Many riders dream of the big biking adventure to the far reaches of the globe or to even go all the way round in any which way that they can. However for the overwhelming majority, that dream is simply out of reach as life’s demands, work and domestic pulls keep you rooted in your area…well certainly until the kids can fend for themselves you would hope.
So if to boldly go where no man…or woman…has gone before is a mere pipe dream, is there anything else that comes close to it and will it give you that kind of feeling of riding into the unknown. Well, firstly, it is the unknown element that you would want to exploit and to find joy within it too.
You could ride into foreign lands and force yourself to become accustomed to their highways and vistas, the language or sign language…and the temperament of the local darlings…however that is merely a sideshow for what you are truly experiencing.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Elliot
The experience of exploration can occur from the moment you leave your front door and venture out into whatever unknown area surrounds you. Simply getting on your ride and taking the less travelled route can make your journey a new adventure whilst you still have that comfort of knowing you’re never too far away from those domestic responsibilities that are keeping you cemented in a time and place.
Virtually everyday I am exploring routes and seeing places, buildings and views for the very first time and it doesn’t even mean I’m travelling that far from my base either. Just imagine your great adventure around the world on your two wheeled throbbing machine…your route will take you through the heart of that society…but consider how much of that country your are missing as you keep to the planned route. It is the exact same experience in your own area. There are a lifetime of routes, trails and byways that are within a half day’s ride to go and explore…and you can still be back in time for tea with your nearest and dearest.
Many times, I’ll put the side boxes on my bike and load up with ‘stuff’ to get that great outdoors experience too. I’ll plan routes along trails and byways that will take motorcycles. At any stage you can find a place to camp, whether with the land owner’s permission if you’re going wild camping…or at a regular campsite. That experience will be the same the world over…the only difference is the environment and weather might have changed.
So if you’re pining for your very own David Livingstone trial but cannot get away for long or don’t have the finances to do so…or simply are lacking a bit of confidence for le grand tour…then find places near to you that you’ve never been to before and go explore those first. You will be amazed at what is out there and so close to home too…but remember, there are people on the other side of the world who would love to do their own grand tour and come to explore your area too…it’s all about perspectives.
The perfect adventure to the end of the world might be improbable for most, however the end of the world, from another person’s point of view, may just be around the corner. So go find a map to plot your routes or follow your nose and go explore the great outdoors in whichever way suits you best…you never know…our paths may cross one day as I do the very same thing.