Why I love Adventure Riding
That joy when reaching the End of the World is ineffable
Some people would say “here's why I love adventure bikes.” Not me. It’s not the bike you’re riding, it’s the thirst for discovering new places that matter the most. I know people riding Vespas and cruisers around the world, while hard-geared guys are going for a weekend coffee on their shiny GS. Nevertheless, I prefer an adventure bike when going in remote places, but that’s another discussion. This time it’s about riding. And here are my reasons.
I love the road
First of all, I love traveling on the road. Since I was a kid, I was dreaming about reaching far-away places driving my car. Then I discovered that a motorcycle is better for traveling - it gives you a more intense feeling and a better connection to the road. I feel nothing special when getting to a remote place by plane, but I am the happiest person in the world in the morning when packing my stuff for a road trip.
But the road is not enough
After riding on all kind of roads I discovered that the fun begin where the road ends. Or, at least when the pavement ends, because an adventure bike packed with luggage comes with a lot of weight. However, riding a dirt road that leads to the End of the World is a feeling I can’t describe.
Reaching the End of the World
Magadan, Nordkapp, Patagonia. I love to see where it ends. Of course, it’s not the destination that it’s important, it’s about the road, but I’m just curious to find out what’s next, what’s after the next corner, what’s the view from the top of that hill. I can’t rest before getting there.
You meet great people
And it’s not just the road. Dusty roads lead to nice people. They don’t speak your language, don’t know your habits, you usually look like a robot dressed in your Power Ranger high-tech adventure suit, but they are friendly, and they will help you if getting into trouble. I interviewed a couple of travelers, and when asking about what they loved the most, they didn’t say “that corridor” or “that mountain”, they said “those people.”
It changes your perception over the world.
Getting to know new people and to experience different cultures changes your misconceptions. If you live in the Western culture and look at the TV, you might think that Iran is an “Evil” country and the Russians will kill you using bottles of vodka. Nonsense! The Iranians are among the nicest people in the world and the Russian… well, the only thing you might get after interacting with them is a hangover.
The most amazing places in the world
Salar de Uyuni, Siberia, Atacama, Sahara - the feeling you get when seeing this places is like walking on the Moon (I suppose, I never walked on the moon since there’s no way to ride there on my bike). Of course, you can reach those places flying to a nearby city, renting a 4x4 and a guide. But trust me, it’s not just about posting a photo on Instagram and waiting for likes. It’s more than that. And you have to crawl to get that special feeling.
It’s a challenge for you and your bike. And it has to be a challenge
“In spite of wars and tourism and pictures by satellite, the world is just the same size it ever was. It is awesome to think how much of it I will never see. It is no trick to go round the world these days; you can pay a lot of money and fly round it nonstop in less than forty eight hours, but to know it, to smell it and feel it between your toes you have to crawl. There is no other way. Not flying, not floating. You have to stay on the ground and swallow the bugs as you go. Then the world is immense. The best you can do is trace your long, infinitesimally thin line through the dust and extrapolate. I drew the longest line I possibly could, that could still be seen as following a course.” - Ted Simons, 5th October 1974.
Once you finish a trip, you plan the next one.
It’s addictive. Seriously. Once you go black, you can never go back, it is said. Once you go to the Atacama desert, you can’t dream about riding in the Alps (speaking for my European friends). And when it’s winter outside, and you’re resting, the only question you get is “Where you’re gonna leave next year?” And you must leave. Somewhere at least as remote as your last destination.
What are your reasons?
These are my reasons, or at least the ones I’m aware of. But I’m not pretending that everyone rides a motorcycle around the world due to the same call. So, why do you love riding?