We had the pleasure of interviewing 23-year-old Jack Groves (aka BritOnaBike), whose attempt to set the record for the youngest person to ride around the world was brought to an abrupt pause due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
ADV You set out to break the world record for the youngest person to ride around the world by motorcycle. Tell us about the record. Who currently holds it?
JACK GROVES: When I was first scoping out the idea, I came across a Motorcycle Consumer News article in August 2017 about a British lad who had just broken the Guinness World Record. His name was Kane Avellano, and he completed the journey a day before his 24th birthday. I remember doing the math to work out whether his record was beatable and realized that if I left around my 22nd birthday in late June 2019, and returned before June 2020, I’d smash the record by over a year. That was the working plan until I heard of another Brit, Henry Crew, who set off in 2018 and returned in April 2019 to beat Kane by just under a month. This meant that I had to make it back a month before my 24th birthday in June 2021 to have a shot. Nearly eight months of enforced immobility in Peru have undoubtedly made things a lot more interesting.
ADV What’s your route, and how did you decide on it? How much of it have you done and what’s left?
JG: My route began and ends in Hertfordshire, just outside London. Due to my extreme inexperience and the many unknowns, I was keen to avoid any kind of organized send-off event. As such, I left on a rainy morning while the rest of my family were on holiday. Given that I then had the biggest crash of the trip that same day, my decision proved wise. After patching myself and the bike up, I ferried to France to finally kick things off. Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, and Greece followed as I made my way to Istanbul along the Bosporus. I crossed northern Turkey along the Black Sea coast to Georgia before dropping into Azerbaijan and catching a rusty Soviet freighter across the Caspian Sea to Turkmenistan. A month in the deserts and mountains of the “Stans” later, I found myself crossing China’s far western border into the infamous Xinjiang province. It took another month to traverse this vast country to Laos, across the high-altitude plains of Tibet and the Yunnan province’s forested gorges. From there, I dropped into Thailand, then Malaysia, before flying to Perth, Australia.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
THE YOUNGEST TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD? JACK GROVES
In the age of electronics, hyper-communications, and convenience, it’s untrue that the world’s youth have lost the taste for adventure. There will always be an element within the human spirit that demands and grows from new life experiences—an instinct as old as Mankind. And you don’t have to look far to find it.
Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Drystar
Motocross boots have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, but that hasn’t been the case in the ADV segment, and we often have to sacrifice proper protection for dry feet. Meet the new Alpinestars Tech 7 Drystar enduro boot. We’ve been waiting for a boot like this for quite some time and, to this day, it still boggles my mind that it took so long.
SLIDING FOR ADVENTURE
For the last 25 years I’ve been riding off road on everything from a 450cc lightweight to a heavily laden 1200cc adventure motorcycle. Although I was usually able to handle anything through rough terrain at slower speeds, I struggled at higher speeds on loose surfaces. And the biggest pucker moments occurred while approaching tight turns on gravel roads at high speed—barely navigating them safely.
National Cycle VStream Sport Windscreen for Honda Africa Twin
There are many ways to improve motorcycle rider comfort, covering everything from bar risers to footpegs. Having done almost all of them, I decided to switch out my stock windscreen to see if it made a difference, especially on long trips.
TIN CAN TO TIN CUP A LONG OVERDUE TRIP
Long before the modern U.S. highway system was built, with rest stops, 24-hour fuel, and every imaginable packaged food choice on hand, there were the “Tin Can Tourists,” the original American motorized overlanders. As early as the 1900s, these wanderers faced many of the same challenges we live with today. But life was far simpler for the Tin Can Tourist traveling dusty, rutted tracks in meagerly powered vehicles, camping off roadsides in canvas tents, and eating cans of beans over Sterno stoves. Fifteen months ago, we sold our house to join this rambling lifestyle.
R&R for an RN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
A mid the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, I needed to find the quiet serenity that comes on two wheels. As a nurse educator in a trauma-based tertiary hospital, I’m deep in the trenches, responsible for disseminating information and implementing health regulations to frontline workers. Inundated with fear from global news, increasing numbers of the infected, lack of resources, and a palpable universal panic as the world began to shut down, I needed to be away from it all for a while.
RAM Tough-Charge X-Grip Waterproof Wireless Charging Motorcycle Mount
RAM Mounts were first introduced in 1995, and over the last 25 years their ball and socket system has become the most ubiquitous way to mount devices wherever you need them. Recently they increased functionality to include Qi wireless charging with the Tough-Charge line of mounts.
HOW TO SURVIVE an Adventure Ride
I’m no expert endurance rider or a professional fitness instructor, but what I can do is ride my motorcycle continuously for five long days and feel physically content at the end of the trip. Okay, maybe after the celebratory beers, I might not feel as good on the morning of the sixth day, but at least my muscles will be relaxed. So, what can you do to prepare for an upcoming off-road adventure to stay strong, enjoy the ride and be able to dismount at the end of the day without calling friends over to pry you off your bike? Here are a few tips from personal experiences that will help you succeed.
Touratech Aventuro Traveller Carbon Helmet
Touratech has a long history of taking great helmets and adding their own features to make them stand apart. Their newest offering, the Aventuro Traveller Carbon, is no different. It’s built upon the Nexx X.Vilijord, a helmet not sold in North America but one that sits at the pinnacle of the Portuguese brand’s line-up. The Aventuro Traveller becomes its own with a full carbon shell, signature Touratech look, and easy accommodation for just about any communication system available.
2Up and Overloaded
Chicago to Panama
Mutually Assured Deliciousness
Peruvian and Chinese cuisine live in wedded bliss at Tulsa’s Pachac.
The Stolen Smell
A Peruvian Folktale
WEAVING FOR THEIR ANCESTORS
For 1,000 years, the Paracas people of Peru expressed their vivid conception of life and death through textiles
Bishop Gabriel Vidal was saved at the age of five and has been involved in church work his entire life. In 1984, he moved to New York after finishing three intensive years in a school of business in Santo Domingo and then lived in Rhode Island from 1985 to 2000. He co-planted a church in Providence and later became regional youth leader for both Southern New England and the Northeast Hispanic regions. He has also served as administrative assistant for the Spanish Voice of Salvation ministry and director of the World Language Department before his appointment as general presbyter of South America. He and his wife, Hanny, have two children.
Up in Smoke
It’s time to ask some tough questions about palo santo.
The Minerals Of Pre-Columbian America
Examining the appeal and prevalence of gold and jade story
Sabores del mundo: Perú
Recrea en casa los platillos más famosos de este país latinomaericano.
A World Without Chocolate?
Many people enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate on a snowy day or a gooey candy bar as an afternoon treat. So rumors predicting that chocolate would disappear from the planet by the mid-21st century sent chocoholics into a frenzy.
Photography by CHRISSY LITTLEFAIR @LITTLEFAIRPHOTOGRAPHY_ MUA JESSICA THACKWRAY @JESSICAJAYNEINSTA PR LEO ALDERMAN INSTA: @LEO.ALDERMAN @LSAPRUBLICATIONS Model @DOLLYMIXHEAD
Culinary Adventures Around The World
Forget everything you thought you knew about world cuisine.