When it comes to overland motorcycle travel, you’d be hard pressed to find someone better to ask for advice than Julia Sanders, one half of the husband and wife team behind Continental partner GlobeBusters, along with Kevin Sanders.
In the October 2015 edition of RiDE magazine, Julia explains why it’s essential to plan for the worst when you’re looking at taking on a large overland trip.
Julia advises that one of your first ports of call should always be the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website, which is the UK government’s official resource for travelers. The site contains essential information on more than 200 countries worldwide, and is frequently updated with information on any political or social unrest in a region. Depending on how severe the situation is, they may advise against all but essential travel, or even not travelling at all.
When GlobeBusters were planning their Trans-America record attempt, Colombia was one such country on their route. In the late 1990s and early 2000s the advice was “essential travel only”, with the FCO also advising against all road use. Kevin and Julia made contact with some of their contacts in Colombia to find out more about the situation on the ground, and we’re told in no uncertain terms that it was too dangerous to ride the Pan-American highway.
Closer to the date of the record attempt, things seemed to be changing in Colombia, although the FCO’s advice was still for no travel by road. However, Kevin decided they were doing it anyway, and planned to meet local contacts and ride with them.
The Colombian border displayed large signs stating that vehicles must be off the road by 4pm. Soon it was 2pm, then 3pm, and their destination for the night seemed just out of reach by the official deadline. By 4pm, every group at the roadside looked suspicious – were they armed with guns? On closer inspection, they were local farmers carrying their machetes.
Out of nowhere, the pair saw a huge Travelodge sign, the last thing they had expected to see on a single track mountain road – but welcome none the less.
Although they decided to go against the official advice, all that research did mean they were much more prepared for what to expect when they arrived in Colombia.
One person who has recently been through a somewhat changed Colombia is Rhys Lawrey, Kevin and Julia’s son. Rhys (pictured), riding under the name 2moro Rider, set two world records on his 14 month journey around the globe, all on Continental adventure tyres:
“Out of the 56,000+ miles I only used Continental brand tyres and switched between the Continental Trail Attack 2 and the more off-road type TKC 80’s.” says Rhys. “During the whole time on the road I didn’t have one puncture happen. I was running with tubes and had a tube valve leak air once which resulted in a tube change. I never had spare tyres, only front and rear spare tubes. The Trail Attacks are amazing, with being a tough road tyre you can put thousands of miles on her and still keep the shape. The longest I went on a set of Trail Attacks was around 12,000 miles.The TKC 80’s are truly built to withstand the rough and tough off-road style of roads. It grips well in loose gravel and even on bends it grips like a road tyre. The rear tyre did run out fast with only doing 5,000 miles but the front keep going a further 4,000+ miles.”
All our Continental adventure tyres have been tested to the very limits by the best in the business, and you can view the full range here.