Our instructors

With a wealth of experience gained from Desert Rose Racing and literally thousands of miles off road, the Desert Rose Riding Academy is all about sharing that knowledge with you. So without further ado, meet the team who is here to help support your riding adventures.

A little bit about us

Founded in 2009 by Patsy Quick, The Academy is here for anyone who wants to travel overland by motorcycle, explore the unknown, take part in their first enduro, take to the trails and green lanes, join a tour, explore the TET, sign on for a hare and hounds event or take part in a rally. So whether you are a new rider, a born again biker, retired racer or green lane newbie The Academy can help you on your next adventure.

Instructor profiles

Patsy Quick

Patsy Quick is probably the best known female off-road motorcycle rider in the UK today. During more than 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. Her “can do” and “never give up” attitude is a true inspiration. Patsy featured in the Channel 4 Series, Escape in 2017, hosted by Ant Middleton.

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.


Zippy, the man, the myth, the legend!  His first rally was the Optic 2000 which he entered with no previous experience of any sort of enduro.   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 Romaniacs in 2008 and 2010.

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. 

Paul King

Paul got his first taste of dirt bikes back in the mid 1970s!  He really is that old!  Inspired by Dave Taylor “The Wheelie King” he loves talking about motorbikes, looking at motorbikes and riding motorbikes. 

He has ridden extensively in the UK, across Europe and Africa. Off road riding has included trails in the UK, Southern Ireland and Portugal, as well as harsher terrain in the deserts of Morocco, the hills and plateau of Zambia and the mountains of Lesotho, including the infamous Jockstrap Pass. He has advanced rider qualifications with IAM and ROSPA and is a member of the TRF.

James Meston

James heads up the Desert Rose eBike Experience. 

He started riding off road motorcycles at the tender age of 5!

He started competing in motocross at the age of 12 and progressed through the ranks to expert level.

In 2013, in his early thirties he moved across to enduro, competing in the British championships, Red Bull Romainiacs and Hixpania.

His passion for all things off road comes across in his coaching and training style. 

Joe Mercer

We first met Joe when he joined us on the Tour of Portugal way back in 2016, with his background in the automotive industry and easy-going personality he fitted right in with the team.

Joe has ‘an old head on young shoulder’ 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 with the rallye side of Desert Rose, he is an experienced and confident off-road rider and is able to instill confidence in newer riders. 

Every now and then Joe gets the chance to take part in an event as a rider, but Joe being Joe, doesn’t opt for the easy option; most recently taking on the near 2000 km Greek Odyssey Balkan Edition rally on his 1990s Honda Africa Twin.  Needless to say, he finished all stages, including the grueling off road sections which had many of the enduro riders turning back!

Take a look at Joe’s Rallye Life over at Desert Rose Racing.

Harry Michael

Harry has come a long way in a short space of time. He joined Desert Rose at the tender age of 18 in 2015 following completion of a motorcycle mechanics course.

Not only a talented rider, but a natural teacher, coach and instructor, able to adapt his style to riders of different abilities and levels of experience.  Harry seems to be able to help riders of all abilities get more from their riding.

Having the experience of supporting international rallies alongside Desert Rose Racing, he has become a real asset to the Academy.

Throughout his time at Desert Rose, Harry has continued racing and reached his short term goal of completing the extreme enduro race ‘Red Bull Romaniacs’ in 2020, completed the Qatar Baja in 2021 and Valleys Xtreme enduro in early 2022.

Rider Reviews

Check out some of our 5 star reviews from the adventure alumni.

Given that I’m fast approaching 60, I really didn’t think I had it in me.  I can't recommend the Desert Rose Adventure Riding Academy enough, and looking forward to getting out there now with less cursing and more smiles !!  I will be back of course for my next instalment of “You CAN teach an old dog new tricks"
Ian G
My level one course at Desert Rose was a real turning point in my off road riding. It made me think about my technique and instilled in me the basics that I now rely on every time I get on the bike.
Henry C
Fab day, I ache all over. The course was run professionally, with clear direction & instruction. Not at one point did I feel any frustration from either of you, just encouragement but also empathy & care for those fall offs! I’m hoping to transfer some of the learnt skills & confidence to road riding. I wouldn’t change a thing. (apart from my own fear!)
Annie H
Jan MC
We had the BEST time yesterday and can't wait to come back for another go! Thank you so much for the day, I also learned a lot and it's helped get my confidence back after the crash I had in January.  Patsy, it was inspirational to get coaching from you and I definitely need to master the sliding off the side of the bike to put a foot down!
Jan Mc
David W
My time on two wheels with the Desert Rose Adventure Riding Academy was absolutely fantastic.  Harry made our day fun, engaging and really informative, explaining everything really well and he was happy to field the questions I had as a new rider. I was paired up with an approachable bike that ran faultlessly and all the safety equipment I needed, which combined with such a stunning location, really helped make the day one to remember. 
David W
Thank you so much for yesterday! Apart from being ridiculous amounts of fun, I can't tell you how much awesome stuff I learned. In particular, all the work you did, explaining body position and weight balance was just transformatively useful and after just a few hours with you both, I feel so much more capable off road. I'm totally coming back for more before I buy myself a green lane bike.
Huge thanks to you and Harry. We thought the venue, the setup, the day and most importantly, our instructors were absolutely flawless. Coaching and tuition were some of the best I’ve ever had in any form. There was not one negative about the day from anybody. You will definitely be seeing us again, hopefully in the not too distant future.
BikeSafe Team
Yesterday saw myself (Crew Manager Jim Sanderson) and my friend and colleague, Group Manager Lawrence ‘Lol’ Pater, attend Desert Rose Adventure Riding Academy in Broad Oak, near Heathfield, East Sussex. This was quite possibly the most fun on two wheels I have had in living memory. We were welcomed at the site at 0830hrs by Paul and Harry, the Instructors. We met our fellow students, drank coffee, got kitted out, they supply absolutely everything kit wise, talked bikes a bit then were introduced to our steed for the day. We received superb instruction and the guys catered for all our varying levels of experience (or lack of experience) without pushing too hard but allowing us to explore our own limits in safety.
Jim Sanderson
Mike B
Mike B
Hey Paul and Harry I wanted to say a huge thanks for today. It really blew my mind. The sessions were really well structured and there are clear things that I can work on moving forward. I’d really like to come back in a couple of months and repeat Stage 1. Just to remind me of what was learned today (which was a lot). It was a really good fun day. And your facility is amazing.
Mike B

Looking for adventure?

With only 8 slots per session, spaces are getting filled fast! Get booked in with our online booking system, click for available courses.

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(Please note, we only run private and group events on weekdays)