Why ADV Motorcycle Riding?
I am over 50 years of age and although I don’t ride as aggressively as I did in my youth, there are still many aspects that I am passionate about. The Sport of Adventure Riding offers many challenges that riding in other genres of motorcycling does not. My body has come to grips with the fact that injuries are harder to recover from and the ensuing pain is much more severe. My body is heavier, knees are bad, and the joints don’t feel like they used too. I am much more interested in seeing things with less of a blur and my attraction for speed and the higher levels of risk have been traded in for a more leisurely pace. A camera, a camp fire and seeing the sights are just some of the motivating factors now.
So, what is it that makes this type of riding such a wonderful and rewarding challenge?
First it is the Discovery
Discovery starts from my office desk. I spend hours looking at maps, reading about the history and the special events that took place at all of my potential destinations, before I even go. I do this for many reasons but the most important one is so that I can pre-sort through the things that I believe are going to be the most interesting and memorable. For example! Bryce Canyon is one of the most beautiful places you will ever encounter but a little homework will get you into places around that area that are just as amazing, with very few crowds if any, and are much more rewarding if you are truly about discovery.
And The Adventure
Our idea of going on an adventure embraces the idea that we are going to be self-sufficient for over a week at a time with ourselves, our gear and our machines. This means that when I want coffee, I’m at least 100 miles from Starbucks at any given point in time. It takes special people to go on Adventures! It doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into planning out a trip, there are still going to be issues, set-backs, struggles, tension, and unforeseen changes. These are all part of the adventure for me and there is a sense of achievement that comes for those of us who embrace the unseen, step into the unknown and are willing to roll with what ever happens on each new adventure.
Although the physical challenge of adventure touring is different than Moto-Cross or enduro riding, it is still physically demanding. One must condition oneself to spend long periods of time in the saddle and on the foot pegs. Even though the bike has all of the characteristics of a dirt bike, it is designed to achieve a larger scope of activities, needs and demands for its rider. This is not often understood when first getting into the sport. These machines are much heavier than dirt bikes. Add the weight of all of your camping gear, food, tools, water, and the stuff that you will need in the back country and you’ve got yourself a load of poles that can get you in trouble off road in a real hurry! This is why the challenge is so appealing. It takes a great deal of training and preparation along with an accumulation of experience to do a trip in the backcountry. Many adjustments to riding style, gear, packing, motorcycle maintenance, and personal preference take time to develop to the point that you are proficient on the trail. Part of the challenge for me has been getting to a point that I can have a backcountry adventure without needing a vacation from my vacation when I’m done!
I have really found no other place that I can develop and live out my story in the way that I can while Adventure Touring. I have been sniffed by grizzly bears, jumped into remote rivers, seen some of the most beautiful and remote country in the world. I have been lost, cried, been hurt, and tackled fears. I have never enjoyed myself more, laughed more, met more good friends, or been lonelier than when I was on adventure and, never more happy to be home and with my wife than when I return from an Adventure. All that being said, I have never had more undivided attention, conversation, and encouragement than when I am there. It is easy to say that I have learned more about myself and how to overcome obstacles while on an adventure than anywhere else in the world. All while I had the undivided attention of The Creator all to myself. This is my Story!