The slogan that drives Appalachian ADV…
If you’ve poked around our website or have run across our articles on Twisted Throttle’s Twists & Turns Blog then you may have noticed those four words. But where did this saying come from and what does it actually mean in the context of ADV riding? Those questions that, well, maybe nobody is asking but I thought I would answer anyway.
If you’re interested in the genesis and philosophical meaning of our maxim then forge ahead dear reader. If not, maybe check out our Events page and sign up for a ride or run over to our social media and check out our latest pictures and videos.
The cart before the horse… Sometime in 2017 I decided to check out a show I heard about called Ride with Norman Reedus. I thought it was a great concept and felt the exposure of motorcycles to a wider audience was a good thing, even if it didn’t involve my subgenre of ADV riding. A big star like Norman Reedus, of Boondock Saints and Walking Dead fame, with the motorcycle as a main character and THE major plot of the show could do nothing else but highlight the amazing benefits and adventurous possibilities of life on two wheels.
In the very first episode of Ride, Norman’s plan was to tackle the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) but first hooks up with Roland Sands, a champion motorcycle racer turned custom bike builder. The two ride around Palos Verdes for a while but eventually break off and go their own ways. Before Norman heads off for his PCH journey, a conversation about the custom bike that he had been riding leads to an interesting exchange. Before parting ways, they came to the conclusion that Norman should continue to use Roland's custom bike for the PCH ride and just bring it back to him when he’s done. Asking if he is sure about the use of this very awesome and very expensive bike, Roland responds, "...have fun take chances...".
I was somewhat floored by the sentiment of the conversation. And by the nature of those four words, they captured a certain essence of motorbiking in my mind. I immediately rewound the video and listened to the exchange again, focusing on: Have Fun, Take Chances. In that moment Roland Sands was extremely gracious by lending a bike but took it a step further. Not only did he want Norman to have a good time but he wanted him to ride uninhibited, to not have a feel of a borrowed bike but as his own. To truly get into the moment, and Ride.
In mid-2017 when I was watching Ride with Norman Reedus I still hadn’t conceived the Appalachian ADV experiment, at least in name or current scope. I was riding with a few guys and we called ourselves the Latterday Shunpikers. I had thoughts in the back of my mind about doing something more with my motorbiking passion but back then it was still just a seed.
The first time and definitely not the last… I answered the call, “guest bloggers wanted”. I had kept a ride journal up to that point but the writings were pretty raw. I cleaned up one of my favorite ride summaries, added a few pictures and off I shot it. My first "published" story, on the Bike Bandit Blog, hit the interwebs in May 2018. I shared a screenshot of the article from Bike Bandit's website on my Instagram and in the description, the first appearance of “Have Fun, Take Chances”. Eventually I found my way to creating Appalachian ADV, starting first with a website towards the end of 2019 followed by more of my own articles, a Facebook page, a few small-scale events now expanding into bigger and more of them, and most recently articles for Twisted Throttle. Our maxim is peppered throughout the website, on each article, and occasionally found in social media posts.
Have Fun, Take Chances: what does it mean… In the literal sense, exactly what it says. Venture out on two wheels and get at it! But there is a deeper meaning, along the lines of my initial thoughts when I heard Roland Sands quickly respond to a friend’s request to borrow a beautiful and expensive two-wheeled joy factory.
Have Fun. Life is short and requires us to take a step back from the day to day hustle and bustle and appreciate: appreciate life, appreciate nature, appreciate our family and friends. In whatever way suits but in Appalachian ADV’s context, on or around two wheels on the graveled and dirty thoroughfares of our world.
Take Chances. They don’t (all) have to be dumb chances, we can take smart chances! Adventure and risk are in the eye of the beholder. There may be some obstacles I am comfortable taking a chance on, but another might not be as willing (or vice versa). To build skills in motorbiking you have to acknowledge and take on risk, take chances. The only way to improve your abilities is to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, ideally in a risk mitigating way. Build your skills by starting small and pushing yourself in small increments. Practice, pick yourself up when you fall, and don’t get discouraged. With each chance you take, you gain wisdom that will be used to push yourself through the next risk.
In the context of what Appalachian ADV as a whole stands for, “Have Fun, Take Chances” also has an aspect of bringing riders together to take the individual aspect of ADV and Dual Sport motorcycling and turning it into a team sport. Getting big bikes through rugged terrain can sometimes take a team effort, can get you out of your comfort zone, and is an amazing experience.
It is Fun to take Chances.
A few unofficial sayings found around Appalachian ADV rides:
"You’ll be fine" – usually stated before tackling something dumb with too big of a bike. Most of the time we end up fine actually, most of the time.
"I guess we'll see what happens" - usually paired with the above. When tackling an unknown trail, leave it to fate...or your constant and unending training.
"I’ll fix that when I get home" – what can I say? Bikes fall, things break, keep riding and worry about it later.
"Experience gained is wisdom earned" - don't expect to get better without challenging yourself.
"Two Wheels, Unlimited Adventures" - seems like a great rallying cry.
A few other Appalachian ADV-ism can be found here too...
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