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  1. If you ride two way trails, please take the time to learn proper trail etiquette in terms of hand signals. When an on-coming rider puts up two fingers, they're not flashing you the peace sign. They are communicating to you that there are two more riders coming behind them, so exercise caution! For example, if you are riding in a group of three people, the leader should flash on-coming riders two fingers, the 2nd guy one finger (middle finger not advisable), and finally the last guy should flash a closed fist (no more riders in your group). Another, less complicated approach (especially for larger groups) is instead of trying to remember how many riders in your group that are behind you and having to hold up that many fingers (if you even have enough digits), instead just motion your thumb behind you. Then, the sweeping rider in your group can display a closed fist. This solves a couple of issues; only the lead and sweep need to do anything, AND there is no room for error (lead just has to point his thumb, doesn't need to count....this is particularly useful if a few riders catch up to your group). Nobody wants a head on collision and hand signals are one of the ways to help minimize accidents. So, be sure to talk about these techniques with your crew. The next time some flashes you these hand signals, please don't wave or give them a thumbs-up. Respond with the appropriate hand signals. Have fun & stay safe!
  2. Are you a real adventure biker or just a shameful, charlatan and pitiful fraud!? Recently there has been a generous amount of violent disagreement pertaining to the definition of adventure biking. What makes it ‘adventure biking’? Is it the type of bike? Is it where you ride it? Do you have to camp? Do you have to leave the country? Well good news is here! I can help! I have managed to define adventure biking, and I have decided to impart this ground-breaking knowledge unto you. The water is now clear and all is well in the jungle, ‘order’ has been restored. Through thorough, highly scientific, and precise collaboration, and under the influence of a range of substances, my carefully assembled dream-team of adventure bikers has managed to formulate a decisive list. This league of extra-ordinary gentleman (and gentle… women) originate from a host of different countries, and from all walks and crawls of life. “Home’ ranges from Africa, to Turkey, to Italy to ‘I’m pretty sure I’m from Arizona’ and many more. Washed and unwashed, veterans and rookies, holiday makers and hobos, even going so far as to include one Honda rider (but not two); all opinions were carefully considered and peer-reviewed. I present you with this new modern marvel, a first for world peace and what I hope to result in a Nobel prize: YOU ARE AN ADVENTURE BIKER IF! : You have said at least once: ‘I’m sure somebody will drive by soon’ You’ve put your bike on a boat (essential) You consider, with great deliberation, whether you really need a third pair of underwear Your motorcycle and the term ‘resale value’ are mutually exclusive You have caught yourself viciously bargaining with people over US$ 10c on repeated occasions You have a picture of yourself with some guy in military uniform and a floppy hat holding a massive automatic weapon (essential) You can tell the difference between 85 and 90 octane by smell A local has informed you that the road was completely flooded or a bridge had been washed away, but you still had to see for yourself… after trying to convince them otherwise Yeah, I think the bridge might be out... You have lost luggage off the back of your moving motorcycle It probably came off because you packed it like THIS You’ve been carrying the same 500g bag of rice 1 meter from your body for the past 3 months and will carry that same bag of rice for the next three months You have had to ride through herds of animals (essential) – extra points if they are wild animals Martin from TR15A rides past a herd of tarted-up alpacas You speak to other motorcycle travellers about buying tires like they are hardcore drugs e.g. ‘I heard you can get Pirelli’s really cheap from this guy Jorge in Medellin, he has the really good stuff’ A one-way street means NOTHING to you. Or a pedestrian-only market, those also mean nothing to you You have sneezed viciously and messily inside your helmet and just kept on riding Your GPS has repeatedly tried to take you up and down flights of stairs, and every time you still catch yourself looking up the flight thinking ‘I reckon I could pull it off…’ You have eaten something which is considered a pet in most developed countries Mich about to dive into some tasty guinea pig You hide valuables inside your boots because no sane human being with even the slightest stitch of self-respect would dare to venture near them You have packed you entire kit before realising you forgot some crucial item, after which you seriously consider just leaving it behind and buying a new one because its such a damned mission to pack They have had to wash the actual wash bay after cleaning your bike This was one of those times You can intimately describe over 20 different types of mud… by taste. This mud tasted like regret You have spent time editing high-level media on vastly inappropriate hardware in a ridiculous surroundings Megan editing RAW photos on a Macbook Air whilst stealing electricity from a street-light in an abandoned park, just another night on the road You’ve convoyed with cyclists for security reasons You’ve trusted someone to guard your bike who has an annual salary of less than a month’s gas money You’ve matched letter shapes with those on a map because you have so little clue of the native language You’ve convinced yourself that your GS actually handles really well on sand (mine actually does though) See? Perfectly capable in the sand You’ve listened to, and agreed with opinions contrary to the Geneva convention merely to satisfy your drunk host You can turn any conversation (including political or religious) into one about motorcycles in under 30s You have mastered the ability to eat any known food group through a full-face motorcycle helmet You can fart whilst riding sand and not shit your pants You haven’t seen an original official document in over 3 months Half the resale value of your bike (not saying much, see point no. 4) is hidden in the frame You have ruined a dorm room for all the other inhabitants And this is just me on my own in my own room, imagine two of us with five other people in here... You have become completely comfortable with your body odor after 5 days without a shower You have viciously panel-beaten a pair of expensive panniers with the back of an axe You have received the advice: ‘I think you should see a doctor about that’ You have waited out a bribe by dodgy police for over 40min because you were merely too stubborn or poor to just pay the bastards You’ve sat on a disgusting toilet seat thinking that’s its probably cleaner than you anyway At least 35% of your motorcycle’s dry weight is made up of cable ties and duct tape You have performed major surgery on your bike, in the middle of nowhere, possibly in the rain, with absolutely no trainingPeru... my faultChile - also my fault Because of the deplorable state of it, you have asked a local if you could please NOT use their toilet and use the garden instead. Which for one of the panel, resulted in them having to relieve themselves off a bridge. He felt you should know this… You have gotten into numerous very awkward situations because you don’t speak the language, this includes ordering ketchup for your french-fries and being presented with a beautiful bowl of hot tomato soup instead. You have crossed more than one international border with forged paperwork or a fake number plate My numberplate has taken a beating - still the original one at this stage, or what's left of it. It is now a laminated piece of paper that is impossible to read You have attached an over-sized, highly overboard weapon to your motorcycle Readying the weapons! Sharpening up for the jungle with newly acquired machetes A secret, well disguised, mutual hatred of backpackers You have provided smiles to numerous poverty stricken children by seating them on your still-running bike (essential) Mich takes a young'n for a joyride in the Selvas You have unsuccessfully fixed a puncture more than once Sweating like a champ to change an inner tube in the desert You have crossed an abnormally large body of water on your motorcycle without testing the depth beforehand You have contracted severe, life-changing diarrhoea on a big riding day or on the top of Machu Picchu You drop your bike at least once a week, and something breaks on it at least once a month This is a REALLY common sight MOST importantly of all, and the only absolutely essential item on this list: You are an adventure biker if you KNOW you are absolutely rad whenever you are on your bike, and wouldn't have it any other way Ladies and gentleman... Mr Ed Gill Now please people… this is a work (of ART!) in progress, so if you have anything to add, please let it be known in the comments section and it will be met with serious consideration to be added to the list. Although hard to believe, it is impossible for the panel to hit every mark the first time round Let us know what you think should be added! Thanks in advance – I am off to change my name in attempt to get off of Interpol’s watch list, which I am undoubtedly headlining after this article. Hey… at least I’m headlining something. Consider the floor OPEN! Thanks to our expert contributors: Matt Snyman Megan Snyman Martin Lampacher Mich the German Ed Gill Erdem Yucel Michnus Olivier Josh Smith Chris March Erich Rennspies And our various part-time consultants… A good few additions to the list were just put together by Jason and Lisa from Two Wheeled Nomad - give it a read! - 2 wheeled nomad
  3. We teamed up with some other adventure riders to tackle a route through the Amazon in Peru - - - 2 weeks of madness ensued Just a short part of our trip from Argentina to Alaska Have a look at let us know what you think in the comments!
  4. The main cause of blisters on your hands is a mixture of sweat or moisture inside your glove and friction! Sometimes you can't really help getting your hands wet, but you can take some preventative measures before you ride to prevent blisters from sweat. Buy some ANTI-PERSPIRANT (extra dry by Arid works great) and before you put your gloves on, spray on the "AP" to both hands liberally and rub your hands together until it soaks in and dries. When your hands feel powdery, it's time to slip on your gloves and hit the trail. For added protection, you can spray the outside of your gloves with Scotch Guard or other brand of water repellant to help ward off splashes from puddles. If this doesn't cut it for you, you'll need to take go to the next level and tape your hands. To do this, you'll need: - 1" and 1/2" waterproof adhesive tape (white Johnson & Johnson is good). - Package of Dr. Scholls Moleskin Padding. Before you do anything, thoroughly wash your hands so that the tape has maximum adhesion. Trim the Moleskin to the appropriate size to cover the areas where you tend to get blisters. Use the 1/2" tape to secure the Moleskin pads to the areas in question. For the pads of skin right below each finger, the 1/2" tape should start on the Moleskin pad, wrap abound the corresponding finger then back across the same Moleskin pad. When done properly, the two ends of the tape should cross each other (make an "X" as they pass over the Moleskin pad. Repeat for each finger necessary. Now, take the 1" tape and wrap your hand. Open your hand fully and wrap it with 3-4 courses, with each course overlapping the first about 2/3rds. The first course should start just below where your index and pinkey fingers meet the palm of your hand and the final course should end just a little before where your thumb and index finger meet. Lastly, make a fist a few times, note the areas where the tape is too tight and cut a small slit in that area. Most of the time we're talking not more than a 1/2" scissor cut. While the wrap my feel a little uncomfy at first, you'll forget about the tape as soon as you get out on the track or trail and your hands will thanks you later... Another option is to pick up set of neoprene PalmSavers. They're sold in pairs, less labor intensive to use (just put them on) and provide more hand coverage.
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