A Promise Made is a Promise Kept
The real point of no return was making a promise to my mum before she passed away. She had been fighting cancer for almost a decade, and in her last year she came to stay with me in my London flat. We'd spend a lot of time just chatting away. When I was off work we'd sit on the couch and chat; put the world to rights. One day on the couch, a repeat of Long Way Round came on the telly and I started to moan like everyone else: “It's easy for Ewan McGregor to head off and do this, him being an A-list celeb. He's got all the money.” Blah, blah, blah. My mum turned round to me and said, “You've always wanted to do a trip like this. Don't get to my stage in life and regret what you've not accomplished. We only get once chance that we know of, so live your life.”
I promised her then and there that I was going to do it. I would ride around the world.
After that, I had to go. There was no way out! The one change from the Ewan and Charlie formula I wanted to make was to ditch the BMW GS. At that time, every man and his dog was disappearing on a BMW to conquer the world. My inspiration came more from the Sjaak Lucassens and Nick Sanders of the world: long distance on a superbike. That sounded like a challenge. I already owned a Suzuki GSX-R1000, so I didn't even need to buy a new ride.