Andrea and Becky

Today’s interview is with a riding duo, Andrea Sarvetnick and Bonzai Becky! These two make me feel just a little bit like I wasted my twenties. When I last chatted with them, they were somewhere in Panama in the midst of their epic Central and South American road trip. Those of us who have done it know that riding long-distance and having adventures with a girlfriend will always be an outstanding life experience. Here’s their story. [Rashmi Tambe, Editor]

Women Who Ride: Andrea and Becky on Ometepe Island

Andrea and Becky on Ometepe Island

Can you please introduce yourselves? Hi, we’re two chicks having a blast riding our motorcycles around Mexico, Central and South America! Becky actually started the trip riding down from Alaska in July and when she made it down to San Diego, the two of us headed south together in October of last year!

Can you describe your path into motorcycling? We actually independently got into riding in a pretty similar manner. Both of us bought scooters as our introduction to two-wheeled transport, Becky in Tucson, Arizona and Andrea in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Then we got big 650 dual sports before discovering the DRZ400.

Becky: I bought a little 125cc Genuine Buddy Scooter because gas prices were getting crazy. I had no idea I would take to riding so quickly. I only owned my scooter a couple weeks before selling my car and using it as my sole means of transportation. I started thinking about traveling on two wheels and knew I’d need something bigger and capable over more varied terrain.

Women Who Ride: Becky on her Genuine Buddy 125 scooter

Becky on her Genuine Buddy 125 scooter

I got it in my head I’d need a 650 for traveling and so I bought a KLR. I found a great group through ADVrider and starting going dual-sport riding every weekend. Everyone told me it was too big for me, but I was determined to learn. The bike and I went over a lot and while it was a heavy beast, I did manage to ride it over hundreds of miles of trails in the Tucson area.

Finally a friend asked me if I wanted to swap for a while and try his DRZ and I said sure. The difference was incredible! It was a constant fight on the KLR to keep the bike on track in the sand and the 400 seemed to just float right over. I finally understood what everyone was trying to tell me and the next weekend I bought a DRZ400 of my own (actually a KLX400 from 2003 when Kawasaki sold DRZs with green plastics). I painted the plastics white and zebra striped it with reflective tape. I loved that bike and rode it down into Mexico, all over the Rockies, across South West Canada and down the US Hwy 1. It met a sad end when a car turned left in front of me and I didn’t have time to swerve. I had to take a year to recover from my injuries before buying another DRZ.

Women Who Ride: Becky with her DRZ400

Becky with her DRZ400

Andrea: In 2007 I moved down to Buenos Aires with another friend of mine. I wanted a cheap and efficient way for us to zip around the city and bought a used scooter for only $300! It had its quirks, was often hard to start, had some questionable wiring and was largely held together by a combination of electrical and duct tape, but I fell in love with it just the same. I rode all over the city with it for about a year, learning how to lane split traffic and even ride on the sidewalk sometimes!

AndreaBecky_juki pista from buenos aires

Upon returning to California, I immediately bought a motorcycle, a Honda Rebel 250. Within a year I wanted something larger and more capable for long distance riding, and a bike that could handle riding off road. I picked up a BMW G 650 GS and started riding it all around California and over to Arizona. I rode it to San Jose and then to Yosemite and down through Kings Canyon. Another time I did some adventure riding through Death Valley.

After riding the big dual sport off road a number of times, and starting to get serious about long distance travel, I realized I needed a lighter bike that was more capable in the dirt. So I bought a DRZ 400. I rode my old DRZ all over southern California and northern Baja, Mexico. Unfortunately it was totaled in a street accident in San Diego by a car that turned left in front of me! (Yup, same story as Becky, just no broken bones!)

Describe your current motorcycles and why you picked them. Both of us currently ride Suzuki DRZ 400s. We picked them because they are excellent dual sport motorcycles, well suited to long distance travel yet still very capable off road.

Becky’s bike:
AndreaBecky_becky's bike

Women Who Ride: Andrea Sarvetnick's DRZ400

Andrea Sarvetnick’s DRZ400

When and how did you first meet?
Andrea: We met in August 2011 through mutual friends via CouchSurfing.com! Two of Becky’s friends from Tucson happened to couchsurf with me in San Diego, and told us we had to meet each other. Apparently we’d both been independently planning to ride our motorcycles to South America!

LONG DISTANCE RIDING

You were in Nicaragua when we last spoke. When did you hit the road and for how long had you been planning this trip?
Andrea: We left from San Diego in mid-October 2013. We had been planning the trip together since we met about 3 years ago. We’d wanted to go a bit sooner but we both got hit by cars while riding – Becky in Tucson and me in San Diego – and needed some serious recovery time. We also needed to pay off some debt from college and save money for the trip, which took a few years, in addition to getting the bikes all ready! [Becky’s blog entry about her motorcycle accident]

Did you do any “test rides” together to see how you hit it off?
Andrea:
When we first met, we did a moto excursion to Salvation Mountain, Slab City, and Joshua Tree National Park in California, right in the middle of summer!

Becky: You know you’ve found a good travel companion when it’s 110 degrees out and instead of complaining she’s laughing and telling you to stuff ice cubes in your bra and climb into the freezer at the gas station. And completely content to camp on a boulder at the end of the day too! [Becky’s blog entry about when they first met and their first test ride]

Andrea: About a year before we left for the trip, Becky moved from Tucson to San Diego to live with me, both to save money on rent, and also to make sure we’d be happy spending a lot of time together while traveling.

Can you describe how you prepared for such a trip? Becky: We did quite a bit of preparing for the trip, mainly lifestyle modifications to save money for travel expenses. We built queen size bunk beds so we could more comfortably share a room, and eventually added a loft bed to the living room and had a few of our friends move in with us to save even more money on rent.

AndreaBecky_we built queen size bunk beds and shared a room to cut down on rent and also make sure we'll be ok spending a lot of time together while traveling

We also put a yurt and a shed for storage in the backyard so we could split rent costs with even more friends!

AndreaBecky_yurt in the backyard

Andrea: We also did a few modifications to the bikes to both get them ready for long distance travel and equip them with some armor for off road riding. I also did some small performance mods in order to gain more horsepower on my bike. More specifically, we added case savers and better skid plates to both of our motors as well as radiator guards for off road protection. Becky added hand and lever guards for her clutch and brake levers, while I went with “unbreakable” levers on my bike. We had bought our bikes used and they both already came with larger capacity “desert tanks” which would prove invaluable on stretches where gas stations were few and far between. Being overly cautious, I also added a 3 gallon Rotopax gas tank to my bike, just in case! We both installed rear racks for carrying luggage, and I added side racks as well for my bags. Becky’s “giant loop” luggage bag sits over the rear of her seat so she didn’t need side racks. We both have lowering links on our bikes for more maneuverability when stopped, especially when off road. We swapped out the stock ‘fuel mixture screw’ in our carburetors for Kientech’s “extended fuel screw”, making it infinitely easier to tune the bikes relative to the changes in elevation as we ride up into the mountains and back down to sea level. I also rejetted my carburetor, did the 3×3 airbox mod and installed a K&N air filter in addition to installing higher performance header and exhaust pipes. I also swapped out the stock tail light for an aftermarket tail light with integrated turn signals. This makes it nearly impossible for them to break if (okay, when) I drop my bike in the dirt!

Becky: We also added a kickstarter to my bike, which we thought would be incredibly useful in case of a dead battery. However, we are both pretty small and even jumping in the air and coming down with all our weight it’s nearly impossible for us to kick over when the bike is cold! We usually try to kick it for a while when necessary, but have jumper cables as backup or just park on a hill when we know we’re having battery issues!

Women Who Ride: Andrea installs a kickstarter on Becky's bike

Andrea installs a kickstarter on Becky’s bike

Becky: I also wanted a lockable, removable, waterproof case for my laptop and since I couldn’t find one, I made one myself! I went to Maker Place in San Diego, which is basically the greatest hobby shop you can imagine, filled with lathes and CNC mills and lasers, which you can buy a monthly subscription to. I custom milled sliders to mount a Pelican Case onto my ProBillet Rack. I also added a Powerlet waterproof power port so I could charge the laptop while riding, but the charging system on the DRZ is pretty weak and even small electronics kill the battery pretty quickly, so I rarely use it.

Here’s a link to the specifics about the modifications we did to our motos: http://blog.motoventuring.com/?page_id=626.

Becky works at a mill

Becky works at a mill

AndreaBecky_becky mill3

What were your worst fears before you began?
Andrea:
Hmm, honestly I don’t think we had a whole lot of fear about the trip before we left. Most of our friends and family were supportive of us adventuring, but there are always of course the naysayers. We encountered our fair share of people who tried to convince us how dangerous it is south of the border. People also told us the military checkpoints in Mexico would be really dangerous too.

We’d both done a bit of international traveling before this trip so we were more than mentally prepared to hit the road and confront whatever may come up head on.

Women Who Ride: Andrea Sarvetnick at a military checkpoint in Baja, Mexico

Andrea Sarvetnick at a military checkpoint in Baja, Mexico

Becky: We really haven’t encountered anything overwhelmingly negative on the trip. Two instances in Mexico stand out as potentially detrimental to the trip, but nothing bad ever wound up happening. Both were in Chiapas, Mexico, on our ride from San Cristobal to Palenque. First, shortly after leaving San Cristobal we got stuck in a few traffic jams. Most of them were due to construction, and we just headed to the front and would then zoom off once we got the signal from the construction workers. Well, we thought we were coming up on another traffic jam because of construction and raced up to the front, eager to get a move on, but once we got up to the front we realized that traffic was not stopped because of construction – a whole group of Zapatista Rebels had blocked off the road to protest! They were all wearing black ski masks, and as soon as we pulled up they all started running across the road! I guess they could have been violent, but nothing came of it. They ran across the road lifting the road block and we continued on our way!

Later that same day on our way to Palenque, we were riding through the beautiful twisty mountain roads and occasionally stopping to take a picture or two. The green rain forest appeared to be stretching to the sky on both sides and gorgeous clouds hung low in the valleys. We had all stopped to put on jackets and I said I’d ride ahead and get a photo of them. I found a nice place to pull off and snapped a couple photos of the valley and then I heard a “Pshhht!” sound from across the road. A man emerged from the woods and humped at the air. I shot him an annoyed look and yelled “No gracias!”. He tried a combination of compliments and bribes to woo me before resorting to exposing himself and starting to walk across to my side of the street. I hopped on my bike and sped off before he made it very far and it took Andrea a long time to catch up with me. We decided to stick a bit closer together from then on.

That’s really to say nothing about Mexico or Latin America in general. Just a couple months earlier a similar thing happened to the both of us on a beach in San Diego! So while there are always potentially dangerous things that one could dwell on, they are easily outnumbered by the positive experiences.

Did you try to get fluent in Spanish before you left?
Andrea:
Becky knew some beginner Spanish before we left and I was already reasonably versed in the language from my time in Buenos Aires. Neither of us speak perfect Spanish by any means, but we more than get by. We always stop to talk to locals and practice all the time. A big part of why we’re doing this trip is to get to know the people and cultures where we travel, and learning the language is tantamount to understanding. Both of our Spanish speaking skills have massively improved during the almost six months we’ve been on the road!

You did a year and a half stint as a motorcycle mechanic apprentice before you left. Can you describe how you made that happen and what kinds of experiences you had in the process? Also, can you embark on a journey like this without being mechanically very hands-on?
Andrea: I had been working at a biotech laboratory for about a year prior to becoming a motorcycle mechanic apprentice when I got laid off from my job. While waiting to find a new full-time job, I decided to use my free time to learn some useful skills. I wanted to really learn how to work on my bike and make this South America trip a reality. So I stopped at a few mechanic shops around town and was turned away at every single one. They wanted someone with “prior experience” and didn’t have time to teach someone like me. What a catch 22, how was I supposed to get experience when no one was willing to take on a beginner?!

Then I sent an email to Bob, the mobile mechanic from Craigslist who had worked on my first bike, and asked him if I could be his apprentice. I told him I had next to no experience fixing things and I wasn’t familiar with very many tools but I was extremely excited to learn and more than willing to get my hands dirty. He agreed and told me to come right over and he’d go over some of the basics in his garage, and then start taking me around to various jobs he did on all sorts of bikes all over San Diego! I was thrilled. I picked up a Clymer manual about my bike and pored over it. I couldn’t wait to learn everything there was to know about how motorcycles worked and the engines that drive them. Every day I would show up around 6:30am at Bob’s house and we’d be off to a job in his truck by 7am. We worked on all sorts of bikes and our work ranged from basic maintenance to major repair. However the most common jobs we did were cleaning carburetors and replacing batteries due to improper storage over the winter months! The first time we took a carburetor apart, I barely knew which way was up from down, and had a hard time remembering where all of the little parts went. Over time and with Bob’s unending patience, I learned how to clean carburetors and install them with some efficiency. He also taught me how to do routine oil changes, swap worn out brake pads for new ones, change tires, repair tubes, replace chains and sprockets, clean air filters, etc. We worked together for over a year and a half and to this day I am incredibly grateful for his help. In order to ‘pay it forward’ I’ve taught Becky how to work on her bike and our friend Ashlee and our roommate Katie how to clean carburetors and change tires. I make it a point to teach anyone who is interested in learning, as a direct result of Bob taking a chance on me all those years ago.

Before I knew it, my bedroom had turned into a veritable garage! And sometimes our living room too!

Andrea and Becky turn their room into a garage

Andrea and Becky turn their room into a garage

You can of course embark on a journey like this without being very mechanically hands-on. It does however make things A LOT easier if you’ve at least got some basic experience working on your bike. I can’t even tell you how many hack mechanics we’ve run into that wanted to do absurd things to our bikes that were often times completely irrelevant to whatever issue we were having at the moment. In just six short months on the road, we’ve had to do multiple oil changes, air filter cleanings, spark plug replacements, multiple auxiliary coolant tank repairs, a carburetor cleaning, tire changes, and a stator replacement. Not to mention multiple removals of both of our batteries at various points for charging in addition to jump starting both bikes. Oh and we helped a friend fix some faulty wiring for his ignition when his bike wouldn’t start too!

Women Who Ride: Becky cleans her air filter

Becky cleans her air filter

Women Who Ride: Andrea replaces her stator

Andrea replaces her stator

We are far from expert mechanics by any means, but we’ve taken the time to get to know our bikes and have the necessary tools with us so we can fix our machines.

Here’s a great example from our video blog of some of the ludicrous mechanical advice we’ve received on the road: http://blog.motoventuring.com/?p=785

I remember someone once saying something to me like “if you’re going to go ride in South America, you need to bring a man with you”. Can you talk about how this lack of a man has affected your riding experience in terms of safety and protection? We’ve felt safe in the majority of places we’ve been, and in fact, being two women traveling alone probably actually makes it easier for us to get help when we really do need it. Maybe that creepy guy who propositioned Becky on our way to Palenque wouldn’t have approached her like that had a guy been with her when she stopped, but we got out of that situation just fine on our own. We’ve traveled with our guy friends throughout different parts of our trip and feel just as safe with or without them.

Can you describe life on the road with each other? Andrea: Life on the road together is great. We’re both really easy going people, and quick to laugh about a potentially bad or difficult situation turning it into an amusing experience and a funny story to recall to our friends later. We’ve of course had a few trying moments at border crossings, riding through really intense and dangerous wind storms, and times when the bikes just aren’t cooperating. Helping each other through those times makes it all worth it. We can’t recommend enough going for a motorcycle adventure with a good friend!

Becky: Someone asked me the other day what the best thing I brought with me has been and hands down it’s Andrea! She’s a repair manual, a translator and a standup comedian in one! She helps me remain calm and keep laughing when things go wrong.

Women Who Ride: Andrea and Becky in southern Baja

Andrea and Becky in southern Baja

Do you ever part ways and go off in a different direction and meet up again in another place, or do you pretty much stick together at all times?
Andrea:
We stick together most all the time. In general, we’re both really independent travelers and have traveled around quite a bit on our own before, but it’s so much more fun to share experiences with a close friend. Our boyfriends visited us at the same time in Nicaragua, so we each went off and had some of our own adventures with them for a bit which was cool. But in general we travel together.

Becky: As a rule I always try to travel with people who are capable enough to take care of themselves if we need time apart and Andrea definitely is…we just haven’t really needed it. I tend to get up earlier, so I might go have a cup of coffee alone and she’ll stay up late reading sometimes, but once we’re both up and awake we’re pretty happy hanging out together.

AndreaBecky_city of the future

What has been the highlight of your trip so far?
Andrea: Wow, we’ve had so many incredible experiences on this trip it’s hard to pick just one! How about we tell you about a series of serendipitous events that followed after a very challenging day of riding in Mexico?

We were riding from the beach in southern Oaxaca along the coast and up through Chiapas on our way to San Cristobal and Palenque, when we stopped in a town called Salina Cruz. The wind had grown fierce so we stopped to put on our armor. We pushed on through the wind and it got to the point where it was downright dangerous; it felt like we were almost riding through a tornado! We stopped for gas in La Ventosa and asked the attendant if he knew about how many more miles it would be this windy. His response: “Oh, it gets much, much worse up ahead. It’s really windy around here for a while. Very dangerous for a motorcycle.” Great! Already feeling out of control while riding in such intense wind, we considered what to do next and consulted the map. There was a mountain range just north of the highway coming up a bit past La Ventosa, so we decided to push on, hoping the mountain range would cut down on some of the wind coming from that direction. Naturally it started to rain as we did everything we could to keep our bikes from blowing right off the road, riding only about 30-40 mph, the windmills lining the road spinning round and round, taunting us. Apparently, the wind mills have an emergency shut off when winds reach an excess of 70 mph, and we noticed some of them weren’t spinning. No wonder we were having such a rough time keeping our bikes on the road!

Ironically, there was an extremely picture perfect rainbow just to the left of the highway. If we tried to glance over at it for even a second, an insane gust of wind would rip across the road catching us off guard, so we focused all our energy on keeping the bikes upright. Up ahead a construction worker was signaling for us to stop because they were working on the road. We desperately wanted to keep going for fear of stopping and getting knocked over by the violent wind. We of course had to stop, and I almost fell over multiple times during the tortuously long wait. The only reason I didn’t fall over was because Ashlee (who’s a bit taller than me) was on the back of my bike and put her feet down to steady the bike against all the wind. The next gust was so fierce that it knocked Becky’s bike over right out from under her! At the time our friend Brant was riding with us on his bike, and he stopped to help right her bike against the relentless wind. We got the signal to proceed and pushed on for probably another hour and a half. We’d made it as far as Zanatepec, Mexico. Exhausted, we started desperately looking around for places to stop and rest, and likely camp for the night. I was even looking longingly at bridge underpasses considering spending the night there, shielded from the wind at least on two sides.

Fortunately, I was keeping my eye out because under one of the bridges were the words, “Warm showers, one block, Couchsurfing” spray painted on the wall, with an arrow indicating which way to go! We couldn’t believe it, and of course followed the arrow to check it out.

AndreaBecky_couchsurfing warm showers

Just down the road there was another sign with an arrow pointing down the driveway of a house. We rode in and knocked on the door and were welcomed into the incredibly generous home of Rodrigo and Lupita! They were extremely kind and helpful, insisting on buying us pizza for dinner, gave us a free room to stay in their house for the night, even cooked us breakfast in the morning. They had been hosting couchsurfers and adventurers of all types for many years!

We met a fellow traveler at their house named Matt, who had been riding his bicycle all the way from the US through Mexico, and was headed all the way down to Panama. Just days before, Matt was pedaling south out of Zanatepec and was attacked by killer bees! He had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment since he had been stung so many times. Some very kind and helpful strangers had taken him to the hospital, and he was recovering at Rodrigo and Lupita’s when we met him. He was really concerned about riding his bicycle through that area again so we thought we could help him out.

We decided to tow him – at a much higher speed than he could pedal – with our bikes! We used some of our tow straps to tow him behind our friend Brant’s motorcycle. We did some practice runs at low speed around the neighborhood before taking off for the highway! We managed to successfully tow him past the area with the bees and then he set off pedaling on his own.

We were delighted to be able to help, especially right after Ricardo and Lupita were so overwhelmingly kind and supportive to us after such a trying journey through the wind!

Here is a link to our video blog entry about this: http://blog.motoventuring.com/?p=732

Have you had any low moments when you wished you were just back home?
Andrea: I’m pretty sure I broke my foot a little over a month ago in Nicaragua, but even that didn’t make me wish I was home. We’re having a blast and despite any difficulties we’ve encountered while riding or otherwise, we’re loving the trip.

Even when I got really sick in Honduras and felt so bad I actually went to a doctor I still wanted to keep going. We still don’t even know what was wrong with me. The doctor didn’t explain it very clearly before jamming some sort of medicine in my arm! Becky likes to joke that I had “a touch of the malaria”. Hell, maybe it was dengue, who knows..

Becky: It’s harder to be away from people you care about than it is to deal with stressful situations or physical pain. There are a lot of people we miss from home, but thankfully quite a few have been able to join us on different parts of the trip! I also just flew back for my sister’s wedding and seeing so many family and friends mid-trip was really nice.

AndreaBecky_sick in honduras

Got any funny stories from your ride?
Becky: It’s not specifically about riding, but most recently on Ometepe Island in Nicaragua, we decided to go for a swim to a not too distant island. We filled our waterproof 65L dry bags with a few things for the day and a bunch of air and started paddling. Things in the water always look closer than they are, so it was taking a while, but finally we were nearing the island. Then all the sudden I saw a shark fin coming towards us! People had told us Lake Nicaragua was the only lake in the world with sharks and they were bull sharks to boot, which are responsible for more human deaths than great whites! They had also said the sharks were usually seen only out in the deepest areas or near the mouths of rivers, so I thought we’d be safe. But now I’d seen the fin I screamed at Andrea and started to panic paddle on our makeshift raft back towards shore. Like a trooper she tried to convince me not to flail and to paddle back in calm, smooth strokes so it would be less likely to attack. She insisted on not looking back for it, because that’s always how they get you in horror films. Eventually we made it back to shore and collapsed under a palm tree, our hearts beating quickly. I scanned the waters in search of the fin so Andrea could see the shark too and then I saw one really close to shore! Before I could point it out, it turned to the side and I realized that my shark fin was just a duck swimming. I embarrassingly confessed to Andrea that I’d made us abandon our mission and run ourselves ragged fleeing a waterfowl. We had a good laugh. :)

What’s the most dangerous encounter you’ve had so far?
Andrea: Most of the danger we’ve encountered has been self imposed! Usually riding over challenging terrain and hurting ourselves of our own accord has been the most dangerous thing we’ve encountered on the trip.

Some epic sand crashes right at the beginning of the trip in Baja:
AndreaBecky_mikes sky ranch2

AndreaBecky_mikes sky ranch3

Women Who Ride: Andrea and Becky reach Mike's Sky Ranch

Andrea and Becky reach Mike’s Sky Ranch

But we made it!

Some well deserved bruises. Pretty sure my right thigh is almost twice the size of my left:

AndreaBecky_mikes sky ranch

Women Who Ride: Becky getting on a gnarly road outside Antigua, Guatemala

Becky getting on a gnarly road outside Antigua, Guatemala

Do you care about looking “feminine” out on the road? If so, how do you manage that?
Becky:
Oh yes, we’re extremely concerned with our appearances at all times, can you tell?

I’m pretty sure neither of us had showered for over a week at this point. I haven’t worn makeup or a bra since we left. Andrea never wears makeup anyway.

AndreaBecky_very concerned with our appearances

AndreaBecky_becky on the farm

Literally riding down into a pile of garbage:
AndreaBecky_about to ride through a pile of garbage

What kind of electronic gear do you carry to record your trip?
Becky:
Because we’re doing a video blog, we’ve got a pretty nice laptop (an HP EliteBook) which, while big and heavy, is powerful enough to edit video and also extremely durable. It has survived many epic crashes in the sand and tip-overs in rocky water crossings!

I also have a Vio Point-Of-View video camera mounted on the side of my helmet and it is set up to record constantly and save the last 3 minutes whenever I hit a button on my handlebar. This makes it so I can capture things that occur suddenly on the road without having to eat a million memory cards and have hours of video to sift through at the end of the day. I also have it set up to power off my bike! I like how subtle it is too, I can record at military and police checkpoints without anyone noticing.

We have a GoPro too, which is really great for dirt riding and scuba diving and snorkeling. It takes excellent video, and the waterproof wide angle lens is wonderful for capturing us riding through epic water crossings and swimming with all sorts of fish when diving.

I also have a Galaxy SIII in a waterproof Otter Box Armor case which I use for a lot of the shorter video clips in the blog. It takes surprisingly decent video, but has crappy zoom. Thanks to people donating on our blog, we have been able to add a couple of Sony NEX-3N cameras to our arsenal, so that should be a big improvement!

I also use the app Maps With Me for navigation. It uses the GPS in your phone to navigate, so you don’t need phone service. It only cost $5 and you can download free maps for all over the world, It has allowed us to travel off the beaten track without getting lost!

Do you think you will really stop in South America, or hop a ship to the next continent and continue? :)
We’ll probably pause – rather than stop – after South America. We’d like to save up some money and buy some land to start an intentional community with a group of our friends somewhere. I’m sure we’ll be back on our bikes riding through Asia and/or Africa eventually though!!

Do you have any motorcycling heroes?
Definitely. We got to meet a few of them at Overland Expo: Lorraine Chittock, Lois Pryce, Austin Vince, Ted Simon and Gaurav Jani.

Women Who Ride: Becky with Lorraine Chittock, Lois Pryce, Austin Vince, Ted Simon and Gaurav Jani

Becky with Lorraine Chittock, Lois Pryce, Austin Vince, Ted Simon and Gaurav Jani

Are there any female long distance riders who have inspired you?
Of course! We’ve both read Lois Pryce’s Lois on the Loose which was very inspiring. We also briefly met Tiffany Coates and her bike Thelma at Overland Expo in Flagstaff a couple years ago. Both are incredible adventure riders who’ve been all over the world!

How can your readers follow along on your trip online?
They can follow us on these sites:
http://www.motoventuring.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCno4pMFp5d5gLkPDuQEDQw
http://www.facebook.com/motoventuring

We also mail out hand written postcards to thank people who support us by donating on our blog!

Name: Bonzai Becky
Age: 30
Country: USA
Languages: English, Spanish
Years Riding: 6
Height: 5’6”
Inseam: 29”
Current Motorcycles: ’05 DRZ400S
Past Motorcycles: ’08 125cc Genuine Buddy Scooter,  ’08 KLR650, ’01 KLX400E (The Zeb!)
Riding Gear:  Shoei Hornet Helmet, Alpinestars Stella Bionic II Jacket, Fox Shift Pants, Fox Dirtpaw Gloves, Vasque Hiking Boots
Full Name: Andrea Sarvetnick
Age: 29
Country: USA
Languages: English, Spanish
Years Riding: 6
Height: 5’3”
Inseam: 26.5”
Current Motorcycles: ’02 DRZ400 S
Past Motorcycles: Juki Pista scooter, ’09 Honda Rebel 250, ’09 BMW G 650 GS, ’06 DRZ 400 S
Riding Gear: Helmet:  Arai XD Helmet; Jacket:  Old Military Jacket; Pants:  motocross pants; Boots: Doc Martens
Website:  http://www.motoventuring.com


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