There are a huge number of magazines and books out there extolling the virtues of 'adventure travel'. A strange new phenomenon which seems to usually involve a novice rider going somewhere strange on their bike, getting into difficulties and being thoroughly miserable, before coming back home again and writing a book about how brilliant it all was.
|The expectation (Ewan & Charlie)|
In fact, next time you pass your local BMW dealer I would guess that more than half their stock falls into the 'adventure' category - GS, Paris Dakar etc. Buy the bike, and all of the lovely expensive accessories from Touratech, and you too can be a 'proper' adventurer just like Ewan and Charley, even if you never go further than the café in town. Image, it seems, is everything. Something that Harley-Davidson has known for a good long while.
|The very issue mentioned|
A good example of this phenomenon is Adventure Bike Rider magazine. A copy of this fine periodical that I read recently included numerous stories of derring-do, some in exciting foreign parts, adverts for the most eye-wateringly expensive kit I’ve ever come across, a number of ‘how-to’ articles on everything from what to wear to where to go and, my personal favourite, survivalist nonsense in case you are ever stranded far from civilisation and need to make a fire or drink something other than your own urine.
|How to make fire the boy scout way|
|For when you run out of Perrier|
Seriously, I sometimes think that this sort of thing must actually put off as many folk as it inspires. Who really wants to contract dysentery while riding a broken-down wreck on un-surfaced roads through a war-zone with the very real possibility of being shot at? I'll give it a miss, thank you.
|Parked outside a hotel in Dijon, France|
For the moment, I’ll stick to travelling in countries which have indoor plumbing and are not currently engaged in a civil war. Places which are not too dissimilar to the UK, except for the fact that it's far away, the food is a mite different and you can't always communicate with the locals. But then again that can be true of going to Yorkshire for the weekend!