Hello Guys and Girls, it's been a while since my last post and I apologise for that. So as this is my first one in a while I thought i'd take the opportunity to write about something i've been lucky enough to have done over the last week.
A few years back, my brother and I used to do a fair bit of dirt biking and we absolutely loved it. We did both green laning and a couple of track days and to be honest not a lot came close to how much fun we had on these little 250cc dirt bikes, but then we stopped doing it as we didn't have the time through school and ruby etc.. and i've always wanted to get back to doing it or even just being back on a bike.
Last week I was finally able to do just that. I decided to get my bike licence that will enable me to ride on the road as well as being able to go off road whenever I want. It all started with the CBT (compulsory basic training) which involves just a day of getting to know the bike, or refreshing the memory in my case before you're taken out on the road. You ride a tiny little 125cc which is really quite comical if you're like me, 6ft 3 and 113kg. I almost felt sorry for the little bike as with me on it you could really hear the engine struggling, it barely managed to make it past 50 so I apologise to anyone who was stuck behind me in and around the roads of Exeter over the last week.
Once I'd completed my CBT I then signed up straight away to do what's known as the DAS (the direct access training to gain a big bike licence.) This course started once again with the painfully slow 125cc bikes but by the third day I was able to move up to a 500cc bike which is still by no means a super bike but it was a hugely welcomed leap from the 125's. I was now actually able to go over 70, much to the annoyance of my instructor as I would frequently push the limits of what the bike would do. Let's just say there were many a "watch your speed" conversations over the radio. Sometimes you just can't help yourself though, owning a Landrover Defender... not a car well known for it's speed, it's hard not to enjoy coming out of a roundabout and instantly accelerating up to 70mph to join the dual carriageway rather than the 5 minute slog in the landrover. After a few days playing around on the big bikes it was time to take my test which I'm glad to say I passed with flying colours and so now have my licence to ride on the road and go wherever I please!
So what does this mean, now that I've passed my test? Well it means I have the freedom to get on the bike and just go somewhere, I can now do a lot more green laning and track days too. Speaking of which, if anyone knows any green lanes/ adventure trails in and around Devon that they would recommend, please email me at Ben@rugbyintowine.com. One of the main reasons I decided to get my licence however, is that it's the first step in fulfilling an adventure that I have wanted to do for quite some time now.
It's my ambition to take a bike and ride all through South America. I've been to South America once before on a rugby trip to Argentina and have since always wanted to go again and explore the more off the beaten track areas and immerse myself in all the different cultures the continent has to offer. This ambition has mostly stemmed from watching Ewan Mcgreggor and Charley Boorman doing their Long way round and Long way down trips, if you haven't watched the T.V series I highly recommend doing so, it's a fantastic watch and really inspiring.
As to an exact route... that still remains undecided, I've definitely always wanted to go through Venezuela, Costa Rica and Chile but I am open to suggestions...
One of the things that really appeals to me is helping out and doing some charity work where I can. We could also make it into a promotional trip too, by visiting other vineyards, orchards and coffee plantations and spreading the word about our products and I will no doubt get the opportunity to learn a lot and perhaps pick up some new ways of doing things too.
So yeah, that's my next big adventure, I can't think of many more exciting ones than that. Once again if anyone has any recommendations in terms of riding or countries to visit or even stories from their own trips then please do share them with me at Ben@rugbyintowine.com
Until next time,