6 Women Adventure Riders Who Ride The World Solo – Part 1
Think men are the only ones that ride round the world solo? Think again!
Some riders are content with weekend adventures, testing themselves on roads, tracks and trails near home. Others spend their vacations seeking out new terrain only to have to return home when their time off is gone. And then there are the riders who set their sights on the horizon and just keep going. They may have started out as weekend warriors, but they soon wanted more.
Despite perceptions, some of the most accomplished long-distance motorcycle riders have always been women. Some of these women adventure riders had riding experience before leaving, others learned as they rode. All their stories are inspiring. Below are the stories of six women motorcycle riders who took the leap and did big world adventures solo.
1. Steph Jeavons
Steph Jeavons is a mother, grandmother, and adventure rider now in the midst of an around-the-world ride on her Honda CRF250L. She left London in March 2014, and has covered 50,000 miles and 40 countries. As of this writing she’s taking a break at her home in Wales, while her little Honda, named Rhonda, is being worked on in Canada.
Jeavons got her first motorcycle at 18, which was promptly stolen. Her second motorcycle came along at age 22. She ran an off-road riding school before leaving on her trip, but had never ridden abroad.
Her goal is to be the first Briton to ride on every continent. Her travels have taken her to six continents, including Antarctica. She got there by hitching a ride on a yacht, then loading Rhonda on a small rubber dinghy and dragging it ashore at a Ukrainian science base. The scientists there not only gave her permission to come ashore, they helped her dig a path through the snow so she could ride.
She’s been hit by a truck in Colombia, survived a landslide in the Himalayas, and nearly crushed during a pilgrimage in India. “The world is full of amazing and surprising things,” she told the website Global Women Who Ride. “Long may it continue!”
For more information on Steph’s adventures, check out her blog.
2. Lois Pryce
Thanks to her two books, an instructional DVD, and numerous articles, Lois Pryce is probably one of the best known women adventure riders in the world. Her mantra is simple: if she can do it, anyone can.
Pryce’s riding career began as an answer to a boring office job. At 29, she’d had enough of cubicle life in London and set out on an adventure. Though she had some riding experience, she’d never traveled long distance on a motorcycle. That changed when she bought a Yamaha XT225 and rode it from Alaska to Ushuaia, the tip of South America. On that 20,000 mile trip she faced down roadblocks, snowstorms, and deserts, and survived a nasty crash in Patagonia. Her adventures became her first book, Lois on the Loose.
Her next adventure was a four-month, 10,000 mile trip across Africa recounted in her second book, Red Tape & White Knuckles. At one point in the trip she accidentally rode into a minefield in Angola, during a lightning storm.
Pryce has since toured Iran twice, the subject of her upcoming book, produced the DVD Achievable Dream: Part 4 – Ladies on the Loose, and helped launch The Adventure Travel Film Festival. Her advice to women adventure riders?
“There’s absolutely no reason you can’t have a motorcycle adventure as a woman,” she said in a YouTube interview. “In some ways it’s advantageous. You get into places you may not if you are a man.”
Read more about Lois’ travels on her website.
3. Tiffany Coates
Tiffany Coates’ riding resume is impressive: Asia, Africa, Australia, the Americas, Outer Mongolia, even the Mt. Everest base camp. She’s logged more than 200,000 miles on her 1992 BMW R80 GS, which she named “Thelma.”
What’s even more impressive is the fact that she didn’t have a clue about motorcycles starting out. She’d never even ridden one until two months before setting off on a journey from her home in England to India.
Coates and a friend decided they wanted to see India, and thought a motorcycle would be a good way to do it. They bought the BMW sight unseen over the phone, and were shocked to discover how large it was. They paid for the bike, then promptly dropped it trying to ride it. A friend brought it home in a truck, and they spent the next weeks learning to ride and working to pay for the trip. Coates even sold her hair to a wig maker for extra cash to buy tools.
Their nine-month trip turned into two and one-half years on the road through Asia and Australia. Coates’ friend decided to stay in Australia, and Coates just kept riding. She’s now considered one of the world’s top women adventure riders, and works as a freelance tour guide for exotic locales. This summer, she led a group of women riders on a tour of the Himalayas called Ladies of Ladakh, which includes riding over the world’s highest motorable pass.
For more on Tiffany’s travels check out her site.