In May 2003, long before ‘riding the world’ became fashionable, Simon and Lisa Thomas (then at the age of 33 and 43 respectively) quietly left their lives in the UK and set out on their two BMW motorbikes, to journey around the globe. Their aim was to circumnavigate our planet, ride on all seven continents, set 5 Guinness Endurance World –Records and raise money for 3 charities and in so doing, fulfil a lifelong dream.
Twelve years later and they haven’t stopped riding! To date, this husband and wife team have travelled over 400,000-miles (equivalent 17+ times around the earth) ridden through 78 countries, and travelled to the most northerly and southerly points on earth possible by motorcycle. They have navigated their way unsupported through some of the World’s most extraordinary and inhospitable regions all too often coping with the diversity of extreme weather climates. From sub-zero temperatures on the legendary Pamir Highway,Tajikistan, to over 54 °C (130 f) for weeks on end in the Sahara.
Highlights include surviving a severe water crisis in Africa, rebuilding a broken drive shaft in the Sahara, enduring several bouts of Malaria, and Simon suffering a near-fatal accident deep in the Amazon Rain Forest when he, quickly followed by his 300 kg (700 lb) BMW R1100GS, fell headlong from a rotting bridge. After 3 days on the side of the jungle path in near 100% humidity, repairing his badly damaged motorcycle, he and Lisa rode the most painful and gruelling 23 days of their lives’ through the Amazonian jungle. After 3 weeks Simon reached medical assistance and an astonishing diagnosis, a broken and dislocated neck! Following emergency surgery, Simon has fully recovered and ridden over 100,000 additional miles.
As motorcycle adventurers Simon & Lisa are known for pushing the boundaries and have forged several route-first’s. Lisa is considered the world’s foremost female motorcycling adventurer, having ridden longer and farther than any other female motorcyclist in history. Lisa was the first female motorcyclist to ride through the Amazon jungle north to south. The couple has authored articles for both top travel and motorcycle publications around the world. Simon & Lisa have been the focus of a BBC documentary whilst making over 40 TV appearances around the world.
Most recently they appeared on ‘Sunrise Breakfast Show’, Australia’s most watched morning show. Published around the world, Simon & Lisa’s photographic work was recognized internationally in 2011 when Nikon announced they were to partner the ‘2 Ride The World project’ as their official and exclusive equipment suppliers. Simon & Lisa’s photography has been exhibited in venues around the globe including Asia’s Nikon Centre and in the main exhibition hall of the PETRONAS Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In 2008, the 2 Ride The World duo were named as BMW Brand Ambassadors and in 2012 worked with BMW Motorrad Australia to launch the new water cooled R1200GS. Their dynamic website attracts over 1.7 Million visitors and the 2 Ride The World Facebook fan page has garnered 21,000 + fans, Simon & Lisa’s personal pages share an additional 10,000 followers.
Simon believes “Whilst the journey has certainly tested us with dangers and pitfalls, it’s also has presented us with boundless and unimaginable opportunities to understand each other and provided us with insights into our world and the complexity of human relationships!
Lisa is on record as saying “we left our home to discover the world and whilst doing that, we discovered much more about human resilience, determination, generosity and that there are really no obstacles which cannot be met and overcome”.
Simon & Lisa Thomas