Travelling over from the USA on a steam liner, Clancy and his travelling companion Walter Storey departed from Dublin on a brand-new pair of Henderson motorcycles, setting off for mainland Europe. After his bike was hit by a tram in Dublin, Storey was forced to travel pillion astride the petrol tank of Clancy’s bike through a rain-sodden England and northern France. On reaching Paris, Storey had had enough and gave up on his dream to see the world by bike. Undeterred, Clancy continued on into the unknown, travelling alone through Western Europe, North Africa, Asia, and the Far East before crossing the United States west to east, finishing at his home in New York.
Clancy’s tour is made all the more incredible by the fact that his 934cc Henderson motorcycle, then the fastest and most advanced in the world, made just seven bhp with a top speed of 70mph, had one gear and absolutely no front brakes, and Clancy was clothed in only a tweed three-piece suit and cloth cap. By comparison, the BMW R 1200 GS motorcycles being used for this expedition make 110bhp. Geoff and Gary also have a unique item of luggage with them: Clancy’s original leather riding boots. Gifted to the pair for one last ride around the world, the boots will finally be delivered to a motorcycle museum in New York, where they will be added to an exhibition commemorating Clancy’s achievement. The boots have a special significance as Clancy’s most famous quote is: “One must die sometime and to die with one’s boots on is very noble.”
“To think that Mr Clancy set off on a cold, wet day like today is rather humbling. Gary and I are very lucky to be able to follow in his footsteps and, indeed, with his very own boots. We like to think that he’d approve of our adventure,” said Geoff.
In the build-up to the departure of the main ride in April 2013, Geoff and Gary will be making regular contributions to the BMW Motorrad UK facebook page and will be featured in the BMW Motorrad e-newsletters. For more information about BMW Motorrad motorcycles, visit their website.