Tag Archives: long way round

Miss-Adventures On A Motorcycle

Ready for the road!

So this Easter weekend, having postponed a bigger adventure trip overseas until I can save a bit more cash, I decided to make the best of things down home and venture out on a few local mini-adventures on the bike. On a whim, I got up on an overcast Easter morning and headed off down the coast towards the beautiful Otway Forest…

Trouble is, being spontaneous can have its downsides. First up, I didn’t check the weather forecast – which under normal circumstances isn’t so bad, but on this particular day I was barely an hour into the trip when exceptionally gusty winds and hailstones forced me to stop by the side of the road. Sitting in the saddle with no shelter, while the elements gave me a solid drenching, I looked to the heavens cursing my lack of foresight.

As the rain eased, I started off once more but it was turning into the mini-adventure from hell when, rounding a hairpin bend dead slow, unable to see properly through my visor for the rain, I felt the back wheel slip and yup…down I went. It wasn’t a big off but already deflated by the weather, I struggled to get the bike upright, skidding and sliding in some surface mud that seemed to have appeared from nowhere underneath my wheels.

Back on the road, I battled the elements for another couple of hours, following the windy coast road through bend after bend, until – joy of joys – I saw a coffee place at the side of the road and parked up for a vat of hot java and a cake. Warmed and with renewed gusto for my journey, I jumped on the bike, pressed the starter button and – nothing. Really, nothing. Oh shit. Bugger. They say things come in threes – this was the third thing.

But as always on the road, someone appeared out of nowhere to save the day. A guy on a gleaming Ducati spotted my problem (or more accurately, heard me swearing at the bike!) and came over to assist. I’ve no idea what the problem was – I was too sodden with rain to care at that point – but he got me going again and in a flourish of shiny red metal was gone!

Hours later, after a day battling the elements on two wheels, I arrived back home just as the sun started to shine brilliantly over the bay. Of course. Rain-saturated, muddy and over it, I settled on my sofa with a large glass of wine. An episode of Long Way Round (the one with all the mud and shit in Mongolia) was enough to get my day back in perspective. You win some, you lose some, eh?!

Adventure: A Man’s World?

Trekking the Sahara Desert, 2010

This week, I’ve been developing a new adventure series for television. While doing some research for the programme, I came across some really eye-opening attitudes about women and the adventure sphere.

There seemed to be a general feeling amongst the men I spoke to that the only women who tackle hardcore adventures are “big butch lesbian types”, and that women for the most part aren’t cut out for expeditions or challenges requiring supreme mental and physical strength. And, argued these same guys, men don’t want to watch TV programmes about butch lesbian women’s adventures – but if they were young, blonde and fit-looking….

As you might imagine, I found these comments very…provocative. After doing a straw-poll amongst some female colleagues (who retorted that men should try childbirth before consigning women to the adventure scrapheap!), I realised there’s still a widely-held belief that adventure is the domain of men – and therefore that adventure programmes on TV appeal largely to men, who want to watch other men having amazing adventures.

Sadly, I’ve noticed this perception stretches into the TV community – for example, Nat Geo Adventure (one of my favourite TV channels) http://natgeotv.com.au/tv/ regularly runs shows featuring male adventurers, but there are comparatively few documenting female stories. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching shows like Man vs Wild, Long Way Round, Danger Men, Graham’s World...but where are the women??

Why, in the 21st century – supposedly an era of gender equality – is there still this perception that any “serious” adventure is only worth talking about if men are at the helm? And why are men so disinterested in female adventures?

I’d genuinely love to know the answer, so please do post your comments below