James Heaney

I was born at a very young age in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire and I’ve always been keen on motorised vehicles. My first experience on a motorcycle was at the age of 9, riding pillion on a friend of my Dad’s BMW touring bike and the interest in riding them since then has been simmering away in the back of my mind. At the age of 14 I rode a moped for the first time in France, much to the annoyance of the gendarmerie! Since then though I had never ridden properly until I was 23. What else would impress the ladies more than being a motorcyclist (and a musician)? So I decided to take my CBT on a 125cc and immediately, I loved it. I took my full test and bought a Suzuki SV650. I was absolutely enthralled by it, and after a couple of weeks I took my first adventure over to France for the weekend.

Unfortunately though, after about a month of owning it, I was knocked off it and I broke my tibia and fibula in my right leg, writing off the SV in the process. I was immobilised for six months, just stuck in bed watching TV. I watched re-runs of Long Way Round and Long Way Down and it started to inspire me. I was fearful of getting back onto a motorcycle, but I desperately wanted to. I wanted to try and face my fear head on, and so the (ridiculously ambitious) project One Route was born...