The great thing about motorbike adventures is getting up in the morning, packing up and heading off down the road not having a clue what the day’s going to bring.

It’s the perfect antidote to everyday life.

The not so great things are when it all goes wrong, like when you crash, as I did in Colombia, or you’re stuck, as Clifford Paterson and I were on the Guatemala-Mexico border because he didn’t have his original bike registration documents.

He finally bluffed his way through with a page torn carefully out of his Carnet de Passage. Phew.

The other not so great thing is the organisation. Putting together one of my big adventures has taken up to two years, including countless days when I came up against apparently insoluble bureaucratic or logistical problems.

The solution to all of this, of course, is to go on an organised tour, which means you get all the fun and none of the hassle, not to mention the company of kindred spirits.

So to get your creative juices flowing, here’s how you can recreate part or some of the jaunts I’ve done.

Way to go: Geoff's book on the Delhi-to-Belfast and Route 66 trips
Way to go: Geoff’s book on the Delhi-to-Belfast and Route 66 trips

Route 66 on a Harley or Indian

On a cold spring morning in Chicago, I strapped on an open face helmet, adjusted my shades, zipped up my leather jacket and pressed the go button on a Harley Road King.

Ahead of me was the 2,448 miles to Los Angeles, and it was one of the finest moments of my motorcycling life.

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For the US is made for road trips, Route 66 makes your heart sing more than any other road, and there is no finer feeling than getting up every morning, checking out of a historic motel, packing your stuff on a Harley and riding west on it.

EagleRider (eaglerider.com) is an excellent company and has two-week guided rides of Route 66 from $4,072 per person, including bike rental, accommodation and pretty much everything except air fare to Chicago.

Good books on the road include Route 66: The Mother Road by Michael Wallis, for inspiring stories and interviews with great personalities, and Route 66 by Tom Snyder, a mile by mile guide to motels, diners, gas stations, garages and characters.

Do it. You’ll remember it for ever.

Flower power: Paddy Minne south of Timisoara, Romania, on the way from Delhi to Belfast
Flower power: Paddy Minne south of Timisoara, Romania, on the way from Delhi to Belfast

Delhi to Belfast on a Royal Enfield

This was my first bike adventure – riding two Enfields home with fellow lunatic Paddy Minne.

Since I’d only got my licence two years before and done 30 miles on a bike in my life, there may have been drink involved.

Not surprisingly, there aren’t organised Enfield tours from India to the UK, but Blazing Trails (blazingtrailstours.com) has tours in India, Nepal and South Africa.

Prices start at £2,450 plus flights. I’ve ridden with them in the Himalayas, and they’re a great bunch.

Cool: Geoff on a Royal Enfield in the Himalayas, with Blazing Trails
Cool: Geoff on a Royal Enfield in the Himalayas, with Blazing Trails

Royal Enfield’s official rides include the brilliant 18-day Himalayan Odyssey from Delhi to Leh and back (royalenfield.com), but it’s highly subsidised at £425, so hugely booked out the moment it goes live. Total cost including meals, beer, fuel etc is about £900, plus flights.

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Whoops: Geoff on the Ecuador-Colombia border hours before a bad crash
Whoops: Geoff on the Ecuador-Colombia border hours before a bad crash

Chile to Alaska on a Triumph Tiger

This was the big one – three-and-a-half months riding the 16,500 miles of the Pan-American Highway, the world’s longest road. The book, The Road to Gobblers Knob, is most readers’ favourite.

Mind you, I’ve still got the scars from crashing in Colombia.

If you’ve got five months to spare, Globebusters’ 24,000-mile Alaska to Argentina expedition from July to December 2020 is £32,995 per person sharing.

If not, they do shorter tours in the Americas from £2,900 for 13 days.

globebusters.com

Compass Expeditions compassexpeditions.com does 15-day tours in South America from £5,437 and Nick Sanders does 23 days across the USA for £4,290. nicksanders.com

If you’re going it alone, horizonsunlimited.com and Chris Scott’s Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, £12.99 from Amazon, are great sources of information.

Jeep: You can do Vietnam in one of these if you don't fancy a bike
Jeep: You can do Vietnam in one of these if you don’t fancy a bike

Vietnam

Three years ago, I spent two weeks riding the 1,000 miles of the Ho Chi Minh Trail from Hanoi to Saigon on an Honda CRF 250L, and what a fabulous experience – great country, great scenery, great people, great food and great company, called appropriately enough, Great Road Journeys (greatroadjourneys.com ), run by the hugely efficient and hilarious Steve McCullagh.

You can also do it in one of the former US Army Jeeps left behind after the war, or on a Ural, the Russian copies of 1930s BMWs.

Whet your appetite with the video, greatroadjourneys.com

Tours are every April, from £2,695 on a bike or £3,695 in a Jeep, plus flights.

BRRR: The frozen ride in Mongolia
BRRR: The frozen ride in Mongolia

Mongolia

One of the weirdest trips I’ve done was riding a Royal Enfield and sidecar across a frozen lake in Mongolia last year.

It was made even more interesting by the fact that the bag with all my warm kit and sleeping bag spent the week at Moscow Airport. Thank heavens I had a pair of sparkly tights with me left over from a fancy dress party.

The nine-day Frozen Ride Tour runs twice a year with a maximum of six people a tour, with six days of riding covering 360 miles over ice and snow.

Prices start at €4,850, not including flights. You’ll need about €60 for drinks, and €50 for the crew’s bonus at the end of the trip.

vintagerides.travel

Get £30 off your motorbike insurance at:

MotorcycleDirect.co.uk





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