Clinton Wood didn’t have a plan to ride around the world — but he did — and that’s how he likes to travel.
The 45-year-old cabinet maker and now Postie from Ipswich in Queensland says he has ridden more than 100,000km in more than 30 countries and three continents almost by accident.
He certainly didn’t plan it that way.
“I used to ride around Fernvale as a kid with dad and my cousins on riding holidays, but when we moved back to town I stopped riding bikes,” he says.
“I started riding again 10 years ago.”
He says his return to riding started on a slow bus ride up the Himalayas.
“I was going mad. I had travelled for 10 years relying on people driving me from place to place and it was enough.
“So when I saw a bike (Royal Enfield Bullet 350) for sale I thought I’d buy that and just ride that back down the mountain.
“Well, I rode it back to Delhi and then I just kept on going. I eventually rode 18,000km around India on that first trip and then spent another six years just riding around India and Nepal.
“I was hooked.”
Clinton was in Kathmandu in early 2015 and had just extended his visa when the earthquake struck, knocking him and his girlfriend to the ground.
“Buildings were going down around us so I said let’s get back on the bike and get out before it goes crazy,” he says.
“I was riding against a tide of people escaping to open space in a park in the middle of town.
“We spent several days sleeping out in the open in the cold and rain.
“There were thousands of small quakes afterwards. It was the scariest time.”
He hadn’t planned it that way but he stayed for six weeks helping the locals recover from the devastating earthquake.
While in India and Nepal, Clinton says he kept meeting Europeans heading to Australia on their motorcycles; mainly Honda Transalps and Dominators.
“I didn’t know you could do that,” he says.
So when he returned to Australia in late 2015 he bought a 2005 XL650 in Sydney and rode it home to the Sunshine Coast.
That Transalp also took him from Australia to London almost by accident in 2016.
“I just wanted to do a camping trip for a few weeks up to the Daintree,” he says.
“When I got to Mission Beach I couldn’t turn back so I started heading west.
“Along the way I ran into a guy on a postie bike and he had no idea where he was going either so we made a pact that if we met up again in Darwin we would continue on to Asia.
“We did and I eventually ended up in London about 11 months later.”
That Transalp is still in London and his Bullet is still in India, waiting for the pandemic to end and for Clinton to continue his life of travel.
Meanwhile, he has another Transalp in Australia.
He was about to use it to start a motorcycle travel company, but then the bushfires hit, followed by the pandemic which ruined that plan.
When the overseas travel restrictions lift, Clinton will be off again.
Clinton wants to ride from London to Cape Town and he also wants to spend some time in Italy and other countries around the Adriatic Sea. Then there’s that Bullet in India …
He doesn’t seem to have a set plan and takes things at a measured pace.
“I don’t ride hard. Why go so fast on a motorcycle and not see everything?
“A motorcycle is a tool for pleasure. Take it slow or the bike will full apart.
“I didn’t travel the world to go fast.”
He also wants to write a novel about his travels when he finally gets time.
Judging by the tales he has to tell, it should be a good read.