Mile 0: The Round the World Motorcycle Adventure Begins

It’s finally here!! The start of my round the world motorcycle adventure. After over a year of preparation I am totally unprepared. But I was off to Mile 0 in Victoria, British Columbia to start my adventure anyways. I’ve heard that a person will never be fully prepared for an adventure of this type. So I am going with that.

Mile 0

The Mile 0 marker is the start of the over 8,000 km Trans-Canada Highway that spans the entire length of Canada. But it is also symbolic of the the start of my round the world motorcycle adventure. Behind the marker is a statue of Terry Fox. Terry Fox is a true Canadian hero. And as it happens, it is also Canada Day, July 1, 2016.


Terry Fox lost his right leg to cancer when he was 18 years old. He started a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research, beginning in Newfoundland on the East coast of Canada, and was to end at the Mile 0 marker in Victoria. Unfortunately, Fox’s journey ended tragically near the halfway mark when he fell ill and passed away from cancer. Since then, hundreds of millions of dollars has been raised in his name for cancer research. He has also inspired millions to achieve their dreams.

Send Off

I was up at 5 am to get to the Mile 0. The day before one of my classmates from Camosun College said she would be there at Mile 0 at 5:45 am to send me off. I really didn’t believe her. I got to Mile 0 at 6 am and to my surprise two of my classmates were there to send me off. Thanks Leila and Michelle! Very special to have the support and encouragement.


As I stood at Mile 0, and contemplated the words of Terry Fox, I started to feel the emotions of what I was about to start. I felt relief that it was finally here after a year of planning, struggle and sacrifice to make it happen. There was excitement about the adventure and the places I will see and the people I will meet. And there was also some fear about venturing into the unknown and the risk involved in attempting to achieve my dream and the goal I set for myself. There is no accomplishment without risk.


Terry Fox stated,”Dreams are made possible if you try.” That is what I am doing. I hope you are inspired to do the same, no matter what your dream is.

First Day

The first travel Day was simple – Victoria to Abbotsford to meet with my son and drop off belongings I wasn’t going to take but wanted to keep. Hence the weird suitcase on the back of my bike.


Getting there involves taking a ferry from Sydney to Tsawwassen where I was born and raised. The ferry ride is amazing, but unfortunately I have become accustomed to it having taken it numerous times in the past.


A short day was capped off with my son Nick taking me out for dinner to the Cactus Club. And thanks Cactus Club for providing a free appetizer!!

Which Bike Should You Take on an Adventure?

Which bike should someone take on a travel adventure is one that seems to generate a lot of passion, and sometimes contempt, among motorcycle adventurers. Just check out the Horizons Unlimited Bulletin Board on the topic. I understand explaining the pros and cons of motorcycles, but I don’t get the derision for differing views on the topic. Whatever motorcycle you choose, don’t let others put you down over it.

Motorcycle Options

People have traveled the world on a VespaHonda 90Honda 250KTM 690KLR 650Suzuki GSX-R 1000 sport bikeHarley Davidson Electraglide, and of course the ever-present BMW GSs made famous by Long Way Round. There is even a person who wants to ride the world on an electric motorcycle. Basically, any motorcycle is an option!

Questions to ask Yourself

There is no such thing as the perfect motorcycle to take around the world. There are pros and cons to every bike. Your choice depends on a lot of things like:

  1. What motorcycle do you love?
  2. Where you want to go? Some countries do not permit large motorcycles.
  3. Do you want to set a speed record or wander around?
  4. Do you want to ride trails, dirt roads, paved roads or freeways?
  5. Do you want an easy to fix bike no matter where you are at?
  6. What motorcycle do you have now?
  7. How much money do you have?
  8. How strong or big are you?
  9. What is your skill level?
  10. What is your vision for the trip? Do you want to do something never done before? Or perhaps you envision being Easy Rider.
  11. How much gear will you be bringing?

My Motorcycle and Why

I am taking a 2013 BMW 1200GS for my around the world trip. So why did I choose this bike?

I bought this bike in 2013 to do a six month around the USA trip. To be honest, I chose it because that is what I saw all the adventure motorcyclists riding and I wanted to be cool like them! It has been a good bike and I have had only few problems with it, mostly switch problems. Although sadly, BMW service is not as good as I expected it to be. Long story.

Perhaps the two biggest reasons I am taking it on this trip is because it is the bike I have, and I would rather spend money on the adventure than buying a new motorcycle like the new Honda Africa Twin, which I would love to ride around the world with!

You will often hear the phrase, “You will never wish you had a heavier bike.” In my case there is some truth to it. After riding the USA it would have been nicer to have something lighter. On technical trails it was a bit difficult for me to control the sheer size and weight of the bike at my skill level, age, and strength. On the other hand, the motorcycle performed amazing well on the roads and navigating the curves and corners.

I intend to ride mostly on roads and perhaps 40% of the time on the dirt. So I wanted something that could handle both well. A dual sport is a good option for this.

I will also be carrying more gear than many people. For example, I will have a week’s worth of clothes and have to carry a fair bit of medication with me. A larger bike will accommodate the load easier.

Having said all that, I love my bike and I am looking forward to riding the world with it.

Now the Answer to the Question

The answer to which motorcycle you should take on a around the world adventure is found in my travel philosophy.

I believe we should transcend judgments and simply support and encourage people as they fulfill their life’s purpose and adventure. This includes which motorcycle someone decides to take.

Your adventure is anything you want it to be. Don’t let others define this for you. There is no right or wrong way to have your adventure. And there is no right or wrong motorcycle to do it on. It is your adventure and no one else’s.

People have ridden the world on large BMWs, Harley Davidsons, Vespas, sport bikes, and motocross bikes. It doesn’t matter the make, model, or size of your vehicle. Since it is a motorcycle it is awe-inspiring by definition. But that is me. If you prefer a Unimog, Toyota or Range Rover, I’m also behind you 100%. It is YOUR overland adventure!

Some like to ride the dirt roads, while others prefer pavement. Some carry lots of gear and others barely a change of clothing. Some like to stay in hotels or hostels, where others like to bush camp.

Whatever your chosen path, your trip is the artistic expression of your life. You are the master of your own destiny. And my motorcycle journey is my own expression of life. Both our expressions are awesome! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

So my advice is to express your life through your overland adventure in the best way possible. Take in what others have to say and learn how to do YOUR adventure better. But never compromise on your dream. Take the motorcycle that fulfills YOUR dreams.

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