I have had the great pleasure to accomodate Ian Coates (facebook/iancoates) who I have had on my facebook friends for a number of years.
Ian arrived back in the UK on Friday and asked for a place to pitch his tent in Manchester whilst he visited the Manchester Motorcycle Show.
I asked him to stay here with Sharon and I, and not in his tent but in our spare room.
Arriving in Friday in Hull, he rode the 110 miles to Sale, and arrived looking fresh and certainly not showing his 69 years on this planet.
Leaving home 14 years ago, Ian has been just about everywhere, and despite being back on occasion, his last visit 3 year ago was to see his new great grand son and his family. Mrs Coates has seen Ian 7 times in 14 years, meeting him occasionally with spares, and a holiday.
Ian is a character, and has lots of tales about his self financed trip during which he helps out, works for free bed and food, and only asks for help when he needs it.
From 8 months on a ship between Argentina and New Zealand to getting lost in the Sudan for 2 weeks and almost meeting his maker, Ian and his trusted Honda Africa Twin have travelled 245,000 miles (400,000km) on the same engine, only 4 sets of brake pads, and no major breakdowns.
Not resting too long, Ian is off to Portugal soon to drive back a Landrover he bought a year ago, then plans to be in Mongolia by April if he can find a replacement bike.
I suggested his Twin should be saved and maybe put in a museum.
If one RTW rider needs some corporate support this guy is the one.
With his Fred Dibnah look on life, Ian is a cult figure in the XRV, Facebook and RTW sector, and deserves to be added to the long list of British Eccentrics that become household names via TV.
Ian Coates is on Facebook,
I managed to get Ian and his bike on a stand at the show, Thanks to the organisers, but no thanks to Honda who showed no interest in this record breaking Grandad,
Many people came to meet him and his bike was a great attraction with its fully loaded, dirty and 'well used' gear still strapped on.
Stay safe Ian, and travel long and safe.
Google / Ian Coates Honda, for lots of stuff.