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Surveying Siberia on a 70-year-old motorcycle

Sunday 29 January 2012


From the London Evening Standard:


Simon Limpus and Dave Murray
Simon Limpus and Dave Murray

Surveying Siberia on a 70-year-old motorcycle

Fatema Pittalwala
26 Jan 2012

A London surveyor is celebrating his return to health after battling chronic fatigue by crossing Siberia on a motorbike in temperatures as low as -60C.

Simon Limpus, 31, from Acton, with his New Zealander team-mate Dave Murray, 32, will be taking part in a race in some of the world's harshest conditions - on a WW2 vintage Russian Ural motorbike and sidecar.

The 1,500km race will start on February 11 in Irbit, go along the river Ob and end on February 24 at Salkhard in the Artic Circle.

The duo will sleep in tents along the way, and live off dried food and melted snow. Temperatures at this time of the year are expected to range between -10C to -60C.

They and the other teams will go equipped for blizzards that would freeze exposed skin and severe winds that could knock them off their bikes instantly.

They are also prepared for the fact that the 70-year-old models they will be riding are likely to break down.

Both Mr Limpus and Mr Murray will be carrying parts in case of that eventuality and will repair the bike themselves, having undergone a course in mechanics in preparation.

Mr Limpus said: "No one has done this challenge before, and the fantastic thing for Dave and me is to complete something so difficult. The challenge is gruelling but yet fun in the end."

He is raising money for the Optimum Health Clinic Foundation (OHC), which treats Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), after suffering from the disorder for seven years.

The condition made him give up his work as a surveyor. But he has slowly rebuilt his strength, playing rugby again in 2010 and taking part in another motorcycle charity run through South America.

Mr Limpus, who said he is ready to go back to work and will look for a job after the race, added that he wanted to use the trip to raise awareness of the condition and the charity.

"To be in the position to attempt this challenge I would not have even dreamed of a few years ago," he said. "I am very grateful for the OHC for the huge support and source of knowledge during this period of my poor health. There are a lot of people with CFS who I can give some hope and so I will try and not let them down."

The race, organised for the first time this year by fundraising group The Adventurists, is left wholly to the competitors, whose challenge is to find their own way from start to finish using a compass, stars and maps.

Mr Limpus said that he was preparing for the extreme cold by putting his head in a freezer and will be doing dry runs with all the equipment on his arrival in Russia a few days before the race.


The above originally appeared here.


2012 Ice Run - Siberia


Simon's charity (The Optimum Health Clinic Foundation)


Dave's charity (Youth Focus)



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