Your never too old

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Tom Forde, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    I first met Frank Wheeler at the Horizons Unlimited Meeting on the Victorian/New South Wales Border in Australia, in September 2007.
    He was camped next to me right on the river bank with his tent, little 150cc Honda and Sidecar.
    The first thing you notice about Frank is his size. 193cm,120kg with a size 15 boot.
    He is no young guy, about 64 when I met him.
    Frank is originally from the US, come to Australia after a rumoured stint in the CIA, shot out of the skies over Columbia and had some tales about Vietnam. (All stories told over a few ales and a camp fire)

    He also runs a security firm and can provide anything from money recovery to funerals!

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    Anyway he was about to leave on another of his adventures on small motorcycles, across Australia from East to West on the before mentioned outfit.

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    Frank on his 150cc Honda and Sidecar

    Frank is no stranger to adventure. He broke a world distance record for solar boat racing with his solar powered boat – ‘Sun Pirate II’, walked a Honda power carrier unsupported across the Simpson desert (camels are too much trouble), circumnavigated Australia on a motorcycle (back in the 70’s on a Hadaka 125cc Dirt Bike) and was the first to cross Australia on a motorcycle with a sidecar.

    He’s now the first person to ride a 100cc motorcycle through the Tropic of Capricorn.

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    Frank on his Honda 110cc Postie bike
    http://www.offroader.com.au/.../frank-r ... et-record/ -

    Frank braves desert, cyclone for trek honour
    BY JACQUELINE VAN AANHOLT
    06 May, 2007 04:38 PM
    YESTERDAY 64-year-old Inverell adventurer Frank Wheeler became the first person to ever ride a motorcycle with a sidecar across Australia.
    At an age where most people are enjoying retirement, Mr Wheeler shows no signs of slowing down.
    A world traveller, across various continents, he has accomplished far more than most people in a lifetime.
    On the last leg of his three-month, 16,500km journey across Australia on a Bushland Ag motor bike with a specially designed sidecar, Mr Wheeler was relieved to almost be home.
    "I am looking forward to the short three hours it will take to get home," he said when he reached Tamworth.
    Travelling from as far-east as Cape Byron through the desert to Alice Springs across to Steep Point in Western Australia, Mr Wheeler braved the desolation and heat – 55.3 degrees celsius – of the desert, punctured tyres and the intense winds and rains caused by a tropical cyclone on his trek.
    Inspired by a life-long love of travel, Mr Wheeler relied solely on the compassion of the dirt roads he was travelling on, camping out along the way.
    "The thing I loved most about this adventure was the experience of the isolation in the Australian desert. There is nowhere else on earth you can experience something like that," he said.
    An experienced adventurer to say the least, Mr Wheeler, an ex-commercial pilot, moved from the US to Australia 38 years ago. During the 1970s he undertook a 17,000km counter clockwise trip to circumnavigate Australia on a motorbike, which took just 21 days.

    Mr Wheeler currently holds the record for his self-made solar boat which travelled 600,000km on solar power alone and considers getting up each day an adventure.
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    Franks Honda Outfit
     
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  3. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    Quite amazing! Going on these adventurous trips takes some guts, and to do it on a 110 or 150cc bike is a challenge.
    This guy puts people on a big 1200 GS to shame - sometimes less is more.
    It's not the size of the bike of the adventure rider, it's the size of the adventure in the bike rider!
     
  4. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    You are right mate, Frank is a big bloke and could easily handle a large "adventure bike".
    It is own choice which he has adhered to for over 40 years. His other principle is no charities. Whether you agree with it or not, Frank does the adventures for himself, "adventure for adventures sake". No saving the 3 eyed frogs from See See Boom Boom in East Africa!
    Tom
     
  5. PICO-PICO

    PICO-PICO Ol'Timer

    I sometimes think of myself as invincible and a coward at the same time. Invincible I felt e.g.when I actively was planning to cross on my recumbent bicycle the Andes from Chile to Argentina with a group of cyclists. in retrospect I am glad that I chickened out at the last moment, it was simply prudent not to burden the group. Frank does it right, he takes things to the limit but never all too close.
    Wonderful
     
  6. KZ

    KZ Ol'Timer

    I know Honda built 125cc and 175cc dirt bikes and Enduros, but a 150cc...?
     

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