Real life survivor man rides motorcycle across the world

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

GREENE COUNTY, MS (WLOX)- "This television program, 'Survivor,' it's nothing," said 65-year-old Ian Coats.  "They ought to come with this [motorcycle], up through Africa. And that's surviving."

Ian Coats' ride started in 1999 when he took his motorcycle from South Africa, all the way to his home in West Yorkshire, England. And it hasn't stopped since then. He carries only a tent, a loaf of bread, water, and sardines. He also has a small toolbox strapped to his motorcycle.

In the past nine years, he and his bike have seen seventy different countries.  His motorcycle wears the stickers from many of them, including Paraguay, New Zealand, Ecuador, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Trinidad, and Tobago, just to name a few. He's survived everything from intense cold in Argentina to sandstorms in Sudan.

"Several women in Guatemala picked my pocket and robbed my money. I was a bit down on them," he said.

"In Mexico, I got knocked off [my motorcycle], hit by a car, and damaged the bike," he said.  "Well, I couldn't ride it for a week, and my shoulder was hurt and it ripped everything."

That's when he came here to South Mississippi to spend Christmas with his friends Brent and Delisa Albreight. It's his second time to visit.

"It's always enjoyable, he's always got a story for us," said Brent Albreight.

"Yeah it's just extremely fascinating being able to hear all the places that he's been and all the adventures that he's had traveling around the world," added Delisa Albreight.

There are some perks to his new lifestyle.

"I don't worry about anything. Not a thing. I don't smoke, I drink very little. Eat very simple. No stress at all. No stress, that's it," said Coats.

That may surprise you when you consider he's riding through some of the most dangerous countries in the world.

"You should never take a lot of notice of what people say if they've never been [to a certain country]," he said.  "I find all over Africa, people say, 'Don't go there, they'll kill you.' And I say 'Have you ever been?'"

He adds that he thinks Colombia has the most hospitable people of anywhere he's been so far.  But South Mississippi isn't far behind.

"Yeah, I like it here," he said.  "It's very nice- the weather's good. Very hot."

Coats' next stop is Alaska.  From there he plans to explore Asia and the Middle East.