This page provides a little bit of background information on your hosts, Paul & Tracy Beattie.
Paul was born sometime in the early 1960's in Poulton-le-Fylde, near Blackpool in England. His first introduction to the world of motorcycling was way back in 1973 on a trip to the Isle of Man with his family. Being the eldest son, he had the advantage of staying with his father for the 2nd week of the family holiday to watch the TT races, whilst his mother and siblings returned home. This introduction lay dormant for many years, until he was 29, when he passed his bike test and started his 2 wheeled career. Now a professional motorcycle instructor with a RoSPA Diploma in Advanced Motorcycle Instruction, he is qualified to teach everything from Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and Direct Access (DAS) to new riders, through the DSA's Enhanced Rider Scheme all the way to advanced riding for the RoSPA or IAM tests. He is constantly seeking out new opportunities to combine his twin loves of travel and motorcycling.
In addition to his passion for motorcycling, Paul has 3 daughters (Katy, Laura and Danielle). Sadly his only son, David, was tragically killed in July 2004, aged just 19. Following his marriage to Tracy, he also has 2 step-daughters (Katie & Carlie) and 2 step-sons (Sean & Konnor). He is also "Grandpa" to Katy's sons Harrison & George and daughter Elizabeth, Laura's twin girls Isobel and Rebecca, Danielle's daughter Olivia and sons Alfie and Riley, and Katie's daughter Niamh. Yes, that is 9 grand-children and counting!
He has undertaken a number of motorcycle tours, including 3 memorable 3-week tours of Europe, the first on a Kawasaki ZX-9R with David as pillion, then on a Suzuki GSXR1000 (Big Gixxer) with his mate Colin (Aprilia Mille-R) and finally in 2005, also on "Big Gixxer" with Tracy on her Ducati Monster M620ie (affectionately known as Lydia). There have also been numerous trips round the UK and to the French and Italian MotoGP races.
Following the accident in Slovakia, and the realisation that he would not get to travel round the world by motorcycle with Tracy, and with her encouragement, he signed up for a Trans-Americas motorcycle expedition in 2009 - details of which you can find by following the TransAm link above. The full story from the trip can be found under the TransAM blog link. He's since completed a further ride across the USA, this time from East to West (Tennessee to Oregon) via a series of dirt roads known as the TransAM Trail. Details of this trip and many others can be found by clicking the Past Trips button.
Despite all this travelling, he still yearns for an adventure he can share with Tracy, and has just such a scheme in the planning stage - check out "The Good Life" and find out what!
Tracy was born in Edmonton, London during the decade when man stood on the moon and England won the world cup, so she’s still pretty young. Apart from cousins having bikes she had little contact with them until she met Paul. She had a huge desire to learn to ride, but it wasn’t until 2002 that both she and her brother Craig took lessons together in Cambridge. Craig passed first time, but it took Tracy another go before she managed to master the dreaded “U Turn”. She has had three bikes so far, a Kawasaki GPZ500, a Honda CBR 400rr and a Ducati monster M620i, her baby, called Lydia…. Being vertically challenged Lydia had a few modifications as Tracy couldn’t, and they are now a perfect combination. She spent the summer of 2005 touring Europe with Paul, riding past Lavender fields and being part of such beauty has fuelled her ambition to travel and ride at the same time. Which would all have culminated in our Round-The-World adventure, had it not been for a certain Slovakian truck driver. As it is, the accident has, not surprisingly, put paid to Tracy's love of motorcycles. It has also left her with restricted movement and strength in her right arm, wrist, shoulder and hand. Not to mention some scaffolding holding her spine together. These restrictions mean that she will never be able to ride again (at least on the road). Whether she will ever ride pillion remains to be seen, at present the thought of it brings her out in cold sweats, but never say never...
Tracy has been blessed with 4 children, Katie - who lives with her boyfriend Brian and is a qualified veterinary nurse, Carlie who is in her final year of studying Forensic Science at Keele University and her 2 sons Sean and Konnor, who have finally come to live with her having previously been brought up by their Dad. With the birth of Katie's first child, Tracy has finally become a grandma "for real", although if you asked her, she'd admit to having the same 9 grandchildren as Paul!
Sadly following the accident and ongoing issues with her health, Tracy has had to give up her job as a District Nurse, but continues to keep herself occupied with the ever-growing family and has recently started voluntary work with the Citizens Advice Bureau. She also has a passion for making home-made preserves, most notably her infamous Chilli Jam, which is good preparation for when our shared dream of "The Good Life" becomes a reality...
It all started a long time ago... Way back in November 2004, Tracy and I hadn't yet started living together and I was settling down to watch some mindless drivel on TV. My mind was wandering as it often did in those days, trying to find some real sense of purpose. I'd always wanted to undertake some serious adventure, having been brought up reading stories of heroic characters like Scott, Hillary and Biggles (ok, not all were serious, I was a young boy at the time!). In 2003 I'd been off on a 4-week trek to Mount Everest, setting off on my own and joining a group of 13 strangers for the trip. I'd loved it, and the experience of seeing first-hand how other people lived had ignited my desire for travel. Anyway, there I was, sat in front of my TV, flicking between the channels and day-dreaming when I saw 2 motorcycles riding off into the distance in a cloud of dust... I quickly sent Tracy a text "Watch Sky One now! Speak later!". It was "Long Way Round" and I knew I'd found my next adventure... At the ad-break, I called Tracy and before I had chance to say anything she said "I know! When are we going?" And so the dream was born…
For the next month or so we kept our ideas quiet and discussed options. We were both working, and Tracy still had her 2 girls (Katie and Carlie) living at home. We agreed we couldn't leave them until they were both adults, which meant waiting until 2008 at the earliest. But the more we thought about it the more this made sense - it would give us time to build up the funds needed, do some research into routes and suchlike, and to prepare our families for the fateful day when we'd ride off into the distance. And so the planning began... the blogs covering the preparations up to our departure for Eastern Europe can be found here and here.
Details of the accident that ended it all can be found here. The Eastern Europe Trip blog, that covers the trip up to the point of the accident can be found here, and the story of our recovery - up until our departure for the US for a holiday a year later, can be found here.
With all plans for a Round-the-Wold motorcycle adventure curtailed by the accident, we set about re-defining our future. What we came up with is a complete contrast to the original plan, but one which we both find really exciting, even if, like the RTW idea, it will take some time to come to fruition.
Think Chickens and Hugo and Margo and you'll be getting close. See "The Good Life" for more clues...
We hope you enjoy our website, if you’d like to get in touch email us at Paul or Tracy