Setting off

Bexley, Kent, UK. 23rd April 2014.

Well, here I am writing the first post to my blog, a little under 24 hours before I board the ferry for France. By tomorrow afternoon I should be in Ypres, the first stop on my journey to Russia and beyond.

So who am I? My name is Geoff Keys, I’m 62 years old and am starting a motorcycle journey that will ultimately take me several years and to all seven continents. My plan for the first year is to travel across Europe to Russia, visiting Kazakhstan and Mongolia as I head east to Vladivostock. A short ferry ride will take me to Japan and South Korea and a much longer plane journey will take me, and Doris, my Suzuki DR350SEX, to New Zealand and Australia. No firm plans have been made beyond that. In fact the only firm plan as I write this is a booking on a ferry to France and a hotel in Ypres for Wednesday night. After that everything is uncommitted and unknown, surely the best way to start an adventure.

Why undertake such a journey on a motorcycle? Those of you who know me won’t need an answer to that question – there simply isn’t any other way that I would contemplate. But if you’re a casual passer by it’s worth considering the advantages of a motorbike to the traveller. Briefly, it’s got an engine so no strain on my 62 year old muscles, you’re not isolated from those around you, it has luggage carrying capacity, you’re completely independent of timetables, you’re in the fresh air (yes, and rain) and it’s just simply the most sustained fun a human being can have. You may want to disagree but you’ll struggle to convince me otherwise.

My apologies for not having set up this blog sooner nor making it look pretty, but all that will follow in due course. This short introduction at least gets the ball rolling – more to follow soon.

Me and Doris, eager to get going. Photo by Sam Manicom

Me and Doris, eager to get going. Photo by Sam Manicom

17 thoughts on “Setting off

  1. Chris says:

    Best of luck Geoff. Will be looking forward to your blogs and don’t forget I’m here in Christchurch, NZ


  2. steve randall says:

    good luck geoff,and as a keen motorcyclist for 36 years,no you dont need to explain why your doing it ,i would love to undertake such a journey,remember to catch up if/when you come to nelson nz.


  3. Bob Keyes says:

    Geoff, you look the part if nothing else!! All the best in your travels and we’ll see you in Canada at some point.

    Penny and Bob


  4. Jane Arnesen says:

    Good luck Geoff we will follow your blog and adventures with great interest – happy travelling be safe x


  5. Gerry Langford says:

    Hello Geoff, I’m Gerry .. Remember me from the ferry crossing? I hope it is going really well for you and you’re having fun. I’m sorry it has taken all week to get in touch, but … Oh dear, I pranged my bike on the Saturday after the crossing; a low speed hairpin defeated me whilst going through the south of France. It was a silly, freaky thing to have happened; my Triumph was a bit scuffed in places and the gear lever broken, but not really much more. I, on the other hand, have had 3 broken ribs and was banged up in a state hospital in Die where the food was awful, really quite unpleasant, with no means of getting my phone charged and almost totally cut off from the outside world. Anyway, its a long story and I have been repatriated by the RAC ( outstanding service ) and my bike will follow. So, this is to explain my silence and to muse over another man’s unfortunate circumstances. Gerry – better luck to you, mate!


    • Wow Gerry, what bad luck. Until I read this I was picturing you heading south into ever warmer climes and envying you. Not any more! It’s so easy to get caught out on those hairpins and you were very unlucky to pick up those injuries. I hope you get better very soon and I think you should get yourself and the bike back in shape and give it another go.
      Get well soon mate, I’ll be thinking of you.


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