Craig Carey-Clinch and David French departed the UK at 3pm on Thursday 10 November on a motorcycling adventure and memorial charity ride to Africa. Their aim is to raise awareness for healthcare charities in developing countries through Riders for Health and a new programme, Motorcycle Outreach.
Public affairs director of the Motorcycle Industry Association, Craig Carey-Clinch, and founder of the Irish Motorcyclists Action Group, David French will ride through Africa on BMW F650 GS Dakar machines. Their ride is dedicated to the memory of Simon Milward a well-known motorcycle humanitarian who died in West Africa earlier this year.
We are really keen to get on the road now, said Carey-Clinch. We will have a police escort out of London and our only concern now is bad weather at sea. Our trip is well organised and it has been great to have a company like BMW Motorrad on board at an early stage because they have helped us with a lot of the preparation details.
Over the past few weeks we have been busy in our full time jobs and getting the final details arranged. But we have already put over 1,000 miles on each of the bikes by doing practice runs from London to areas of England.
Coincidentally, Charley Boorman, Simon Pavey and Matt Hall will be riding the same model of BMW motorcycle the F650 GS Dakar in the arduous 2006 Dakar Rally starting on 31 December 2005. The competitors will cover over 5,200-miles over 16 days and ride over some of the toughest off-road terrain imaginable.
Craig and Davids 42-day, over 7,000-miles ride will be mostly on tarmac and take the duo across the Sahara Desert to the Riders for Health Headquarters in Gambia, West Africa and back to London again.
When we arrive in Gambia we will be spending time with Riders for Health to learn more about what they are doing there, take photographs and write a story. Our main aim is to promote the awareness of Riders for Health and the Motorcycle Outreach programmes through the media coverage we have obtained.
Riders for Health is a charity organisation that has worked for 15 years on the problem of delivery systems for healthcare in Africa. It works with ministries of health, UN agencies and focuses on using motorcycles to save lives in Africa.
At the time of his death in March 2005, Simon Milward was nearing the end of an around the world ride in support of projects aimed towards using motorcycles for the delivery of primary healthcare services in remote areas of developing countries. In partnership with Riders for Health, he had established a motorcycle based healthcare logistics project in Flores, Indonesia, and Motorcycle Outreach represents the continuation of his work.