Hi, I’m Ron Fellowes, a fast approaching septuagenarian. Not that this makes me any wiser, but it does prove I’ve been around the block a few times….and fallen off!
I’ve ridden motorcycles since I was a kid. The first I owned was a war issue Harley Davidson in New Zealand at the tender age of 13. Not old enough to have a license I built a go-kart instead and made a nuisance of myself around the neighbourhood. In my teens I tried my luck on a ’56 Matchless, a Jawa motor scooter and a ’Velocette. Then as a mechanic, I took up speedway racing with Triumph & Vincent sidecars as well as trials riding, beach & road racing, scrambles & motocross. My restorations over the years also included a 1970 Kawasaki H1 Triple, a 502s Norman, a 1922 and a 1924 AJS with sidecar.
In the early 80’s my wife & I spent 3 years travelling on a ’76 LTD Honda Goldwing towing a camper trailer. Our 200,000km journey took us from the top of the world to the bottom through 24 countries. This was in the days before the internet, mobile phones, digital cameras, GPS…just a map & a good sense of humour was all we needed.
My goal is to ride my 1910 Fabrique Nationale overland from Nepal back to Belgium so I can celebrate the bike’s one hundred years in it’s place of origin – the culmination of a lifetime of motorcycling challenges & adventures.
Flying with the bike from Australia, my plan is to begin the overland journey from Kathmandu, Nepal.
Delhi is renowned for lengthy delays and endless paperwork, a legacy of the British Raj, so a border crossing seems an easier way to assimilate into the frenetic Indian traffic. Crossing the Himalayas sometimes at an altitude of 2582 metres the air is thin and the temperatures plummet once the sun disappears. Roads are narrow and switch back on themselves, winding down into deep valleys which means speeds will be slow and a great deal of care taken.
It’s approx 400 kms to the border at Butwal, where I envisage culture shock really begins. Confronted with a population of 1.21 billion people, all jostling for their own space, it’s a manic place for bike travellers, especially on a machine as old as this one. The plan is to make my way west across India, through Pakistan and on into Iran.
From here, the journey takes me through Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium. i reckon by then I might be a bit saddle sore!
On February 7th 2012 Ron started his epic journey to take the FN home to Belgium.
You can follow his adventures at oldblokeonabike.com.