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Adventure vs Rally Gear: One Klim Krios Pro to Rule Them All

Going from adventure riding and traveling to rally racing sounds like a smooth transition: as an adventure rider, you’re already used to riding in all weather and on all terrain. Your off-road skills are somewhat passable, you’re no stranger to riding in all sorts of conditions and sometimes, spending more than eight hours on the bike daily. A rally race is essentially an adventure ride on steroids: with the added pressure of timing, roadbook navigation, and crazy daily distances, the stakes are much higher, but for me, going from ADV to rally felt like a natural step forward. After three years on and off the road on my Suzuki DR650, I finally took the leap and have now raced several international cross-country roadbook rallies ranging from Hellas Rally Raid and Hispania rally to hybrid...

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What’s This? Dinaric Rally 2020

COVID-19 has all but wiped all European rally races off the calendar this year with the exception of the Hellas Rally Raid in Greece. There’s not much going on until then, though, so when I got news of a new hybrid rally based in Croatia, I decided I’d give it a shot. The Dinaric Rally is seeing its very first edition in Knin, kicking off on the 11th of September. Timed and based on a rally format yet offering GPS tracks instead of roadbook navigation, the Dinaric Rally is a curious new addition to the European rally racing and training scene. Three days of riding in the Dinaric Alps with special stage length averaging 170-200 kilometers, Dinaric sounds like a great warm-up for Hellas, so I’m packing Lucy up and heading to Croatia next week. But it’s not just about the training and the

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How to Pack for a Motorcycle Trip

  Really, dude? Really? “How to pack for a motorcycle trip”? As someone who dislikes talking about stuff, I’m just as surprised about my sudden onset of wanting to discuss luggage and things as you are. I mean, it’s not like there’s a shortage of posts, articles, and videos about packing your bike for a long-distance trip. The thing is, though, despite all that information out there, as well as your own unbridled creativity, how often have you found yourself obsessing over packing lists, attempting to reduce volume and weight, and packing and re-packing several times before you give up and just cram everything down your panniers, wipe the sweat off your brow, cuss profusely, and go? Yeah. In this Yet Another Motorcycle Packing Post, I’m going to reveal my most prized secret of the

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What You Need to Race Hellas Rally in Greece

So, you’ve decided you want to go from ADV to rally and race the Hellas Rally Raid in Greece. Awesome! For me, the “why” of getting into rallies was the Dakar and the idea of chasing the impossible – but if your reason is simply to have stupid fun, that totally works, too. Before we dig in, if there’s a TL;DR situation happening, just watch this video, and you should be set… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpyelw3t4Ik&t=105s …but if you’re determined to keep reading, vamos. Why Hellas? Out of all the rally races out there, why should you pick the Hellas Rally Raid as your first rally? For one, because the organization of Hellas Rally truly knows what they're doing. Meletis Stamatis, the heart and soul of Hellas, has been in the rally racing world for over two decades now, so you kn

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Traveling Post-Corona: Are We There Yet?

Although in lots of countries around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is already subsiding, the quarantine or lockdown restrictions are being lifted, and some of the international borders are opening up, traveling post-Corona is still a touchy subject. Just because the lockdown is over, does that mean we can go back to business as usual? Just because the borders are opening and we can hit the road again, does that mean we should? Is the way we travel going to have to change, at least for a while – and how will it affect the travelers and the hosts? Depending on where you’re from and where you’re headed, the answers will vary. In Europe, travel within the Schengen zone might soon become a reality again, especially for overlanders. Africa, however? Or South America? That doesn’t seem likely

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Chasing Dakar, Racing Hellas. The Weird and Wonderful World of Rally Racing

Woken up by the roar and rumble of the truck and motorcycle engines, I peeled my eyelids open, still dazed after barely three hours of sleep. My tent was covered in sand and dust inside and out, and, as I crawled out and located my grime-splattered riding boots, I blinked at the rising sun. Day three at the Rally Dakar 2019. It was just past four-thirty in the morning, but there was no time for poetry or scrambled eggs. Exhaust fumes would to for breakfast, and, after scurrying to the portable sinks at the back of the camp to brush my teeth, I quickly packed my tiny nylon abode up, loaded my bike, and wheeled it outside the bivouac gates. I put the packed bike on a side-stand near a lonely wooden bench and set about making coffee as the wind tore into my jacket. Riders were already lin

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FOMO On the Road: The Shallows

2019 has been a good year. I chased the Dakar, then shipped my bike back to Europe and began racing rallies myself, however slowly and clumsily; I trained with the Enduro Escape team in Transylvania, got a concussion, rode around Europe, tasted palinka, met some incredible people, led two women’s motorcycle tours in Ecuador and Colombia, traveled to Cuba with my dad, and ended up back in Peru where I’ll be helping South America Freedom to scout some new tour routes, riding, and writing. 2020, it seems, will be equally chaotic – which to me translates to awesome: I’ll be racing in the Hispania Rally and Hellas Rally Raid, taking women riders on a hard enduro training tour in Romania, riding dirtbikes with the Traction E-Rag nutters in Canada, riding Lucy across Southern Europe, leading

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Can We Stop Talking About Stuff?

So here's the thing about stuff: it is, for the most part, irrelevant. When I say stuff, in this context, I mean things. I mean boots and motorcycle tank bags and socks and sleeping pads; you know, stuff. As an adventure traveler who is on a questionable yet more or less indefinite RTW trip, and as someone who gets paid to produce content for mainstream moto media once in a while, I can't help but notice how much emphasis there is on stuff out there. Gear reviews are everywhere: magazines, blogs, vlogs, even social media - you see a review of that helmet and that other helmet, this boot and that other boot, as well as reviews of bikes, daily, and it's plastered all over the place. Why are we so obsessed with talking about stuff? For one thing, blogs and moto magazines want clicks and visi

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Homeless At Home and Other Stories from Vilnius

My dad used to think motorcycles were quite absurd. I used to think the pomp of his classical music concerts was a bit much. We’re standing on the steps of a brightly lit restaurant in the very heart of Vinius Old Town. In front of us, there’s a tiny square, and right ahead, the rise of the National Philharmonic building. It’s a nineteenth-century classic, elegantly lit, unimposing, but it has the aura of something old and important and so sentimental all at the same time. Dad is telling me about Chopin’s heart - buried in Warsaw. Quietly, we’re both dreaming of Havana. We’d just come back from a family reunion. My auntie Daina, dad’s sister, whose name translates to “Song” in Lithuanian. My uncle Jonas, dad’s brother. And my cousin Gediminas, “One Who Remembers”: we last saw each othe...

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A Day in the Dakar: The Dunes

The desert is voiceless. There‘s a little breeze seeping through a gap in the dunes, the softest whisper of the wind so light the sand barely moves. It‘s overcast; the sun is hiding behind a thick blanket of pale clouds. The heat is already rising. It‘s not the scorching inferno of midday yet, but it‘s building up, engulfing the desolate golden dunes, slowly gliding across the hard packed sand, breaking out in tiny beads of sweat on my forehead, coating my neck and back. A lonely tuft of grass lost in the bright golden sand shivers ever so slightly in the weightless breeze. The earth is warm. Sitting down, I dig my hand into the sand. The tiniest grains are pale yellow, red, pink and white. The sand feels rough and gritty in my fingers. The heat sticks to my eyelids. There are small fig...

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