By the time you read this, Nick Sanders will be 10 days away from becoming the only person ever to complete three complete and consecutive transits of the total 15 000 mile length of the Americas – that’s the very top of Alaska to the very bottom of South America in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, three times non-stop, two of the legs in a world record time of around 46 days. This may never be repeated and for very good reason. Nick Sanders explains why…..
“It was too hard, way too hard, much more so than I imagined and not just the riding but the complete lack of time off,” he said, “when you go around the world on say a Guinness Record, the clock actually stops while you put the bike on the plane as cargo between continents, so it gives you breathing space, but not this time. There’s only one flight leg from Bogota in Colombia to Panama City and the rules state that this is included.”
Nick did not have a single day off unless you include arriving in Ushuaia, the southern tip of Argentina at the bottom of the second leg at 1.30 am; “it had been snowing because it was mid-winter down there and it took me 5 hours to do the last 50 kms. I kept binning the bike head first in the side of the road but I crawled into the end of the leg recording 21 days 19 hours. To give you an idea of how quick that was, I think the Guinness Record for something similar is around 34 or 35 days, then I went and did it again going north in 23 days!”
Because a strap got caught around the final drive, Nick blew an ‘o’ ring so he got a mechanic to sort it out and put on metal studded snow tyres for the journey back, “wow, what a difference, I mean these guys race on ice so what they fitted turned a 5 hour ride into 2 so I just tore into the snow heading north.”
Nick is riding Yamaha’s new machine the Super Tenere, designed to go head to head with other duel purpose adventure bikes, was it up to scratch? “It’s difficult sounding totally credible when I’m sponsored by Yamaha, but hand on heart, mothers life and all that, this is a phenomenal bike. It has done 50 000 miles in the hardest conditions on the planet, and fast with ordinary servicing, nothing special and nothing has gone wrong. I love my R1’s but for reliability and for what it can do; the Super Tenere has blown me away. This bike is world class.” It looks like three times up and down the longest and toughest road in the world says it all.
“I’ve tried and tested Touratechs new Campanero double suit and it has been warm and cool just as I wanted it, basically an unusual concept that is definitely working. My Conti Trail Attack tyres won’t wear out and I’ve had brilliant support from everyone, first and foremost Carole Nash alongside my Held boots which have done 70 000 miles and Alf England over at Bedworth. You know, I just can’t do this without them so a big thanks guys to you all!!! Let’s get the final bit done.”
Nick will be home in two weeks’ time if all goes to plan and right now enduring heavy rain in Managua, Nicaragua. He’ll be through Honduras in the morning then El Salvador by early afternoon followed by Guatemala and just maybe into Mexico. The next three days will take him across Mexico before the final assault of North America and four and a half days to Deadhorse, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.