June 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm #8852EddiebKeymaster
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV
Mongolian rangers are retiring their reindeer in favour of new motorcycles that a Hamilton couple have had a hand in supplying.
Next month Mike Britton and his partner Angela Bruce will travel to Mongolia to donate a new Yamaha AG200 motorcycle to national park rangers.
The donation is part of the Blue Waves Global Campaign rally, where Britton and 19 others will ride and present the bikes to the rangers in Tiaga, a small area on the east side of Lake Hovsgol, with Bruce travelling by vehicle.
The new bikes will help with daily tasks of catching illegal poachers, mining, logging and development around the national parks – something that has been difficult in recent times riding reindeer, horseback and old motorcycles.
As well as new bikes, they will also receive new uniforms and equipment for bike maintenance.
“We’re giving them a uniform that gives them presence amongst the Mongolian people so that they’re no longer wearing hand-me-down police uniforms; they are rangers with some mana (honour),” Britton said.
Last year he was part of the first rangers rally and enjoyed it.
“It was fantastic. The most important thing to me was actually handing over the bikes to the rangers and the look of bewilderment on their faces.”
Britton hopes to continue to participate in the annual project until all the rangers have new bikes.
“The idea is to get every national park in Mongolia. Get the rangers their equipment to do their job, give them all the information, tools and support to make sure they can look after the environment.”
Britton and Bruce own and operate “Britton Adventures,” a motorcycle business that runs group bike tours around New Zealand as well as Bali, Vietnam, Laos, Bolivia and Mongolia.
The couple have been to Mongolia six times with their tours and fell in love with the country.
“We’re quite passionate about Mongolia, it’s a really cool country,” Bruce said.
The trip is not cheap; with Bruce saying each donated motorcycle costs around $6,000 plus airfares and additional expenses.
“We wanted to be involved because we like to try and give something back to the country we run tours, and particularly ones that need it, and Mongolia certainly needs it,” she said.
To help contribute to Mike’s Blue Waves Global Campaign motorcycle rally, you can donate at mongolia.org/meet-the-riders/mike-britton/
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