And I Would Ride 5,000 Miles

And I Would Ride 5,000 Miles

Most parents say they would go to the ends of the earth for their children, but not so many have the courage and means to follow through with that promise. Yet, this past weekend one mother departed Nanjing on a motorbike, with her two daughters in Europe as the destination.

There is little question that Li Chunhui has dedicated her life to her children. The motorcycle enthusiast estimates that her entire journey shall total 38,000 kilometres, passing through more than 20 countries to and from her visit with her daughters, one studying at the Fontyse Conservatory in the Netherlands and the other at the Royal College of Music in the UK. 

Li plans to use this as an opportunity to teach her daughters that anything is possible in life if you try. The idea took root with her children having both flown the nest; Li found herself with more time to cultivate her own hobbies, specifically heavy-duty motorcycles.

Beginning in 2017, Li joined the Nanjing Legend Car Fan Club, when upon she was inspired to make her dream of riding around the world to see her daughters a reality. For the unconventional journey, she completed much of the planning by herself; six motorcycles and a pickup truck accompany her team to ensure safety along the Eurasian journey.

Setting off from Nanjing on 26 May at 2pm, Li told reporters that in preparation for the journey, she bought a new motorcycle and conducted more than 8,000 kilometres of test rides in Nanjing’s surrounding cities. In addition, after this year’s Spring Festival, Li also started studying English to aid communication during the journey, while increasing her fitness levels to complete the physically-demanding journey.

Traveling through Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Netherlands and more, she expects that the journey will not only be physically challenging, but also spiritually so, for both her and her teammates. 

Before her departure, Li had memorised the planned route in detail and prepared for as many eventualities as she could, such as the flat tyres, winding mountain roads and oil pump problems which had plagued her previous experience of long-distance motorcycle rides. 

Of her most memorable, from Fujian to Nanjing, completed in 18 hours, Li recalled, “On the bike, nothing bothers you; only the wind and freedom can be felt”. With such a sentiment, surely Li shall fulfill her challenging dream of riding almost half way around the world to see her daughters.