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  • Foto van schrijverShana Hepping

Slow travelling on a motorcycle

Let's start with the obvious: motorcycles are not synonymous with sustainability. Neither are they usually seen as a way to travel slowly. They run on gasoline and emit carbon, just like most vehicles, and by most, motorcycles are seen as speedy death-machines. So isn't it a bit hypocrite to say that we want to travel slowly in a sustainable way, while still riding a motorcycle? Well, maybe, but after some careful deliberation we decided to go with it.

Picture: Felix on top of Mont Ventoux in 2o21.

There are a few arguments that underpin our choice to travel per motorcycle, see this article. Some points made there: motorcycles ride more fuel efficient than a car or a van (especially if not driven with haste), they put less pressure on transport infrastructure and require fewer materials to build. Besides, due to the limited space on a motorcycle, we're forced to decrease the amount of things we bring, resulting in less consumption.

Motorcycling travelling fits within our view on slow travel, see my previous blog on slow travelling Of course, you could race from destination to destination, beat the clock every day, ignore all interesting and uninteresting things around. But you don't have to. One of the rules we set for ourselves is that we want to avoid highways and fast travelling routes as much as possible. Instead, we aim for 200 kms of fun, scenic routes per day and allow ourselves to stop for engaging in conversations, taking in the views or visiting unexpected places. Even more important, it's okay to pause when we feel tired. Our aim is not to see as much as possible, nor meet everyone. The goal of the journey is the journey itself.

Obviously, traveling slow and sustainable could be achieved better on foot or by bicycle. However, we both felt that motorcycles fitted our needs better, would give us more joy on our journey and suited our lifestyles more. I've had plenty of discussions on whether or not a less sustainable choice is hypocritical, but for me, that will always remain a personal choice that you need to agree with yourselves. Yes we could do better, yes we could do worse, but that doesn't have to change the decisions we've made.

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