Questions From The Road

July 4, 2016

Most other travelers I’ve spoken with tell the same story. The top questions they get are always:

  1. Where did you come from?
  2. Where are you going?
  3. How long?
  4. How big is the bike?
  5. How much does it cost?
  6. How fast does it go?

These are typically questions asked to the guys riding BMW’s or other large adventure bikes. My little 250 eliminates most of the “How Big? How Much? How Fast?” questions. Although I do still get those occasionally. But they are usually geared in a different direction: the “Why a 250?” being more prevalent.

But by far, the Number One question I’ve had from all people, whether motorcyclists or not, regardless of the country, income, education, background, etc, is this:


I usually just say “Tools”, “Herramientas”, “Spanners”, or the like, and they nod and walk away. Once in a while, I go into my longer speech about carrying so much weight on the rear of a small, lightweight motorcycle, and needing to transfer some weight to the front. But leave it to the French guys in Scotland on their way to the Isle of Man to have a fittingly French response: “It’s not for wine?”

I had never even given that one a thought.

The other question (and comment) that I’ve received a lot in many different countries, and which I still struggle with, is “Aren’t you afraid? You’re so brave!”

Honestly, I’m still trying to figure out the “brave” part. I understand why people would be afraid to do this, and most of that is unfounded fear based on media hype and propaganda. And I guess that leads to their thought that it takes someone “brave” to travel alone through all the places I’ve been.

I think the only “brave” thing I’ve done in the last year is to follow through with the decision to do this journey. The most difficult part of it all is deciding to walk away from everything at home: the job, the house, the lifestyle. But once you’ve done that, everything else is easy. Looking back, it’s easy for me to say it was “pan comido” (a piece of cake), but until you cross that line, it can be scary.

I haven’t met a single other traveler that has regretted the decision. And I put myself in that category as well.

16 thoughts on “Questions From The Road

  1. people usually afraid to be alone

    travel (being) alone means quickly attracted other people, and there is a lot more communication with local people

    travel (being) alone usually can give you possibility be more focused and you can see more

    but …ride in the company it is more fun and the way to deepening friendship (relationship)

  2. one of the most frequent questions I get/got is the ever so slightly illogical: “Did you ride that bike all the way here?” or something similar. Then comes the tough part, resisting saying anything sarcastic. Always wary of the “are you traveling all by yourself?” usually careful answering that one depending on who is asking.

    • Yep. It has been very hard to answer the “Did you ride that bike here?” question without sarcasm in Africa, UK & Europe. I’ve been tempted to ask if there was a bridge I didn’t know about. Most people in the UK assumed I shipped the bike from the States directly to London to ride around for a while.
      I’ve found that most people are genuinely curious when asking if/why I’m riding alone, but there’s always that one percent. It’s a common practice now for solo women travelers to wear a wedding ring and respond with something like “My husband is meeting me at the next town” or “He’s following right behind me.” Since I began this trip, I’ve been amazed at the number of solo female travelers, both motorcyclist and backpacker, and none of them that I’ve spoken with has had a problem. I did see a lot more pairs of women backpackers in Latin America. Strength in numbers, or at least a better feeling of security, I suppose.

  3. Da one I get often when I say I went somewhere especially Mexico is “u went da whole way there in this little bike?” N hey Pat after 3 sleepless nights, I’m caught up on ur travels, yahoo…

    • Little Bikes Rule.
      Glad you’re caught up. Now I have to get caught up….

  4. My wifey is nervous on where r da daily adv fix updates, I say Pat is probably spendin a few days sightseeing with Judith ?

    • Tell her to check back around Sunday afternoon….I should be back to a computer by then and will have some great Swiss Alps photos.

  5. I was lookin at ur toolkit list, an excellent addition which I carry with me already, that u need to update is da mini hand air pump. I’m going to slowly copy ur setup for my small klx, so that I can eventually do more camping n less hotels in my future rides, thou when in mex it’s so cheap, I will probably do more of it here in da states. I wonder if Madeline is coping every detail too.

    • Madeleine has a lot of experience already. I’m pretty sure she has figured her own setup out, or at least is working on it after her latest shake-down ride.
      I have the mini-hand pump now, but I would probably substitute the CO2 cartridge system I had before I lost it in Argentina. Quicker and easier than the hand pump.

  6. The woods are lofty, dark, and deep;
    But I have promises to keep.
    And miles to go before I sleep.
    Ride on.

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