BY EGLE GERULAITYTE
Lois Pryce, the legendary British motorcyclist and author of ‘Lois On the Loose’ and ‘Red Tape and White Knuckles’, is currently back in London getting ready for another adventure. She’s about to publish her third book, ‘Revolutionary Ride’, on her travels in the Middle East.
Lois has ridden all over the world: she completed the Alaska – Ushuaia trip on a Yamaha XT225, traveled the length of Africa on a Yamaha TTR 250, and crossed Iran. Solo! She’s multi – talented, free – spirited, and totally hilarious: but we wanted to know what motivates her to keep going.
– Lois, you often talk about being vulnerable on the road in order to experience the real adventure. For most Western riders, though, it’s one of the hardest things to do as we’re raised to be distrustful individualists! How did you do it?
– I agree, it is very difficult to change one’s approach but the only way to do it is to get out there and put yourself in situations where you have no choice but to take this approach to life and people! The more you do it, the easier it gets.
– Should women riders still be considered as ‘heroines’ just because they are, well, women – or can we now skip the ‘female factor’ and just concentrate on the riding and the storytelling?
– I don’t think it’s necessary to emphasize the female factor. There are certain differences which cannot be ignored or avoided, but often being a female is advantageous. I would prefer to see less focus on this, though – the great things about adventure riding and traveling, in general, are universal to all!
– I think most travelers would agree that the world is more incredible than dangerous – and yet the majority of people back home still dread places like Central America, Africa, or the Middle East. Do you find it frustrating?
– You always get some naysayers, but they must be ignored! The more people report back on the reality of the world, the more likely it is to encourage others and spread the truth. Unfortunately, this doesn’t sell newspapers, and it’s human nature to like a lurid disaster story!
– Some riders try to give back through volunteering, fundraising, charity work, and so on; some treat the world as their playground. What’s your take on this?
– That’s a good thing to do if it’s genuinely helping people, but I believe there is value in traveling without doing this kind of thing. Gaining an understanding of different cultures and learning about yourself in the process has value too.
– What’s your definition of adventure?
– Taking on a challenge where the outcome is unknown and there is a potential risk.
– What would you say to women out there who dream of riding the world but are afraid to take that first step?
– Ignore the naysayers and go for it. But take your time, don’t feel pressured to do it in a certain way. It’s your trip.
– Where are you right now, and what will you get up to next?
– At home in London. I have a new book out in January 2017 – about my travels in Iran, so I’ll be busy with that for a few months. I always want to go back to Iran but also am looking into riding around Oman.
‘The appeal of my journeys has always been to roam around in my own time, on my own terms – looking at the world and talking to people. This is what I enjoy!’ – Lois Pryce