Preparing to ride around Latvia

Is it common for young adventure seekers to travel around their own country before embarking on a long journey around the world? Maybe. For me, it’s another opportunity to learn more about my home country, its history, cuisine, and sights.

Now due to the covid pandemic restrictions, it’s really hard to plan a longer trip outside your home country because of the ever-changing restrictions. I’ve heard many stories of motorcycle travelers getting stuck in a 3rd world country just because the borders are closed off!

Well, I’m sure as hell not ready for that so the best safest thing I could come up with is to travel around my own country. I know many of my fellow apPasaule club members have already done that and I would also like to scratch this off of my bucket list.

When is this happening?

I’m planning this around Latvia trip in mid-June when we Latvians celebrate solstice and “Jāņi”, which’s from June 19 to July 3rd, 2021. So that’s two weeks of vacation for me. I’m planning this trip as chilled as possible. I don’t want any hardcore riding or time-restricted rides, so this is as relaxed as possible.

The start will be from our club house “Dēkainis, Two wheels” and will we will travel clock-wise for good luck. The finish is planned at KarloMoto where we’re gonna have a celebration!

What’s the goal?

In short – to ride around Latvia as close to the border as possible without going in hard offroad riding mode. In reality, to see as much as possible we wl have to wander further away from the border to see sights. Some parts in Latvia are really boring and some parts are filled with places to stop by.

Another goal is to try out Latvian cuisine and drinks around the country and to also cook our own dinner. So that means stopping in small local cafes, pubs, and taverns. That is… if they’re gonna be open by that time. And we will also enjoy cold beers and cider directly from the breweries where stop!

So what’s the daily plan like?

  • We’re gonna start off the days as relaxed as possible, that means without alarm clocks! We’re gonna prepare the breakfast on our own by cooking up something simple like eggs, pancakes, or oatmeals.
  • We’re gonna ride mostly on gravel and pavement roads, occasionally forest roads and trails;
  • We will stop at many sightseeings, museums, castles, manors, breweries, pubs, taverns, towers, and more;
  • At the end of the day, we’re gonna visit a supermarkets or local store where we can buy fresh local foods to prepare;
  • We’re gonna stay either at a wild camping spot near some sort of scenic landscape or at a local guesthouse;
  • We’re going to ride between 10 AM – 6 PM and we will ride between 100 – 250 km’s each day.

So as you can see, a pretty relaxed and chilled daily schedule. 🙂

Organization and planning

So I’ve created a WhatsApp group where some of my friends and club members who are going to travel with me came for help in this planning stage where I’m mapping interesting places on the map after which I will start drawing the route.

I’m using My Google Maps to create this whole journey map. I’ve divided into sections of days (colored lines) and major cities along the way. We’re using color coding and icons to simplify the visual browsing and navigation.

I’ve also created a spreadsheet where we will list the items that we will bring along and list more information about each location but, to be honest, MyMaps is pretty robust, so we can fill out all the needed information about a specific place without the need for the spreadsheet.

I also created a simple word document in Google drive to quickly summarize the whole idea of this trip and other useful information for someone who joins later on.

Preparing for the trip

We’re bringing our own set of kitchen items including a smoker from MuurikkaLatvia (thanks to Jānis!), grill from Greasy.lv, 2 cast iron pans, and a 6-liter pot! A new edition to my kitchen set is a chef’s knife that Rihards Outdoors crafted for me! It’s made out of 440C stainless steel and handle that is made out of bog oak which is more than 2000 years old that was provided to me by my friend Pifs!

Mostly, we will stay in campsites and cook our own food, enjoy the nature and scenery, but occasionally we will stay in guest-houses and we’ve also arranged an interesting cuisine experience spot! The starting point is at Dēkainis! We will travel clockwise around 1800+ kilometers! On this adventure, we will travel together with few apPasaule club members.

Big thanks to Enduristan for supporting me on this journey and providing me with the needed equipment for all my kitchen sets! A shoutout to Edžus from Stampa for fixing my burned pants and sewing on my new patches!

Thanks to Baltic Patch for making these awesome 3d rubber patches! And biggest thanks to my friend Kārlis Tervits who’s still working on my bike to get it ready just in time for my journey!

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