Desert Rose Adventure Riding Academy

How it all started.

Patsy Quick's first glimpse of the desert was on an overland trip to Algeria with her husband Clive, on which they crossed the Algerian Sahara and the Hoggar mountains. After this trip, Patsy rapidly started spending more time on a bike, becoming a motorcycle courier. However it wasn't until her thirties that she really started to take riding enduros competitively. Success followed quickly after though, firstly as British Women's Enduro Champion and then as European Champion in 2002. Around the same time Patsy was informed of a desert rally, the Optic 2000, she entered the next year and in her first attempt, began the first British woman to ever complete a North African event. Little did she know at the time that it would be the first of many, many trips to the deserts of North Africa.

In 2003 Patsy found herself on the start line of the infamous Dakar Rallye. Unknown at the time that this would be the first of four attempts, with the final successful effort in 2006, completing the event with her outrider and friend, Clive Town. Patsy Quick had become the first British woman to finish the Dakar. This achievement attracted a large following, all united around one basic desire to experience riding in the desert.

Initially Patsy ran desert tours in Morocco, either for riders who wanted to experience the exhilaration of riding in the desert and the sand, and then for those who had aspirations to compete in an event themselves.

In 2007, Patsy returned to the Dakar, this time to help other riders and this was soon followed by more rallies and requests for help and training.


At this point, it was evident from the number of daily phone calls that a comprehensive package of support, technical knowledge and rider training was needed. A place where anyone interested in adventure riding and at all levels could go to for help. Adventure motorcycling was no longer seen as an eccentric pursuit for a few hard core individuals. Books and TV series such a 'Mondo Enduro' and 'The Long Way Round' have inspired riders to escape the mundane, predictability of tarmac roads to discover new horizons. At the same time there was also a growing number of skilled road riders who, with a little help in navigation, logistics etc. could move on to a whole new world of exciting adventure competition.

The Desert Rose Adventure Academy was launched in 2009 to help anyone who wants to take a motorbike off the 5% of tarmac roads and onto the 95% of tracks that cover the world.

The Academy is there for any bikers who wants to travel overland, explore the unknown, join a tour or take part in a rally. So whether you're a born again biker, retired racer or complete novice The Academy can help you on your continuing journey. Join now it's a free lifetime membership.

Meet Our Instructors


Patsy Quick is probably the best known female off-road motorcycle rider in the UK today. During 20 years of riding she has completed major overland expeditions, been British Women’s Enduro Champion, European Women’s Champion and competed in many international rallies, including 4 Dakars. She also runs a successful international rallye support business, providing others from many countries with a means to realise their ambitions. For the past 8 or 9 years she has been involved in training riders at all levels, from novices taking their first steps, to experienced riders needing to enhance specific skills. Having been immersed in the world of off-road riding she has developed a huge range of experience which can benefit others. She is passionate about helping people learn and improve, her reward is seeing their enjoyment as they do so. Patsy established the Academy with the goal of providing the best quality training, in a friendly and non-pressurised environment, to take people as far as they want to go, be that competent green-laning or the Dakar Rally.

Clive ‘Zippy’

Clive ‘Zippy’ Town has been riding off road motorcycles for, some would say, not that long, but in the last 13 years he has packed in a vast amount and experienced a great deal. His first rally was the Optic 2000 which he entered, not having even completed a straight forward enduro styled event. His sense of navigation and natural confidence of riding off road, lead him to the finish, where he narrowly missed out on the first Brit award. Over the next few years, he was heavily involved in the enduro scene and competed in two prestigious I.S.D.E events, where he received a bronze finishers medal. Clive was Patsy’s riding partner on the Dakar for three years and like Patsy in 2006, reached his goal by getting to the finishing line. Since then he has also competed in the extreme enduro The Red Bull Romanics in 2008 and 2010.

Zippy’s relative late start in off road motorcycling is by no means a disadvantage, in fact this has given him the unique advantage of being sympathetic to the needs of new pupils to the off road riding scene. His relaxed and humorous style quickly gives newcomers confidence and new found skills. Zippy has excellent motorcycling skills, but more importantly he has the ability to pass on these skills to others, which is a problem that many ex-champion riders find when they move into teaching.


We first met Joe when he joined us on the Tour of Portugal in 2016, with his background in the automotive industry and easy-going personality he fitted right in with the team. Still in his early twenties he has ‘an old head on young shoulders ‘approach. You can depend on him to evaluate any given situation and come up with a workable solution, a great asset in the rallye world, where thinking outside of the box is often essential. Although Joe is more involved in the that side of Desert Rose, he is a confident off road rider and his very pleasant nature, he is very good with clients when involved with schools.


Harry joined Desert Rose Racing at the tender age of 18 in 2015, straight from College where he had been studying a mechanics course. As part of the curriculum he and his fellow students had a day with Desert Rose Racing, and during the day, he stood out, not only as a talented rider but as a young man with all the qualities we were looking for to start working alongside Zippy in our workshop. Since then he has blossomed into a capable mechanic, taking responsibility for the fleet of Academy bikes and more recently showed a flair for teaching and so Harry is under ‘Zippy’s’ wing to learn how important the correct coaching is.