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Never Heard of Them
on 17 March 2017
I live in a bubble without TV, newspapers or telephone, and little interest in celebrities, so I had absolutely no idea who Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman were, but they were riding around the world on Beemer GS’, so they had to be worth watching, especially as I have been toying with buying one recently and doing some decent distances on it.
I have some experience of riding bikes reasonable distances, but only within the UK, whether it was riding my KLR650 from Sussex to see my then girlfriend in York every other weekend or riding my heavily laden trailer-towing Goldwing around the UK attending events every other weekend. None of this was in any way as challenging as what these guys took on. My greatest strain was stretching out to reach the can of drink suspended in its gimbal from the bars of the Goldwing, and deciding whether to stretch out my feet onto the cruiser boards. I had comfortable tarmac all the way until I reached a well rolled field somewhere up north where I could park up the bike, throw up the Khyam tent and drop into the bar for a drink and food.
Firstly buy the special edition DVD set as advised by the other reviews.
Spoilers from here….It has all of the set up of the expedition, which is hugely interesting. For a long time the garage for the bikes sits empty of bikes and equipment, and you think that they will be going nowhere, but things slot into place. KTM decide that they are not worthy of their bikes. You must be kicking yourself now guys! BMW got such great advertising out of this, and it might be part of the reason that whenever you see a group of bikers, especially European bikers, out there in the wilds of north west Scotland, they are all riding BMW GS bikes, and look like they are thoroughly enjoying the experience.
Ewan and Charley are obviously great mates and they are tougher than you might imagine. They go through situations that most of us would have thrown in the towel. How many times can you lift a fully laden GS out of the deep and sucking mud before it starts getting a bit old?
I was expecting them to be a bit precious, but as Claudio the cameraman said in one of the extra pieces, he was allowed to film when and what he wanted, so if Ewan was having a bad hair day, he wasn’t about to be a prima donna over it. So you get a warts and all view of it, even when they are trying new “recipes” with differing successes! They are just two really down to earth guys with no airs and graces, who obviously have no time for pretentiousness.
In the places where the road ran out and there was no way around, they, and the support crew, if they were around, would come up with solutions to the problems, sometimes with the locals playing a part.
There is a bit of everything in this documentary from male bonding and boys toys, to disasters, tears and joy, through discomfort, pre-packed camping meals and pain. The only negative was that Harley Davidsons were included!
Well worth taking the time to watch this if you are interested in adventure travel especially centring around motorbikes. Don’t be surprised though if after watching it you start to look sidelong at the GS and wonder if you might just re-mortgage the house and go on your own little adventure, after all, Europe does look nice at this time of year. How about riding around Bavaria, then across to Vienna for a few days before going through the former Soviet states in Eastern Europe: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia Herzegovina, keeping the Adriatic on your right until you roll into Greece? Then make your way across to Italy, someone has to sail across that gap surely, through France and Belgium then back home? Take 3 months to do it. Enjoy yourself. Just remember that you are a long time dead and why would you want to spend any more of your life stuck in the traffic on that hideous commute when you could be having a beer and a great meal in a restaurant alongside the Med?
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