Ride into the past…return with memories – Join us on a Journey of Remembrance
There can be no better way to visit the battlefields of Europe and beyond than on your own motorcycle. The freedom it affords, as well as the access to some of the remotest locations that cannot be matched by any other form of transport. Over the last few years as a battlefield researcher, I came to realise that I had amassed an enormous amount of detail and feel for the battlefields, along with location information for use on my bike.
I set up Battlefields On A Bike with my good friend Paul Rogers, who shares a passion for World War One with the intention of offering professionally guided battlefield tours, not just escort rides around the battlefields. Many times on our travels we came across people who had taken the trouble and effort to visit the sites of the Great War, but who had not appreciated what had actually happened. The history is deeply moving and the scale of the world wars is almost overwhelming.
Our tours are aimed at those who like touring abroad on their motorcycles and who might be interested in hearing the history from a battlefield guide who also rides a motorcycle (which is very rare indeed we have discovered). The tours offer the chance to explore independently, with evening ride outs and stops at some less well known but equally interesting locations. The guided tours take in many of the major locations that you might expect from a coach tour, but many more besides, because of the flexibility of motorbikes.
Each tour has a qualified battlefield guide. Guides are trained as war historians, with detailed accounts of the geography, history and archaeology of the battlefields. A guide is more than an enthusiast, who can tell an interesting story with enough detail to be interesting, but not so much as to be overwhelming. Put this alongside some of the best riding roads in Europe and it makes for a wonderful and relaxing experience – filled with respect, remembrance and more than a little fun.
All of the team at Battlefields On A Bike are members of the Riders’ Branch and have been so for some time. On our travels we usually meet members who are very supportive of our tours. We think our tours are of particular interest to members for several reasons. Firstly, we share a commitment to remembrance. We will never forget the sacrifice made by our armed forces in all conflicts, whether they be Great War, Second World War or more recently. The poppy and acts of remembrance are an integral part of our tours and we encourage all participants to lay poppy crosses and reflect on the sacrifice. Secondly, we are on motorcycles visiting the battlefields. With us, you have access to a battlefield guide as well as a tour manager to sort out ferries and hotels (including getting some nice discounts). Thirdly, all of our tour bookings support the ongoing work of the British Legion. Our tours are officially endorsed and a donation made for each booking made. The Legion have asked us to work closely with the Riders’ Branch in making the Legion motorcycle tour programme a success.
We are confident that the Legion tours will be of particular interest to the members in 2015. We are hoping that between 15 and 25 Riders’ Branch members might want to come on each of our tours for 2015. It would be wonderful to see you out there.