Stephanie Jeavons dropped by Mr. Ed’s Moto on Queen Avenue in Albany Tuesday to have a new seat made for her Honda 250 motorcycle — after already traveling 50,000 miles on a trek that started officially in London, England, as part of a round-the-world adventure.
To add Hub City to the route, it must be quite a seat.
Maybe more noteworthy is the fact Jeavons, who is from North Wales, made the trip on such a small bike; normally riders will run a 650 or bigger for such a trip. But that’s part of the plan. She may be the first person to undertake such a massive trip on a 250, and the fact it’s lightweight and mechanically simple makes it a great bike for her purposes.
Jeavons is two years into her adventure, having left in March 2014 from the iconic Ace Café in London, the legendary hangout for the café motorcycle racers in the late 1950s.
She’d sold her off-road motorbike school in Wales to finance most of the trip, with a plan to hit all seven continents before returning home. In her travels so far she’s been surrounded by mobs of Hindu pilgrims in India, where she got heat exhaustion, been trapped in a landslide in the Himalayas, touched the continent of Antarctica, and managed to spend a month in Iran, where it’s illegal for women to ride motorcycles on the streets. Regardless of the law, she said she only ever posed for photos with Iranian cops, had virtually all her meals paid for, and stayed a night at the home of an Iranian judge.
“I had no idea he was a judge at the time,” she said. “But when I asked him how he feels about the laws concerning women in Iran, he told me, ‘I have one opinion during the day, and another one at night.’”
Those are just a few of the highlights of her trip. Her Albany connection came on New Year’s Day, down at Coco’s Corner in Baja, Mexico, where she met Randy Perkins, a rider from Corvallis. She’d just come up the western coast of South America and through Central America before taking a break at the famous Baja spot.
Perkins offered her a place to stay if she came through the valley, and at the same time suggested she visit Don Weber at Mr. Ed’s. Of course, Weber being well known in the motorbike world she’d heard of him, and was all too happy to come out to have one of his custom seats fitted to her bike.
Relaxing in Weber’s shop Tuesday, classic rock wafting through the air, the three swapped stories of riding though other countries as her custom seat was prepared.
Weber and Perkins joke with her about having not only her bike, but herself, looked after during her two-week stay here. Along with the custom seat, Weber and Perkins hooked her up with a chiropractor.
“Everything was wearing out: me, the luggage,” joked Jeavons, who will turn 41 next year.
As far as the bike goes, she said she has not had a mechanical problem in her 50,000 miles, although she did crack the sub frame in Sumatra. She had it fixed very cheaply there after finding a local welder, who managed to not only fix it, but reinforce it as well.
Jeavons leaves the valley Thursday. She’s scheduled to give a talk in Seattle, and then it’s on to Alaska, and then back through Canada, and ultimately on to Africa, the seventh and final continent on her trip. In the meantime, she estimates she has likely another 20,000 miles and one more year’s worth of riding. She’d planned two years and 50,000 miles for the whole trip, but clearly she has exceeded that goal. So, three years and 70,000 miles later, she’ll be home, unless of course, more of the unexpected happens. And by design, adventures tend to go that way.
“The easy part is starting the trip,” she said. “The hard part is stopping.”