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From Britain to New York — by motorcycle

McGregor, friend to head east on 20,000-mile odyssey
/ Source: The Associated Press

Ewan McGregor is getting ready to travel from London to New York, but there will be no first-class comfort for the down-to-earth Scot.

He’s going by road.

McGregor and fellow actor Charley Boorman plan to set out this week on a motorcycle journey across Europe, Asia and North America that will get them to New York City by about July.

“It’s such an obvious route,” McGregor insisted Tuesday. “It’s just straight across — you just go from London to New York, going east. I’m surprised more people don’t do it.”

Spurred by a desire for adventure and a hankering for the open road, the “Moulin Rouge!” star and Boorman hatched a plan for a riding holiday that grew from a trip through Spain to a 20,000-mile odyssey across three continents, from the highways of Western Europe to Russia’s rutted roads and the grassy tracks of the Mongolian steppe.

After crossing Europe, Russia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia to the eastern tip of Siberia, the duo’s planned route winds through Alaska, down the Rockies and across the Great Plains and midwestern United States. They’ll do it all by road, except for a train trip under the English Channel and a short flight across the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska.

“When we get off the train in Calais, the next stop is eastern Siberia,” said the 33-year-old McGregor, whose new film, “Young Adam,” opens Friday in New York and Los Angeles. “We follow our front wheel from Calais to the other side of the globe.”

McGregor and Boorman have undergone hostile-environments training with former British commandos, consulted a nutritionist and worked out with a personal trainer. As they ride, their 1,150cc BMW motorcycles will be laden with tents, dried lentils, cameras and travel gadgetry.

A cameraman will accompany them on a third bike, and a film crew will meet them every week or so to record footage for a series.