Riding's what happens while you're busy planning other journeys.

Everyone likes to dream of an adventure.

Motorcycles offer the chance to escape the day to day routine. The Internet is filled with pictures, videos and stories of epic road trips, but most of us sit at home thinking of all the things that could go wrong. We never get to the time when everything comes together because we know that a well planned journey needs money and resources to make sure it doesn't all grind to a halt.

We stay in safe routes around home to test the vehicle and put off the time of departure by buying more essential items to cover every eventuality. But the year of departure stays safely in the future, where everything will one day be ready. In fact the months and years prior to setting out are a delicious period of anticipation, planning, making big choices about the routes and seasons to go. Instead of jumping on the bike and riding over the horizon you'll find yet another reason to wait until the time is right. You find a world class waterproof touring jacket in a sale and it feels so good to save some of the budget for when you're out there in the wide world. But the decent jacket you already have is enough. All clothing gets wet in prolonged rain anyway, even world class waterproof touring jackets. You've just purchased another reason to put off your departure, you rationalise how you would have missed that sale bargain if you'd already left and worry  that bargains like that couldn't be found out in the wider world far away from your local friendly motorcycle shop.

Picture of my Honda Transalp 650 at Felixstowe, Suffolk. A proper adventure motorcycle, but just twelve miles from home.

To go off on a big adventure is merely to set out from where we are now, with what we've got.

Ed March took a Honda C90 through Iran and carried on safely all the way to Britain with nothing much more than a huge sense of humour.
I bought a rough old sailing boat and after just a year of preparation sailed alone from Britain to west Africa. The boat cost £3000 and another £1000 to equip. Two broken engine mounts and an exhaust were replaced by a mechanic called Arun, in Senegal, at a fraction of the cost in Britain.

Things will happen "out there", just as they do on local trips, but we'll deal with them and after a few years facing the challenges and adversity of cutting loose, of going way beyond the horizon, we come back and say, That was an amazing adventure. It is essential to realise that we deal with breakdowns and equipment replacements whether we are off in foreign lands, or staying around home. So if you want to travel, then know that travel consists of one thing - doing what you do, a long way from home.

That is the hardest thing to do, just go. The moment of setting out feels unreal. As you pass local familiar places you tell yourself you can turn back and be home in time for tea. Why carry on beyond your comfort zone? After all it does feel uncomfortable. But a day later you're already seeing new things and starting to sense the adventure ahead.
The truth is, the moment you leave, the road ahead is real. If it rains or you break down 250 miles from home, you deal with. If your bike or boat are simple and well chosen then you're lucky and begin to feel an amazing freedom and to wonder why you didn't do it years ago.

I went to a talk by Austin Vince, who rode around the world on an old Suzuki DR350. He urged those dreaming of adventure travel to '...just go now with whatever you've got'.

That's what adventure is, maybe the biggest stopper is you, do you really want it?

Or do you prefer to ride to the cafe where your friends can admire your world girdling dual sport, all-terrain machine? Do you find yourself riding 8 miles across town to buy yet another modification that will make your bike even more world girdling? If so, then you're like me, happy to ride for a few hours and be home in time for tea.