Lessons from the Trans Euro Trail
Andy Hollands, a recent addition to our herd, has combined careful planning with a huge sense of adventure to complete a fantastic challenge recently.
He and three friends, Paul Sheehan, owner of Excess Energy
, Ivan Finkelstein and Paul Delaney rode around 1000 kilometres on off road motorbikes on a journey that took them from the south west to the north east tip of Portugal. They are believed to be the first group to have tackled the full stretch of the Portuguese section of the Trans Euro Trail
. The team took three bikes and a van with them, and rotated the person driving the support van each day.
The trip was an emotional rollercoaster with the group encountering a wide range of weather conditions, sleeping arrangements, and availability of food.
Andy explained: “We all went through every emotion, the thrill and excitement of riding through rivers and remote locations, self preservation navigating narrow gaps between barbed wire and rocks, spending time in cold wet clothes, and kick starting the day on adrenaline only in search of fuel for the bikes before getting our breakfast.”
“But we were surrounded by a huge online community and the very supportive Trans Euro Trail Facebook group. As well as benefiting from the kindness of many people we met along the way, and some fantastic offers of accommodation and good meals.”
While the exact route and details couldn’t be planned in advance and were left flexible, other areas of the trip benefited from very detailed planning. Two previous trips to the area to assess conditions and be shown around part of the trail helped. Meticulous detail went into the preparation of the bikes and the technology the team took with them to keep them safe. The bikes all had GPS sat navs attached with the trail downloaded to them. The individual riders had tracking devices with an SOS button (luckily not needed!), and towards the end of each day the team communicated to plan where to end the day. The van had to take a different route to the bikes so arranging suitable rendezvous location was vital.
The careful planning ensured that there were no accidents or mechanical breakdowns. The team took just over a week to cover the 1000km and finished with a huge sense of achievement. Detailed planning is already under-way for their next Trans European Adventure.