On the 19th of July Holly Waller and Paul Cottee depart for what will be a marathon mission on a pair of Sinnis Terrain 125s. Crossing 19 countries with a round trip of 15,000 miles they will take on the Mongol Rally. Of the hundreds of people taking part this year only eight are on bikes, so their team – Crazy Ass Climbers – is a quarter of all of the motorbike entries on the challenge.
The Mongol Rally has only two really important rules:
1) Bikes must be a maximum of 125cc, 2) Competitors must raise £1000 for charity
The bikes they will be taking are Sinnis Terrains which at first, and even second glance, appear much bigger than a 125. Created to handle long distances both on and off road, the Terrain seems like it will fit the criteria for the journey perfectly. It’s comfortable, fun to ride, economical and has enough dominating presence on the road as we found on longterm test.
The route will take them from London, UK to the official Launch Party in Prague, then down through Turkey, across the Caspian sea, before stopping off to roast marshmallows at the ‘Gates of Hell’ in Turkmenistan. They’ll then pass through Uzbekistan, join the Pamir highway in Tajikistan and follow it north to Kazakhstan, heading briefly to Russia and then cross into Mongolia, traversing as much of the country as possible before heading back into Russia to the Finish Line in Ulan-Ude.
That’s the rally route, but they are confident that their little bikes will then carry them back to London through Russia and the Baltic States. Sinnis have a history of undertaking tough challenges and one of their 125 models successfully completed the challenge back in 2011. The charities they are raising money for are Cool Earth and Climbers Against Cancer.
Cool Earth works with local communities to help preserve the most at risk rain-forests as well as providing local employment: “By developing local livelihoods, our mission is to end the cycle of deforestation entrenching villages into further poverty. Creating strong, self-determining communities – not dependency.”
Climbers Against Cancer was founded by John Ellison, a passionate climber who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, to raise money for cancer research projects around the world. John’s attitude to life can be summed up with this inspiring quote “You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth”.
Overland Magazine is going to follow the couple’s progress during the Rally and we’ll be posting regular reports and images. We hope you’ll be able to help them raise funds for their worthy causes.