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    • Having interviewed multiple adventure riders before they set off on their dream ride, be it around the world, across the Americas or Asia/Africa, I noticed a pattern. Before hitting the road, all of them think the journey would be the toughest thing they'd ever do. Here are some direct quotes:

      "I think this trip will make me really tough"

      "This will be the most challenging thing I've ever done"

      "This will test me to my limits"

      "This will be an extreme ride"

      Fast forward six months or a year into their ride, and the attitude changes completely:

      "Instead of making me tougher, it actually made me softer in a way and that's a good thing - I learned a lot about empathy along the way"

      "You get flats, rain, a failed GPS, a smelly hotel room sometimes. That's about it when it comes to hardship on the road"

      "It's so much easier than people make it out to be"

      "This is so much fun!"

      Why do so many people assume that riding round the world is all "blood and guts" - an extremely hard, tough, challenging and hardcore undertaking?

    • Is it possible that male riders tend to exaggerate and 'appear like warriors' more than the female ones? :) I don't remember ever portraying myself as a conquistador on two wheels and I've had numerous conversations with other female riders about the whole 'conquer vs explore' concept.

      Is adventure riding "tough and extreme" because of lingering machismo, or is it simply a modern day trophy hunting?

    • The first photo isn't of Jocelin Snow - that's that English gal traveling across Asia with her boyfriend. Ride Unlimited, I believe?.. And she doesn't look like a warrior to me, just someone riding an off road track someplace in Central Asia. She always manages to keep her make up on, though, which might indeed be a ninja-worthy skill! :D

      Jocelin Snow isn't a world rider, she is an off road coach and BMW GS Trophy competitor.

      I meant riders who are out there to ride the world, rather than racers, off road coaches or rally competitors. The quote about empathy belongs to Lea Rieck; Asta talks about how traveling the world has changed her perspective for the better; Chantal Simons now teaches mental skills on the road. Tolga Basol and many others, on the other hand, are all about hero shots, power slides and splashy water crossings.

      That's generalizing, of course, and probably unfairly in many cases - but is it possible that female world riders might diffuse the image somewhat, hopefully adding a fresh new perspective?

    • I think it's perspective. What draws a lot of people to adventure travel are stories like this one:

      It's exciting and full of quotes like:

      right until we reached this point, I jumped off the bike, walked on to the soaking wet bridge and the wood was rotten and cracking un my weight so didn’t want to risk putting a bike on there with a 50-foot drop to a river below

      For the average person who vacations for a week at the Hilton in Hawaii, I'm not sure a nuance like which woman is in the pic Jocelyn posted makes much diff. They look at it and think badass, no?

    • They do? :D

      Maybe it depends on how you get into adventure riding in the first place. If the motorcycle leads you to travel, you might focus more on the riding and the adventure. As a former backpacker/hitch hiker, I was always more into people and cultures.

    • Well, El having read a bunch of your stories I’d have to say that your take on the travels has always been about what you see and who you meet as opposed to being a badass on the road. Having hung out with you for a week you spend a lot of time taking those insights and distilling them down to a written format to share with the world. I’m sure the proliferation of your influence will reach many far and wide and might serve to dispel some of tha machismo out there in ADV land.

    You've been invited!