Friday 21 June 2013

More Motorcycle Media

I picked up a magazine called Rider the other day.  It's American, and written by an older crowd, but offers a less adrenaline driven and more wise look at the sport.  There were a couple of articles that pointed me toward some interesting motorbiking.
RIDER magazine
The first was about Hubert Kriegel's 10 year epic ride around the world.  Hubert has been doing long distance adventure riding since the 1970s, and his Timeless Ride shows you just how active retirement could be.  That he doesn't over plan his trips and encourages the use of something other than a massive BMW is also refreshing.  Like the best adventures, Hubert stresses that wanting to do it is all that really matters, the rest is just noise.

The follow up editorial by Clement Salvadori was a detailed list of the adventure riding books that might lead you to your first RTW trip.  Now he has me looking for old, hard to find books such as Around The World With Motorcycle & Camera by Eitel & Rolf Lange, a father son duo who did it back in the 1950s on a old German bike with sidecar.  He also mentioned Ted Simon's Jupiter's Travels, which I first heard of while watching Long Way Round.

I also recently came across Mondo Enduro, an epic, low budget 'round the worlder by a group led by a teacher!  It's much less a star struck thing than Long Way Round, but very genuine and a joy to watch.  I can see why it has cult status amongst RTWers.

Clements also mentioned a number of pre-war attempts to circle the globe. Greg Frazier's Motorcycle Adventurer tells the story of Carl Clancy who made an attempt in 1925.  He also mentions Bernd Tesch who is trying to create a listing of RTW trips on motorbike.  It appears that 'round the world motorbike trips are a vibrant, world wide subculture.  Other pre-WWII books of interest are Nansen Passport: Round The World on a Motorcycle, by a white Russian fleeing the revolution, One Man Caravan, a mid-thirties American's Long Way Round from London to New York City, and the eight year epic journey by a pair of Hungarians in Around The World On A Motorcycle: 1928-1936.
Curse you designers!

Rider Magazine also pitched some interesting theory on design trends.  I hate it when I'm pigeon holed into a market segment (I'm Gen-X, we're like that), but they were bang on in describing how designers are aiming for post-boomers with less chromey, blinged out touring bikes.  I hate to admit it but Honda's getting it right with the new Goldwing - I never thought I'd say that.

I think I'll give Rider another go before I commit.  Many of the rides were American based, which is a bit tedious, especially when I think about the Adventure Bike Rider UK magazine I stumbled across a month or so ago.  Only one of their road trips were based in the British Isles, the rest took me everywhere from Beirut to Greece to South America, but then they don't think they are the world.   If it weren't so expensive to buy a UK magazine in Canada, I'd go for Adventure Bike Rider immediately.  They do offer a digital edition.  I might give that a go, but for a digital guy, I'm pretty paper bound when it comes to magazines (reading tablets in the bath gives me the willies).

No matter what, it's nice to know that there are thoughtful, quirky publications about motorcycling out there, it's not all about how much leather you can wear on your Harley or how long a wheelie you can pull.