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ADV Rides6 Women Adventure Riders Who Ride The World Solo – Part 1

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!

Published on 08.05.2016

4. Anna Grechishkina

Anna Grechishkina - women adventure riders
Grechishkina left for her around-the-world trip with $1,000 in her pocket. (Courtesy

By the time she started her solo around-the-world trip in 2013, Anna Grechishkina was already a seasoned motorcycle traveler. She’d spent nine years riding in Eastern Europe, Asia and the Middle East, mostly on her Kawasaki Vulcan 900.

After each short trip, coming home to the Ukraine and working a regular job became harder and harder. She wanted to go farther, and she didn’t want deadlines. So she followed her dream, quit her job and took off around the round with just $1,000 in her pocket. Before she left she convinced KTM to give her an 1190 Adventure to make the journey, but the rest was up to her.

To keep going, Grechishkina established a foundation called I Have a Dream. She stops at orphanages, hospitals, schools and other places to talk to children about the value of following their own dreams.

Anna Grechishkina - women adventure riders
So far, Grechishkina has ridden through 50 countries, stopping to encourage children to follow their dreams. (Courtesy


Originally she thought the trip would take a year. She’s now been on the road for over three years and has no plans to stop soon. She’s covered 50 countries in five continents so far.

Follow Anna’s journey on her site.

5. Jolandie Rust

Jolandie Rust - women adventure riders
In 2013, Jo Rust set a record as the first woman in history to ride around the entire African continent on a motorcycle, solo. (Courtesy

Jolandie Rust, a native of South Africa, set out in April, 2012 to become the first woman to circumnavigate Africa by motorcycle, solo. Eighteen months later, in November 2013, she accomplished her goal, passing through 28 countries and riding 28,000 miles (45,000 kilometers) in the process.

When Rust set out clockwise from the southernmost point in Africa, she had only two months riding experience under her belt. She had earlier attempted to make the same trip by bicycle, but had to turn back when she was robbed of her bike and all her possessions in Angola. It wouldn’t be the last time she found trouble there.

She started out riding a Kawasaki KLR650, but switched to a BMW F650GS Dakar for the trip around Africa. Highlights of the trip included stargazing from the deck of a ferry on the Nile, riding the deserts of Sudan, and overcoming the notorious Hell Road in northern Kenya. Low points? Getting taped to chair and having a gun pointed at her head in Angola, and being attacked in hotel rooms in Libya and Mauritania. None of the incidents lead to any harm, however.

Jolandie Rust - women adventure riders
Rust riding through the ‘Hell Road’ in Kenya. (Courtesy

These days Rust is an off-road instructor and has plans to open her own training facility, Jo Rust Adventures. She’s also considering entering the Dakar Rally.

Read more on Jo’s travels on her site.

6. Doris Wiedemann

Doris Wiedemann - women adventure riders
Many of Doris Wiedemann’s solo expeditions across the world have been considered pioneering.

German adventure riding pioneer Doris Wiedemann was hooked on motorcycle travel after spending five months riding solo in the U.S. in 1990. Her next solo adventure was on a BMW R100GS PD, which she rode across Scandinavia, Australia, Africa, Russia and South Korea, where she was the first foreign traveler with her own motorcycle in the country. She even took a ride to North Korea, where she was also the first foreigner to ride their own bike. A few years later, she rode for five months in China, becoming the first woman motorcyclist to do so without a guide.

Doris Wiedemann - women adventure riders
Wiedemann, riding solo across China. She was the first women traveveler to do so with her own motorcycle and without a guide.

Most riders avoid cold weather and snow, Wiedemann sought it out. In January 2009, she and a partner left Key West, Florida and headed north to Alaska. After riding in temperatures down to -40 degrees Fahrenheit and on ice-covered roads, She reached Deadhorse on March 2, and was said to be the first woman to travel the Dalton Highway on a motorcycle in winter.

Wiedemann is such a legend that her faithful R100GS PD was put on display at the largest motorcycle museum in Germany as part of the “Traveling Heroes” exhibit.

Read more on Doris’ travels on her site.

See: Women Who Ride the World Solo – Part 2

Author: Bob Whitby

Bob has been riding motorcycles since age 19 and working as a journalist since he was 24, which was a long time ago, let’s put it that way. He quit for the better part of a decade to raise a family, then rediscovered adventure, dual sport and enduro riding in the early 2000s. He lives in Arkansas, America’s best-kept secret when it comes to riding destinations, and travels far and wide in search of dirt roads and trails.

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Author: Bob Whitby

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