Upshift 7 March 2017

Page 24

By Stephen W Clark

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that my first interest in adventure bikes came from watching Charley and Ewan trek around the world in The Long Way Round and The Long Way Down. It was hard not to be inspired after seeing them experience the terrain and culture of far-off lands from the seat of an adventure bike. The films helped make sense out of big, clunky, dual sport bikes like the GS, and really put these bikes into perspective. Fast forward more than a decade, and I now own an adventure bike of my own that I regularly use to explore the less traveled areas of Idaho and Wyoming. Sure, I’ve always dreamt of riding around the world like my childhood heroes did, but making a trip like that isn’t exactly a reality for those of us with an eight-to-five, kids, and a mortgage. However, through my job at KLIM, an opportunity presented itself to document a trip to Ecuador with the winners of the KLIM Ultimate Ecuador Adventure Contest. This was finally my chance to experience a third world country from the seat of an adventure bike.