Motorcycle Diary of Sydney to San Francisco: 29,000 miles and 19 countries

Traversing across the oceans from Sydney, Australia to San Francisco, US, Englishman Nathan Millward carries on his adventures over a total of 29,000 miles astride…

Traversing across the oceans from Sydney, Australia to San Francisco, US, Englishman Nathan Millward carries on his adventures over a total of 29,000 miles astride a retired Australian post bike. Travelling at an averade speed of 37 mph and across 19 countries, Millward was 9 months into his adventures when he was informed that he needed to return to England as his visa was coming to an end.

The journey which commenced in Sydney saw Millward travel through East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, India, and Pakistan, where he met with visa constraints which did not allow him to travel through Iran. Hence, he had to bypass the area and continue his journeys through Northern Pakistan, across the Himalayas and the second highest motorable road at 18,000 feet. He then went on to China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, Belgium, France and finally reaching England.

His adventures have prompted Millward to write a book ‘The Long Ride Home”. The story winds around his travels and travail while undertaking this enjoyable, but sometimes arduous journey. In spring of 2013, Millward and his bike which he has named ‘Dorothy’ will take a trip to North Alaska. His travels will not stop here and he has already made future plans and hopefully his bike will continue to be in good condition to see these plans through.

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ENGLISHMAN RIDES AUSSIE POST BIKE ACROSS WORLD, WRITES BOOK, CARRIES ON RIDING…

Englishman Nathan Millward has completed his round the world adventure on a retired Australian post bike, riding it from Sydney Australia to the American city of San Francisco.

The Mansfield-born adventurer covered a total of 29,000 miles, travelling at an average cruising speed of 37mph and passing through 19 countries along the way.

The first part of the adventure took Millward from Sydney to London, a 23,000 mile journey undertaken after only two days of planning. As Millward explains; ‘I’d been out in Australia for nine months when I was suddenly told my visa was coming to an end. I had a return ticket to England, but was in no rush to get there and so I just set off riding, on the bike I already had, in the clothes I already owned, and made it up as I went along. I thought it might take me five months…’

This journey from Sydney to London took Millward nine months, seeing him pass from Darwin to East Timor, along Indonesia to Malaysia and Thailand before finding a way around Burma and on to the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu. India and Pakistan followed, with the refusal of an Iranian visa forcing him through Northern Pakistan, over the Himalayas and the second highest road in the world (18,000 feet), in to China, then on through Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Ukraine and Poland before finally, just as winter was about to set in, reaching the English Channel and home.

Millward wrote a book about his impromptu adventure, it being launched in Australia as Going Postal, and now retitled for the rest of the world simply as; ‘The Long Ride Home,’ a book, which in his own words doesn’t try and glamorise the realities of riding across the world on your own; instead the times of happiness, sadness, loneliness and fear; also themes of regret and faith that if you keep on riding you’ll get there in the end.’ Millward concedes that the book as a thinly veiled message to the girl he left behind.

Having completed the book, Millward continued his journey west, patching up the bike that had brought him all that way and loading it on an aeroplane bound for New York. For Millward it was a case of déjà vu. ‘I didn’t really have a plan or a route in mind, all I wanted to do was get to San Francisco and in the end that took us (me and the bike) six weeks and six thousand miles. We passed through the guts of Detroit and Chicago, down old Route 66, over the Rockies, through to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Las Vegas until finally we hit the Pacific and the Golden Gate Bridge.’

Speaking of the journey, Millward admits, ‘In a lot of ways, the ride across America was harder than the ride from Sydney to London, simply because it feels such a big country, and there are so many different routes you can take to get across it. The traffic is also faster and the pace of life much quicker than the speed I was able to travel at. The mid-west was long and lonely and at times I felt quite vulnerable, but once I made it to Colorado I really enjoyed the landscape and the people. Death Valley was my favourite place, and riding through Monument Valley at sunset was just superb.’

In spring 2013, Millward and his bike – affectionately known as Dorothy – intend on making the final push north to Alaska, with a sequel to the Long Ride Home due not long after. As Millward explains, ‘It’s hard to stop once you’ve started because on the road you find so much freedom and space. No one is hassling you to do things or be someone you’re not. You can just sit there on your bike and ride all day and get lost in the world, seeing things and meeting new people. After Alaska I’d love to ride down the Pan American Highway to Argentina, and then I guess we’d have no choice but to stop, or end up in the sea.’

For more information on Millward’s adventures visit www.thepostman.org.uk. Or to order a copy of the Long Ride Home visit the Motorcycle News online shop (shop.motorcyclenews.com) where the book is currently available to UK customers for £9.99 including postage and packaging. Buyers outside the UK see Millward’s website for more information. Alternatively, for the Kindle edition see Amazon.