At the tender age of seven Pat Garrod, typically, knew his own mind. When asked what he wanted to be when he grew up his reply was as instant as it was ambitious.
"A doctor, an author, or a long-distance lorry driver."
Born in 1964 to parents brought up in the war he acquired a healthy respect for minimalism and inherent value, as well as a love of camping and the great outdoors. Family meals always took place under the alluring shadow of The Daily Telegraphs map of the world. This and the haunting words of a guest-speaker at a school prize-giving ceremony (with the coming of the jet engine the world has shrunk) left Pat with an insatiable desire to see the world, overland.
An avid cyclist through his teens, at the age of seventeen Pat developed an unhealthy fascination with motorcycles. In his final year at medical school a serious accident put him in hospital for three months and on crutches for a further year.
Since qualifying as a doctor in 1988 he has worked in various parts of the world including Australia, on expedition in Zimbabwe, and even a brief spell in Saudi Arabia before being flung out of the kingdom by a disgruntled Queen.
His time in Zimbabwe engendered within him a deep fascination for, and love of, the African continent. In 1995, eight years after the accident, he threw caution to the wind and climbed back on board a motorcycle. With girlfriend Vanessa as pillion he rode from Cairo to Cape Town. Since then the two of them have circumnavigated the globe and ridden across Africa three more times.
Pat now lives with his wife in Dorset, in a 270 year-old sea captain's cottage. He still cycles, recently for charity from Lands End to John O' Groats. He is an active supporter of WWF, Greenpeace and the Dorset Wildlife Trust, and is an obsessive windsurfer.
When not exploring some far-flung corner of the Earth he continues to practise as a GP.
Bearback has been reviewed by Sir. Ranulph Fiennes:
"A remarkable journey. Searching, honest, uplifting."