Andy's two wheeled tours

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There is more to our colleagues than meets the eye but it's often easy to overlook. We shine a light on a colleague's after-hours activity. This week: Andy's two-wheeled tours.

Andy, welcome to Sofico. You recently joined our UK unit.

Thank you. Indeed, I started at Sofico Services UK just 2 weeks ago as Regional Sales and Marketing Representative. I live 5km from the office, so it has been a welcome change to go from a long commute to a short ride into the office. I’m looking at buying a bicycle now.

This would add to your collection of 2-wheeled vehicles, right?

Yes, definitely. I currently have two motorbikes. A larger bike, Honda CRF1000 Africa Twin and a smaller bike. A Honda CRF300 rally. The smaller one is great for local rides and off-roading and the big bike is for bigger trips and long distances.

I come from a biking family. My granddad had a motorbike. My dad had a motorbike. Both my brother and I have a bike. I got my first bike when I was 16, a small, 50cc Suzuki. I’ve always enjoyed off-road biking: motocross and enduro. Even now, I frequently go off-roading together with my brother. Just last week, we did a 4-day ride through nearby Wales, covering around 350 miles (ed. app. 560 km) which included some off-roading.

I come from a biking family. My granddad had a motorbike. My dad had a motorbike. Both my brother and me have a bike.

Andy

Do you also indulge in longer bike-tours?

I do, yes. 15 years ago, I bought an adventure bike to go touring in the UK which I then upgraded to a bigger model for longer trips through Europe: France, Spain, Germany…. In a normal year, I do a 1-week bike tour with a group of friends, a 1-week bike tour with my brother.

I have also made 2 trips to Germany together with my girlfriend, who rides along as a passenger. We wait for promising weather, then we book a hotel for the first night and we head out on the road and look for places to sleep as we go along. This gives us the flexibility to adjust our route if needed, either to include an extra destination or to avoid bad weather.

Do you have a favorite destination?

We have done so many great tours, it’s hard to single out one destination. I’ve returned to northern Spain often. The Pyrenees are a beautiful region to explore by bike. From where I live in Malvern, it’s a half-day ride to Southampton. You then spend 24 hours on the ferry to Bilbao or Santander and you arrive in northern Spain well rested and ready to ride.

Just before the pandemic, my brother and I did a 10-day trip through southern Morocco, which included 2 nights camping out in the desert. I can recommend that to everyone. We rented motorcycles locally and had a local pick us a route with some off-road sections.


My brother and I did a 10-day trip through southern Morocco, which included 2 nights camping out in the desert. I can recommend that to everyone.

Andy

Do you have a favorite bike?

That’s a very tough question. I’ve had so many bikes over the years, mostly Japanese off-roaders. Suzuki, Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki and even a BMW for a while. When I was younger, I had a Honda XR250, a legendary off-road bike that I think back on fondly but then I remember why I sold it. It came with a kick-starter which I got fed up with in the end.

My current favorite is the CRF300 rally. It’s tall and lightweight, which makes it a lot of fun off-road. It is also well equipped for shorter tours of up to 350 miles as it has room for some luggage, a windscreen and a powerful engine.

We wish you many more beautiful and safe trips!

Thank you! I look forward to another trip once travel restrictions lift. I used to play rugby, together with one of my 2 sons but I’ve decided to trade my place on the pitch for a place on the sideline as a supporter. So that frees up more time for travel.

A return trip to the Mosel area with my girlfriend is definitely on the list. We just bought a camper, so the next trip might be on 4 wheels. I am looking to add a bike rack on the back of the camper, so I can take the smaller bike with me for some off-road fun during our trips.

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