Simon Charles Milward, born on 28 January 1965 in Strete, South Devon, UK.
Early days saw me as an apprentice in the junior army, a student at technical college, a trainee manager in a jewellery chain and a building site labourer. I quit as quality control manager after five years with a leading British reprographic printing company in 1989 to concentrate on something I believed in and where I thought I could do something useful. Thus my full-time career working for the interests of motorcyclists started with the Motorcycle Action Group (UK).
FEMA motorcycle ride with Members of the European Parliament
I became General Secretary and established the Brussels headquarters of the Federation of European Motorcyclists (FEM) in 1992. Finding my own way through the EU maze I started co-ordinating members' efforts towards specific legislatory targets. This resulted in bikers being among the first citizens to benefit from the democratic changes of the Maastricht Treaty and well-known as an effective lobby group in the EU institutions.
Now the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA) unites 23 national organisations of 18 countries, about 400,000 riders. It is well-placed to tackle present challenges and I am extremely thankful to the FEMA Committee for granting me this 21-month sabbatical.
The previous great adventure was hitch-hiking and motorcycling around the USA in 1984 with my brother for five months. The more memorable experiences include working in the forests of the Big Horn Mountains, hitching a lift on a goods train from El Paso with illegal immigrants and running out of cash three times!
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Now that the prospect of the ultimate bike ride presented itself I am not able to ignore it.