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Old 10-27-2013, 04:02 AM   #1
Sytadel OP
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Early Stages RTW Planning - Top-notch RRs for inspiration?

Hey guys

I have been riding for about two years, have so far only done one week-long trip which was almost all blacktop on the North Island of NZ. It's no understatement to say that was my most joyous week on God's green earth (and boy is it green), and I'm dying to get back.

However, I have decided that I do not want to just be having two-weeks trips crammed in to life's crevices... every tour tainted with the knowledge that even from the moment you first throw the leg over on foreign soil, returning home is just in the foreground. So aside from New Zealand, I have decided to save, save, save -- and make the next trip a big one. Otherwise, I'll probably just stick to local riding to quench my thirst for adventure here.

To this end I "invested" in my RTW planner: a 2x3m world map in my bedroom at home. The goal is to start putting together a bucketlist of roads, places, tent-sites, and friends abroad and after a time, connect the dots...



I have also saved over many years for the trip, and will probably have a bit more by the time I go... about 3-4 years from now. I wont say how much but I am confident I can be on the road for 1-2 years. I plan to just read and get inspiration over the next year, as well as improve my wrenching skills so I can be a little more confident if bits fall off the bike abroad. I'm not committed to any particular route but my thinking is to start in Iceland during summer, take the ferry to the Faroe Islands, and then ride through the Nordic countries, Russia, and Eastern Europe. The goal is to travel cheaply and stay in small towns/communities for weeks at a time before moving on. However, all up for negotiation at this early stgaes.

To that end... at this early stage I am looking for:

0. Money, time, and desire... all done!!

1. Any world-class RRs (docos, blogs, books) I can read to get ideas, knowledge, routes, etc.

2. Any advice you have on getting better at wrenching, or any other skills/abilities I should focus on acquiring now rather than later.

...

Thanks guys!! I'm sure you get this pie-in-the-sky stuff every so often... but trust me, I'm going to do it :). No kids, no mortgage, no wife... got money, got time, and don't have a career I'm not willing to put on hold (or give up!).

Sytadel screwed with this post 10-28-2013 at 12:32 AM
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Old 10-27-2013, 12:02 PM   #2
Pecha72
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wow. If I were you, I would be very very tempted to leave next week....
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Pecha72 screwed with this post 10-28-2013 at 11:19 AM
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Old 10-27-2013, 06:57 PM   #3
Mark Manley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
wow. If I were you, I would be very very tempted to leave next week....
Yes why wait?

The best resource for information and inspiration is here

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/

Have a look here for other peoples stories, these should help you work out where it is possible to go and the best time to be there, travel is largely controlled by the weather, many places get too hot/cold/wet for comfort so look at the regional sections for when it is best to be where.

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/ride-tales/

Good luck with your planning, take note of the bikes people use, a massive BMW GS is not always best despite what Ewan and Charlie might ride, a middle weight trail bike is better and be a little more discreet about your money, there are blaggards and scoundrels out there.

If you can get along to a HU meeting before setting off, I am not sure in there is one in NZ but you will meet other people who have done this type of trip before and they are usually pretty helpful.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:46 AM   #4
Pecha72
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Don΄t take this too seriously, but here΄s my take on “Main overland routes from Europe in 45 seconds”:





(Routes, that pass through China, are marked with red as is appropriate, because there is a lot of ΄red tape΄, and also a guide involved, but it can be done, if your budget is large enough, and you arrange it well in advance).
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Old 10-29-2013, 03:04 AM   #5
Sytadel OP
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/u/Pecha72 - that's an awesome start, thanks! Yes the temptation to leave ASAP is very strong, but I figure... might as well wait for a clean break in my career/life. I think I'll be bored with this job in 2-3 years so this trip will be my queue to exit.

/u/Mark That site is a great resource, thanks. I've also been reading all the RRs here during brekky/work lunch breaks.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:00 AM   #6
Pecha72
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I think it would be a good idea to get a few smaller trips under your belt first, before you actually go RTW. For example: fly to SE Asia, or India, rent or buy a bike, and spend some time riding there. Should give you some sort of idea, what the big tour could be like, but it΄s much easier to do it that way first.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
Witold
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If you start making dots of every camp ground and tent space and road you want to visit, that's all you'll end up doing; connecting the dots. Chasing each "destination" as if it was a meaningful goal, and rushing through the things that are actually in front of you.

And if you read enough and research enough, there will be few surprises and many places will look a lot crappier in real life than in the heavily photoshopped pictures. There is something to be said for doing research, but if you do too much, it will detract from your experience, not enhance it.

RR are great and all, but they are mostly written in flowery language with everyone trying to make their trips sound awesome and look awesome with handpicked photos. There are some pretty lousy reports out there from destinations that are absolutely fantastic, and there are some amazing ride reports out there from destinations that are really pretty crappy. RR are generally a poor indicator of anything aside from the author's writing quality and their photography skills. You find a good RR writer, and they will make their ride to the Safeway sound amazing, with photos to back it up too.

IMO, Pecha72 is right on point that you should start with shorter trips. The only way to gain experience is to do it. There are quite a few places in the world where you can rent small motorcycles for dirt cheap and explore those countries. Fly and Ride. That's a good start.

As for mechanical stuff, I think people over-think it. You either run into something stupidly simple that you will figure out on your own, (flat tires, etc) or you will run into something that requires too many tools and parts for you to fix on your own. So if something substantial happens, you have to truck it to a mechanic anyway and wait for parts anyway. By far the best advice on this front is to take a bike that is very popular, easy to work on, lots of local knowledge around the world, and parts easy to get/ship. Don't take a crappy KTM that you have to wait 6 weeks to get some parts even if you live in the US and the dealer is 20 miles away. Take something that can be fixed quickly and easy by the locals in most parts of the world.
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