Dakar Ralley Competitor
Tamsin is something of an expert when it comes to motorcycle endurance races, having beaten the famed Dakar rally on her very first attempt in 2010. Not content to rest on her laurels, however, she also currently holds the women’s world record for the highest altitude ride up Everest.
When not competing Tamsin can be found sharing her unbridled passion for endurance racing with both children and adults alike, having racked up 10 years experience as a qualified off-road instructor. You might wonder how someone so committed to endurance racing chooses to relax? The answer: by planning and undertaking epic overland trips in Africa, Australia and India, amongst other far-flung destinations.
Who is Tamsin Jones?
Tamsin Jones is …
Where do you live?
I live in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales.
What do you do?
Off road motorcycle instructor and fundraiser for a charity called TRAX Motor Project in Oxfordshire. Travel riding and racing motorcycle all over the world.
How long have you been doing this?
Where’s your favourite place to work?
In the forests of South Wales.
What is the best country you’ve ever visited and why?
Uganda: I didn’t know anything about it before I went when I was 19 and it opened my eyes to a lot of things. It was just after the hutu and tutsi war. Around every corner was a new challenge and amazing scenery.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Work and the smell of coffee.
When are you happiest?
When the sun is shining.
What makes you angry?
My computer not working properly, the way people treat animals, the way people treat each other and bad customer service.
What makes you happy?
Being outside in nature.
Do you have any regrets?
I should see my friends more.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Always finish what you have started. If you have an insurmountable task just break it down into little chunks and ensure each chunk is finished before starting another one. It’s from conservationist Lawrence Anthony’s book: Babylons Ark
What are your extravagances?
Sitting in front of the fire watching telly, having a glass of wine and eating chocolate.
Who do you admire?
David Attenborough, Lawrence Anthony, Dame Daphne Sheldrick and my granddad.
What’s the most important thing in your life?
Time and balance.
What would you never throw away?
A little teapot stand and sewing box which belonged to my grandma.
What’s your greatest fear?
What was your lucky escape?
On the first special test on a rally in Morocco I was over taking a group of quads, as I was in their dust in the desert. I was flat out on the side of the track when I saw a fence post, then another one then I saw barbed wire in between it. I was going way to fast to stop so I thought the only way through was to try and snap the barbed wire but hitting it as fast as I could – it looked pretty rusty stuff. So I hit it as fast as I could and could feel the fence posts pulling out of the ground. Eventually I came to a stop with miles of barbed wire and fencing strewn behind me. It took me a long time to suss out that red mist in rallies is no good and it is never won on the first couple of days. I have many lucky escapes and if I was a cat I should be dead.
What is your dream meal?
Tom yum soup – very hot, a fantastic thai chicken curry and some awesome icecream.
What is your favourite piece of kit (hardware or clothing)?
KTM 250 2 stoke, I love beanie hats.
If you could only pack 5 items for a trip, what would they be?
Motorbike, Mountain bike, Clothes, Passport, Cash.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt?
Believe in yourself.
If you could have dinner with three famous people (dead or alive) who would they be?
David Attenborough, Steve McQueen and Malcolm Smith (a famous old motorcycle racer).
What saying do you use too much?
Awesome – just recently started saying it a lot – its really annoying.
What was the last magazine you read?
Adventure Bike Rider
What music are you listening to at the moment?
Florence and the machine, Mumford and sons
What are your weaknesses?
Trying to get too much done in one day.
What does the future hold for you?
I have a new passion and that is trying to do something for the elephant s and rhinos in Africa. Hopefully we can mix riding motorbikes, raising money and travelling to Kenya to see charities working to help them.
What does the future hold for your chosen industry?
Adventure travel on motorbikes is very popular since the Charlie Boorman shows. We are having more bookings from people wanting to do trips rather than enduros or rally racing.
What’s your favourite piece of Craghoppers clothing?
I love the fleece (I wear it for everything) and soft shell jacket.