There is one section of our upcoming trip that fills me with trepidation and excitement all at the same time. It is Mongolia. We are planning on crossing it from southern Siberia in the north to the west of the country back into Russia. That means a vast area no roads, just multiple tracks across the Mongolian steppe and many, many river crossings. The area we will travel is very remote in places with challenging terrain so we need to be self sufficient. It is important we are as prepared as we can be.
When we decided to embark on our RTW trip in 2014, we were not in our home country, we had no bikes, we had no equipment, we just had an idea and off we went. This time it is different and we have had a few months to plan it. We now have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, an EPIRB – the ResQLink model. If we are in absolute dire straits, we press the button which sends a message via satellite with our location coordinates and rescue arrives, eventually. We have better boots, which will provide more protection when the bike decides to take a nap – our new Sidi Adventure boots with hinged ankle for comfort, but no lateral movement for ankle protection. And finally, we went on a course last week end which we should ideally have attended before our round the world motorcycle trip in 2014. But considering that trip just happened, it is not too surprising. Better late than never!!…
We attended a First Aid for Motorcyclists course. It is not a full first aid course – that, we did separately a few years back. This one is more of an motorcycle trauma and accident scene management course which complements a standard first aid course. The training is designed to give us practical and relevant skills in trauma managenent first aid. What should you do when you first arrive on the scene. When should you move the body. When should you do CPR. How do you remove a full face helmet. How do you move the person. How do you provide emergency first aid. So many tips, drilled into us several times over the course of the day, with many practical exercises. “Life over Limb” is drilled into us!
The course organisers got the idea of creating such a course after a traumatic personnal event: they were riding with a large group of motorcyclists when their best friend had an accident. Everyone there had different opinions on what to do and especially on whether CPR was warranted. Nobody took control of the scene. Eventually, CPR was given, but too late and their friend, while he survived, ended up with brain damage.
The course was quite confronting at times, with real life images and situations. The memory of Anthony’s accident back in December 2012 came back and hit me like I hadn’t expected. Luckily for Anthony, he still has no recollection of his accident. My eyes start welling up, my throat in a knot, my stomach churning, I feel sick, doubts creep into my mind. What are we about to embark on?! Anthony and I glance at each other – the same thoughts enter our minds. The course is very practical, raw at times. More practice, more emphasis, more examples.
But by the end of the day, I feel calm and confident. No more doubts. But peace of mind.
We highly recommend this course for anyone riding a motorcycle, whether rider or pillion. Here’s a link to Tracy and Roger’s courses in Australia https://www.firstaidformotorcyclists.com.au/