Hi! In this series of articles, I will share my personal adventures, experiences, insights and lessons learned on my journey of European off-road trails – my great TET transeurotrail.org Odissey covering tens of thousands of kilometers and spanning over several years and still counting.
This is my story of finding courage, getting into trouble, like killing an engine and cracking the frame, of camping and cooking on the trail, but most importantly – about motorcycle riding. Of celebrating its victories and overcoming its losses, a story of getting up and riding on. If you are interested in this from the perspective of an average, ordinary rider, read on!
It all really started when I gave myself a scooter ride on my 35th birthday. It was a regular 125cc scooter you can ride with a car’s licence. I rode the winding roads around Milzkalne, near my home town, and the childish joy I had felt as a teenager riding a “Riga-13” moped was awakened in me again.
There is nothing like the feeling of hitting the twities where following all the laws of gravity you should be falling, but the mystical gyroscopic and centrifugal forces keep you in balance anyway. Balance also seems to be what keeps me on the motorcycle ever since. Riding balances the earth with the sky, thinking with doing, external impulses with my inner world. It puts me in order. While riding, I still continue to gain valuable insights into life, many of them personal. But some of them I will share with you, my friend.
The scooter was soon not enough and I soon got my motorcycle licence. The logical question arose: what kind of a bike do I want to ride. I decided to try everything (and I did it) in the first year, but the first rental just happened to be a genuine enduro machine – SWM RS500R. It was a mean, motocross ready bike its owner Citrons (Raimonds Baltgalvis) had prepared for motocross competitions and even won prizes on.
A beast for which no muddy track, no sandy hill is an insurmountable obstacle. And, admittedly, this first experience, this seeming coincidence and later the apparent joy largely determines how and where I ride today. Love for forest trails was encoded in my brain on this first trip.
The feeling that no climb is too steep, no sand patch or forest track i san obstacle for the right tool sunk into my consciousness with drops of sweat and was driven into my stubborn head by the first crashes, that came together with the excitement that I had survived them without major injuries.
The only obstacle is me! And so my journey to conquer myself could begin. Soon I bought my first bike (also from Citrons, it was the SWM SuperDual, 600 cc), made my first long-distance trip to the Åland Islands with my wife Astra, rode a rented bike along the winding coastal roads of Malta and Portugal and finally I felt ready for a real adventure!