Motorcycle journalist Neale Bayly has explored much of the world on two wheels, visiting 45 countries in 35 years, many of them at the helm of adventure-seeking expeditions. But this ride will be different. BMW Motorrad USA and BMW Performance Driving School are sponsoring an “extreme motorcycle adventure with a purpose” which will air as a three part series on the Speed™ Channel premiering Sunday, June 9 at 9 pm ET.
Leading an eclectic group of travelers on a multi-day trek across extreme Peruvian terrain aboard BMW F800GS and R1200GS enduro motorcycles, the unshaven, mop-haired Brit headlines Midgett Productions’ Neale Bayly Rides: Peru.
Produced by Emmy-winner Linda Midgett (showrunner for History’s Gangland and Investigation Discovery’s FBI: Criminal Pursuit), Neale Bayly Rides: Peru follows a group of average riders with varying degrees of experience as they take the trip of a lifetime to Peru. They face challenging deserts and mountains from Lima to Moquegua… but find it’s all worthwhile when their journey leads them to the Hogar Belen Orphanage, where they assist with multiple projects.
While the sheer distance of the ride for Dr. Laura Ellis, Rev. James Johnson and Troy Rice proves challenging over nine days and 1,700 less-than-comfortable miles, two especially grueling segments of the trek stand out during the specials — riding through the deep sand of Paracus National Park and crossing the Andes at 14,500 feet in thick, freezing fog.
“It was 32 degrees and we had to keep our visors open because they were fogging on the inside and freezing rain was slapping the outside,” said Ellis, an Asheville, N.C., surgeon and co-Medical Director at medAge, who cited the mountain ride as the moment she questioned whether or not she would finish the adventure. “The Diamox (acute mountain sickness medicine) caused my fingers and arms to feel tingling and numb, it was freezing cold, we were traveling at extremely low speed due to 10-to-15-foot visibility, so operating the clutch lever was constant.
“It was the end of the day after riding from sea level, and the road was twisty and downhill, with huge trucks coming from the other direction and drop-offs that we could not see,” Ellis added. “We could barely see each other’s tail lights. There were large rocks in the road and pot holes from rock falls and poor road maintenance… there were moments of extreme exhaustion, but also moments that made me laugh with excitement – ‘How cool it all was — what an awesome experience — who gets to do this kind of crazy stuff?’ That’s what I would keep saying to myself while laughing.”
And while each rider absorbs the experience differently, Bayly is quick to point out that real change for the trio may be yet to come. “After such an intense experience, people need time to process everything,” said Bayly, “so, I don’t think we’ll see the full effect of the journey for some months, even years to come.”
For the Backstory on Neale Bayly Rides: Peru, including colorful details about Neale Bayly, the cast and team, sponsors and Wellspring International Outreach, visit the show’s website.