BRITISH adventurers Lisa and Simon Thomas have ridden 425,000kilometres through 77countries, raising money for three charities through their website 2ridetheworld.com.
They now find themselves at Dural on a break from their travels because of the cost of petrol.
‘‘You can go on about the cost of fuel, etc, which still isn’t as high as Europe, but it’s still higher than we have experienced in eight years,’’ Mrs Thomas said.
Watch our interview with the adventurous couple, filmed by Gene Ramirez, below:
The break has also given them pause to think about their health.
‘‘The bikes are 320 to 330kilos,” Mr Thomas said.
‘‘There’s a lot of physicality of riding them and, over the last couple of years, especially as we’re getting older, we’ve realised our general fitness was having a very real impact on our ability to ride the bikes.
‘‘So we popped into Resolution Fitness for Life, who said they were happy to help.’’
Even though Mrs Thomas has rheumatoid arthritis and may need a pace-maker, this is only the second time in a decade that the couple has set aside time to get fit.
‘‘We were going to leave for 14 months; we never in our wildest imaginings thought that a decade later we’d still be living in a tent riding motorcycles and being amazed by the world,’’ Mr Thomas said.
The couple want to ride in all seven continents, set five endurance world records, raise money for three charities and fulfil a lifelong dream.
‘‘There was one particular year where we had it tough,” said Mr Thomas, who was a managing director of a telecommunications company in the UK.
‘‘My mother was told she had cancer, Lisa’s father underwent a quadruple heart transplant and I was involved in a pretty nasty motorcycle accident which took off my right foot, all bar a few tendons.
‘‘The result of that was almost two years lying on my back and that’s just a lot of time to think about what you’re doing with your life and what your goals and ambitions are.”
In Australia they hope to break two Guinness world records: longest journey by motorcycle in a single country, and longest continuous journey by motorcycle within a single country.
Both are held by Mohsin Haq of India, who clocked up 18,301 kilometres touring all 28 states of India in 2011.
‘‘Africa’s west coast we lost 25 kilos each, we’ve been followed by the secret service, had four bouts of malaria between us, broken bones,” Mr Thomas said.
He nearly died in the Amazon rainforest when he and his BMW R1150GS fell headlong from a rotting bridge and he broke and dislocated his neck.
But for a man so clearly in love with his wife – he told us “home for me is where my wife is” – it’s no wonder living in Iran proved especially difficult.
“My wife literally became my property for a month,” he said.
■ Follow their journey: 2ridetheworld.com, facebook.com/2ridetheworld.
There will be a presentation about Lisa and Simon Thomas’s journey at 7pm on Friday, at Resolution Fitness for Life, 256 Newline Road, Dural. Details: 9651 5001.