Talking with a friend the other day, I was reminded of a time when I didn't have reliable, properly functioning, waterproof motorcycle gear. Out there in the rain, wind, and shivering cold there were times I was wondering "why on earth anyone would ride motorcycles?"
The truth is, I kind of miss those moments.
Back in 2009/10, I spent lots of time out prospecting routes in the Andes Mountains in search of the best motorcycle trips possible. Thousands of kilometers, week after week, sometimes for a couple of months at a time, and of course I had to deal with the occasional storm or mechanical issue.
With motorcycle travel comes flat tires, empty fuel tanks and other delays, so of course there were occasions where I was stuck in horrible weather just trying to fight my way to any kind of civilization where I could put a roof over my head. Passing on the option to set up my already-soaked tent in those Patagonia winds, I just wanted a warm & dry room and often fought it out with the chill of the night.
Occasionally I'd get close enough to a tourist bus or truck to catch a glimpse of the cozy faces all bundled up inside. "Why on earth am I traveling like this again?" as I felt the warmth of the truck's engine along side me. It's amazing how such a source of heat makes itself apparent when you're shivering in the dark. Wishing for nothing more than warmth and comfort to be waiting at the end, every mile can be a grind.
I guess the point in sharing these memories is that, they are now exactly that, "memories." Brutally uncomfortable experiences at the time sure don't seem like something to remember, but somehow, moments like those are the ones that stick out years later. I now look upon them with a smile because I survived. (Long since, I have upgraded to excellent motorcycle gear made by Klim, as reviewed on this link for the jacket, and this link for the pants.)
These thoughts come up now as I think of the many self-guided motorcycle rental customers we've booked this season are all getting ready for their own fantastic voyages in Patagonia and other destinations. Nerves and trepidation are ominpresent amongst these riders, and questions are pouring in as they all second-guess the adventure ahead. While I wish them the most incredible experiences, in the back of my mind, a small part of me hopes they encounter at least some amount of challenge on their voyage ... the type of challenge that make adventure riding so special.
We head out into the unknown in search of new experiences, sites & scenery, and the ultimate adventure. Just don't forget folks, overcoming obstacles is all part of that. As a noun, the word "Adventure" is listed as "an unusual and exciting, typically hazardous, experience or activity. As a verb, "engage in hazardous and exciting activity, esp. the exploration of unknown territory." (Source: Google) Mash all those thoughts together, and we should expect that things won't go as planned. That, afterall, might be exactly what we're after, what we need, and what we desire.