July 7 2000
Photo at Rakaposhi Mountain, Karakoram Highway, Pakistan
Kathmandu July 7
An adventurous motorcyclist has arrived in town riding his 'unique machine' all through the mountains and deserts from England.
Evergetic 35 years young man, Simon Milward, is here after travelling through 15 countries. Nepal is his 16th destination. He started his jounrey 6 months back with a great mission in mind.
Riding motorcycle is not only fun for him. Travelling around, he is raising funds for two charity organisations -- one is French organisation Doctors Without Borders and the other is Riders for Health, the UK based organisation working for Africa.
"I collect funds wherever I go", he said, talking to the Kathmandu Post Friday. He has so far raised $14,000 and plans to continue his journey for two more years visiting 70 countries around the globe.
Milward has a message for all. He suggests governments of developing countries to use motorcycles for health purposes, bringing patients to the hospitals or taking medecins to the villages, using motorcycle trailers.
"This system has proved successful in African countries where the roads are in bad shape and people live in isolated villages."
He has already visited Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Tunisia, Italy, Greece, Turkey, UAE,Pakistan and India.
For seven years, he has been working for a Belgium-based federation of European motorcyclists that has 400,000 members around the world. The federation is presently raising voice for the motorcyclists' rights. "It is the greatest pressure group in Europe, defending the rights of motorcyclists and promoting realistic safety," he says.
He has a giant John T, made in the UK, motorcycle to accompany him all along the journey, that cost him 3000 pounds. With a Rotax 600cc engine and a heavy 45 litre fuel tank, the motorcycle has a specially hand-made frame.
Throughout this journey from Europe to Asia, he had two dangerous accidents.
One took place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia while he was driving at the speed of 135km/h. Next, he was knocked by a three wheeler at Hetauda bazaar, Nepal, from the wrong direction. He said, "Coincidentally, it was the time when police officials were holding a meeting to reduce traffic accidents nearby."