THE open road is beckoning once again for a daring pair of female bikers.
Sheonagh Ravensdale and Pat Thomson, from Weymouth, are getting ready to go full throttle across the globe for the second time on their Honda Falcon NX400s.
The pair plan to pitch their tents overnight as they live out the Thelma and Louise dream – on two wheels.
Their jaunt across Central America and Asia, beginning in October, is freelance marketing rep Sheonagh’s way of marking her 60th birthday.
After returning from a 15,000-mile bike trip through South America and North America with Pat in 2006, her wanderlust has returned with a vengeance.
Sheonagh said: “The travel bug is like an incurable disease.
“I’ve been biking for 35 years and I love the sense that you are completely in charge of your own destiny.
“You’re living on the edge. You have to be completely alert and aware of every moment you are on your bike for.”
The former president of the Women’s International Motorcycle Association (WIMA) even fitted in some award-winning photography while she was in Bolivia.
Sheonagh’s shot of Pat, 56, in a spot of bother with one of the Brazilian trail bikes on a sandy road between Uyuni and Oruro won a Guardian photography award.
The prize was a giant framed print of the winning picture and a print of another favourite shot from the road.
Pat said: “I love travelling on the bikes, but I feel a bit nervous in the lead up to going away.
“I haven’t started working on the bikes yet so I’m not sure how much needs to be done.”
Round-the-world biking brought with it its fair share of problems last time around and Sheonagh expects this to be repeated again.
“It’s hard to take bikes into some of the countries – China is somewhere where we could smuggle our bikes into the country in a lorry. But if we get caught we could get deported.”
But Sheonagh and Pat, who is a retired QinetiQ physicist, are ready to take the rough with the smooth for their next dream road trip.
Her travels have inspired Sheonagh to set up and run a charity for girls in Mumbai who are at risk from or who have been rescued from child prostitution.
The cause, India Street Kids, has already raised around £35,000.
“I think more women should do something like this because it gives you so much confidence.
“If you can ride a motorcycle through countries like this, then you can do anything,” Sheonagh said.