CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Motorcycle journalist Neale Bayly has explored much of the world on little more than two wheels, riding throughout 45 countries in 35 years, many of them at the helm of adventure-seeking expeditions. But this ride will be different.
Leading an eclectic band of travelers aboard BMW GS-800s and GS-1200s, each rider with varying degrees of riding experience, the unshaven, mop-haired Brit headlines Midgett Productions’ Neale Bayly Rides: Peru, a three-part series expected to air on SPEED in June. Produced by Emmy winner Linda Midgett, showrunner for History’s Gangland and Investigation Discovery’s FBI: Criminal Pursuit, Neale Bayly Rides: Peru spends nine days following a group of riders from Lima to Moquegua and the Hogar Belen Orphanage, where they will assist with multiple projects.
“I guarantee it will be a life-changing experience … for all of them,” said Bayly, who founded Wellspring International Outreach, in part, to support the orphanage. “You can’t go through something like this and come out the other side the same way. The way we sort of compress time and add so much adventure, excitement, adrenaline, hopes, fears … I think it will really dig into them emotionally.”
“Spend five minutes with Neale as he expresses his passion for this project and you, too, will be ready to drop what you are doing and join him on this odyssey that is so much more than the sum of its parts,” said SPEED’s VP of Programming and Executive Producer Robert Ecker. “There is nothing forced, faked or contrived about Neale; the ride to Peru is every bit as much about the journey as the destination. He really is this socially conscious two-wheel adventurer who wants to impact people’s lives and make the world a better place. His enthusiasm and passion are genuine and contagious.”
Joining Bayly on the service adventure, which began Sunday, Dr. Laura Ellis, Rev. James Johnson and Troy Rice will test themselves in a variety of ways.
Ellis, the least experienced rider of the trio, has spent nearly every weekend since Thanksgiving training in South Carolina under the tutelage of 20/20 Racing’s Ike Dejager at TNT Motorsports Park. No stranger to adventure sports -- she mountain bikes, rock climbs, deep sea dives and kayaks -- Ellis accepted the invitation despite her novice riding status, noting she was drawn to the journey for personal reasons.
“The charity component is the most important part of the ride for me,” said Ellis, an Asheville, N.C., surgeon and co-Medical Director at medAge. “This came at a very important time in my life. I turned 50 this year. My husband and I have been talking for the last two years about how we can give back. We’ve worked hard all of our lives … I think being open to opportunities like this at this point in our lives is important; not only being open, but responding.”
Troy Rice, an IT business owner and Charlotte, N.C.-based entrepreneur, brings four years of riding experience along for the trek, looking in some ways for a simple escape from the every day.
“It’s the fellowship of getting out in the middle of nowhere,” Rice said. “There is nobody that can call me on my cell phone about work. Just getting out there and rubbing handle bars … just getting back to the basics; almost like being a kid again.”
And it’s the third rider, the Presbyterian minister affectionately known as the “Whiskey Priest,” who offers big-picture perspective to the adventure. An accomplished rider and experienced world traveler, James Johnson was born and raised in the Bahamas and has been riding motorcycles since he was nine (he went to traffic court when he was 11 for doing 60 mph on a sidewalk).
“One of the best things about having traveled as much as I have, is you learn to put away certain expectations and just be open to the ride,” Johnson said. “The more I do that, the more I actually see new things, experience new things … and I always find that when you travel in a group like this, Dr. Laura or Neale or Troy are going to experience things that I wouldn’t see without being with them. It’s this shared experience of being together that just expands your horizons and your own experience. So, I’m trying to go into it as open-minded as possible … whatever comes. There is a fairly specific timeline and certain things we are trying to do, but just trying to be ready for it and suck the marrow out of life.”
SPEED, anchored by its popular and wide-ranging coverage of NASCAR, is the nation’s first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Now available in nearly 86 million homes in North America, SPEED, a member of the FOX Sports Media Group, is among the industry leaders in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services, including SPEED2, a groundbreaking new broadband network featuring live, streaming and on-demand events complementing offerings of the linear network. For more information, please visit SPEED.com, the online motor sports authority and follow us on Twitter: @SPEED.
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