Sunday, June 29, 2014

One man and his moped

A North Devon man who has travelled 60,000 miles through 34 countries on his trusty moped is gearing up to travel the length of North and South America.

The 22,500-mile journey will see Ed March, 27, start in Alaska at the end of July and travel though the Americas until he reaches Tierra del Fuego, in Argentina, the southernmost tip of South America.

Ed, who lives near Hartland, will be travelling with his girlfriend, who will also be riding a C90, with the journey likely to take around 18 months.

Ed embarked on his first long trip in 2011 after being inspired by watching a Top Gear special where the presenters drove motorbikes across Vietnam.

At the time, Ed had bought a C90 as a way of getting to work cheaply but had discovered that he loved riding the bike, which averages 150 miles to the gallon and has a top speed of about 55mph.

After remarking at work that he would like to undertake a similar challenge, a colleague told him that it couldn’t be done – inspiring Ed to set himself a challenge. He posted the bike by air freight to Malaysia and flew out himself where he reassembled the vehicle before setting off to ride the 15,000 miles home through Vietnam, Thailand, India and Iran in a journey that took eight months.

En route his C90 proved a talking point – attracting interest from locals and customs officials alike.

“There are two different types of vehicles that people get interested in. You can have a 2CV or a Ferrari and both will get people coming to talk to you but with the 2CV you get more interesting people,” he said.

In 2013, Ed followed up this trip with a journey from Germany, through Finland to the Arctic Circle in northern Norway where Ed – and the C90 – endured temperatures of between -25c and -40c.

“The C90 started with the first kick every time, even when it was -25c. Honda say they have fitted a choke cable for cold starts but if you don’t need it in -25c I don’t know when you would,” he said.

Later in 2013, Ed led a group of seven other motorbike enthusiasts to ride from Mongolia back to the UK. The former electronics engineer has filmed his adventures and, after ploughing his life savings and a Kickstarter campaign into producing a DVD, he is now selling it via his website at www.c90adventures.co.uk

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