Winter here in NC is mild by most standards, but its still cold and miserable enough to restrict motorcycle riding to the odd sunny day (for me anyway, there are a few hardy souls that brave the cold all year round). So what do I do during the cold winter months when I am stuck inside and not out enjoying motorcycle riding? I read about motorcycle riding and plan possible future moto trips, of course.
Right now I am enjoying the excellent “Mondo Enduro: Around the World Adventure on Two Wheels 40 Countries in 405 Days,” which chronicles seven British guys who left home in 1995 to ride around the world on Suzuki DR350’s (pretty small bikes, especially by today’s standards). The story is told from what is essentially the daily trip log from the seven adventurers, edited into one very entertaining book. While this trip report is right up my alley, I’m pretty sure you don’t need to be into motorcycles to enjoy the story. The group is an entertaining cast of characters; if you like travel at all, it would be hard not to appreciate this amazing adventure.
The same is also true of many of the best ride reports found on ADVRider.com, the motorcycle forum to which I have become completely addicted, spending countless winter hours down the rabbit hole engrossed in an endless supply of motorcycle discussion and ride reports. My favorites are linked in the right column of the blog, but really, just read some of these:
Sibirsky Extreme 2012 – The Toughest Ride of Them All – Is THE offroad travel adventure. A trail, entirely off-road, starting from the edge of the European Union (Poland), across central Asia and Siberia to the Pacific ocean. 12000 miles of continuous dirt track through some of the most remote terrain the world, completed by some very experienced moto-adventurers and excellent story tellers in the spring and summer of 2012. Its awesome.
From Estonia with love (Round the World) – An Estonian couple sold it all, packed up their life, and chose to travel around the world by motorcycle. Their trip is a jaw dropping 106,000 miles, 1126 days, and 70 countries. The photography is stunning and worth skimming for that alone.
Underboning the World – 2 Symbas, 1 Couple, No Sense – This one is as fun as it sounds. This American couple decided that this life was not a dress rehearsal, and the rest of us are better for getting to read about it :)
Another aspect that I like: All of these tales serve to quell potential fears about traveling in certain parts of the world. Bad news makes the news, but the reality of experience from traveler after traveler dispels the myths. Over and over, people are shown to be friendly and hospitable the world over, even amidst struggle and poverty, often offering assistance to travelers in need. As one commenter put it (paraphrasing): people are mostly good, goverments mostly aren’t. The world right now is the least dangerous its ever been.
I think my favorite expression of that is this video (which cracks me up) from a crazy guy who rode his Honda C90 (a 90cc scooter) from Malaysia back to the UK: “Riding a c90 through Iran”
So that’s a taste of the moto-flavored reading material keeping the cabin fever at bay, but don’t let its moto-centric content deter you from a good read.