At the age of 14, Mike acquired his first motorcycle – a James, with a 2-stroke Villiers engine that was stripped of any excess weight and ridden off-road. There followed a short period riding a Lambretta, before Mike joined the Royal Navy and then took a break from motorcycles. During the mid-90’s Mike again return to motorcycles and took his full licence. In 1999, Mike embarked on his first European tour, visiting six countries and was severely bitten by the touring bug and has headed to the continent on two wheels every year since.
Mike is a DVSA (Cardington) qualified DAS and CBT trainer, plus holds advanced riding qualifications with both RoSPA and IAM. His current bikes are a 2010 BMW R1200GSA (his fifth GS), a 1993 BMW K75S with about 130k on the clock and a 2012 Harley Davidson XR1200X.
Give up my motorbike!
When asked to comment on what it’s like on two wheels, Mike said, “Getting in car is isolation, getting on a bike is living, it strips life down to its basics, no heating, wind in your face, feeling the elements around you, scanning the horizon, constantly observing and planning, it is more demanding of your skills and consequently less forgiving if you get it wrong, but so much more rewarding when you get it right”. Mike added, “I once saw a t-shirt that had the slogan ‘Give up my motorbike! I’d rather shove a nest of angry wasps up my arse!’ That pretty much sums it up for me.”