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  #16  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by skierd View Post
The situation is very different in Europe, full of small countries piled on top of each other. You need a passport to actually go anywhere, which is probably as much reason for 'most' (and I'd be willing to wager its still not a majority) have a passport than any real desire to travel farther than a few hundred miles from home. Riding across the EU is roughly equivalent to riding across the lower 48 is it not?
Yes Skierd, on needing a passport, this is true to a point, though Schengen means that for many countries a passport is not needed. But your basic point is valid.

On "riding across the EU" I take your point, tho' it's more about moving out of your comfort zone, whatever the distance.

There is a real problem in Europe you don't have in the US and that's the price of fuel, which is crippling here, I think.
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  #17  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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I agree with most points, or I’d say with the spirit of your post. But I also think there’s another side of the coin to be seen:

- The comparison between overlanding and flying costs may be misleading: fuel prices have raised, but also flight tickets prices have gone rock bottom, so they are comparatively much cheaper now. I assume that flying your bike to another continent has to be much cheaper today than it used to be. Nonetheless, oil prices and industry are THE BIGGEST SCAM on Earth (…alongside with banks, of course). I don’t get that petrol can be more expensive than drinks (, soft drinks, juice, etc) and still there is no alternative to it. I hate that lobby, a burden for all of us.

- Some regions get tougher to go to, but others open as well: far Russia/Siberia and the Stans are accessible, as it happened with the Eastern block in general, for instance. I’m pretty sad about Western Africa, it’s in my agenda, but thinking about rushing through Timbuktu or elsewhere, instead of taking it easy looks the opposite of what I’d like. But this looks like cycles.

- I think there is an assumption that should be clear to someone committing to travelling intensively, especially if you plan to keep the pace at an older age: if you focus a lot on travelling, years-off, investing in gear, etc, then your professional career won’t perform (I hate that word!) so good as if you only focused on working and working and working and working. So, it’s reasonable to think that you’ll have less cash in the long run. It’s not only the money you spend (instead of invested) and the cash you did not earn that year since you did not work (we call that “lucro cesante”, lost profit?), but also that those years-off may stop you going higher in the job hierarchy. Or you may keep a “worse job” because it allows you more free time (for wrenching, planning, etc), or whatever. So it’s definitely a compromise to consider. Such a life will have a toll.

Something that seems to worry (not that Caminando mentioned it in the opening post), is that going abroad is getting more and more expensive… Well, fortunately for them, many developing countries are growing much faster than us (Western nations in decline), so that’s why they are much more expensive to travel now (India, Brazil, etc). The same happened to the countries that didn’t suffer that much the consequences of the WWII, such as the US or Switzerland, which comparatively were getting “poorer and poorer” against the other Western nations.

Regarding the future… I agree, I’m quite pessimistic, at least regarding Western countries (I cannot find a better term): I feel there is a wealth exchange of money going from middle-class towards VERY upper class (ultra-rich). Middle-class, which is the cement in the society, what gives stability in the long run, tends to disappear IMO, and that’s very, very bad.

Esteban
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  #18  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Yes, yes, back in the day it was all wonderful, you could ride round the world on a week's wages, and border officials everywhere would welcome you in with a crisp salute as soon as you waved your British passport.




Fuel is expensive in Europe. Other stuff is (inflation adjusted) cheaper than it's ever been - including buying motorcycles.

Currently, the UK is in a recession. Currently, most of North Africa is in a period of political unrest. Currently, a British passport makes you persona non grata in certain countries. I'm pretty sure all of these things have happened before, and they've all proved to be temporary states of affairs, and have all failed to spell an end to overland travel.
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  #19  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by dash View Post
Yes, yes, back in the day it was all wonderful, you could ride round the world on a week's wages, and border officials everywhere would welcome you in with a crisp salute as soon as you waved your British passport.
Not that anyone spoke of the Good Old Days which never existed but since it interests you, I'm sure you're one of those who slept in a shoebox , worked 24 hours a day for 50 pence and tipped your cap to the boss. Never did you any harm, did it?

The UK passport has been already referred to as a bummer in Iran. Get up to speed!
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  #20  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by dash View Post

Fuel is expensive in Europe. Other stuff is (inflation adjusted) cheaper than it's ever been
Most Eurozone countries have evened out making hotels and food in the previously cheap countries much more expensive.
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  #21  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by Caminando View Post
Not that anyone spoke of the Good Old Days which never existed but since it interests you, I'm sure you're one of those who slept in a shoebox , worked 24 hours a day for 50 pence and tipped your cap to the boss. Never did you any harm, did it?

The UK passport has been already referred to as a bummer in Iran. Get up to speed!
You were the one going on about how much worse things will be 'tomorrow' than 'yesterday'. I'm 30, I'm not sure I was alive in the 'Good Old Days', whenever they were.

So I can't go to Iran right now, and parts of North Africa/Middle East might be ill-advised. Ok, I'll solve that by *going somewhere else*. By the time I've got bored of all the possible 'somewhere elses', I'll either be dead or the political situation will have changed.
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  #22  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Not just us.

I hate to be the one to point out that the UK's weakly motorcycle paper MCN has articles this week on diesel bikes and someone on a 50cc trail bike traversing South America and tomorrow the world. I've not tried MCN as loo paper but it would be OK for fire starting. I admit to referring to it as Motorcycle Nonsense, but still find myself checking it out at news stands. No excuse for such double standards. The diesels' economies are epic but they are lethargic slugs. Lindsay.
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  #23  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by Linzi View Post
. The diesels' economies are epic but they are lethargic slugs. Lindsay.
Cheers Linzi
I have 2 of these 'lethargic slugs' and they are too lethargic to mate!
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  #24  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dash View Post
Yes, yes, back in the day it was all wonderful, you could ride round the world on a week's wages, and border officials everywhere would welcome you in with a crisp salute as soon as you waved your British passport.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Caminando View Post
Not that anyone spoke of the Good Old Days which never existed but since it interests you, I'm sure you're one of those who slept in a shoebox , worked 24 hours a day for 50 pence and tipped your cap to the boss. Never did you any harm, did it?

The UK passport has been already referred to as a bummer in Iran. Get up to speed!
We are not here to start or continue arguments.

Dash, the 2nd part of your post was very balanced and reasonable, much nicer to keep the whole tone like that.
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  #25  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by dash View Post

So I can't go to Iran right now, and parts of North Africa/Middle East might be ill-advised. Ok, I'll solve that by *going somewhere else*.
Thanks Dash

That's one of the points I made, which I think may be an increasing option. So we agree

You'll also agree it's all about adapting to circumstance - financial, political etc. There may difficult economic times ahead, but you don't have to agree with that possibility of course. Yet there are so-called Tent Cities in the US, disabled people are having their incomes slashed in the UK, in Greece and Spain there are protests and some suicides over the economy and so on. Fuel will never drop significantly, but will continue to rise. Food for thought?

For the moment, while I can, I'll be off to the Stella Alpina.
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  #26  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Oh Oh.

Hi Palace, I think slugs are hermaphrodite so can, so to speak, do it for themselves, or do they use 69? I am no expert. What can I say when I'm confused enough to be male and use an obviously female username? I hope to god its not a freudian slip. Lindsay.

Last edited by Grant Johnson; 21 Jun 2012 at 20:10.
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  #27  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Originally Posted by Caminando View Post
like Ogri, "I've still got my bike"!
No no no! It's: "I've still got me bike"!
And a brilliant summing-up it is.

Like BoB above, I often give thought to all the different opinions and outlooks and ideas featured all over the HUBB, but usually I can't relate to many of them.
And I wonder why.
In the end I think it's mainly down to personal circumstances, your 'baggage' or experiences and influences from the past.
The possibility of being influenced by individuals isn't often mentioned. We've had Ted Simon and Charlie&Ewan brought into posts above, which indicates to me that probably they are amongst the people with the biggest influences at the moment, albeit at opposite ends of the spectrum I think.

On the other hand, how many members of these forums would say their parents have influenced them insofar as riding motorbikes is concerned?
My dad, a lifetime rider (mainly sidecars 1960s to 80s, bicycles before) is still a big influence for me I think, which might put me in a minority. And maybe is why I don't relate to a lot of what is on the HUBB. But notwithstanding that, these forums are a big resource for me and I read a huge amount of what gets posted, and enjoy it all and take note.
There are as many different views about riding a motorbike across continents as there are people doing it. And it will always be so, I think.

On the question of where we are now and what the future holds, it looks to me as though the popularity of riding off into the sunset continues to increase or at least remains steady. The changing stability of borders and countries has always been a factor and always will be. Ditto personal spending power. And fuel costs are probably the third major factor but that too has had its spikes in the past (for some of us - still have the ration books).

So routes, modes of transport, and sizes of vehicles will always change to suit the world situation and personal circumstance, at any given time. As it has done in the past.
For instance, it seems to me over the last 1 to 2 years, the popularity of going east (from UK) towards eastern Russia and SE Asia has increased enormously, while fewer are going to Africa. And the size/costs of bikes in use seems to be going down. (Standby for the major 'farkles' merchandisers to launch their new range of overlanding gizmos for the Honda C90!)

And there's a lot to say for the "travel to nearby places, look further while there" philosophy. If nobody is hearing that now, I think they may do in the future. It has a lot going for it, which I'm beginning to find myself and hope to explore more. (Although maybe, in reality, it's not much cheaper than overlanding on a distant continent).

For one thing that isn't mentioned much above, (just one brief reference), is health. And you need it more than money.
Consequently I find there's a lot to keep me interested in researching places nearby; finding I can travel there easily by bicycle, stay a good while and still see new things. And as I've learnt from a few long bicycle trips in the past, fuel costs don't matter.

Yep, I've always got me bike(s)!
(And a bus pass now, - which changes everything yet again!)
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  #28  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Corrrection fully accepted on the Ogri quote. "Moybe its becorz Oi ain't a Londonaa"....

And there's a lot to be said for the Honda 90.

Given that some of the posts here are thoughtfully written, some may care to look at
http://International Journal Of Motorcycle Studies
for something a cut way above the bike magazine stuff with its talk of "loads of grunt" and "grin factor" clichés..
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  #29  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Access to information.

McCrapkin refered to some thoughtful points... (as usual).

Of course, travelling by motorcycle now is MUCH easier now than it has ever been and I'd say that -as for travel by any other means to remote regions- the main reason IMO is the easy access to information, call it internet (forums as HUBB, LP Thorn Tree, etc) and quick/cheap communication as e-mail, fax, etc. Add these new technologies to security, such as GPS, Satellite phones, and SPOTs and similars. It's tailwind!

In the past, it was jumping into the unknown. Now you know what to expect, that's the main difference. I guess that if this access to information/communication were not here, less than 10% bikers would be accessing very remote areas. But that's happening in many fields: how many used to dive in the past? Now it's easier, safer, etc.

BUT, I understand that (obviously) Caminando's opening post takes that into account, since this is the time we are living in, but nonetheless, some factors may look to be against.

Last edited by estebangc; 21 Jun 2012 at 21:51.
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  #30  
Old 21 Jun 2012
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Totally agree it's never been easier. I 've often thought about those early riders and the sheer heroism of what they did.
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