SELLING UP A £200,000 HOUSE FOR A ROUND-THE-WORLD JOURNEY on her Harley Davidson motorbike, Sue O’Grady, 62, is off on the road trip of a lifetime.
Sue’s family are cautious about her plans. She told The Yorkshire Post: “They think I’m absolutely crazy.”
“But you only live once, and I’m going to make the best of it while I’ve got the chance.”
She plans to depart on her 1400cc metal monster as soon as her house, where she has lived for the past 20 years, has sold. Determined to live life to the full, she said: “I’ve traveled an awful lot of miles over the last few years, but I’m itching to see the rest of the world now.”
Originally a hairdresser from Sprotbrough, Doncaster, the divorced mother of two and grandmother of one intends to be on the road for a long time.
“I can travel a long way and see a lot of the world with the proceeds from the sale, and if I can stretch the money out and make it last for eight or 10 years then so much the better.”
However, her grandson has taken to calling her ‘barmy’: “Josh has even started calling me Banny – which is short for Barmy Granny – but there’s no point dreaming about something and then not carrying it through.”
Armed with advice and route ideas from fellow Harley owners in America, South Africa and the Middle East, Sue wants to expand on her traveling repertoire. She has already clocked up 100,000 miles on the £18,000 motorbike.
“I’ve virtually done all of Europe already, apart from Russia, but there’s the whole of America to explore, and Africa and the Middle East and Australia to look at as well.”
She said: “I love my home, I’ve lived there a long time and it’s everything I ever wanted, but I probably love my Harley a lot more on balance, so the house has got to go.”
Sue plans to travel to India too, but will hire the World War II favourite bike, the Royal Enfield, while over there. She says this is easier than taking her Harley across, and that there will always be support on hand, regardless.
“I doubt I’ll be travelling alone because there’ll be bikers to meet wherever I go.”
It was an ex-lover who first sparked Sue O’Grady’s love for motorcycles. “I caught the bug from an old boyfriend, who used to take me out on the back of his bike years ago, and Harleys are in my blood now. They’re fantastic bikes, and mine’s an absolute beauty and it’s just a dream to ride.”
She added: “You can’t afford to hang about at my age. If I don’t do it now then I might never get round to leaving Doncaster, and then I’d regret it forever.”
Inspired? Look out for these classics:
The Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara
On The Road, Jack Kerouac
Long Way Round, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson
Travels With Charley in Search of America, John Steinbeck