DAMIEN Ryan previously drove 17,000 miles on his BMW touring motorbike to Ghana from Limerick, now he is attempting to travel to Mongolia on a Honda 90, with two of his friends along for the ride.
The trio are to attempt the 10,000 mile trip in order to raise funds for Temple Street Children’s Hospital after being touched by the superb treatment received by Damien’s nephew, Oisin Ryan Blake, in the facility last year.
Damien, a geography teacher in CBS Secondary School who is from the Ennis Road, and his pals Aaron Sheehan from Adare and Paul O’Dwyer from Parteen - both now living and working in Galway - will attempt the 10,000 mile trip on three Honda 90 motorbikes over six weeks this July, and are acknowledging the seemingly incredible nature of the expedition from the outset.
“People are interested. It is a quirky, weird type of adventure,” laughed Damien.
“Up until the year I went to Ghana, I didn’t have a bike. I got my licence before I left. I went to the lads and said we had to do something similar, and they said they had never sat on a bike in their lives.
“So because of the licences in Ireland, it had to be less than 250cc. A 125cc scrambler would have been ideal, or, to do something different, we will do it on something absolutely ridiculous like a Honda 50!”
In the end the trio settled on using Honda 90s owing to the bike’s legendary durability and dependability - but will only reach a top speed in the 40 mph range at any given stage of the ambitious trip because of its limitations.
“We went for the 90s, they can cruise about 40 mph, maybe 45 mph downhill. We will be going at about 37-40 mph every day for about six weeks. So we are talking, already, about 18-19 hour days on the bike,” explained Damien.
“It is very ambitious, certainly in the time frame, 10,000 miles in six weeks. We have to cover three mountain ranges, deserts, Iran, Azerbaijan, disputed territory in Tajikistan - which we need a special visa for.
“We only have six weeks because we will all have to be back for work. A team from Britain tried it a couple of years ago, and they didn’t manage it, so hopefully we can. We are depending on tiny engines that you can literally hold in your hand,” he added.
The trio will raise funds for a Mongolian children’s charity as well as Temple Street, and are seeking corporate sponsorship to aid their cause.
“We are looking for corporate sponsorship and would love to raise as much money as we can for Temple Street,” explained Damien.
To find out more about the trip, see https://www.facebook.com/Limerick2Mongolia2013.