Motorcycle News (UK)
The youngest person to travel around the world on a bike… and during a pandemic!
‘I made a dash for the border before it closed’ ‘He went over the bars on the way to Dover…’
Although still being verified by Guinness World Records, Jack Groves claims to be the youngest person to ride around the world on a motorcycle. At just 22, Jack finished his studies and set out to break the record on the gap year of a lifetime, despite having only an A2 licence and most of his riding experience being on a Herald 125 which hadn’t seen the streets since he started university. “The idea was to do a motorcycle trip,” Jack explains. “I wasn’t sure what form it would take, but then I read about Kane Avellano [youngest person to ride solo around the world] in MCN in 2017. It was the first time I’d heard of the record, and I guess it just struck me as being something really cool and different. “I worked out if I left after studying, then… bar nothing happening like a global pandemic… I’d get back a year earlier than Kane. “But stuff hit the fan and suddenly it was weeks difference rather than years. It was always about the ride, but towards the end, I needed a cherry on this cake. It had been a pretty mucked up cake, so it deserved a cherry.” Jack started his attempt on July 11, 2019, but the trip was off to a shaky start, as Jack flipped over his Himalayan’s handlebars and ended up in hospital on the way to Dover. But after a quick check over, he shook off the nerves and kept pressing onward into Europe. “I spent a few days in France and rode into Germany, through Bavaria and along the Alps with some amazing riding. Then I went through Austria and Slovenia and the back roads were stunning. Then I rode all the way down the Balkans and into Greece.” From Greece, the journey took Jack through Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and then crossed the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan before riding Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Pamir Highway. “That was the best adventure offroad riding. I then picked up a guide in China and travelled to Laos, Thailand and into Malaysia.” In Australia, Jack was met with wildfires. “There were days where I’d stop in a sweaty, horrible mess. I’d buy a two-litre bottle of water, walk out and empty it on myself.” Despite the heat, Jack and the Enfield made it across the Nullarbor and reached a smoke-filled Sydney which was almost his finishing point. But instead, Jack shipped his bike to Argentina to carry on. “You started to hear of Covid cases being recorded in South America. I got to La Paz in Bolivia, and the borders were about to close. “Everyone was looking at social media and at different embassies,