WHO IS DOROTHY?
The Story of Dorothy
The 105cc Aussie Post bike that travelled the world..
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.
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, named after quite possibly one of the slowest motorcycles to travel the world.
Hope to see you down this way sometime...
WHO AM I?
I've been riding bikes since the age of 4. I did shoolboy motocross and had road bikes as a teenager. In my late twenties I began the journey back from Australia, leaving after two days of planning but with conviction that I was going to give it a good go.
After the trip I wrote the book; the Long Ride Home, then a subsequent book; Running Towards the Light, about the trip across America and up to Alaska. In the years that followed I edited Adventure Bike Rider and worked freelance for several of the major motorcycle publications.
I launched the 'Garbage Run' in 2017, guiding over 500 customers on adventures in the UK and overseas up until 2020 when Covid forced the change of direction.
My believe is that you don't have to go around the world to have an
adventure and that as long as you're having fun on the bike, that's
what matters the most.