Overland Day at the Ace Cafe

Went to The Ace today for the Adventure Travel day – bright, cold but sunny, and packed with more adventure spec bikes than you could shake a spanner at. But the little scoots held their own amongst the big boys and drew lots of attention from well wishers, people wanting to come, and people wanting the website address to follow our progress. But most impressively – and for the first time so far – there was not one comment doubting that we or the little bikes would make it!

Belle

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Overland & Adventure Travel Bike Day at the ACE !

A snappy little title, but sure to be a fantastic day out for all you travellers and wannabe’s. I’m sure Sam Manicon will be in attendance along with many other prominent travellers/authors. The Scooters in the Sahara Project will be well represented with Belle, Gordon and Nadine waving the flag (well 3 of them actually !) It all kicks off at 9am !

Slimbo (aka Graham) from Biker FM will also be in attendance picking up all the latest news and gossip for his wednesday night show. 10pm till Midnight at http://bikerfm.co.uk/ 

This coming wednesday Dennis will be live from the studio in Swansea ( Slimbo’s Den !) giving an update on the latest news from the forthcoming trip to Gambia and spilling the beans on the rest of the team  as only Old Grumpy can !

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Busy, busy, busy….

Yes, the whole team are now just about reaching fever pitch with their preparations and would you believe it, at this last minute we have one last participant to add to the roll call; Welcome John Hunter, film maker extraodinaire. John will be travelling with Iain in the backup truck most of the time, at least untill we can entice him onto the back of a scoot !!!

As many will have noticed our PR team of Sue, Belle and Bernie have been VERY active over the last week or so with the whole team giving interviews both to the press and on  a variety of Radio programmes. Nobody has broken onto the TV screens yet, but don’t be surprised if one or more of the team suddenly appears before your very eyes……

Sunday sees at least 3 of the Team at the Ace Cafe in London for the Overland & Adventure Travel Bike Day  so look out for 3 (or more ) Scoots flying Scooters in the Sahara flags.

The following weekend sees at least 3 of the Team at the Horizons Unlimited Mini Meet in deepest, darkest Cornwall, Post code is PL14 5JA . Whilst also on that weekend we have a Ceilidh with Music and dancing to  ‘Spinach for Norman’ at:

Tedburn St Mary Village Hall, EX6 6EZ. Saturday February 25th 7:30 – midnight
Bring and share snacks and finger food.
Cash Bar
Entry £3 (on the door)
All profits from the evening which will include a raffle and collection will be given to the Bansang Hospital Appeal (charity number 1064469).

Looks as though at least 4 of the Team will be present at that one!

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Our Route from the Med to Bansang

Click on the link below to bring up a basic map of our route through Africa.

Our route through Africa

Starting from the new Tangier Med port, we first meander through Morocco for a couple of days before tackling the barren war zone that is Western Sahara, it’s then across what is reputedly the largest minefield in the world into Mauritania. Here we hit the Sahara proper as we ride through the dunes and at times, right along the beach, for about 300 miles. Next it’s the vibrant chaos that is Senegal before hopping across our last border into Gambia. Turn left, and ride a further 100 miles deep into the bush, across one of the tiniest car ferries you will ever have seen on to Mcarthy Island. Off the othe side, over a brand new bridge and you’re just about at Bansang.  Total distance ridden from home will be just shy of 4000 miles

 

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Our Route from the Med to Bansang

Africa Routes 2012 b

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team-2012

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Almost There ! Last Planning weekend about to start!

Yes, the last planning weekend really is just about to kick off at Ledbury this afternoon and it looks like being a really busy one. All the main stuff is in place. We all have our Visas for Mauritania, the ferry out and the flights home are all booked. The tinned and dried food is all nicely stored away. Everyone has their bikes running nicely, other than some last minute fettling and servicing.  Our backup truck is on the road and looking good, with Iain due to collect both roof rack and trailer on his way home after the meeting. So we are virtually there…..

Well, yes but… ! It’s now just all the silly little bits and pieces left to sort, the bits that can make or break the trip in terms of overall contentment within the group whilst on the road. I’ll be handing out check list of things that people may not think of or may forget, things like sun screen. In 40°C that makes a huge difference in comfort levels. Spare glasses for those that wear them, Insect repellant, etc, etc.

We also have the full route schedule now in place. Once the Visas had been obtained it left the door open for a much revised route down through Morocco and, weather permitting, we will be crossing the High Atlas mountains no less than three times. Although there is a contingency plan just in case the snow is too deep or the roads washed out !

Sunday morning then sees us getting a film making Master class from a top TV Director/Producer, John Hunter, to help prevent us making the same mistakes that were made filming last years trip. John has also very kindly offered to assist with the post-trip editing to help ensure that this year’s DVD will be as professional as possible. We have a plethora of cameras already but I’m sure a few more will join our armoury after the weekend.

The next four weeks will simply fly by for all the team, there are a number of events organized at different ends of the country that team members will be attending. I’ve still got a fair bit of work to do on the web site, including setting up a Scoots forum so that we can all keep in touch with each other, family, friends and other interested people. Then it’s look out Bansang, we are on our way.

We will try to update this page as we go along, but please keep in mind that there are sections where firstly there is little internet access and secondly other areas where we wouldn’ want to be too specific on our location !

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Four weeks to go

Third and last meeting coming up next weekend; That will leave us just four weeks till departure! It’s quite incredable just how quick the time has gone since the first ever get-together with the potential team members at the Horizons, Autumn meeting. Plans are are however, well on schedule. We now have our backup vehicle sourced by Iain with assistance from Mark, a Mitsi Pajero + uprated 3/4 ton Ex Army trailer. Yesterday Sue & Belle went shopping and purchased all the tinned and dry food we will be carrying. Tents, Jerry cans, water containers, Camp kitchen, cooker and many other items are making my place look a little like an Aid Warehouse; and Belle is back off to Begium on Monday to collect the last batch of Visas. Steve has picked up the first of the spare parts, donated by Tony @ Riders of Yeovil suppliers of the Chinese bikes and hopefully next week Peter will be collecting a whole load more spares from Ken up in Sunderland. The Cool Boxes kindly donated once again by Tina and David @ The Cool IceBox Company down in South Moulton, Devon should be with in a week or two. Belle & Will are also well advanced with the plans for filming the trip assisted by no less than Claudio, who filmed The Long Way Round! Hopefully the TEAM can put something together that really shows the spirt of the trip this time around.    I don’t think there is a single member of the team that isn’t as excited as I am about the forthcoming departure and already we have quite a few people saying they will be turning up at Portsmouth for our departure. If any more want to come down, we will be staying at the Travel Lodge, Emsworth on Saturday night and leaving for the ride down to Portsmouth at 8.30am. Boarding of the Ferry will comence at 10am for an 11am departure. It would be wonderful to have a convoy of bike riding down to the ferry with us, or just meeting us at the entrance to the terminal. Please bring cameras, video and stills so that it can be added to the DVD All are very welcome, although stress levels may be raised just a little !

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Food for the trip

Tomorrow, two of the team will buy all the food for the trip, at least we will eat!

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Last training weekend

We have our last training weekend at the beginning of February to tie up all the loose ends.   We have a good team this year and everyone is excited about the challenge ahead.

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