Go the dis­tance

Join a club that helps bik­ers plan big trips

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Justin Hayzelden

The International Mo­tor­cy­cle Tour­ing Club was founded in 1932 when a group of in­trepid mo­tor­cy­clists who had pre­vi­ously been ex­plor­ing the con­ti­nent in­di­vid­u­ally met in a London pub to ex­change in­for­ma­tion about their ex­pe­ri­ences of tour­ing abroad. Travel in Europe was very dif­fer­ent back then; although mo­tor traf­fic was scarce, so were garages and with roads be­ing ei­ther cob­bled or dirt, me­chan­i­cal prob­lems for mo­tor­cy­cles were plen­ti­ful – es­pe­cially when you con­sider that bikes of the time only had sprung sus­pen­sion at the front. By shar­ing in­for­ma­tion, the club made tour­ing more ac­ces­si­ble and it wasn’t long be­fore mem­bers were ven­tur­ing to the Arc­tic Cir­cle, the Sa­hara Desert, Eastern Europe and North Amer­ica. In 1938 the first or­gan­ised tour, or ‘Par­ti­tour’ took place, paving the way for the IMTC as it is to­day.

These days the club or­gan­ise sev­eral Par­ti­tours per year; Euro­pean des­ti­na­tions across the whole of the con­ti­nent are still very pop­u­lar and past ex­pe­di­tions have in­cluded travel to North Africa, Aus­tralia and the USA. An av­er­age day’s rid­ing is five to six hours in the sad­dle and the idea is to travel in­di­vid­u­ally so that ev­ery­one has their own jour­ney to dis­cuss when the group meets up of an evening. Par­ti­tours are all about the tak­ing the scenic or more in­ter­est­ing route rather than sim­ply munch­ing miles, although there’s al­ways a more direct op­tion for those who want a shorter day. True to the club’s ori­gins in­di­vid­ual mem­bers still or­gan­ise their own ad­ven­tures, such as a re­cent trip to South Amer­ica where a party of 10 crossed the An­des.

In ad­di­tion to over­seas events the club or­gan­ises UK week­ends as part of their thriv­ing so­cial scene, an as­pect to mem­ber­ship that is so pop­u­lar that most peo­ple stay mem­bers for life. The five re­gional groups also hold monthly meet­ings and get to­geth­ers, so there’s al­ways some­thing go­ing on.

2017 is the IMTC’S 85th an­niver­sary and although for­eign travel has be­come eas­ier, the club still has a place, draw­ing on its ac­cu­mu­lated ex­pe­ri­ence to pro­vide en­thu­si­as­tic mo­tor­cy­cle tourists with sup­port, in­for­ma­tion, ad­vice, as­sis­tance and ca­ma­raderie on the road.

The club is more about en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence than crunch­ing out miles

Join the club on one of their over­seas jaunts

This has got to be bet­ter than rid­ing the same old roads ev­ery week

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.