For Kevin Lear there is no better excitement or purpose in life than riding his motorbike.
Kevin runs MotorBikeTV, MotorBike Tours of Cumbria and MotorBike Adventures of India. To name a few.
Kevin has filmed video diaries while riding his motorbike around countries including India (3 times), Cyprus and Tenerife.
Kevin has now produced a feature film called ‘Cumbria by MotorBike’,
The film is being showcased online via Amazon Prime (just search ‘cumbria by motorbike’)
Kevin’s film has received stunning reviews, here are just a few:
Fantastic watch, a normal bloke doing what he loves. Its not Hollywood production and if it was it would ruin the authenticity of it. A raw and true reflection of Cumbria, makes me want to kit my bike up and cycle up there. Keep the films and videos coming Kev.
Fantastic video, now my family and friends understand why I spend a couple of days a week riding these routes, watched it with my wife and son last Saturday and then again after Sunday tea with my 84 year old Mum who introduced me to the Lakes as a kid …. they all loved it.
Absolutely fantastic, stunning views of the Lake District brought to life by Kevin, his passion for the area and motorbiking shines through, hopeful will bump into him one day while riding ( not literally haha) up there. Cant wait to see more from Kevin, Brilliant
Kevin goes on to say, “The Lakes is one of the reasons I moved to Cumbria from the north east,” he says. “I haven’t got tired of it. There’s bits of road I’ve been on so many times I’ve worn a groove in them.”
Kevin, 61, lives near Appleby and has produced hundreds of videos, many of them subtitled Motorbike Tours Cumbria. These have been viewed by thousands of people on YouTube and Vimeo platforms
Kevins film will soon debut not on phones and computers but on cinema screens.
Its premiere will come at the Roxy in Ulverston before a showing at the Royalty in Bowness-on-Windermere.
Kevin’s local knowledge and enthusiasm are key to this. Technology also plays a part. He says: “When I started making videos in 2009 I was using a head camera (cost me £75 used from ebay), as he still does. But there was no stability. The whole thing was bouncing about. Now everything is so smooth.
Kevin has contacted Cumbria Tourism, Visit Eden and Visit Keswick. None has replied.
Kevin says: “I don’t think this is true of Visit Eden, because I’ve worked with them before. But in my opinion Cumbria Tourism and Visit Keswick do not want to promote motorbike riding in the Lake District.
“Their belief is we’re going to tear around the roads, terrorising the sheep and creating mayhem. What they fail to realise is, we’re mature guys. We’re the only ones who can afford the damn things!, and bring much needed tourism pennies into Cumbria.
“They’ve given me not one iota of interest. That annoyed me.”
The film will be sponsored by Held Rider Equipment, a company which makes motorbike clothing.
In 2000 Kevin underwent a lifesaving operation to remove his large colon and fit an ileostomy bag.
Kevin also has type 1 diabetes, arthritis in both shoulders, 50 per cent lung function, and recently had an investigation for possible heart disease. Thankfully Kevin was given the all clear.
He used to think life was long – there was plenty of time to do so much. His health problems and the deaths of friends have taught him otherwise. A trip to Cyprus a few months ago added to the lesson.
“I was going to ride on the island and make all these films. I’d been there in the army in my early twenties. I’m riding down the road and – oh my god, that’s it, Kyrenia Beach Bar, the very beach Kevin was last on 38 years ago.
“All of a sudden it was like a time machine. I’d last run up this hill with a guy called Dave Lawrence. We were all drinking brandy sours. I was 22.
Kevin stood on the beach looking out to sea “The waves were lapping in. It was like, there’s my 22-year-old self, standing there next to me, it was as if I’d travelled back in time, standing wondering where the last 38 years had gone
“I had to get away. When I went back to my accommodation, I ended up sobbing my heart out. I wondered, where the hell has this come from? I thought afterwards, I should have been happy I’m still alive. But that’s just how I am. I was due to stay there another week and a half. I brought my flight forward and just left.”
Reflecting now, it’s clear to Kevin that he was jolted into realising that life is short and time is passing quickly. His response is to try and leave a legacy.
“The legacy is doing what I enjoy. The films, the books, the photos. If one person says they enjoy it, it’s been worthwhile. You think, what have I done? I have experienced a hell of a lot. But I don’t know how much longer I’ve got. There’s still so much that I want to do.”
This includes a trip to India in January 2020, possibly for three months, to make a film. Kevin last rode there for in 2015 and wrote a book about it, called ‘Touring Rajasthan by MotorBike’. (available via Amazon)
Kevin’s next India film is provisionally titled Tea, Tigers and Temples.
“The temples blow my bloody mind,” he says. “They are incredible. I want to see a tiger in the wild. I absolutely love them. I want to tell the story of tea. I know it’s been done, but not by me.”