Long term bike trips... HOW do you do it? (time/work/career)

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by MaxF, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. ta-rider

    ta-rider Returned from Africa

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    148
    Location:
    Brasil
  2. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    661
    If you're in good health and have some money, it seems like you're in great shape to do it.

    One thing I never understood is why a lot people seem to get tied up in RTW or nothing mentality. One group does ride to Magadan or Alaska and all the sudden everyone wants to check off that box. It's silly. People don't climb Everest as their first summit, and we don't go on 600 mile day rides on our first day after getting a license.

    Moto travel is the same way. Small trips and small experiences slowly build up to bigger trips. We learn about ourselves and what we like in our trips and what we don't like in our trips. Subsequent trips become easier, not harder, even though on paper they might seem more intimidating. I encourage everyone to start progressively instead of jumping into the deep end.
  3. One Fat Roach

    One Fat Roach honey badger

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1,645
    Location:
    bellingham
    As a new rider (3rd year) and someone new to the ADV bug, personally, I've given that same concept lots of thought. I would like to start on 2-day trips, then say week long excursions, then eventually a bigger one. maybe a few weeks or two months.

    I don't see why people want to rush into the big ones right away. Dont rush things, enjoy the time doing them. Im soon to be 27 and all I can think about is riding and taking trips. Im slowly acquiring the right gear. I can't wait to pull the trigger the first time, but when I do, I want to take my time, aim at the target and execute. Granted, sh*t happens... But hope for the best
  4. E-Bum

    E-Bum Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    743
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I just turned 25, same boat as you. Agree completely that although your sights may be set on a massive trip, building up to it by accumulating smaller and just as important trips and adventures should also be a priority.
  5. swamp

    swamp U lie&yo'breff stank

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,926
    Location:
    lower appalachia, Alabama

    nice. i agree with you. however, in the end the average factors that seem to enable people to take "long term" (I suppose "long term" = 1+ years ?) always seem to be: 1. no children 2. no wife 3. no career 4. a stash of cash and 5. owning a piece of shit KLR :lol3

    I've taken a number of trips, the majority of them being 2 weeks and 3 of them being over a month and one of them being for 3 months in china.

    the title of this thread is "long term bike trips.. HOW do you do it? "

    so... what exactly is long term ? personally i do not even remotely desire to be on the road for over 4 months ... i actually enjoy my life :lol3

  6. JoeFab

    JoeFab Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    293
    Location:
    niagara falls, canada eh!
    thank you sir !...j.f.
  7. oldNbold

    oldNbold Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    stranded in Iowa
    I am 62. Plan to retire at 65. I don't have much retirement money stashed away. Bounced around through too many jobs. Never made enough to save much. Still plan to travel long distance. Its kind of a challenge to do it on the cheap. I am looking forward to it.
    By the way. I teach in a community college. I have 6 weeks off in the summer that is if I don't take on extra contracted training for industry during that time.
  8. Motomochila

    Motomochila Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,123
    Location:
    N 34 22.573' W 118 34.328'
    Amen Brother! I'm currently doing Europe solo, with the intention of eventually doing RTW solo. Baby steps.

    If I can't hack the "Euro-beat" then the RTW ain't gonna happen. It's a Small jump before the 100 foot Acapulco 100 foot dive; meaning- I'm learning before committing to the big one. If you don't, that last jump could be a butt pucker. Three months putting up with insults about stupid Americans is giving me the training I need to go it solo in far more hostile locales. In fact, just yesterday, July 4th, I sat in a cafe and did absolutely nothing on a regular business day in Rome. The locals didn't care who I was or where I was from. I listened to some smack talk about America and how everyone disliked us. They did however like my motorcycle. I'm learning patience and I'm also learning patience. Everything else is just part of the adventure. Did I mention I'm learning patience?
  9. swamp

    swamp U lie&yo'breff stank

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,926
    Location:
    lower appalachia, Alabama
    "long term bike trips... how do you do it? (time / career)"

    basically a bump because i think this is an interesting and important topic mainly because its the part thats left out of most ride reports (including my own).


    i guess "long term" has a different definition for everyone.
    the longest i've been on a bike alone was for a month on a 225cc dirt bike riding off road from california to alabama on the American Flesh Eater Route camping and living out of a 25L daypack.

    all of my other trips have been 2 or 3 weeks in length. . so maybe im not "ADV enough" to offer any advice here. so i wont.

    from what i gather from ride reports:
    the rare cases can go on for years on end traveling around on their motorcycles all over the world. most of them are retired or have sold their businesses, homes, their children have left home, are between jobs, wives have been divorced. some, it seems to me are living off the tax payers in some way (met a few in baja and in cambodia doing this. trash in my opinion). some are trust-ifarians. some say they are doing it for charity :lol3 some have saved enough money to support themselves for a specific amount of time and ride until they hit the reserve tank then return to work at Home Depot to do it all over again (very common with the "just out of college crowd)... wish i would have thought of that.

    there is the "last hurrah " crowd who's wives say: "aww honey you've always wanted to do that motorcycle trip so why dont you do it!? ill send you your money Western Union!" their wives (out of pity ) release them from their chains, pay the lawn maintenance bills for a few months while hubby lives out his Klim Adventure Suit / Touratech-skid plate/ i used a torx bit-in-the-rain fantasy :D

    i've also seen people that are able to travel and work from their computers (programmers, data-base, internet stuff)..also wish i would have thought of that...hmm no never mind. then there are the people who have worked their asses off, hired good people, paid them well and are reaping the benefits of that and are currently enjoying it.

    im 32, own a few restaurants, have a son, a good dog and a wife whom i support and that knows how deeply my addictions are seeded. i let her do and go wherever she wants for however long she wants. in return i ask the same and i get it. we live "off the grid", with no debt, on 1020 acres of land covered in single track and hard-enduro trails that i've cut. there really is no reason for me to be gone or Want to be gone for more than a few months.. and she and i both know that. seeing the world is one thing (and a powerful experience); however, freedom is another.


    in summery.

    ride when you can and follow your heart, if you are truly passionate about something you WILL find a way to make it happen; if you dont then it wasnt that important to you in the first place.

    happy 2014 you fuckin fucks.


    :csm
  10. oneway

    oneway Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    445
    Location:
    Tehachapi, CA when I'm home
    I'd like to sit down, buy you a beer, and tell you about the time I rode my piece of shit KLR to get help for my buddy who dropped his GS (with crash guards) and separated the head 20 miles from nowhere and way off road. I started calling that thing the "French rifle".....the only action it ever saw was when it was dropped.:1drink
  11. swamp

    swamp U lie&yo'breff stank

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,926
    Location:
    lower appalachia, Alabama
    :D

    you know when i wrote "piece of shit KLR" i meant that in an XT225 way right?
    its not an insult; its a complement. :lol3
  12. muddysoles

    muddysoles The cubicle traveler

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Bangalore,India
    Couldn't agree with you more! Yeah, happy 2014
  13. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,972
    Location:
    in The Cloud
    Your generalization sucks.

    Speaking only for myself, I don't even have a Tourtech skid plateĀ…:rofl

    [​IMG]


    Happy New Year
  14. oneway

    oneway Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    445
    Location:
    Tehachapi, CA when I'm home
    In that case, you buy the beer while I tell the story, and I'll throw in one about trailering a K1200LT all the way back from the tip of baja.
  15. BaronVonDarrin

    BaronVonDarrin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    638
    Location:
    Philadelphia, and at times Western Maryland
    I have given up on ever doing anything like this. shit I doubt I will ever have the money or time to do the TAT.
  16. Motomochila

    Motomochila Mad Scientist

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,123
    Location:
    N 34 22.573' W 118 34.328'
    Bullshiiiit brother! And again I say bullshit. 35 years ago, I was hanging around with a national ranked drag racer just to learn a few things. I told him I didn't like going straight but would rather road race on, formula one style. He asked me what I was doing about it. I told him nothing because I didn't have the money. He intern told me "bullshit, you don't want it badly enough". In the end he was right, I didn't want enough to do what was needed even though he connected me up with a team I could travel with and start on the bottom as a grunt. I never went, but it taught me to do what I needed if I really wanted to accomplish something.

    Bottom line; you want to go, you will find a way ....if you really want it enough. Hell, we are looking for a trail mechanic for our next long term adventure. All expenses paid. Can you wrench?
  17. muddysoles

    muddysoles The cubicle traveler

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2012
    Oddometer:
    175
    Location:
    Bangalore,India
    Amen!
  18. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    16,643
    Location:
    Fayetteville, AR
    Speaking for myself, I had all but given up the idea of a big ride until four years ago. I'm now 64. I can tell you with experience and confidence that a big ride is what you make it. A big ride may take you around the world or it may take you to a neighboring state but if it's a big ride in your mind it doesn't have to be a big ride on your odometer.

    As a youth I built and raced drag bikes competitively all the way up to my early 30's. I did this when I could as I worked to support my habit. I raced all sorts of modified bikes (most the cheapest bikes I could find) most notably an old Yamaha Big Bear 350. Which I blew up on the 1/4 mile in front of hundreds of people...ha But, during all that time I rode a Bultaco in the dirt. That's what I truly loved.

    As happens with a lot of us I got married, I got divorced, I got married, I got divorced, I got married, I got divorced and I finally got married to the right woman. It's been a wonderful marriage and I have three sons which I am very proud of.

    My career was what most would call a "high risk and low reward" it was however, perfect for who I was then. Ultimately it almost killed me (twice) and I was medically retired with severe back and neck injuries, back to back operations on them. The Docs told me I would never ride again. I began to believe it and found myself little believable hope of ever riding seriously again. But I did. But I did it in baby steps. First I worked out with weights a proposition that probably saved me from a wheel chair. My wife is also a very good massage therapist and that doesn't hurt much either. She is also very supportive of my efforts to ride and regain my health.

    Then to keep my ride dream alive I purchased a 50 cc scooter. Laugh if you like, but that scooter gave me the confidence that I could ride again. So I bought a bigger scooter, a 150cc. That went well so I upped the ante and bought a Honda Silverwing Scooter. Still good.

    About that time I got re-bitten by my previous addiction to dirt. So, I thought why not. So I did. I bought bought a not so dirt worthy Wee Strom and rode it for two years before I decided I needed a dirt tool and bought an XR250L. Fun times. At this point I began having heart issues but all the time I was dreaming of that big trip. The one we all want to take.

    To that end I bought and farkled a very capable DRZ and started planning yearly camp and rides. Then my heart decided it was having none of that. I had a really serious issue and had to have a new heart valve put in. My big ride chances seemed as if they were fading into oblivion.

    After nearly a year of rehab. I started riding again. It was a big ride with some of the best friends a guy could ask for. We rode into Colorado, Utah and Wyoming on almost all dirt. It was a gnarly ride and a satisfying ride.

    Last year we did the Wisconsin Adventure Trail. It was fantastic! Next year Docking Pilots West trip. Epic? To me yes. Long rides? Well define long rides? What is long to me...well, I think 2 weeks is long enough at this stage of my life and since my occupation kept me from seeing our glorious nation, epic rides for me happen right here in our backyard.

    The bottom line is my face is in the wind. I can still ride. Riding is what defines me, it's what keeps me healthy and my mind youthful and keeps me a little bit more sane. My friends keep me laughing at myself and them and that for me is a lot of motivation because in my chosen profession I didn't make friends because I moved a LOT.

    My advise is don't ever stop wanting that big trip. Don't ever stop planning for it either. Just get out there and make it happen in whatever financial scale or time frame that you have to work with. Just ride, a weekend, a week, a month or whatever you can swing.

    Just ride.
  19. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,972
    Location:
    in The Cloud
    +1 to the above.
  20. Junyah

    Junyah @ the speed of plaid

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,157
    Location:
    Between the seat and bars
    Bullshiiiit brother! And again I say bullshit. 35 years ago, I was hanging around with a national ranked drag racer just to learn a few things. I told him I didn't like going straight but would rather road race on, formula one style. He asked me what I was doing about it. I told him nothing because I didn't have the money. He intern told me "bullshit, you don't want it badly enough". In the end he was right, I didn't want enough to do what was needed even though he connected me up with a team I could travel with and start on the bottom as a grunt. I never went, but it taught me to do what I needed if I really wanted to accomplish something.

    Bottom line; you want to go, you will find a way ....if you really want it enough. Hell, we are looking for a trail mechanic for our next long term adventure. All expenses paid. Can you wrench?

    :y0! :nod :deal Where, when and how long? Yes, I can wrench.



    I have given up on ever doing anything like this. shit I doubt I will ever have the money or time to do the TAT.

    Then you don't want to. Most things can be replaced, time, however, cannot. I want to see Mexico, CA and SA so bad I'm quitting my life, selling most of what I have and heading south for as long as money holds up. Then I'll come back and start over. I can't take stuff with me when I leave this rock, and honestly, stuff doesn't make me happy. Of coarse, no wife, no kids etc. etc.

    Jr.