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The Full Story

About Dorothy...

Dorothy is a Honda CT110, ex Australian postal bike, that in 2009 I rode back from Sydney to London on. It was a journey of 23,000 miles, through 18 countries, taking 9 months and departed on after just three days of planning. It was very much the first time I'd done something of that nature and a few years later I followed on from that trip by riding 'Dorothy' from New York to Alaska, after air freighting her into JFK.

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Dorothy had been given her name by her previous owner, Colin, who'd toured the Australian Outback on her. He'd named her after his favourite character from a Wizard of Oz. She had 40,000 kilometres on the clock when I set off from Australia and now, after riding to England, and then across America, she now has almost 100,000 kilometres and counting as she's still used to guide the postie bike tours of North Devon

In 2017 Dorothy was used to guide the very first 'Garbage Run', a semi-guided ride from Land's End to John o'Groats, taking seven days and using only back roads and camping along the way. The name came from the dubious nature of the 30 or so bikes that made that first run, with further  'Garbage Runs' soon following, again from Land's End to John o'Groats, but also around Ireland, then across America and Australia, back from Bulgaria and shorter trips around various parts of the UK. 

 

'Dorothy' wasn't used to guide the subsequent Garbage Runs but the spirit lived on as the trips across America, Australia and Europe continued on...

Sadly, when Covid struck, the expanding business of Garbage Run came to an abrupt end and with a new direction needed and with a growing fleet of bikes for people to ride, the idea of a central base to operate tours in and around North Devon was born.

 

What to call it? Well, after some deliberation the idea of Dorothy's Speed Shop was born, ironic given her 48mph top speed. She's also still used (and abused) in the guiding of the postie bike adventure days. 

 

In a sense though, during my travels across the world, Dorothy always did seem to represent the spirit of adventure, which very much defines the current times of uncertainty, and so the name seemed apt. 

So that's the story of Dorothy; the Aussie post bike that rode across the world, launched a tour company along the way and now gives her name to a new adventure here in North Devon.

Hope to see you down this way sometime...

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On a brief personal note, after my global travels on Dorothy, I went onto edit Adventure Bike Rider magazine, before going to work freelance for many of key motorcycle titles. My passion is for motorcycle travel and the way in which two wheels opens up to the world to be explored, whether it's to far off places or just around the corner from where you live. Travel is the perfect use for a motorcycle, whatever you choose to ride.

Ps. Dorothy also stars in her own book, telling the tale of her adventures from Sydney to London, aimed at 8-12 year olds to try and encourage them to get out and see the world for themsevels...

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