Author Topic: Round the World on a Douglas  (Read 101 times)

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Offline jasedarace

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Round the World on a Douglas
« on: 03 Jul 2019 at 12:42 »
Hello. Jason (Jake) here. New to the forum, but not new to Duggies.

Well here’s a thing.

In less than a weeks time I will be riding from Cornwall to Tiree, in Scotland. Thats about 800 miles. And then back again.
Now, I have often ridden that kind of distance in 24 hours. Thats (relatively) easy.

What makes it not so easy is the mount of choice - a 1932 Douglas T6. So I am currently trying to plot a route that avoids - as much as possible - dual carriageways and major towns. It's not a quick bike, and the hand gear change will be a pain in continuous stop start traffic. I’m probably giving myself about 15 days, of which 3 will be on Tiree (assuming I can smuggle the bike onto the ferry!)

Of course, such distances are childs play to Bob Foulton who circumnavigated the world in 1932 on a similar steed. Unlike Bob, who announced his world trip in front of the owner of Douglas motorcycles, the latter of which promptly gave Bob a bike to do it on, I would have to supply my own motorcycle.

The T6 in question is owned by my uncle Pat and myself. He gets to use it as regular transport throughout the year. I get to use it for one month of the year, after which Pat has 11 months to fettle it back to good health.

And the reason for such a trip? Apart from the concert (Tiree Festival) in one of the most remote parts of the UK?

I’ve often wondered about my own Round The World trip, reading quite a few books on the subject. Jupiters Travels (Ted Simon) was the first of many; “Mundo Enduro” (Austin Vince et al) was also another entertaining read. A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to join Austin Vince for a Mini Mundo week in the Pyrenees - off road all the way. It was huge huge fun. I also rented one of the new Enfield Himalayans and rode it… in India. I was hooked. I had found my perfect bike for my own potential RTW.

And then “One Man Caravan” was waved under my nose. Read it if you can get your hands on a copy. It's the story of Bob Foulton’s journey around the world on the Douglas in 1932. And the idea was seeded into my head that, perhaps, I could take the T6 in place of the Himalayan. “Second Hand Caravan”, if you like.

That idea is completely daft of course. The bike is older than myself - and I’m half a century old as it is. And I have a fairly damned good idea as to which one will fall apart first. And that’s the whole beauty of it. The whole idea is so ludicrous that it has to be done. Such a choice would force me into using more local roads and potentially allow me to see much much more.

The journey to Tiree is really the first step. Getting to know and live with the bike over the space of a few weeks, riding it a considerable distance, and finding camping spots and blagging floor space; meeting old friends and finding new ones… and just basically living.
So if you see a T6 beside the road this summer, please stop and see if the rider has broken down.

Jake Elyot
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2258191734434233/