Do, do, do the funky Monkey Run…

It all began with an email, subject line: Your next adventure? It came from a group called the Adventurists (theadventurists.com), an adventure travel company with a big difference. 12 weeks later I was boarding a flight to Peru. 30 hours after that I walked into Ayacucho’s Viavia hotel and sat down to a welcome breakfast.

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'R' is for adventure

What’s it like to ride these West Coast desert trails? Navigating Southern California’s tracks and trails is easier than you think and it is certainly less complex than the United Kingdom. Where you can and can’t ride is regulated and mapped. They are follow- your-nose sort of trails and because they are relatively well used they are also usually clearly defined and signed when riding isn’t allowed. 

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Nevermind the Canucks

In case no one told you Canada is a big place, a really big place. In fact the province of British Columbia (BC) is four times the size of Great Britain. Our six day route takes us from the plains of Alberta, through the Rockies, and on to south central British Columbia. From there it’s north into central BC and the Coast Mountains – northern Washington is on the cards for the return trip, but reality dictates a different route. 

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Next stop New York...

Bloody weather. It's meant to be May, time for spring rides under blue skies. Instead i'm standing on Hartlepool sea front, drinking a McDonald's coffee and shivering in an icy blast that’s apparently blowing in from the Arctic. Still, at least it’s not snowing. Yet. Last week, before the unseasonal return of winter, this seemed like a good idea. A quick mini adventure on Suzuki’s muscle bound missile.

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Zero hero

I wanted to prove that riding electric motorcycles over long distances is possible now and to be the first electric motorcycle rider to travel the Pan American route. So I headed out from Philadelphia and rode through 14 countries to Cape Froward, Chile – the very tip of South America. This 17,325-mile journey is the longest ride on an electric motorcycle in history and has more than doubled the record.

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'This land is your land'. lucky you

It's 24 hours until the drag race in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Busa and I are 400 miles away but I’m not bothered. We’ll knock that off this afternoon. Over the last two weeks I’ve learned that racking up miles in America is so, so much easier than doing the same distance in the UK. The roads are deserted unless you hit a city, so whether you’re on an interstate or a twisty back road you don’t need that fraught level of concentration required to make progress in Britain. Instead of being mentally exhausted after a couple of hours in the saddle, I feel weirdly fresh. It’s odd.

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Lost Tengai. In Powys

On the face of it, it's not so very different to Cameroon here. Rolling hills, exotic sounding and lounge-twisting place names, road signs in a language I don't really understand and ribbons of misting, twisting tarmac stretching into the gloom. Over-zealous Old Bill will book you for the slightest infraction, while genial local folk stop by to chew the fat. It’s raining, natch. Then again, it couldn’t be more different here.

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Iran? What do you - Wanna go there for?

Iran: What do you want to go there for? This was the standard response upon announcing my plan to ride around the Islamic Republic. Once a highlight of the classic overland route to Asia, Iran had become a no-go zone for travellers in recent years, following the 2011 attack on the British embassy in Tehran. The relationship between the two nations had sunk to an all-time low, diplomatic relations had been suspended and the UK Foreign Office had issued hysterical travel warnings, colouring the whole of Iran in ‘red for danger’. 

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Frontier spirit

Dirt Penetrates Every inch of our clothes. Jason's BMW F800GS is battered from a big fall that mashes the rim and rips the front tyre and tube to shreds. My F650GS is running strong. We nurse the 800 to the nearest civilisation fully expecting the trip to continue by pick-up. But no. Dean at the nearest motel produces a 21-inch front tyre. New tube, a bit of rough truing and we’re back in business.

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