Here is an email I receive recently that will save you thousands of rands should you want to go motorcycling touring in the USA, Europe, Australia or New Zealand.

 

Hi Steve,

 
I just spent the last 20 minutes reading through your website.............and I am impressed. You are clearly into touring by bike and I thought you might just be interested in a bike touring club of which I am a member.

Its called Transatlantic Bikeshare Worldwide and is a touring orientated club with about 100 members all over the world...........mainly the UK, USA, Australia and New Zealand. Basically its a bikeshare club where members have potential access to other members bikes, all subject to private arrangement and agreement. It sounds a bit odd I know. Why would someone the other side of the world let me or any other member use their two wheeled pride and joy ? Beats me, but I joined in 2000 and last year I put the theory to the test and found out that it really does work............if you or any of your biking mates in Africa are interested in getting to tour by bike in Europe, The States, Australia etc please take a careful look at the site, or email me for more info. Just check out the website www.bikeshareworld.com if you get time to see what its all about.( the site is currently being upgraded so you may find access limited.........persevere though over the next week or so and it should all be sorted out)
 
Last March I contacted a member in Dallas  Texas, USA about a possible bikeshare. Within days he was happy to agree loan me his 1999 BMW K1200RS. A month later and my wife and I were in Texas touring on his bike............it was brilliant and I can't begin to imagine what it would have cost if we'd had to rent a bike. I paid him $16 to me added as a temporary extra driver on his insurance and that was it ! It cost us 1200 in all, to fly to the States and pay all hotel and food expenses. It would have cost me at least that in bike rental alone if I done it any other way !
 
I have no interest in the club other than as a member that would love the opportunity to enjoy a biking trip in South Africa...............being totally frank I am actively trying to generate interest from any sources I can find in RSA. I've left messages on biking websites etc, just to see if there is any interest, to try and get some members over there.

I have a vested interest in RSA mind you...................we have friends who live at Fourways in the northern outskirts of Jo'burg and we've had three holidays out there with them going back to 1994. First time out there,  I met up with a friend of my mate, who turned out to be a bike shop owner who was well involved with escorted biking tours, mainly for German tourists. We met up and he offered me the loan of one of his bikes for a 'Breakfast Run' out of Jo'burg into the mountains to a restaurant on the Crocodile River. Obviously I accepted, wouldn't you !!!  My wife and I turned up at his house 6.00am Sunday morning. A K75RT was waiting for us, together with his R1100RS and a potential customers K1100RS. Not exactly an inspiring bike, but getting to ride any bike out there was a bonus anyway. We headed off into the mountains, met up with a bigger group of similar bikers on the way and I have to say that it was probably the best biking experience of my life (my wife too, she rode pillion). Great smooth twisty roads, just no traffic and fabulous weather conditions. I would love to do it again, but longer................maybe tour the northern Transvaal for a week or so, but to rent a bike would be just too prohibitively expensive. TABS needs members in South Africa. I'm sure there are loads of bikers out there who would just love to tour in the USA, UK or  Europe on a bike. It costs very little to join, I thinks its now about 50 to join then only about 10 a year after that..............basically income covers the costs of running the website and general administration, all done by the two founder members Tom Burklow from the USA and Tony Woods from the UK.

I know flights here can be pricey, but its the same for us the other way. If we can all offset the cost of getting to each others continent, by being able to access loan bikes at little or no cost, surely there can be scope for all of us to achieve our dream biking trips ? I know the club would definitely be much the better if we manage to get some South African members on board, that would give us members in virtually every continent in the world and the endless possibilites of fantastic biking trips for us all that would go with that.

 Sorry to go on a bit, but please take a look at the website at least.........and if you can think it worthwhile, please tell all your biking mates.

Cheers
 
Steve Wilson ( Newcastle UK) 
 

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