Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Culture: Patsy Gets on Her Bike for Adventure; Patsy Quick Splits Her Time between Her Antique Shop in Sussex and Her Passion for Globe-Trotting Adventure Motorcycling. Daniel Thomson Talks to Her

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Culture: Patsy Gets on Her Bike for Adventure; Patsy Quick Splits Her Time between Her Antique Shop in Sussex and Her Passion for Globe-Trotting Adventure Motorcycling. Daniel Thomson Talks to Her

Article excerpt

Byline: Daniel Thomson

THE aptly named Patsy Quick may own an antique store, live on a farm, and sound like an English rose, but she's the closest thing you'll get to a real-life Lara Croft.

The only British woman to complete the Dakar Rally - a gruelling 9,000km race across North Africa and arguably the most dangerous rally of its kind in the world - Patsy is a legend in the world of adventure motorcycling and she has the scars to prove it.

"During my first attempt to complete the Dakar I crashed on a very high dune in Libya and was badly injured.

"I wanted to carry on, but I passed out and they had to fly me back to Cairo for an emergency operation. My life was in danger and I ended up losing my spleen."

She adds: "As you can imagine I had a few demons to get over before my next attempt, but I was too passionate to give up. There was never any question really."

Patsy finally completed the Dakar in 2006 and was congratulated by actor Ewan McGregor and his friend Charley Boorman, who was also competing in the rally last year.

Patsy will join Charley at The Journal Tyne Theatre on September 6 for a Motorbike Adventure evening presented by Whitley Bay-based company Biketruck.com. Launched by entrepreneur Billy Ward, Biketruck.com is new and innovative business, which will fly your bike out to North Africa - making an adventure motorcycling holidays an affordable reality.

Patsy, who has given her support to Billy's company, is out of action at the moment, as her leg is encased in plaster, but surprisingly it wasn't a spectacular crash that left her on the sidelines on this occasion.

"It's just typical," Patsy laughs. "I can race across the desert and survive, but I did my ankle in climbing out of a van."

Despite her injury, Patsy is still incredibly busy. Her biking company, Team Desert Rose, is building almost a dozen motorbikes for competitors preparing to take part in the next Dakar Rally.

Her company, named after the strange rose-like rock formations found in the Sahara, provides support for bikers attempting the epic race. "It's all systems go at the moment," Patsy says. "I really enjoy the mechanical side of things. We import the parts for the bikes from France and build them from scratch.

"We've got 11 guys entering this year and building the bikes allows them to concentrate on training and getting sponsorship.

"One guy has attempted the Dakar before, but it will be the first time for the others. We provide a complete support package from the moment they say they want to do the race, including teaching navigation and bike set-up and providing training trips to Morocco.

"We started working with this current bunch back in January."

After learning of Patsy's double life as an antique dealer and adventure motorcyclist, it doesn't really surprise me to hear she is also a mechanic. …

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