Ever since Long Way Round, we’ve all assumed an average adventure rider is usually male, usually in his forties or thereabouts, usually on a GS-type bike, usually heading to Ushuaia, Cape Town, or Siberia; clad in a Klim adventure suit aboard a bike kitted out with aluminum panniers and the newest GPS unit, this Average Adventure Rider will averagely spend a maximum of two years on the road, funding the RTW trip by selling his house or a bulky savings account.
During my seven years on the road, however, I rarely met this average projection of what adventure riders actually look like. The first adventure rider whom I met in Nazca, Peru, and who taught me to ride, was a twentysomething guy on a 250cc dirt bike bimbling around South America on a shoestring budget; the next one was a thirty-year-old gal aboard a small Honda heading from Chile to California. In Tierra del Fuego, I met a silver-bearded Argentinean rider aboard a chunky chopper carrying a tiny chihuahua in his leather jacket; “my wife finally left me, so I’m going to follow my dream and ride to Alaska, hehe”, he told me. Juvena Huang, aka The Wandering Wasp, is a Singaporean woman traveling the world on a scooter; Ed March has ridden RTW on a Honda Cub, and in Colombia, I met a group of young guys hoping to ride to Argentina and back on small Pulsar motorcycles with backpacks strapped on the tails of the bikes.
Janelle Kaz has crossed South America on a road Indian motorcycle; people of all ages, genders, nationalities on all sorts of scooters, sidecar rigs, bikes, and even modified tuk-tuks have blissfully traveled around the world for years, none of them fitting that mysterious Average Adventure Rider image.
And yet, most adventure motorcycle manufacturers still insist adventure riding looks like this:
Featured image: Pixabay