I sit in the HiVolt shop, surrounded by motorcycles and trials gear, and wait. Darkness falls and the high timbered ceilings glow with golden light, a beacon in the night. Still we wait. Like on Christmas eve, except Santa is some tired middle aged Thai bloke with a beer gut and a pickup truck, driving through the night from Bangkok with a load of fridges, cushions, miscellany and one motorcycle.
The motorcycle is small and unassuming: a KLX230, common in Thailand, not particularly expensive, not particularly suited to enduro. But to me, it’s a golden opportunity. It’s the promise of income and the sustainability of my vagrant lifestyle.
You see, after five years on the road, resources are exhausted. First I lived on my savings; then during Covid, those ran dry. After that, I have subsisted on the generosity of friends and publications around the world who find value in my writings of adventure and misadventure.
If you’d asked me at the beginning of all this, I would have said 18 months or two years would be the enough to get to Paris: to arrive at the other side of the world, and go back to some more conventional form of lifestyle. Get a job, pay some bills, something like that. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees and my whole life, I’ve had jobs I hated in order to get by. Sometimes up to four at once.
That, I do not recommend. In fact, that is exactly the version of life that I got on my motorcycle and rode away from, all those miles ago. Somewhere along the road, I realized I would never go back.
Which brings to me to this evening at HiVolt Motorsports, waiting for the delivery of the bike which I will ride when HiVolt runs mixed on-road/off-road and light enduro tours in these beautiful mountains. The high season here is the northern hemisphere Winter: glorious sunny days and cool nights. So here’s the plan: high season tours to put petrol in my tank as I continue to ride around the world through all the other seasons of the year.
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I’m looking down, writing this when I hear the clatter of an aluminium loading ramp on the street. That’s mine: that’s my cue! That’s my motorbike! I run outside in time to watch the little KLX emerge from behind a fridge.
She’s wrapped in cling wrap, pristine and low tech. I have some work to do.