Upshift magazine recently reached out through Social Media and asked followers to submit their adventure stories. Among the submissions one stuck out the most: Tolga Basol is known on Instagram as “Ride Must Go On” for his travels around the globe on his KTM 1190 Adventure R. Tolga will be on a new journey in 2017 and Upshift will be publishing his travels through social media and in a Monthly journal on Upshift Online Magazine. For those of you not familiar with his story we asked Tolga to explain why he decided to stop everything and venture around the world.
I guess it was the winter of 2002 when I was able to afford my first motorcycle. It took me about a year to save up some money to buy it and that was also the beginning of my professional career as an animator/videographer. Since then, motorcycles and traveling on them became my biggest passion over the past 14 years.
Until 2014 I had traveled as much as I could on my short time offs, including the Stans, Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and of course around my hometown, Turkey. In a few years, those short adventures were not enough anymore and I knew I had to go for a long journey.
Between 2002 and 2014 I owned a variety of motorcycles and brands in my garage. I was trying to find the perfect bike for my needs, but now I know that will never happen as there is no such perfect motorcycle to do everything. I also started to love adventure riding, remote locations and discovering new dirt tracks and off road riding became my main type of traveling. Now I think that way, it is much easier to connect with the landscape, its’ inhabitants and nature.
In between those travels and different brands of motorcycles, on my 33rd birthday in March 2014, I finally quit my job to pursue my dream of riding a motorcycle around the world. I was saving for quite a bit and working in an office, riding the exact same route to work and home. Having just one free day in the whole week forced me to take some risk. The amount I had saved was simply not enough for a long journey, so I had to make money along the way. That is also how a friend of mine came up with the name for my journey: “Ride Must Go On”. My plan was to ride as long as I could whilst working on the road.
Before I set off from Istanbul, I sent a presentation to industry leader brands like KTM, Sena, Klim and many others. Most of them decided to support my journey in exchange for high quality audio/visual materials. So far this has worked quite well and I hope to keep it that way.
To date I have traveled by motorcycle through well over 35 countries and 4 continents. My RTW journey started back in July 2014 from Istanbul and I returned home safely after 60,000 miles and 25 months. I could have continued even longer but my mom was so angry that she was not able to see me in the past two years. The first section of my trip was from Istanbul to Magadan through the famous Vilyusiky Trakt and Road of Bones. That took about 4 months and then I shipped my bike to Vancouver, Canada in order to reach to Ushuaia in South America. After Ushuaia, it was north back to Buenos Aires to Madrid and from Europe back to Istanbul.
As I get bored and sometimes sleepy on paved roads, I often try to get out of the pavement and ride to remote or less touristy routes / destinations which helps to create interesting stories and audio visual materials. On my two year RTW journey, that was one of the key elements to meet interesting people and experience breathtaking scenery. Northern Mongolia, Siberia, Backcountry Discovery Routes around the States, Baja, Northern Peru and Northern Argentina were the highlights of my trip.
Nowadays, I have been completing a documentary movie in Istanbul that I had filmed four years ago but was never able to finish the post production. I also know that my life will never be the same after this experience, so I decided to start a new journey around first week of January, 2017. I am so excited to meet new people and ride a motorcycle around the globe one more time. Hopefully I will be riding a lighter motorcycle with minimal gear to push the limits a bit more while riding.
Click Here to check out Tolga's amazing videos from around the globe.