Alaska to Argentina aboard a Honda C90 via turbulent relationships, snow, trikes and bad backs. Rachel Lasham, 31, former logistics assistant from Chichester likes a challenge…
Planning your ride from Alaska to Argentina is simple if you work in logistics. A Honda C90 adds difficulty...
Where are you right now? Couch-surfing in Guadalajara, Mexico.
What’s the big plan? I’m riding from Alaska to Argentina. I was travelling with my boyfriend (the infamous Ed March of C90adventures.co.uk) in North America, but now I’m riding solo from Mexico to Argentina. I’m planning to take around 3½years… I think.
Despite not now travelling with Ed you have stayed together as a couple. How’s that working out? Ed and I travelled together for 18 months and although we love each other we discovered we’re really different people. While this isn’t a problem when it comes to being in a relationship it doesn’t work when it comes to travelling together. In the end we were both compromising so much that neither of us was happy and we didn’t see the point of continuing like that. It’s better to miss someone than wish they weren’t with you. Solo travelling is so much more rewarding, plus you have complete freedom to do what you want, when you want. For me that’s a liberating feeling that can’t be beaten.
What are the pros and cons of travelling on a C90? Despite having never seen one I planned to ride a Suzuki DR650. But after going to an adventure bike rally I decided on something more manageable. I went from a DR650, to a DR350, to a Yamaha XT250, and then I met Ed March. Three weeks later I invited him on my trip and for Christmas he got me a C90. Everyone loves my bike and I’m constantly stopping for a chat and photos. It might be that it’s purple, has fairy lights, a minion as a headlight and a shopping basket full of assorted crap on the front. It’s light enough to pick up on my own, it’s easy for me to fix and it’s fun and stress free. The downsides are rubbish front suspension and lack of power when climbing mountains.
What was your inspiration for this journey? A few years ago, while travelling in Australia and New Zealand, I stayed with a woman who had ridden from Alaska to Argentina. Since meeting her the idea had been on the back burner. I returned home and got a job in an office. Feeling a bit lost and with no idea what to do with my life I decided to combine my love of motorcycles and travel and tackle the journey myself. I had two jobs, worked and saved for three years and met Ed in the process.
Worst moment of your trip? I injured my back quite badly while riding through Utah, USA. Ed and I decided to wait and see if it would heal but, after four weeks, it became apparent I wasn’t going to be able to carry on as I was. Winter was approaching and at this point Ed and I already knew we were going to go our separate ways after the Trans-america trail. To have things end like that, without being able to finish
what we had started together was utterly devastating. But then things took a turn for the better…
Best moment? The thing is Ed doesn’t admit defeat easily and decided to modify my bike so I wouldn’t fall off. A week later I was sat on a homemade trike. I have to admit my first day riding it was pretty terrifying, mainly because we had to navigate a particularly tricky mountainous section in the dark. Ed rode out in front and via the intercom he managed to guide me over every bump, hump and camber for an hour. I really couldn’t have done it without him. Working as a team like that, while riding a trike that Ed had made so we could continue the journey together, was the best moment for the both of us.
What does the future hold once the trip is finished? Among other things Ed and I want to set up the C90 tour company. Ed ran a tour from Mongolia to England in 2013 and has another tour in Vietnam lined up next April. We get a lot of messages from people wanting to do motorcycle trips, but they feel they don’t have the experience and/or confidence to do it. We want to provide a stepping stone for those people to help them get out there in to the wonderful world of motorcycles and travel.
Honda C90: ‘the pros outweigh the cons,’ says Rachel
I have just acquired a ‘well-loved’ Ural sidecar outfit, complete with cobwebs. This winter’s project is to get it up and running for threewheeled fun next summer…
Ed and Rachel pre their tactical break-up
Easy to x – tick
In the middle of nowhere with a bad back? Get yourself a trike
Cacti make you happy