Meet Lavi and Ollie… Record breaking globe trotters.

by MotoGusto
MotoGusto Magazine Adventure Motorcycling

Lavi & Ollie spent two years travelling around Australia before heading off and exploring elsewhere using the “where can we get the cheapest flight to from here?” technique.

Five years ago, before anyone knew what “COVID 19” was (because it didn’t exist), picture two young men having a drink after working all day in the Apple store in London, enthusiastically discussing their dreams to travel the world… 

One of them sets off by motorcycle to circumnavigate the globe and attempt to set a new World Record for Youngest Male to do so (but doesn’t because he discovers the world is a distractingly exciting place he doesn’t want to rush through). He’s now familiar to many as Ben King, AKA King on the Road, who had the audience rolling in the aisles at The Overland Event and the Armchair Adventure Festival last September, and at Overland’s Winter Warmer in February this year.

One of them sets off to circumnavigate the globe and attempts to set a new World Record!

So what did the other guy do? Well he set off for Australia and when working on a cherry farm in Tasmania he fell for a German girl called Lavi Scholl, and that’s how Ollie Gamblin and she became ‘Lavi & Ollie’. (Funny how those German girls can snare you in Australasia as Sam Manicom found out with Birgit!) 

Lavi & Ollie then spent two years travelling around Australia in an old van with no air con, before heading off and exploring elsewhere using the “where can we get the cheapest flight to from here?” technique. That took them on a 3,000km walk across New Zealand and on to Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Timor-Leste, all of which they explored by scooter. Ollie had ridden motorcycles since he was sixteen, starting with a Vespa before moving on to a Suzuki Marauder 125 and then a Kawasaki Eliminator 250 when he lived and worked in London.

Further exploration was curtailed by the arrival of COVID, but they managed to explore Europe once lockdowns had lifted by buying a Peugeot Expert van with 110,000 miles on the clock for £500, building a bed frame into the back of it and setting off for four months, covering 15,000km in the process.

Back in the UK with international travel still difficult, the pair were considering cycling around the world, and so decided to start with a cycle 2000 km from John O’Groats to Land’s End. That was enough to convince them both that bicycles were infinitely better with an engine in them (we could have told them that!) and so a plan was hatched to ride around the world 2-up. When they realised that there is no current World Record for doing this, they decided to add a bit of fun to the proceedings by making it an official Guinness World Record attempt to be the youngest couple to do so.

Currently aged 33 and 31, Lavi & Ollie expect the record to be beaten, particularly as they have set aside two years for the trip, but it will mean that a record has been established to be beaten.

The Guinness rules for such records mean they have some additional logistical hurdles, particularly the requirement for two antipodal points with Russia likely to be out of play for travellers for some time, but they have a number of contingency plans.

In terms of a bike, Ollie reckoned a 250cc cruiser might cut a dash on the mean streets of London, but wasn’t going to hack it in the rest of the world, so they’ve managed to persuade Motorcycle World in Northampton to lend them an ex-demonstrator Suzuki V-Strom 1050 for the duration of the trip. Riding a much bigger bike two up and off-road is a big step to take all in one go but Ollie is up for the challenge.

MotoGusto met up with them at the Super Sausage Café on 10th April for breakfast before they headed down to the Ace Café for their official Ride Off on their RTW record attempt.

Initially they were setting off for Europe to tentatively ride some of the TET as they travel down to North Africa, then on down the coast of West Africa to Senegal, where they will ship to South America. 

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We’ll be watching their progress with interest, and you can too…
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