How did you come up with the idea?
Strangely enough, the idea was borne after a motorbike racing crash I had in 2011. It was either having too much time to think whilst in my hospital bed, or the concussion!
How did you get into motorbikes?
I have always been around bikes, my cousins, uncles and grandfathers were all keen motorbike enthusiasts. I started at the age of seven riding around on a mini quad bike. Soon there was a small gang of friends spending hours making jumps and laying out new tracks. Practising Motocross with my friends dominated most of my teenage years. However, I did not start competing until I was older as my parents were against the idea at the time. My first competition was on a trials bike which gave me a good understanding of balance and control. I managed to work my way through the groups and had plenty of success at a decent level. After nearly a decade of Motocross, I switched to Supermoto competing in several different events in Latvia and Belgium and tried my hand at circuit racing too.
What was your ‘lightbulb’ moment?
I don’t remember which magazine it was, but a friend had brought several caravan and motorhome magazines into the hospital as a bit of a joke. It was enough to get my mind focused on something other than my lack of morphine which was being reduced daily after my operation!
After years of sleeping in my van whilst on motorbike tours, the idea hit me to convert an old bus into something that would provide comfortable accommodation for both myself and my racing mates. The ideas soon spiralled, and before I knew it, I’d bought a double decker bus on eBay!
How did the journey begin?
The bus was owned by a motorbike racing team, it had not been used for a season and things were not in great shape. On a different day I might not have bought it, but nothing was going to stop me now. With a very worried girlfriend, a battery which would not hold charge, a clutch which was nearly unusable plus an unhealthy amount of blue smoke, I began the long road home putting on a reassuring calm voice “we’ll be fine” knowing things were going to be a struggle.
After navigating around the M25 in busy traffic, filling up with fuel and not daring to stop the engine, I was starting to get more confident not using the clutch. This still meant nothing to my girlfriend Aimee who looked as white as a sheet and struggled to speak throughout the seven-hour journey. We did finally make it home in one piece with no incidents. I will never forget the relief we both felt.
When did you start the build?
The next few months saw the slow strip back of everything the previous owners had done to the bus. Unfortunately, we had to keep going until we were left with just a frame and the engine. Taking all the windows out was the most challenging, knowing that finding replacements would be time consuming and expensive.
I called upon a small group of talented family and friends to go from design to prototype to final build.
How did Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces get involved?
It was my girlfriend that suggested going on George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces after watching an episode one evening. We sent an email and after a few months hearing nothing, the phone finally rang!
The program makers were hesitant at first because the project was already underway. After a couple of meetings with the producers and directors they could see the potential.
The time scale pressures which were applied nearly pushed the project to breaking point. It was a massive project from start to finish but the filming always had to take priority. All involved put in 110% to get the job finished in time.
Did you enjoy the filming?
Overall the filming was great. It pushed us to the limit, but we showcased what we wanted to achieve. Due to the way the Bedroam story had been portrayed, the first couple of years were a big challenge. As far as the public knew, Bedroam was just for my private use during my racing season. The reality was I had gone over budget and had nothing left for advertising or promoting the business.
Four and half years later Bedroam is going from strength to strength. I’m very excited to see where the future will take us.