I am glad you like my posts. As you rightly said, muscle damage may be one of stimuli (there are many) that lead to muscle hypertrophy, i.e. muscles getting bigger. However, even experienced and muscly weight trainers will get some muscle soreness if they stop for more than six months or when they perform some very unusual exercise.
For example, I do regular weight training, but I still got some muscle soreness after riding a motorbike in the mud for the first time. This is because some of the muscles used during off-road riding are not used in exactly the same way during weight training. Don't get me wrong. I am sure I would have been even more sore if I did not do regular weight training. But it still possible to get sore when doing new kind of muscle contractions. This is why I suggest to do an hard off-road ride before leaving for a big adventure bike trip.