With many years of experience under their belts, one thing Kevin and Julia at GlobeBusters have learnt is that adventure travel is unpredictable.
With so many potential hazards, many unfamiliar to us in the UK and Europe, they always have a post-expedition debrief to make sure that they can better avoid any recently encountered problems on future trips.
In the April 2017 issue of RiDE Magazine, they’ve been running through some of the more common hazards they encounter and how to avoid coming unstuck:
- Strong Winds
This is something we’re going to be used to in the UK, but on long days of riding it really effects your concentration and can tire you out. There worst type is the crosswind, common on the ride down through Patagonia, and you need to adjust your position so you’ve got space to be blown across your lane. Try using a lower gear, and then counter steer to counteract the effects of the wind.
- Show & Ice
In fresh, thin snow get up on the pegs and ride as you would on gravel. In deeper, wetter snow you’ll find it slower going as you need to paddle the bike through. Keep the bike slow and smooth, be light with the controls and turn the ABS off too if you can. Ice is a much bigger problem, and if travelling alone, considering turning back or walking with the bike to get past it.
- River Crossings
Try and watch other vehicles going through, or walk across to find out what you’re up against. Your bike may sink deeper into the water on a soft surface, and you’ll need to watch the air intake and exhaust – so tape up these holes if necessary and push the bike, staying upstream so if it goes down, you’re not going to end up underneath it. If you decide to ride across, set your line and keep to a fast walking pace as you focus on your exit point. Get your fingers ready to go for the kill switch just in case.
- High Altitude
Above 2,400m you need to watch out for the signs of altitude sickness. Climb slowly, and try to acclimatise by riding high and sleeping low where possible. Stay hydrated and avoid alcohol, and if going above 4,000m research anti-altitude sickness drugs, but look carefully into the potential side effects too.
Animals are a serious hazard when on the road, and could run out in front of you at any time. Keep your speed down and your eyes moving, watching out for telltale signs including droppings on the road, fresh roadkill or herds split up on both sides of the tarmac. If one animal runs, another will almost certainly follow.
Big cities, especially in developing countries, can be a law unto themselves when it comes to traffic flow so you’ll need to adapt your riding style. If locals aren’t stopping for a red light, consider going with the flow, and if pavements and grass verges are open to you, make good use of them when you can. You’ll need razor sharp reactions.
People riding into barriers because they were too busy taking in the beautiful scenery? It’s happened! If it’s that good, stop and get off the bike for a quick break!
When considering any kind of expedition, whether it’s into Europe or much further afield, you also need to carefully consider the kinds of terrain you will encounter.
GlobeBusters have access to the full range of Continental adventure sport tyres with options for varying degrees of both on and off-road use, and they will select the correct Continental tyre for their needs ahead of each and every trip to ensure that they don’t come unstuck.
You can find out more about our adventure tyre range here.