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Simon Milward: never forgotten

On the 4th of march 2005, FEMA had to announce the death of its former General Secretary Simon Milward.

Simon died following a road accident near the city of Kayes in Mali (West Africa).

Simon Charles Milward was born on the 28th of January 1965 in Strete, South Devon, United Kingdom. Truly passionate about motorcycling and wanting to make a difference in life, on January 1st 2000 Simon left Europe to fulfil a lifelong dream: to ride his motorcycle around the world on a humanitarian mission in support of health charities. His Millennium Ride was supposed to last for 18 months, but it turned into a five year long adventure full of enriching experiences. Simon was expected to arrive back in the UK around October 2005, but at fourty years of age his life was tragically brought to a halt.

Simon Milward certainly made a difference to riders through his achievements. In 1992 he left his position at MAG UK to establish the Brussels headquarters of the Federation of European Motorcyclists (FEM).  As FEM General Secretary he found his way through the EU maze and co-ordinated efforts towards specific legislatory targets. This resulted in bikers being among the first citizens to benefit from the democratic changes of the Maastricht Treaty and due to Simon’s never ending work, FEM became a well-known and effective lobby group in the EU institutions.

When in 1998 FEM merged with the EMA (the European Motorcyclists Association) to form the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), Simon became FEMA’s General Secretary. He successfully held that position until the decision to entirely dedicate his energy to the Millennium Ride.

In 2005, the then FEMA President Kees Meijer said: “In Simon we lost a dear friend, and a very inspiring person. He died following his heart.  A pioneer in the fight for riders´ rights, he managed to combine his wish to ride around the globe and contribute to the struggle against human suffering. He did that in a way only Simon could. We will remember him as a man with a good heart.”

In 2005 the motorcycle community lost a colleague and a friend, but Simon still inspires those who have had the honour and the privilege to work with him and we will never forget him.