The Rally and its Roots
Back in December, a close friend of mine mentioned Ewan Mcgreggor's The Long Way Round. An incredible road trip where Ewan and his mate Charlie thrust the BMW GS range into legendary status, riding from London all the way through to the eastern tip of Russia. Being a keen motorcyclist I was instantly drawn in and it didn't take long for this pipe dream to become a reality in the form of the Mongol Rally. Suggested by that same friend, it is an 8000 mile road trip taking you from London to Mongolia and then to Ulan Ude, all while supporting a charity of your choice. Due to time restraints we were unable to do the official start date, but nonetheless we quickly created a team and planned our own rally. The team consists of myself, riding my trusted Honda CB500x, then Josh, Luke, Will, Matt & Edd all driving an old VW Polo and an even older Nissan Micra. Our chosen charity is called MIND, a mental health charity that supports over 390,000 people across England and Wales.
Again, due to time restraints we have an extremely ambitious time limit of just 39 days. The more research I do, the more i realise that this is borderline impossible. However, life's too short not to try, especially when its in aid of a great charity. While official Journeys end will be Ulan Ude, I've made arrangements to store my bike there for 6 weeks while I return home and tie up some loose ends, packing up my life ready for 12-18 months on the road. Therefore this journey acts as a sort of rally stage to my world trip, covering 1/5 of the distance in 1/14 of the time.
The Journey begins in less than 2 weeks now, with a departure date of the 8th June (Depending on how a last minute Mongolian visa application goes) for myself and 11th June for the cars. I made the decision to leave early as clearly on a bike I am unable (and unwilling) to do shifts and spread out the ride distance. Therefore a few more days and a lot more pain will be needed to complete the journey.
Right now, we are all in the last stages of preparation. The two cars have been purchased and subsequently fixed, while my CB500x has undergone a bit of DIY from myself and some willing helpers. A german made Motorrad-Planet Sump guard has been fitted, along with a centre stand and a make-shift pannier rack made out of wood. I'm not expecting much of it to last the journey, but I'll figure something more long term out en route. It is a budget trip after all and i wasn't willing to spend the ridiculous £210 on a proper pannier rack.
If you want to follow our journey I'll be posting on here as often as possible with updates along the way. If you check out the Gear section of this blog, I'll also post ride reviews of kit that I'm using on this trip (It's not all as bodged as the wooden pannier rack). You can also donate to our cause here. (100% of proceeds go to MIND)