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If you’ve been following along this week, Thursday’s post talked about some cruising friends who have either left boating altogether to pursue land exploration in an RV, or who have decided to split their time between a land-yacht and an actual one. Yesterday’s post shared a couple of examples of friends of ours whose plans involve exploring Europe and parts of Asia by backpacking. I find all their stories both interesting, and inspiring. The non-water-based travel inspiration emanating from our boating friends doesn’t end there though.

Two wheels instead of four

Recently I’ve come to learn that we have at least two or three other friends whose vehicle of choice for travel and exploration is a motorcycle, and I have to admit, I can see why. You may remember me posting about the TV series Long Way Round, and its follow-up, Long Way Down. If you’re not familiar with the shows, they document a couple of long-distance motorcycle journeys, and Rebecca and I watched each episode with great enthusiasm.

Interestingly, each of our two motorcycle-enthusiast friends that I spoke to about touring mentioned a desire to ride to Alaska, or from there. In fact, one mentioned riding from Alaska to Patagonia on a motorcycle, and as you might imagine, that really caught my attention! Getting to Argentina and Chile remains high on our agenda.

Warm, warmer, HOT!

Is a motorcycle trip in our future? No, not the immediate one. Even though it’s been on my bucket list for some time*, I’ve never learned how to ride a motorcycle, nor has Rebecca. We’ve spent a lot of time working on something else though, and I promise to share our real plans on Monday. In the meantime, if we were playing the hot-or-cold guessing game, what I’ve written in today’s post is pretty darn hot! Are you able to guess?

*Coincidentally, just before Rebecca and I made the wine-induced decision to sell everything we own and go cruising, we had been researching how to get our motorcycle license. In fact, I even had a bike picked out, a super sexy Ducati.

18 Comments

  1. I am a life-long motorcyclist with 45 years of experience who started riding minibikes at the age of 5 and rode everywhere on one as my primary form of transportation for many years. I didn’t buy my first car until I was in my 20’s, only because riding everywhere year round in Wisconsin was a little bit of a challenge after a while. Even after I owned a car the motorcycle was still my main commuter when snow wasn’t flying or the roads weren’t too icy. it was a little easier to buy groceries in, or buy lumber and other large materials from the big-box building store.

    It has always been a real laugh for me to see hopeful new motorcyclists go out and buy an expensive (and large) motorcycle as their first “dream bike.” That’s almost as bad as going out and buying a $350K sailboat before even learning how to sail or having had any experience sailing on other people’s boats, and then learning later how to sail by taking lessons and finding out afterwards what sailing is all about.

    Not only is there the fact that the learning curve on motorcycles is pretty steep and dropping a modern bike even at slow speed racks up a such a bill that it can even be close to totaled, but folks don’t even know what type of riding they will eventually like, so picking a specific type of motorcycle at that point and spending upwards of $20k on a new one is a little silly before they know enough about it to make an informed decision on what to buy. riding, even more than sailing can be a little bit on the dangerous side. Learning to ride is a challenge, picking a bike that is too large, heavy, and is hugely overpowered for their experience level is a real handicap, even if it weren’t a huge “investment” in money.

    If someone really wants to learn how to ride a motorcycle buy a little sailing dinghy and learn to sail it in a nice protected waterway for a year. Oops, I mean buy a little dirt bike and learn to ride it in a nice protected area of easy off-road trails at slow and sane speeds. You’ll learn the basics so much faster than trying to learn on a big boat in traffic. You really will learn all the skills you need to operate a 2-wheeled powered vehicle on a dirt bike, just like you really learn the fundamentals of sailing on a little sailing dingy or dory. You have no other choice. You have to just to make it move. Those skill will be applied to the larger vehicle later once the skills are mastered. They do scale very well. It’s inevitable learning them and they’ll be there, hardwired into your neural networks once you move “up.”

    I’ve seen many sailors who own larger sailboats who are afraid to take their own boats to pumpout, or go out in anything even close to fun weather conditions. It’s hard to get the experience necessary by taking a shortcut right to the end rather than working one’s way up the ladder.

  2. Just catching up to your latest posts. I’m not sure who the losers are, but anyone who has been living their dream for as long you two have are WINNERS! While most of us are dreamers, you are doers.

    Looking forward to your continued success regardless of where the roads or waters take you.

    PS – We have an Electra Glide and while we love it, it’s not the machine for an Alaska to Patagonia trip!

    And if New England is in the cards, you know there’s a great B & B in Fitchburg MA run by your former guests Brian & Linda. 🙂

    Be well.

  3. I just returned from Cuba and had been following your posts partially from there but with the internet costs and availability so I couldn’t read all of the posts. I like the idea of a motorcycle tour and I hope to do this one day as well once I pack the work thing in. Hopefully sooner than later. I’ve been riding my entire life and have been licensed for 47 years now and I totally agree with the first post. I learned to ride in an open field on a dirt bike with lots of bulky clothing to protect oneself once you fall. And you will fall, but not at the speeds of the roads and with all other traffic around to cause serious injury. A bike like a 250 is a nice size to start off with. You can get a dual purpose to ride on the rode once you’ve mastered the dirt. Good luck with that if and when you decide to do it.

    I’ll take a guess and say you guys are going to buy a Volkswagen van or similar type vehicle and travel a north/south route which will take in part if not all of the Americas? Hope I got it!

    Mark

    • Hey Mark. Hope Cuba was a blast.

      Yes, great advice on the motorcycle front.

      We could do a tour of all the great chip trucks in the Americas. That would be worthwhile, and would necessitate a trip back to see you.

  4. I’ve had motorcycles of one type or another since I was about 10. Last one was a Goldwing, which was the best bike I ever owned. It was a pavement queen and sometimes I did miss getting off the road but it was also very comfortable. Rode it from the Texas/Mexico border up through the Rockies all the way into Canada. Great trip over 3 weeks (then I had to get back to work). One day I did 1,010 miles on it!

    Anyway, had to sell it last year to move onto the sailboat. 🙁 Still miss that bike… Of course about a week ago we came across a couple on a big trawler with two motorcycles on top of it! I hated them at first sight! LOL!

  5. Mike, I like the way you guys are headed, but … just come to Thailand! You don’t even need a backpack, just put something warm over your swim shorts, flip flops, and tank top for the plane ride over. You can rent a room anywhere in Thailand for $10 to $15 per day, includes unlimited hot water and A/C. 🙂 My 2 minimalist cents.

  6. Seen both “Long Way Round” and “Long Way Down” a long time ago…almost 10 years now! Great docs.

    As far as Alaska – Patagonia travels, two channels I really like on YouTube are “Hasta Alaska” and “MotoVenturing”. Check them out if you have not seen them yet!

    Love backpacking, but with the years, tenting is no longer fun for me. I can do for awhile…but ya, not so much.

    Looking forward to your new adventures, we could feel for a long time that you were not the cruising lots (nothing wrong with that). Whatever way you go, still be following, as I know you enjoy sharing your content, and you write clearly.

    Cheers to you both!

  7. I would enjoy seeing you guys once again. Cuba was great as usual. Traveled around more this time. Check out Freedom Cycle in Ecuador. I’m on their blog list. Exciting riding.

  8. Guessing you plan to RV from Alaska to Argentina and Chile. Sounds fun, we can meet up with you somewhere along the way!

  9. Its as easy as riding a bike. I bought a Harley one day out of sheer Boredom and had a friend drive it home as i had no idea how to ride. I read a book that night on how to ride, the next day after about an hour in the church parking lot a did a 77 mile circumnavigation of Lake Tahoe. 18 months and 22,000 miles of road trips later I sold it without a single scratch. Biggest mistake I’ve ever made, it wasn’t a great bike, but I loved it all the same.

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