I know that the current craze in Adventure biking is seen as a bit of a fad at best and a shrewd marketing ploy at worst. I see it as a bit of a misnomer. You can have an adventure on any kind of motorcycle. I’m not looking to have an, “Adventure,” when I get on my bike, I’m looking to explore and for me, that means getting off of the beaten track and going places where a new face really is a novelty.
There’s a few very accomplished riders I follow. One of whom is Walter Colebach who regularly crosses Siberia and Mongolia. He believes in wearing an open face helmet so people you approach can see your face and your smile. Because a friendly smile is your best tool on any trip.
It’s no secret there’s a lot of fear out there right now. The media doesn’t help as that sort of thing sells well, even if it isn’t fully accurate. I’ve never been in a situation where I felt threatened or in danger from people I’ve met along the way. It might just be the nature of being on a bike. You’re not inside of a cage of steel and glass, you’re pretty much all out there in the elements which seems to make you more approachable.
The questions are almost always the same. “Where are you from? Where are you going? What kind of bike is that?” And that’s just regular people. Other riders see you, walk right on over.and start up a conversation. It’s funny, I’ve met people who know people I know in the absolute middle of nowhere, just because we were on bikes.
I know it’s easier to be scared. Fear is an adequate response to keeping you safe, I suppose but you do miss out on getting to know people. I’ve had some great chats in some of the coolest places in North America. I’ve had complete strangers offer assistance because they could see I was in trouble and I’ve even helped a few others out along the way because, well, hell, we’re all in this together and it never hurts to top up your positive karma.
And while, “What gun do you travel with.” Seems to be a popular thread on a few of the other motorcycle forums, you’ll never see one like it on the ADV maybe it’s because we’re looking for something as opposed to having assumed we’ve already found it or there’s simply no room in our gear for a gun.