Sunday, August 12, 2007

An inspiration to ride, just ride

Today I discovered this thread on the advriders forum. It's about this amazing rider named Makiko Sugino of Japan. Here's a snip from the thread which intro'ed her and hooked me into reading the rest of the now unfortunately closed thread:

She has been traveling solo around the world on her motorcycle continuously for the past five years. She has logged over 250,000 miles on this trip and is still going. She has toured every continent, most countries, and has been hospitilized three times due to accidents, and yet she still keeps going. As of May 8th, she is in the South West U.S. and is now headed through Texas to Key West then up the Eastern Seaboard, across Canada to Alaska, then back down to California. She is riding a black and blue Yamaha 250 with haphazard luggage, she is pretty easy to spot as I don't think she ever goes over 40mph.

Her travels through North/Central America


This woman is amazing and if you read the thread, you'll find as I did that she amazed and awed a group of riders who had once thought of themselves as "adventure riders" but now saw themselves as noobies and unworthy in relation to her accomplishments.

And yet, Makiko is reported as the most unassuming person by those riders fortunate enough to have met her on the road. She's got no plans to write a book about her journeys to make money or make herself look great; to her it was just a journey for the sake of doing it.

A Riding Machine!

My regret was finding about this thread too late, she's back in Japan now and I missed the chance to perhaps meet her when she traversed Colorado this Spring. Dammit.

So what's the big deal you ask? After all, famous actor Ewan McGregor and his actor friend Charlie Boorman have done similar things haven't they? Well, that's addressed in the thread above but guys like McGregor and Boorman did it with support crews, cameras, corporate sponsors, big BMW 1200 GS bikes, GPS and some amount of whining I thought. But hey, they did it at least, in spite of my misgivings re some of their commentary, they are still way and beyond the kind of rider I someday hope to become.

However, Makiko did her riding over 250,000 miles, around the world, ALONE, went through three bikes, none of which were above 250cc in engine size!. She worked her ass off for two years to save $33,000 and did the riding on a budget of $10/day! It's just amazing.

Although the thread leaves you with the belief she's not going to write a book/journal/blog about her travels, I hope they're wrong. I hope she does write of this journey, it's the stuff of legends!

Update: And here's yet another woman's who's done something similar! LINK

1 comment:

Anthony - Motojournalism said...

Cool! That's Makiko outside my house in Montreal. :)

I hosted her in the city for a couple days, this was before I had my own motorcycle.
I helped her find a fresh rear-tire and she taught me how to change the tire and grease bearings.

I should go back to that thread and re-link the missing photos, but you can find a bunch more here: