Route1Million – Ventures from a million miles
It’s not what you think
After almost constant momentum from passing a driving test on my 17th birthday, I’m now gathering it all together into a new venturers book. There’s lots of crazyness from a million miles to share.
Whatever happens, wherever it leads – it’s an adventure
A new venturers handbook – due in the west from around late 2021. (or2!)
+ new web site & new moto adventures coming for 2022
meanwhile a few things I’ve been up to a long the way;
I started riding back in the days before metal luggage, mobile phones, or the internet. Looking at the map, The Pyramids & Egypt seemed like a good exploring adventure, not too far away & in 1989 not too many folk were going that way for their summer ride outs. I bought a 600 single cylinder Tenere, cheap tent and plotted a rough route – no real plans, other than to keep heading towards Egypt until we got there, (2 up). The ride was good, down to Luxur, Aswan & back. No spares, no back up plan, no big preparation – I’ve done a few rides like that and it does show that less can be more. Just gather the basics and so long as you’re comfortable with your bike & love the riding, you’ll have a great adventure.
Things don’t always go just how we like it, That’s the way it is – if you’re happy with yourself, everyone else will be happy to see you. This quite ‘informal’ approach to World travel on 2 wheels seems to have set the foundation for MotoExplorers and a scouting ride to China, set in a similar vain to the Egypt ride. China was there, not many people seemed to be travelling to China overland from Britain, it’s always looked just a short hop across to Russia & then if you can keep plodding on through Kazakhstan you’re on the Chinese border, how hard can it be to just keep riding east for 30 days!?
Scouting ride to China in 2009, traveling west to East, freighting bikes back from Beijing, was a big adventure, it’s a long story! Since that trip, I have helped many riders explore the silk roads east.
Prior to 09, I’ve explored Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia – all regions I know well & still explore. In a past life I’d trained and worked as a professional photographer and prior to that a few motor related jobs, as us guys from the 60’s often did! including mechanicing, couriering, transport, lots of self taught spanner work on various vehicles with exploding engines, plus numerous motoring distractions along the way!
I’ll do a proper count one day, but back of envelope stats I know it’s at least along the tracks of;
Vehicles owned; 100+ (cars/bikes/vans)
Electric vehicles; 1 (made in China & smuggled back through 10 Countries)
Jobs/occupations; 17 (still growing whilst I figure out what to do for a living)
Miles covered in vehicles; 1,000,000+ (still growing)
Age started driving; officially 17 (can’t say actually for legal reasons!)
Riding motorcycles has been a stop start affair for me, as is often the case – various ‘life events’ take us in numerous directions. Motoexplorer was actually founded as a result of suffering quite a serious back injury, which I knew would result in surgery and a good time away from travel – so prior to the surgery I decided to buy an old in-appropriate K100 BMW motorcycle, ditch my photography business and take a leap into the un-known, let’s see if it’s possible to ride overland to the Chinese olympics.
MotoExplorer – Steve Hotson
I’ve spent the last decade exploring the Silk Road to China, I’m now dedicating more time to helping fellow overlanders & motor travellers explore eastern Europe and the Silk Road travelling through the Stans to the China border at their own pace, or as part of their own ride team/group.
2020 whilst in lockdown – finally getting round to editing photographs and writing up some of this madness from the highways.
Haven’t been riding motorcycles all my life, yet!
Age: only 54 (Just’
Anglo-European (Budapest 2nd city)
Open minded, AntiFragile thinking, generally think anything’s possible & ‘where there’s a riding will there’s a way’.
Never trained or quite qualified – just press go and do (prefer doing things for which qualifications do not logically fit) I think it’s known as; experience.
Free-spirited Explorers way
2009 Scouted first routes overland China riding a GS800
The first China expedition actually started out as a plan to motorcycle to the Chinese Olympic games in Beijing, riding west to East finishing on the China east coast. Arrived just a year late for the Olympics, but at least entry into the stadium was half price.
China’s an amazingly diverse, exciting country & makes for a really great challenge to get yourself, bike and life together and go see just how people live on the other side of our planet. Very few western motorcyclists will ever make that great journey, it’s quite an exclusive club!
Motoexplorer Ride History
Egypt – (1989 Yamaha 600 Tenere)
RTW / Alaska – Canada – Yukon
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan – about 10 laps, BMW GS800 (+ driving various vehicles, Toyota Hilux, VW transporter, Mercedes Sprinter)
UK to China (a few times + back) last 2 laps there+ back, Sprinter
UK to Laos & Thailand
USA – North to South & west to East coasts
Russia, Ukraine – about 10 laps
East Europe / Balkans – Bosnia – Kosovo
Romania – Slovakia – Croatia – Hungary – about 20 laps (various inc original Africa Twin + several 1200 GS’s)
Crete & Rhodes (distracted on-route Egypt)
Europe – most of – 1st drive to Paris age 17, (MK2 Ford escort) +Denmark & Sweden
England, Scotland, Wales – about 100 laps + Ireland a bit + still a bit more I hope with luck
Albania – maybe! oh & Mongolia would be a great challenge, since I have an unused visa.
Site owner: Steve Hotson