We’re really pleased to be partnering with our friend Patrick Keeler to host a presentation by renowned British adventure motorcyclist Austin Vince – this week’s Our Voice subject – in the backyard next Tuesday.
Who is Austin Vince?
Quite simply, according to his press release, he’s one of Europe’s most respected adventure motorcyclists. He’s also one of the funniest. He’s the man behind the cult movies Mondo Enduro and Terra Circa. They are well established as the first two adventure motorcycle films ever made.
It all started back in ’95 when Austin and company set out to ride around the world via the longest route possible on their secondhand Suzuki DR 350s. En route, they became embroiled in a 400 mile roadless section of Siberia that they nicknamed “The Zilov Gap.” After this dispiriting section, they clattered another 2,000 miles, becoming the first Europeans ever to get to Magadan via the so-called “Road of Bones.” This was immediately followed by the 18,000 mile trip from Alaska to Chile, then another 10,000 miles from South Africa back to London. All this occurred in an age before mobile phones and the internet; they were totally unsupported and unsponsored (Suzuki famously wouldn’t even give them a free spark plug!).
The year 2001 saw Austin and his crew filming themselves crossing Russia once more (on the same bikes) and finally conquering the Zilov Gap. This made them the first team to get across Siberia without using the train. By riding on to New York, the Terra Circa team firmly established the template that Ewan MacGregor’s Long Way Round TV show would eventually copy.
Upon his return, Vince couldn’t get a single TV channel interested in running his footage. How the tapes came to be edited and ended up on Discovery is a very long story indeed.
Currently, Austin is doing presentations about his trips across the USA. His talks are legendary on the adventure travel scene. He pushes home the core message that anyone can do this stuff, and that it’s far easier than the celebs want you to think it is.
Austin’s presentation is about two hours and is possibly the best ADV rider show in the UK. However, it’s not all knobbly tires and sprockets: He covers a massive range of subjects, including team building, low-budget adventure biking, Spaghetti Westerns, Soviet iconography, ’60s garage bands, and Super 8 cameras. It’s all woven together by the narrative of the 2001 Terra Circa expedition and that team’s fairly legendary first crossing of the Zilov Gap. Best of all, Austin’s message is totally aspirational and inclusive as he hammers home the simple fact that ANYONE can motorcycle around the world on pretty much any machine.
For more information on Austin Vince and his amazing history, check out www.mondoenduro.com.
Austin Vince will present his slide show at Imogene + Willie on Tuesday, May 8. The fun will start around 6 pm, with Vince’s presentation starting at dusk. Snacks will be on hand, but feel free to BYOB and a blanket. Admission is a $5 suggested donation that goes directly to help Vince continue his traveling show.