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/
Well you really are prepared and hopefully your bodies and minds will be fully focused. I admire your ability to be thoroughly prepared and engaged .Looking forward to all the exciting aadventures. Lots of love .
Thank you Lesley. You are never fully ready before you start such a trip so the trick is doing what you can’t easily do on the road. The rest will happen along the way. We are just about done and looking forward to heading off. Lots of love xx
Fear is mostly caused by lack of preparation.
I am sure you two are fully prepared.
That is the best recommendation for something like this.
All the power and light to you both in this endeavor.
Hugs and see you again back here.
Thank you Nuno. Watching too many motorcycle videos feeds the fear and is not helpful sometimes but is also a great incentive to preparing oneself as best as possible. Must catch up when we get back. X
I’m impressed with your forward thinking. Are you also preparing physically too (knees bend, arms stretch, rah rah rah). Any exercise routines you’d care to share that we can do from our armchairs would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks Phillip. Tennis ball in your left hand will build up strength for when there is a lot of gear changing. I have a spring hand gripper which I have in the kitchen and use whenever I see it.
As the old song goes : … what’s the use of worrying? It never was worthwhile.
so, pack up your troubles in your old kitbag
or, as Julian of Norwich put it more succinctly,
“all is well, and all shall be well”
Thank you M’my, I will have this old marching song in my head as we’re riding along and we can both remember Julian’s words – thank you for this history lesson too. Lots of love. Xx
I’ve been meaning to find a wilderness first responder class near me. For all the hiking and exploring we do I should also rebuild our day pack with a low profile trauma and first aid kit too. We keep kits in all our vehicles, but I think it’s time for a revisit. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Tobias. We all pick up new tips from all over the place. Glad this was useful to you. Safe and happy travels!
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I always like reading about what people are learning about. It gives me a place to start. I think too many people pretend to be experts when they can just as easily share what they are learning and ask for advice. I always try to do the latter. My hope is it makes my stories easier to read. You certainly do this well, and it makes reading your stories really enjoyable.
Thanks Tobias. And absolutely, it’s all about sharing and paying it back or forward :-).
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Great idea to do a first aid course. Be prepared. Hopefully you won’t need it but good to know what to do 👍🏼
Absolutely, like insurance, best be prepared and hope you never need to use it.
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I would strongly suggest attending a program that is taught by professionals (paramedics, first responders, nurses etc) – the course mentioned in this article is not. In the USA, best program: https://roadguardians.org – in Australia, there are two programs conducted by Paramedics – http://www.asma.org.au and http://www.RiderDown.com.au – Rider Down is a finalist in the Australian Road Safety Awards. Hope this helps.
Thank you RiderDown for mentioning other organisations such as yours which provide similar training. We were very happy with the people who gave the course – professional, fully trained, qualified and equipped to provide the course but the aim of my post was to share the value I got from attending an accident scene management course rather than promoting one organisation over another.
Bravo for this blog where I sensed groundedness mixed with calmness. You two are definitely ready for your trip! We ourselves are ready for your arrival, can’t wait..😊 xxx
Merci sœur chérie. Yes we feel ready, as ready as we can be – visas will get sorted on the road. Not long now 🙂 xxx