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Old 03-03-2012, 04:33 PM   #16
Pheebs OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Oddometer: 55
Hey people!

So the training continues! I hopped on a 500cc yesterday and had a pootle about on an incredibly lush day in sunny Wales! All things are going well and we're loving every minute of it! We also saw the Wales Air Ambulance yesterday - great charity! If you fancy a cuppa tea, a read and a mooch through photos and videos then take a peak below for new diary posts:

Facebook - Chasing Horizons

:) Thanks for all your support people! Don't forget, feel free to bug us with questions and requests! Bed time now as more training in Swansea in the morning! Woohoo!
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:04 PM   #17
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I'm in!
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:18 AM   #18
keep on..... :-)
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Location: Germany / North Rhine-Westphalia
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I'm in !
Greetings from Germany !

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Old 03-14-2012, 05:53 PM   #19
Pheebs OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Oddometer: 55
Hey hey people!

Been off the radar for a week or so due to training and working our socks off! Though we did have a day off to look around a reclamation yard where we found this:

Sam pondered for a moment whether we should change our mode of transport for the trip

The training so far has been superb! The team at Smart Motorcycle Training have said I am a natural (oo la la!) however, I made a superb fluff up and decided it would be a stupendous idea to throw myself round some cones on my derriere at 30mph as opposed to the bike! Not my finest moment but fortunately in a controlled environment. It served as a good lesson of what to do when you hit something small (... e.g. not brake when on top of it! I'll only end up on my butt!)!

So I have encountered my first tumble (of which I am sure there will be many when the off roading courses take place) and despite being a bit bumped and bruised, all is good!

We've now had our Module 1 tests too... and passed! Weh hey! Here are a few of the clips from the day...

Sam starting up for his Module 1 Test featuring Ianto our nutty Instructor!

I was slightly nervous here after throwing myself off the bike during the practice swerve test a week and a half prior:

Sams awesomely controlled slalom and figure of 8... a little too tight though for Iantos nerves!

Celebrations and mickey taking... Having passed with no minors and Sam with two (one due to forgetting rear observation and the other for riding too slow... when doing the slow riding section of the exam!) It's probably going to be the only chance I will have one up on him when riding so I relished the opportunity whilst it lasted!

We now have a nice Sunday ride planned this weekend and then will be out on Module 2 on Monday! Feeling a bit more relaxed about this one... Module 1 just felt so sterile being in a playground like fenced off area! Still a wee bit apprehensive but fingers crossed eh!

Lots more vids, pics and diary entries below:

Chasing Horizons Webby
Facebook Chasing Horizons
Chasing Horizons Twitter

If you get the opportunity, any "likes" on our Facebook page would be massively appreciated!

Cheers guys and girls! Looking forward to joining you all soon on the road!!

*edit* Ooo err not sure why the vids aren't showing? Moderators any idea (or anyone else want to hazard a guess?!).... Ooo I take that back they've just loaded! Odd!
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:53 AM   #20
Pheebs OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Oddometer: 55
Just a quick bosh - new blog entries and photos on the site for our training on Module 2... of which we passed! Hoorah! The diary entries include the likes of me getting lost on back streets 15mins before my test, Sam being a grumpy morning dinosaur, lots on THE most miserable examiners in the world and a number of piccies. Some extracts:

Sam was super happy not to have to say “See you next Tuesday” (the next test date to retake the exam) but at the same time a little sad he missed out on the opportunity of this remark too!

Me: “So... can I ask if I have passed or not?”
Examiner: “You can ask.”

For more have a looksy here:
Our Diary

Enjoy the read peoples! If you get a chance, please please please with cheese and cherries like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter as the more people we have, the more our sponsors will give towards our charities! :) Thanking you!

Facebook Fan Page

Thaaaank you SUPER amounts guys and girls!! Not long now... 4.5months in fact! Aieeee!

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Old 03-31-2012, 05:55 AM   #21
Pheebs OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Oddometer: 55

We received this parcel yester:

.... packed full of our kit!! Beautiful Rukka gear (Armas and Arminnas Jackets and Trousers!)

Super dooper chuffed and happy! Will be doing reviews on them a bit later today with videos and piccies so watch this space!! Also had confirmation our helmets will be sent out in the next 2 weeks and had the start of all the PR kicking off with a couple of press releases (May is going to be mental with magazines / events and press stuff!)

It's all becoming quite real now! Only 4.5months to go.... and having to wait another couple/few weeks for bikes! Exciting!
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Old 03-31-2012, 07:46 AM   #22
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Location: South Delta, BC
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I'm in! Subscribed.

Also following on Facebook.

If you plan to travel through Vancouver, BC - send me a PM if you require any help/info. Also would be great to meet up.

BitesTheDust screwed with this post 03-31-2012 at 08:18 AM
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Old 04-01-2012, 05:32 AM   #23
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Awesome stuff!
2006 Husqvarna TE610 - 1982 Suzuki PE175 - 2009 Yamaha XT250 (wife's)
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:03 PM   #24
Pheebs OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Oddometer: 55
New kit has been reviewed!! Wheeee!

Take a looks for photos and videos:

New bikes first week of May too! Canny wait!
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Old 04-20-2012, 02:27 PM   #25
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Location: Lake Wales, Central Florida
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It's not much, but I just added your website to my "Motorcycling Related Links" page at my publishing company website ( Best of luck to you. I'll be looking forward to following your travels!


Mike (aka the "Road Dog")
...success['s]...false resemblance to merit deceives men. --Victor Hugo
1968 Honda CB350
2011 Bonneville T100
My Blog:!blog/c112v
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Old 04-22-2012, 03:49 AM   #26
Pheebs OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Oddometer: 55
Wow big thank you Mike!!

That means a lot to us :) Love the site!

Busy day today... sorting out all the event preparations for the next couple of months and scheduling in our training for off roading!!

That, along with us both doing some web and logo designing today, it's going to be a busy Sunday!!

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Old 05-05-2012, 02:59 PM   #27
Pheebs OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Oddometer: 55
A wee update (or a mahoosive one!)!

Well. As said the past few weeks have been manic. I cannot explain how hard it is to juggle the amount of calls and arrangements we have been needing to make! Here's a shortened list of all we have been doing:

  1. Sorting out medical side of things (details to come soon as jabs etc are in a couple of months)

  2. Figuring out exactly what gear we need... then revisiting this list and reducing it down again... and then doing that again (we have to travel light and budget)... and then finding where we can get them at the best price ... then revisit the list again! You get the general idea ;)

  3. Sourcing bikes. We've been dangled a carrot for a deal with regards to a couple of bikes but this has been going on now for over 6months and we finally had to make a decision and go elsewhere. If anyone does this kind of thing, make sure you have an earlier deadline and aren't such suckers for marketing spiel... 3months before is pushing it a bit!! Especially for me seeing as I've only been on a bike 7 times!

  4. With regards to bikes, sorting out what adaptions we need to make. Once again, making a list, revisiting, finding where we can source them at what price, finding costs for anything that needs to be fitted by mechanics, revisit lists etc.

  5. Liaising with our Charities! Yeh we've been greedy in having three but they're all so superb and cover all expanses of our challenge so we're mega happy to be supporting all of them! But sorting out things for events so leaflets, posters, shaky tins, handouts etc as well as press opportunities is quite a handful!

  6. Sorting out event bits and bobs. Where on EARTH do you find two mannequins for example!! Haha! Luckily TranAm have leant us a couple which are standing in our dining room (scared the Be'jesus out of me when I came downstairs the following morning! Hahaha!) Display boards, transport, storage of things, gazebos, tables, chairs, bikes, maps etc etc.

  7. Arranging all the PR. So much going on here and it's all about to kick off! So constant phone calls and emails to various media connections.

  8. Sorting out website bits, conducting *previews* arranging for kit and gear delivery, taking photos, blogging etc. Hours of fun here!

  9. Insurance... with Sam having a "new" license again this has been a right pain in the bum but eventually Bike Sure have come back and helped us out massively with insurance! As we only need it for a few months before we hit Canada and then back in Europe we were struggling to find anyone who would help us out (it was all year insurance deals etc). Can't sing Bike Sures praises enough here and super quick/friendly :)

  10. Building garages to home our bikes-to-be! We built one a few months back but had COUNTLESS problems with the roof (never EVER buy from Gardens Building Direct! Utter tripe customer service and poor quality stuff!) so today have spent the day outside replacing it! Lush!

  11. Finishing off the house and preparing it for renting out. Only odds and sods left but they all take up hours at a time (gravelling the front garden, fixing a couple of doors, painting the outside wall, emptying the house of junk etc)

  12. Sounds daft... but seeing friends and family. We have only 3months and a bit left. With such a lot going on all the time we're trying to fit everyone we know and love in before we head off. We will have a launch party but it's just nice to catch up before hand!

  13. Working! We have to do our own work too so whilst all the above is happening we're working through the evenings and nights to get projects done and dusted!

  14. Finding time for us! Not happening much! But we're trying to switch off and do non-bike-challenge-related-things too from time to time!

Annnd... I think that's about it! Each item is simple enough to deal with one or two at a time but we are constantly juggling phone calls, emails, running to and from locations, tools, more phone calls, emails, collections, events, geeking out on blogs and internet, reviews, photos, crunching figures, researching, visiting people, docs, working, trying to sleep, phone calls etc!

Admittedly last Monday I had a major down day. After 6 months of speaking with people who would constantly promise returned calls and emails... no one was answering their phones and if they were they were being rude:

"I'm sorry they're not available"
"They're away from their desk"
"They're in a meeting... and I don't know how long the meeting will be, want me to put you through to voicemail?"
"Oh they're away now for two weeks, can it wait?"
"I'll just put you through *beep beep...... beep beep.... beep beep* *line cuts out*"
"If you leave a message they'll get back to you"
"I don't have an answer yet. I'll let you know next week."

The thing is... with regards to some of the calls I have been making I don't mind if people just are honest and say "we can't help you" or "we're not interested" etc... that's great for Sam and I as it means we then can focus on different avenues. But to have people say to us "Amazing great, that's superb, we love the idea, we'd love to help, leave it with us and we'll get back to you this week..." and then that rolls on to two weeks... then a month... then they're away... then they don't take calls... then they're interested and will finalise details... then no response... then no answers.... it's a complete mind mash.

So last Monday I just burst into tears! The above, combined with being shattered and also still suffering from a knee injury so unable to exercise and feeling like a fatty... I just broke! I officially had given up! I felt horrendous as I could see no way of doing the challenge, monetary wise or physically and what's more I had been rejected by all contacts all day. Worse of all though.. I felt that if I couldn't pull myself together I would be letting so many people down, namely our charities.

Sam was such a sweetie though. After cuddles and tea I was sent to wake up with a shower for my frazzled bed hair (getting changed in the morning has not been happening lately due to so much being on!! It's a case of fall out of bed, make porridge, drink tea whilst checking emails, get out note book of godliness and calendar, start organising, emailing, calling and working!) He then took me outside to DIY... probably one of my favourite past times!! Granted... it started raining and thundering (cue us holding up our rakes and shovels cheering... probably not the wisest of ideas ;))... but it was lovely and he picked me back up!

Tuesday Sam took on various phone calls and we made some executive decisions and by Thursday the bikes had been sorted for pick up in a weeks time, various kit arranged, insurance done, event organising all organised, mannequins collected, parcels received and picked up and work completed.

Not only that but we have had some LOVELY phone calls and support from friends, charities and sponsors this week which has really helped to pick me up.


Next week... we get the bikes!! I cannot wait, I am so relieved it's all coming together now and feel we can really get moving! We *can* do this challenge! So far, so good! Last week, yeh I had a blip but I'm back and with a vengeance! We're a little short for time but by heck, if I have anything to do with it we will make the date and we will do all we can to raise as much monies and awareness for all our charities!


Right.. time for a glass of wine me thinks ;)
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:01 PM   #28
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:09 AM   #29
Pheebs OP
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Bristol
Oddometer: 55
Wow we’ve had a mad mad few weeks! Updates below!

New Bikes!

Finally! Sam and I managed to lay our hands on these two beautiful KTM 690 Enduro R 690’s!

Lovingly named Calvin and Hobbes we’ve been grinning ear to ear... well I have been... Sam on the other hand has been a sad sad bunny as his bike kept going *POP* detaching the throttle body detached from the Engine!
Since having it new... he’s ridden the bike a total of 5 times and 4 of those occasions we ended up broken down at the side of the road! Once we managed to catch on camera... and luckily in the dealers car park too! Weh hey!

After weeks of problems and the technicians at Fowlers (our dealership) not having a clue what is wrong with the bike... we’re now awaiting a brand new one! Fowlers have been mega and helped out as much as they can... the duff bike is currently with KTM who are trying to figure out why it keeps happening, when we find out more we’ll let you know!

For a more in depth story about what’s happened including videos and pictures take a look at our blog post here (and sign up to our facebook! We’re always updating with news and competitions and all sorts!)

Stop - Hammer Time Blog
Sam’s Bikes Final Kaputt
Facebook Page: Chasing Horizons

Amidst all the above we took time out to pop along to the Touratech Adventure Travel Weekend to hold a charity stand and met some STUPENDOUSLY awesome people (including Sam Manicom, Caroline Taylor (the resident Doc for Nick Sanders Expeditions), Nathan who nuttily rode a 50cc back from the land of Oz in flip flops, Andreas Hülsmann a journalist and photographer (thanks for the tips on the D200!!) and so many more adventure riders (Jason, Lisa, Jon, Charlie, Kim, Rod, Craig, Barbara, Louise, Alec are just a few!).

We learned so so much! SO much! Not only that but we had a tremendous time charity raising, so many people donated to the Wales Air Ambulance, Riders for Health and World Land Trust and everyone was keen in taking part in Guess the Weight of the Cake:

The winner was Mister Jason Spafford who guessed the closest to the whopping weight of 6.83kg!
So much happened and there’s a diary post to the day here if you want a proper read but such a great weekend!

Touratech Adventure Travel Event 2012 Blog
Facebook Page: Chasing Horizons

Birthday Biking Surprises:
I managed to have the most tremendous birthday ever! Not only was it a gorgeous day, but we had the fun of tootling out and about on the bikes (Sam at the time had a courtesy bike of a KTM 990 SMT which was beautiful!)

When stopped off at our favourite lake (Blagdon) we took pew on a log in a nearby shaded wooded area to cool down.... when Sam completely threw me and popped the question! All caught on camera too as we were testing the Contour ROAM cameras we had :) Needless to say I said yes!

The blog post for this is below:

Birthday Biking and Muddy Knees
Facebook Page: Chasing Horizons

So yeh! It’s all super busy! We’re currently sorting out our off road courses, are getting in all the kit for the bikes, have a couple of events to pop to and lots of people to meet up with before we head off... hopefully from the Travel Adventure Film Festival in Sherborne (that’s another story... randomly meeting Austin Vince and having a BBQ with him and a fellow biking friend who is also doing a mammoth RTW trip! Nuts!)

We have previews and reviews coming up on various items (including the Contour ROAM and XLite X551) and our website is bulking out with more and more details on gear, bikes, press and all sorts so do visit!
All go go go but all good good good! Not long now!

Once again, please please please if you get the opportunity “like” our facebook page as the more likes we get, the more moolah we will be getting for our charities from our sponsors! Yaaaay for charities!

Facebook Page: Chasing Horizons
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Old 06-01-2012, 03:01 PM   #30
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Joined: May 2012
Location: Sydney, Down Under
Oddometer: 157
Just found your thread, havent even read it properly but i can already tell im gonna like it...

Im in for the ride.

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