick bit of research on Google and their book is a must for anyone considering a motorcycle trip of any considerable length. The aim of their route was to traverse the three major world land masses. Europe and asia, the americas, and africa.

These guys are my heroes and my ultimate ambition is to achieve the same result via a similar route. At this point I am only planning ahead as far as Alaska, i figure that if I can get that far then I will definately get to South America. I hope this does not turn out to be wishful thinking but time will tell on that one.

So my itinerary as far as Alaska will be someting like:

England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, and then Russia again right across Siberia to a place called Magadan from where I will ship the bike, and myself, to Alaska.

I have tracked down and purchased a suitable bike on ebay. I went for a 1996 Triumph Tiger 885 with less than 10k miles on the clock. There were several reasons for this choice. I wanted something that would be fixable on the road so new technology needing laptops to fix it was out of the reckoning. I also wanted something with a bit of poke to munch the miles on the easier road surfaces. All my previous trips have been on Triumphs and I hope I haven't made a sentimental mistake.

The bike has arrived and I am pleasantly surprised, she handles well and pulls like a train. I have had a full service carried out by John at Truebikes in Neston. I had John fit a K&N filter and a top quality chain and sprocket set that should last around 30k miles.

I have made another big decision since my last entry and this was to try and raise some money for the Anthony Nolan Trust whilst travelling. The Anthony Nolan Trust helped my sister during her long battle against myelo fibrosis and I figure this is a good opportunity to pay them back.

I went to London last week to apply for a Russian Double Entry Business Visa. I need this in order to allow me to stay in Russia long enough to reach Magadan and also to give some flexibility to visit either Kazakhstan or Mongolia. I have got to go back to London this week to collect the visa and get my passport back. I reckon this visa will have cost me around £350 by the time I include travel to London.

Also set up Virgin Money Giving Account and created a link from the blog to allow people to make donations.

Currently hoping to set off next week but I have had some complications with paperwork and I am currently waiting for a new driving licence and international driving permits. Good news with the Carnet today, the RAC called and told me I dont need it until In reach South Africa and they will DHL it to me when I get there. This avoids paying for it up front.

Need to sort out my Green Card tomorrow morning to cover me for the trip to Greece. I think I need it for Montenegro, Albania, and Macedonia. One other piece of good news is that Russia now has a reciprocal health agreement with the UK meaning I dont need Health Insurance until I reach Alaska.

Posters are now up in my local pubs advertising the trip so the pressure is on now to deliver the goods. Bring it on!

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