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Ok, so let's get it out on the table.  I was 64 when I did my trip around Mexico and 65 when I did my trip to South America.  Not ancient (by my standards) but getin there.  I recognized that neither the brain nor the body was what it once was but, both were still functioning just fine and if I could find a way to adapt the trip to my capabilities, I'd be golden.  I'm so glad I did.  While there were scary moments, frustrating moments and challenging moments, I was able to work through all of those resulting in an incredibly fulfilling experience of a lifetime.


When I started getting the bug to travel I was greatly motivated by Ted Simon and his book of his second round the world trip which he started when he was 71.  At that point I realized I wasn't too old, I just needed a good measure of patience and some confidence in my ability to adapt.  Later, I met a British guy, Mike, in Cali, Colombia riding a 1200 GSA who was 71.  What made him remarkable, was that he could only walk with the help of a cane and, had been riding steadily since his wife died 6 years before.   Het around seemed to get around just fine.

Patience - I had to learn that one.  Not known to be the most patient person in the world nor particularly tolerant of stupid people, I did learn how to relax a bit by riding shorter days (don't have the need to ride sunup to sundown and beyond), staying in places longer to enjoy the ambiance, changing plans on the fly to accommodate current circumstances and ultimately learned to be more tolerant of the stupid people that walk among us.

Confidence - I'm sure everyone operates differently, but for me I needed to know that I could handle my bike in varying conditions and I needed to know enough to deal with mechanical issues and local issues when they may arise.  

  • Since I had virtually no experience riding off pavement when I bought my 800GS, I decided to beef those skills up by following up my RawHyde course with lots of practice in the hills around my home in BC.  Never became a particularly adept offroad rider but, good enough.  

  • Mechanical issues - had the BMW service manual along with tools that would fit every nut, bolt and screw on the bike.  I got to know the bike real well by doing all the servicing myself, did the odd repair and installed all the equipment and accessories.  I identified a few bits that had failed for other riders on this bike and carried spares.  All of this is not necessary as I met many other riders in my travels who could change a tire but little else. I like tinkering so I was prepared for just about everything.

  • Local issues - Reading Ride Reports of those who preceded me gave me a good understanding of some issues that might arise and some ideas of how to deal with them.

Planning - I have tended to over-plan.  I've got over a lot of that.  While I put a fair amount of thought into what I want to take with me, trip planning was virtually day to day.  I know the general direction I want to go, I know some highlites I want to hit and beyond that tonight I will plan tomorrows trip.  I might plan some secondary routes or secondary destinations.Mex a bit, SA very little

This whole adventure thing is primarily about your head.  If you can ride a motorcycle, you can travel in the Americas.  Skill levels will dictate how much off the beaten track you will venture.  So, the only thing holding you back is between your ears.  Identify your concerns and find ways to mitigate them.  Then charge on.  


You will only regret the trip you never took.


So, you think you're too old for Adventure Travelling

Edited March 3, 2017

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