Teen Rider Circles the Globe
At 16, Australian Mike Schram set off on a Yamaha XT660 to ride around the world. Riding 75,000 miles through 53 countries, he became the youngest person to circumnavigate the planet on a motorcycle. The journey took him 3.5 years.
"The most dangerous moments were when we almost had a head-on collision with a moose in Canada," he told the UK's Mirror newspaper. "And when four trucks were [passing] each other on my side of the road in Honduras."
Mike's favorite rides were in Mexico he said, "because of the culture and the people, and Norway, due to its sheer beauty."
Kazakhstan also provided a special memory: "There's nobody around for thousands of kilometers, it's a whole new level of 'nothing.'"
In Kyrgystan he was sideswiped by a car on the wrong side of the road: "Luckily I was able to stay on the bike, as I was doing about 35 miles an hour."
Notwithstanding bouts of salmonella and food poisoning in India, and a venomous spider bite, and more food poisoning in Myanmar, Mike said his overall impression came from the friendliness of the people he met.
"There is a greater sense of community in the poorer countries," he said. "In Southeast Asia or Central America the locals are so welcoming. I never realized how important people are when you start traveling. Meeting people and speaking to them is such an important part of your journey. It gives you a new perspective."
Mike and his father, Aad, have set up shop in the Netherlands to offer specialized parts for adventure bikes, and build complete machines to customers' requirements. The product range includes Avon tires, Wolfman soft luggage, Nomada hard luggage and Tutoro chain oilers. Naturally all the products have been field-tested, literally, around the world.
More details on the global trip are available at earth-roamers.blogspot.co.uk.