Had the opportunity to attend a presentation by Rene Cormier at Hermy’s BMW in Port Clinton this past Saturday. What a great opportunity to chat with someone who has actually done what many of us dream about. Rene presented on his 5 yr adventure around the world on his BMW F650 of about 100,000 miles. I had the opportunity to chat with Rene and Colette (Rene’s wife) about his adventures and how he is trying to offer a taste of the same through his motorcycle tours in Africa. Hard not to get excited about…
Bullet Hole In the Gas Tank
Interesting how cavalier Rene is about all of the “hazards” described by so many adventure riders – maybe all of the risks of international motorcycle travel are a bit hyped by unsubstantiated ride reports? However, a closer inspection of the bullet hole in he 650’s gas tank gives me pause. With a little more discussion, I found that this incident occurred here in the good ‘ol US, before the trip even started…
Check out Rene’s book “University of Gravel Roads” and all about the tours in Africa on his website Renedian Adventures. I kind of like the looks of the Victoria Falls to Cape Town tour, but any of them look to be a trip of a lifetime.
I to admit that I am a bit of a junkie for any book describing international adventures on motorcycle. Ever since 1st stumbling onto “A Long Way Round” with Ewan and Charley a few years ago, I can’t seem to get enough of this stuff.
However, The University of Gravel Roads goes beyond many of the typical stories of adventure motorcycle travel. As Rene writes about his 4-yr, 95,000 mile trip and its challenges of the road (or lack thereof), I was pulled into the trip, sharing the rider’s worries and fears; feeling great relief when the border guards or locals didn’t take him hostage or throw him in jail.
This is a great tale of courage and resourcefulness, by a guy who was essentially solo around the world on a limited budget and undefined challenges of weather, governmental roadblocks (real and administrative), mechanical issues, and just about anything else you could think of on such a trip. I couldn’t help but empathize with the feelings of regret about initially inviting a companion, then realizing that much of the romance of the trip began to ebb with the burden of dealing with someone else’s needs in such a rugged and uncertain undertaking.
I found myself absorbed in the sometimes clunky, journalistic portrayal of the adventure and the personal challenges; but all with a sense of adventure from a guy who seems to be an adventurer 1st and a writer second. Great photos and overall great read. If you have any inclination to this type of journey, get a copy if you can find one and settle in for an armchair adventure that I am sure you will enjoy. Think it is about $35-$40 on Amazon or directly from the book’s web site (above).