Looking for Simon’s Tree

simontree1smallAt Right To Ride our own passion for riders rights can be traced back to one person only, through his influences on Riders Rights and in his achievements in moving riders rights forward, which started over two decades ago.

That one person was Simon Milward, who tragically passed away in 2005 following a road accident near the city of Kayes in Mali (Africa).

Taken from the tribute to Simon in 2005, “Simon started a full time career working for the interests of motorcyclists with the Motorcycle Action Group United Kingdom.

In 1992 Simon established the Brussels headquarters of the Federation of European Motorcyclists (FEM) in Brussels and became FEM’s General Secretary.

Finding his way through the EU maze he started co-ordinating efforts towards specific ledgislatory targets.

Max Jowett simonstreeThis resulted in bikers being among the first citizens to benefit from the democratic changes of the Maastricht Treaty and due to Simon’s never ending work, FEM became a well-known and effective lobby group in the EU institutions.

In 1998 FEM merged with the EMA (the European Motorcyclists Association) to form the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA). Simon Milward became FEMA’s General Secretary.

On January 1st 2000 Simon left Europe to fulfil a lifelong dream: to ride his handmade motorcycle around the world on a humanitarian mission.

His journey was supposed to last for 18 months, but it turned into a five year long odyssey.”

Motorcycle Outreach

Simon_Milward_1965_-_2005Motorcycle Outreach, which has grown from Simon’s vision, says on its website, “His world trip, named the Millennium Ride, started in 2000 and was in support of the charities Medecins sans Frontieres and Riders for Health. In May 2002, on seeing a direct and unmet local need, Simon helped to establish a pilot project based on the Riders for Health zero breakdown principles on the remote Indonesian island of Flores. This was called Health for All (HfA).”

Simon Milward continued his journey through Latin America and then through Africa, travelling north from South Africa, all the while continuing with his fundraising. He also visited the RfH center in Zimbabwe and continued to develop his thoughts regarding extending the Motorcycle Outreach concept upon his return to Europe.

Sadly, Simon lost his life in a road accident in Mali in March 2005. At the time he was on his way to the Riders for Health center in The Gambia.”

FdougsmithsimonstreeEMA added to the tribute, saying that, “With the passing away of Simon Milward, the European motorcycle community has lost a true rider and a pioneer in the riders’ rights movement.

Simon always inspired those who have had the honour and the privilege to work with him and we will never forget him.”

Looking for Simon’s Tree

Two riders, Max Jowett and Doug Smith have started on their own journey from their homes in Devon to Mali in North West Africa looking for the memorial for Simon in Mali in a trip – Looking for Simon’s Tree.

If you want to check out how Doug and Max are getting on you can follow them on Facebook and you can also watch their progress via a live feed from the Road Angel Bike Trac unit fitted to Dougs bike by Bob Lockyer at Hedgehog Motorcycles.

Links Information

Looking for Simon’s Tree on Facebook – Click Here

Looking for Simon’s Tree Road Angel Bike Trac unit – Click Here

Motorcycle Outreach has grown from the vision of the late Simon Milward – www.motorcycleoutreach.org

Simons Original website www.millennium-ride.com

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  1. Doug Smith says:

    They Found Simon’s Tree

    Hi Trevor.

    We made it.

    We found Simon’s tree in Mali thanks to GPS co-ordinates kindly supplied by Craig Carey-Clinch – one of the directors of Motorcycle Outreach and a long time friend of Simons.

    We paid our respects to Simon and nailed a commemorative plaque to the tree and we are now on our way home.

    Currently at Motel Barbas just North of the mauritanian / Moroccan border.

    Doug Smith & Max Jowett.

    Finding Simon’s Tree

    Original Source – On Facebook – Click Here

    The ride down to Mali was stunning and took is two days.

    The road started off really smooth and fast but soon deteriorated and the potholes started to come thick and fast and deep!

    At the end of the first day we were looking for somewhere to pitch the tents bit nothing much available. Going through one village a bike mechanic hailed us and I turned around and pulled over, I started to take pictures of the mass of kids and this broke the ice. Asking for somewhere to stay and finding out there was nothing for 200 kms.

    The bike shop owner then offered for us to stay at his house so he jumped on the back and we rode to a compound with his house inside. We ended up sleeping on the roof with him and a bunch of his mates but not before a nice street side meal of spicy chicken and ceremonial tea with computer shop owner. Woke before dawn and set off on road to Mali border.

    Road was horrendous and going was slow temp reached 37.5 degrees. Finally onto main road to border for a fast ride to frontier. Through border checks and visa granted.

    Another fast ish ride to find Simons Tree, got there without problem, mounted MAG plaque and carved our names in the Boabab tree and had to camp there overnight as light was gone.

    Hot hot hot night soaked with sweat.

    More later!

    Original Source – On Facebook – Click Here

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