Ask a bunch of riders to describe “adventure motorcycling” and you will likely receive a wide range of answers. You will probably hear words like “travel” or “off-road” or “around the world.”
While it would be difficult to argue the validity of any of these replies, I would like to suggest that adventure motorcycling, at its core, is something completely different. Visions of grand off-road rides across the Sahara desert or the Australian outback are only a small piece of the puzzle. The spirit of adventure motorcycling lives solely inside the rider and is just as evident on a 10 mile commute to work as it is on a multi-year ’round-the-world excursion.
“Adventure” is not a trip. It is not a motorcycle. It is not an article of clothing or piece of gear. It is simply a mindset.
An acknowledgment that there is a whole wide world out there, just out of site, lurking somewhere on the other side of your comfort zone
It is the willingness to experience the unknown. It is taking a chance on you to do what the average person won’t. In this case, the motorcycle is simply, and quite literally, a vehicle. It is a tool that when used correctly can help you to reach those faraway places inside your mind.
Anyone can experience the joy of adventure motorcycling. One does not NEED a $20,000 1200 cc bike, or a whole year off of work. With the right mindset, taking a 15 year old, barely running scooter to the grocery store for a gallon of milk can be an adventure.
Anyone can find ways to make adventure riding part of their everyday lives:
- Taking the Harley to a family Christmas party instead of the car.
- Stopping on the way home from work and turning down that gravel road that you’ve always wondered about.
- Riding in the dark.
- In the rain.
- In a snowstorm.
- Taking the spouse/significant other/son/daughter on a spontaneous midweek midnight ride for an ice cream cone.
- Making a loop around the back yard just for the hell of it before putting the bike up for the night.
- Riding your dual-sport to work every day for a year.
Do you have a motorcycle, once purchased with excitement and enthusiasm that now spends most of the year hiding under a tarp in the garage waiting patiently for that next perfectly comfortable 78 degree, sun-shiny Sunday afternoon ride around town?
Do you sit in your cubicle dreaming of “one day” taking that big “trip of a lifetime” shortly before you’re yanked back to the reality of the day’s obligations?
Adventure is not something that has to be waited for. It is something to be experienced, to be lived every day.