Next chapter from – “The Subjective Adventure Motorcyclist Guide”
#2 Where to go?
This time I decided to talk a little bit about selecting the route… I’m pretty sure that all of you dream about different destinations in the world which you would like to see from the saddle of your motorbike. I need to confess that I’m dreaming about far away New Zealand, Kyrgyzstan, The British Isles and Alaska. Nevertheless, we can find routes or places close to our homes which will ‘blow your mind’ or make you smile ear to ear. Irregardless where you live!
Before I started to travel around the world… over ten years I was riding with my Father in the motorcycle club. Twice in the month we were going somewhere… discovering new necks of the woods in Poland. Few years ago when we started to count how many kilometers did we ride togheter it turned out that we traveled 100 000 km only in our country! As you can see appetite grows while riding. I did get much out of these journeys. First of all I understood, if you want to see the world avoid main roads! Give a wide berth from interstates & expressways… unless you want to see white or yellow line which divides lanes?! Start with exploring your own country. Rediscover it! Certainly more than once it will surprise you. I acquaint with Polish people who plan to visit Israel, Africa, South America… but when you ask them have you been in Kłodzka Valley or Bieszczady Mountains ( which are beautiful regions in Poland)? They answer: “Not yet!”
I don’t know how about you Guys but when I’m preparing for the next trip I try to plan route which I’ll be riding. That helps me not to skip the coolest places on the route and maximize time that I have for my journeys. Not to mention about the budget but I’ll talk about it another time. When I set up the tour it motivates me to keep going… there are times that I would love to stay in one place for ‘few’ more days but ‘someday’ I need to go back home. But as I find out while my adventures you can’t predict everything! You can throw your watch to the saddlebags and just chill out because real adventure starts when ‘fate’ starts to play with us and for example road have been washed out during a flash flood; closed because of snow storm or because tornado which passed the day before. I experienced all of this situations at first hand. You start to feel really nervous when you have to ride extra 200-300 km in the end of the day (amid the detour). In such a situation you need to calm down and ask yourself: “Why you’re doing it?” and “Can you shorten the route for today by changing your destination?” When you ‘have’ to reach certain place you just need to ride forward and enjoy it because you’re doing what you love, aren’t you? Schedule few extra breaks and you won’t feel in your bones 900 km ridden via local roads during the day!
Next lesson which I learned from my journeys is the fact that you can’t see all at the same time… Even if you’re traveling few weeks or few months! To be honest I’m glad because of that, cause wherever I’m back I’m able to see something new and feel for few seconds like small kid who discovers the world. It gives you lots of fun, when you devour new places! All our senses are involved… we feel new smells, we hear new sounds, new melodies, we taste new food,… we see something for the first time.
Next tip which I can give you: never plan too many miles per day in the saddle if you chose scenic road or you want to go sightseeing. Feast your eyes upon the beautiful world… don’t speed up from point A to point B you’re not the ostrich road runner.
When you plan your route try to arrange your travel so as to not ride the same road twice. Life’s too short and the world is too big and too beautiful to waste time to ride the same road more then once… unless you loved it.
The best guides are locals! Don’t be scared to ask cashier in the shop or old guy at the gas station about few tips. They, (like you do) know their neighbourhood like the back of their hand. I’m sure they can recommend you the best roads or places to visit in the area which you won’t find in any guidebook.
OK, so what to do when you don’t have anybody to ask about the road? How to identify the most interesting? When route have longer/higher numer it means for sure it will be more thrilling and probably empty. Instead of choosing numer 8 chose 30, 89, 618 or 4656!!
P.S. Don’t delay your journeys! Go before it’s gonna be too late to move from rocking chair!