NewsPhotos Route Tech Links Contact

> Introduction

I am riding around the Mediterranean basin, travelling by motorcycle. The route is 75% off-road, with a total projected distance of around 15,000 miles. I am using the trip as an opportunity to raise awareness of the charity Riders for Health, whose work is making a real difference. The journey starts in London in early April 2004, and will end several months later, when I return. For a little more info about me and to get in touch, click here.

This site will be the medium through which I can relate and archive my experiences and thoughts from the trip. This aspect of the expedition is very important to me. I post (sporadic) updates and photos. These information products may provide a resource base for future travellers, and they will be linked to both the Royal Geographical Society and the Adventure Motorcycling Handbook sites. Hard copy reports and articles will also be disseminated on a not-for-profit basis - please email for more information.

Why Motorcycles?

I like the simplicity of motorcycles. Their pure, functional design makes them really good vehicles for this type of travel. They are economical, robust and (relatively) common throughout the world. They are very easy to fix. But most of all, they allow an interaction between rider and environment that is lacking with any other modern vehicle. It rains? You get wet. It's hot? You get hot.

If you're sitting inside a Land Cruiser ®, you can flick on the air-con, perhaps put on your favourite CD and recline the seat... and you might as well be at home, watching a TV documentary about the Sahara. A bike forces you to commit, and forego luxury and familiarity - to take the leap and truly experience, integrate with your surroundings. To take responsibility. On my route there are areas which aren't navigable in any four-wheeled vehicle, where people still walk. With two wheels, there are very few places I can't get to, yet it is possible to cover much more distance than on foot or by bicycle, for example.

Travelling by motorcycle provides a uniquely immersive experience, and allows interaction (both with people and environment) that is very difficult to achieve using other modes of transport. Meetings are face-to-face, the riders experience environmental variations first-hand - in some ways there is nowhere to hide.

The riders will remain approachable, and thus interactions may be more genuine. Perceptions of cultural difference are continually reinforced through the media - conflict sells papers. But how often are we reminded of the similarities and links between Mediterranean cultures and societies? We can interact through the landforms and environments in which we live - it remains possible to travel overland, and document the resulting "thread of experience".

The low cost and extreme practicality of motorcycles also permits their use as carriers of vital equipment or information in some of the most hostile areas of the world and where resources are scarce. This key point has been neglected by many charities and international aid efforts, who continue to supply welcome, yet sometimes inappropriate technology. One organisation provides the means for rural Africans to help themselves: Riders for Health. This expedition aims to raise funds, enabling RfH to continue their life-changing work in Africa.

This trip will highlight the potential of motorcycle travel through inaccessible places... by doing it.

Pan-Med 2003 Aims:

To investigate themes of cultural continuity and change around the Mediterranean.

To document environmental continuity and change.

To raise money for Riders For Health.

To raise the profile of Riders For Health through the media.

To produce an information-rich web page and photo-journal.

To successfully ride around the Mediterranean Basin, overland.

To effectively plan and execute an independent vehicular expedition into the Northern Sahara.

To experience life without the resources we take for granted.

To have the experience of a lifetime and meet incredible people.

Riders for Health AquaPac Cyclone Couriers All Bike Engineering Bandit Bikes RGS RGS Visordown
Map image


15 August 2004

Expedition complete, and I've returned home. It has been amazing, and I aim to add to the site up to a point, then maintain it, both as a monument and as a knowledge base. Update January 2008 - site has changed hosting provider and will (hopefully) now have more uptime. Unfortunately now must be hosted under a yucky "framed redirect". If you don't know what that is, then maybe you won't find it a problem. I hope ;o)

5th July 2004

No news for a while due to crashes, critical bike problems, more crashes, technical problems and sandstorms. Now there is a veritable infestation of new pictures on which to feast your eyes.

[ I wanna see! ]

Get Pan-Med Updates!

You can add yourself to the e-mail news list, and request a notification whenever the site's updated. There is also space for you to comment on the site. Thanks for all of the messages.

[ Sign Up Here ]

Cyclone Couriers deliver the goods!

The best courier company in London has delivered a package of support (groan) to the project. They can supply you with everything from bicycles to large vans, and also offer an International and Executive Car service. Their website is a click away...

[ More ]

Riders for Health confirmed sponsor and benefitting charity.

The progressive charity lends support to Pan-Med 2004. To support my trip, you can donate to RfH directly using your credit card online. It's really easy, and it's even tax efficient!

[ More ]

AquaPac lend full support to the project.

In a coup of lateral thinking, these manufacturers of brilliant waterproof products agree that keeping sand and dirt out is a good idea too! For more information, check out their website.

[ More ]

RGS registers Pan-Med 2004

Pan-Med 2004 has been registered and approved by both the Royal Geographical Society and University College London Expeditions Advisory Committee. Preparation and risk assessment must meet a stringent standard.

[ More ]

UCL Geography on board!

The time I will be spending away from my Ph.D study has been approved by my academic supervisor, on condition that my research is to an acceptable standard. Very good news!.

[ More ]