Trapped by Coronavirus: The Day Motorcycle Travel Came to a Sudden Stop

Coronavirus forced our world into lockdown. Millions flew home, stockpiled on toilet roll and hunkered down to see out the pandemic. But it’s not that easy for motorcycle travellers. Some managed to ship their bikes out in time, others had to leave them and fly out… and the rest stayed behind. Most are trapped inside closed borders, a few want to leave but can’t, one caught COVID-19 and the rest are just trying to make the best of a tough situation. Here are their stories, why they’re still on the road and what their new plans are…   

6th May 2020

Notier’s Frontiers

My wife and I set out to travel around the world to experience all of its hidden treasures, different cultures and to help find our way in this world while getting lost at the same time. We quit our jobs and sold all of our possessions to find out if it would be the worst decision – or the best decision – we had ever made.

Throttle Adventures

We’re a couple from Kenya who left home back in 2018 to fulfill our dream of travelling the world on motorcycles. Being the first people from Kenya to ride round-the-world is really important to us too because we get to tell the great story of Kenya and promote our incredible country as we travel. 

Just a Journey

I’ve always wanted to travel and am so lucky to be able to do it without any time constraints. I used to travel with a very tight budget, but I’m now in a privileged position as I can work remotely as a web analyst. I started in 2017 on a bicycle, got tired after one year of pedalling and switched to a motorbike. It was quite a challenge as I had never even ridden a scooter before. So, I went back home to Poland, got a driver’s licence and bought a bike. Six months later and I left to ride through Europe to Southeast Asia. I met Roman in Iran and moved into his van. Since then my travelling has become a mix of biking and van-life in-between.

Kate’n’Ride

I am just a girl (singing in the voice of Gwen Stefani) and the first Belorussian woman to travel solo around the world on a motorcycle. I started in August 2018 without knowing how far I’d be able to go, what to expect, how to get money or even how to organise everything. And now I’ve been on the road for 620 days and after exploring 22 countries and an awesome ride through Patagonia I am stuck in Argentina. Nevertheless, starting my journey was by far the best decision of my life.

Geoff Keys

I was 62 years old when I left London six years ago. I have a wife and three grown up children. I used to work for the Automobile Association and have a fairly decent pension to travel on. My travels have been inspired by the books I’ve read, especially Ted Simon, Sam Manicom and Graham Field. I was also inspired by Ewan and Charley. I’m mainly travelling simply because I want to see the world and find out about other peoples’ lives.

Improbably Adventuring

I’m Heather Sinclair, I’m originally American but have been living in the UK for the past 5 years. In 2018 I did a 10-month, 22,000-mile motorcycle journey across Asia from Indonesia back to the UK (where I met Andy and Alissa from Mad or Nomad at the top of a pass in Kyrgyzstan!). The travel bug had well and truly bitten me and so I spent the next year and a half saving money from my IT job and preparing my bike for my next trip overland across Africa to Cape Town. 

Brit on a Bike

I’m Jack, I’m 22, and am riding a Royal Enfield Himalayan around the world and hoping to break the world record for being the youngest person to do so. Leaving on July 11th 2019, my trip has taken me through Europe, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, China, Southeast Asia and Australia before flying on to South America from Sydney in January 2020. I headed south through Chile to Patagonia before dropping into Argentina and swinging north up the legendary Ruta 40 to Bolivia. Arriving in La Paz to a rumour that borders were about to close, I got a shift on and entered Peru asap, where I have been stuck since March 16th.

Diaries of

After a sabbatical break of six months back in 2013 (which turned into a six-month trip around South America on our motorbike – a 650 GS at the time), we decided that we wanted more for our lives than comfortable jobs that gave us enough money to travel but hardly any time to do it… So, in 2015 we quit our jobs and have been travelling the world on our motorbike ever since. We left from Portugal with the aim of slowly reaching Vladivostok. Which we did last year. After Vladivostok we went to Japan and South Korea and then shipped our bike to Southeast Asia. 

RTW Roxy

I’m Roxy, I’m a 24-year-old girl and originally from Poland but have lived in Scotland for the last 8 years. When I’m not travelling I work as a Software Developer. I first started travelling on my bike around Europe and now it’s turned into riding around the world. Every day on the road is an adventure from the people I meet, roads I’ve ridden and places I’ve seen. I started my trip in July 2019 riding through Europe, Asia and ended up in Australia where coronavirus has paused my trip. Next I’m planning to go to North and South America.

Far and Further

I went on my first overland trip in 2017/2018 when the rat race in London caught up with me and my girlfriend. We sold what we had, packed what was left, bought a car (we didn’t want to ride two-up and she didn’t want to ride a bike) and drove to India and back. A lot changed when we returned and we broke up. We were both infected with the travel bug and stationary life began to feel incredibly mundane. So, I came up with a plan to become a digital nomad and to try and circumnavigate Africa. I left home Feb 2020 on my Yamaha Tenere and now here I am – stuck in Morocco.

BikeHedonia

I was once a corporate litigator in Sydney, Australia. I was a kid from the bush who worked hard, got an education, got a profession and good job, and was utterly miserable. So I bought a KTM 690 Enduro R and left town. I’ve been riding ever since. For more than three years now, I’ve been a homeless person with a motorcycle, a machete and a mounting obsession with jungle trails. I used to tell people I was riding to Paris but that’s not really the point. I’ll go wherever the trails take me, and hopefully, I’ll see the whole world on my way to Paris.

Memoirs of a Motorcyclist

My names James and I’m from the UK. I love motorcycles and after a couple of solo trips around Europe I decided I wanted to go further. With that decision I saved up, planned a route, quit work and started my RTW trip. The objective for my trip is to ride round-the-world by motorcycle with as little to no flying if possible. My route so far has been across Europe, Central Asia, China, Nepal, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and back into Thailand. From here I plan to ride down into Malaysia, Indonesia and then find a way to get across to Australia by sea if possible. After that I plan to go be sea to North America and ride all the Americas before returning home via a cruise form New York to the UK.

Esta es mi Vuelta

I’m a 30-year-old Colombian dude who always dreamed about going around the world in a motorcycle. It’s not easy for a Colombian guy living in the Colombian economy to do this, so it was a challenge. I saved up and started the once in a lifetime journey. And each month I didn’t know how I was going to survive the next one. But the dream kept me going. I’ve managed to make it through 20 countries and now, one-year and three months later, COVID-19 has trapped me in between India, China, and Thailand in one of the trickiest countries in the world to get into: Myanmar.

Mad or Nomad

Hey, we’re Andy and Alissa. We sold everything, packed one too many bags on our old bike and left home on 1st January 2018 to ride round-the-world. Since then, we’ve broken down more times than we can count, got lost in Mongolia, blew all our money living in Japan for six months, thought about becoming nomadic horse herders in Kyrgyzstan (turns out we suck at riding horses), destroyed our bike in Afghanistan, had a ride from hell through Siberia and Alissa broke her leg in Nepal April last year. So we flew home for 8 months while Alissa learned to walk again and continued our trip January 2020. We’ve come to expect the unexpected by now… but we never expected this.