Motorcycle travel for most of my life has never been an option. Never even thought about it as a way of seeing the world. My travels have always been through my Army career and then later on back packing with a friend to a lot of tourist places. I've seen a lot but usually through the standard set up of a car or a coach, jet setting to the next place on the list. But what is in between these places? Overland travel, that's what I am signing up to, and hopefully find out the answers with out getting google to tell me.
A few years ago I started seeing programs and books about travel to far distant lands on the back of a motorcycle. And the one thing that was common with all these trips was how they all reported on the freedom you have on two wheels.
You see all these programs and movies about motorcycle gangs, and the 'brotherhood' of being on two wheels. A right of passage. Well... This was starting to take my fancy. Travel by two wheels could be cool. So more research was done online, more books read, more people I spoke too. Again, that word, freedom! Surly living in a country like Great Britain I already have freedom. Not like this apparently. Damn, I need to experience this. Lessons were quickly booked up and within a week I had my bike licence.
That first lesson I will never forget. Being told to turn that key and twist my wrist back. Hearing that engine between my legs rev up I knew I was hooked. Oh wow! What a feeling, and I've not gone anywhere yet. By the end of the first day I was out on the road sitting on this bike thinking about nothing apart from changing gears, stopping at red lights and can I go join a motorcycle gang and spend every waking minute sat on this thing. Of course I couldn't, thats a silly idea, not fat enough and don't have a cool beard!
I'm sure every motorcyclist reading this has watched the program Long Way round, well, I would be lying if I said that wasn't an inspiration to do what I am about to do. But most of all, the story of Austin Vince and his mates travelling the world which was named Mondo Enduro. That's the trip that got me. Real people, no support, making it up as they went along. And what a trip they had. That's what I want I thought. In fact wrong, that's what I need!
I am doing it! I am going to travel around the planet on a motorcycle.
The smells you get constantly from being in the town to the countryside are great, unless you drive past a sewage works, no getting out of that one. You can interact with people and your surroundings. You're approachable on a bike, people are genuinely interested in what you're doing and you don't look intimidating sat on your bike with a huge smile on you're face. They say you never see a motorcycle parked outside a Psychiatrists office. I get that. This I think is what culminates in that word I've heard so many times, freedom. No worries, just you and the bike and that awesome feeling of twisting your wrist back and going forward. Lovely!
This trip is going to have it's ups and downs for sure. I will be on my own for a lot of it which in itself is a challenge for a lot of people. What if I break down in the middle of Mongolia? I am sure I will work it out, because I have too. There is no AA that is going to come and get me out of the crap.
If you have thought about getting a motorcycle, do it! What a feeling. Word of warning though. I ended up with three motorcycles with a year and a half. I hope you have a forgiving wife, or husband for that matter, or you're single and have money to burn.