Having come across a post listing Ten Commandments of Hiking, I went down the internet rabbit hole and discovered people have come up with guidelines for everything – apparently, there are commandments for travelers, marketers, and yes, even knitters. It got me thinking: what would the 10 commandments of ADV riding could be? Here’s what i come up with:
Thou Shalt Stop For Fellow Riders
I’ll never forget an experience in Norway where we stopped to help a German couple. Apparently, one of the riders had accidentally filled up her tank with diesel instead of petrol and was panicking. Between the four of us, we tipped her GS 850 uspide down, poured the diesel out, filled the tank with petrol, and the couple were on their way in no time. But all the while, as we removed the luggage from the bike and tipped it over, at least five or six riders passed us by; surely when you see a bike upside down on the side of the road, you’d stop and offer help, right? It would seem, that’t not always the case – but perhaps we should make it an unspoken rule.
2. Thou Shalt Worship All Motorcycles, Regardless of Make and Model
ADV snobbery is still alive and well despite riders taking to the road on all manners of bikes, scooters, and postie motorcycles. Why is that? Surely as an ADV community, we can all accept that any bike is an ADV bike, as long as the rider is, well, adventuring on.
3. Thou Shalt ADV Slowly
Round-the-world-in-ten-days type of records sure are fascinating and perhaps, inspiring; feats like that require superhuman focus and stamina. But adventure riding is about experiences rather than speed records, and slowing down to really see the world might be a good thing.
4. Thou Shalt Share Your Beers
No explanation needed for this one: at campsite bonfires and hostel dorms, motorcycle campouts and ADV gatherings, sharing the beers is part of the deal.
5. Thou Shalt Covet Thy Neighbor’s House
Covet any house, in fact: with AirBnB changing the hospitality industry for good, we can now stay wherever we want without splurging on pricey hotels. Cabins, apartments, farmhouses, yurts, you name it, you grab it while on the road: it’s not only budget-friendly, it helps your adventurous self immerse in the local ways of life more than a faceless Premier Inn.
6. Thou Shalt Patch Thy Fellow Riders’ Tires
Carry a tire repair kit, some spare tubes, tire levers, and some tube patches? Share them when you see a rider struggling with a flat tire: maybe they’ve run out of spare tubes or patches, maybe they don’t know how to take their wheels off. Don’t judge, just help, and the gods of motorcycling will reward you in one form another along the way.
7. Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness to Thine Adventures
It’s so, so tempting to embellish the truth, even just a little bit, and especially for social media. riding across a shallow creek becomes a dangerous water crossing, a graded dirt road becomes a deathly single track, a short rains transforms into an infernal storm of raging winds and downpours… It’s no big deal if you’re just exaggerating a little bit, but when riders blatantly lie about their adventures or aggrandize their achievements, it can be harmful to the newer riders or those hoping to ride the same routes: I’ve had friends ask me whether Ruta 3 in Argentina was doable because someone had told them it was a “dangerous dirt road” while in reality, it’s a perfectly paved highway. Let’s rein in the ego and share information that’s valuable to others!
8. Thou Shalt Remain Calm and Carry On
It’s easy to get frustrated with border officials who appear intent on dragging the process of checking your paperwork out to infinity, get angry with locals who don’t speak English, become impatient at a checkpoint, or demand hot water and stable WiFi in a homestay in some small, remote Andean village – but please, please don’t. keep your zen, accept your fate, and roll with the punches: adventure riding is all about experiencing and accepting other cultures rather than expecting Western standards everywhere you go. If you want Swiss precision and German efficiency, stay in Europe.
9. Thou Shalt Not Take Thine Self Too Seriously
Seriously, just don’t: self-importance impresses no one while being able to laugh at yourself can earn you a faster border crossing or a new friend.
10. Thou Shalt Accept All Gods and Idols
If traveling teaches us anything, it’s that the world is generally a pretty awesome place, and all cultures can coexist peacefully and happily regardless of creed, geography, or wealth. All around the world, people just want a little bit of dignity, a roof over their heads, health, and a future for their kids; we’re all the same, and we should treat everyone with respect.
What other comandments of ADV riding would you add to this list? Share in the comments below!