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One of two things has happened: Either I have finally disappointed my parents so deeply they have given up on me entirely, or they are currently in awe of the majesty of my recent news.

I'm unclear on which of those it is because (so far) the grand unveiling of our new family plan has been met with stunned silence.

Yeah awe, let's go for awe.

This new plan of ours is what you'd call an inevitable conclusion: It draws together several strands of our blossoming wanderlust and combines them with the finesse and elegance of mating rhinos.

You're welcome for that mental image, BTW.

So clearly there has been an increase in the amount of adventuring that we have been including in our lives recently. Whether it's going up a mountain, spending time with our travelling friends, or just planning an tiki tour while we're back in the UK, it's been pretty obvious that we want to share some experiences with the children.

Also, we love motorbikes. 

Both those things tend to combine in something called Adventure Biking, and it seems to be very popular with two demographics: older men who are running late for a mid-life crisis, and young men who have no sense of mortality.

It is not a pastime for young families, that much we discovered on YouTube. 

We've watched Lyndon Poskitt ride like a BOSS through some of the most rugged terrains in the world. Like, the dude actually got disqualified from a rally in the arse end of nowhere and risked dying a horrible and lonely death just to prove a fucking point to the rally organisers. Even as I write I'm unsure whether that is the most heroic, or tragic thing I have ever written.

Then we found Bucky O'Broad (not quite his real name) who has the sort of face - and general approach to life - that would normally make me want to punch myself repeatedly in the head. Luckily he has a couple of things in his favour: firstly he can edit a mean video, and his music choice is somehow perky, without being overly twee. Kudos for that one son, you done good. Secondly, he is/ was travelling a route which, despite Buck's best efforts to make it sound the dark side of the moon, really appeals to me.

But the piece de resistance from YouTube's normally questionable What To Watch Next list was Ed March's channel. This guy is riding all over the world on a C90. Yup, I said that; a C frickin 90. That's basically a scooter with short man syndrome. He has no sponsorship, not much of a budget, but he does have a wicked sense of humour and the kind of attitude to disaster that makes me want him on speed dial. Every day. Just in case.

Anyway, we have wasted weeks of our lives watching other people have adventures. Other people who (I might add) do not have children. It became a sort of escape for us at the end of a hard day; Keith and I crooning over how cool it would be to go on our own adventure once the children have grown up. We got so into our nightly talks that we did that thing that couples do when you daydream a grand and expansive dream, knowing that neither of you will remember the finer detail by the time it becomes a reality.

Because we have three young children. 

That's one more than the number of pillion seats normally found on a pair of bikes. If there was any thought of making our dream a reality, the choices were to rehome one of them, go native and stack the little darlings in some sort of pyramid formation, wait until they were old enough to ride themselves, leave home under their own steam ... or come up with an alternative.

Hmmm, an alternative, that's still bike like, able to go offroad, but has enough seats to fit everyone in, safely, securely, and before I die inside from corporate life: If only such a vehicle existed.

Well, colour me educated!

God bless mother Russia, it's a proud contribution to the world. Second only to vodka. And maybe Vasili Arkhipov. 

So for the third time in our relationship, Keith and I are doing the dance of "could we? like, could we?!" This time, instead of getting married, or starting a family we are wondering whether, in a few short years, we rent out the house and set out on an awfully big adventure.

P.S. I was kidding about the Zombies. There are no Zombies. Only very tired parents.  

11 comments

  1. An Ural.

    I grew up in Estonia and with semi-regular trips to Kirov oblast in Russia where the bulk of my grandmother's family still live. There, an Ural is a... workhorse. For getting to the summer cottages, going fishing or whatever else a "city car" cannot do, it's basically either a Lada or an Ural. (My relatives have a Lada (a Russian SUV) because otherwise they wouldn't get through to the summer cottage and its veggie patch & sauna.)

    (In the times prior to that, it would've been an actual horse :D.)

    It's cool to stumble across your blog now and see the Ural in this new, fancy touring/travelling light. Rather than a dusty, loud, beat-up pastel-coloured workhorse which is what I'm familiar with, it's professionally lighted photographs of a shiny travelling machine, and I cannot help but grin widely picturing you guys on two Urals :).

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    1. Hi Maria,

      Aside from the nice photography I don't think anything much has changed with the bikes themselves since WWII. That's part of the appeal for me, because it's a simple, sturdy workhorse that won't break down every five minutes.

      I would love to hear more about your memories of the Urals of your childhood, if you wanted to share?

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    2. Hi Natasha,

      There's not much to share. I was born in 1984, so the memories I have of Urals are mostly visual - I was never part of any mechanical works done on them, so I really only have the images in my head of people using them, but not any hands-on knowledge.

      I'd see adults ride them. A middle-aged man would ride it to the farm gate and fill his canisters with milk, and pick up the eggs, and his grandson would sit in the side-bucket with goggles on, along for the ride. In autumn they'd be handy for taking to the forest, because big baskets of mushrooms fit nicely in the side-buckets, and so do buckets of cranberries.

      I mostly remember them beige-coloured, or green. Dented and dusty. Loud! But not in a way Harley Davidsons are loud - higher pitch, a sort of a "whingy" engine. Machines that break down, as all Soviet cars do, and then they get repaired again.

      Not sure what else to write. I'm familiar with them from my childhood and I grin picturing you guys with three kids, two in one side-bucket, one in another, maybe a tow-trolley for bags. Loud and slower than cars on the highway, but people giving you high fives as they pass you in passing lanes :)

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  2. That is very funny. See, that's what happens when you spend too long at TAS. All reason leaves you. And in a good way.

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    1. It might be the most escape strategy ever devised!

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  3. It's Helen, by the way, disguised as an old blog I had

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  4. Exciting! Do it! I wanna read about that :) Beautifully written post by the way

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    1. I can't wait to start sharing the planning. There will be lots of humour if for no other reason than to hide the pain!

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  5. That sounds so exciting! We have three small children too, and have been discussing growing our mortgage, renting out the house and taking off. Dreams are free, but travel isn't. ;) It's definitely something that we'd love to do though.

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    1. I really hope you find a way to make things work for you, if that's what your dreams are. Let me know if you do, I'd love to hear about your plans!

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