We here at Fuel sat down with Maurice Lede, a TV profile at "3 op Reis", the leading travel program on Dutch national television, to talk about his adventures on his motorbike. Since 2016 when he joined the show, he has been on numerous crazy journeys, such as crossing South America from ocean to ocean. Lede has many inspiring stories to share!
1. We know you are a big fan of Leaving The Main Road with your motorbike; where does this passion for adventures and bikes come from?
A couple of years ago, as I was traveling through Eastern Africa, I heard the sound of two roaring engines. When I looked up, I saw two heavily packed adventure bikes passing by on the dusty orange gravel road. Such an adventurous image! It inspired me so much that I immediately took lessons as soon as I got back home.
2. What was the most surprising aspect of a foreign culture you've experienced during all of your adventures?
Sometimes news or politics can create a frightening or a bad image of a country. But that doesn't mean the inhabitants all have bad intentions. I have learned that most people are genuinely good and want to enjoy life just as much as you do. Only judge people once you actually get a chance to know them. And immersing yourself with other people and different cultures is the beauty of traveling.
3. Your passion is not only about adventures but about stories, about people. Is there any story in particular that has left a mark on you?
As I have traveled around the world in the past years, I have developed a growing interest in indigenous wisdom. I consider myself lucky to have been able to visit several indigenous groups in various parts of the world, e.g., the Amazon, the Andes, and Borneo. Their connection with our planet and way of perceiving the world truly fascinates me. I believe that their ways of living, thinking, and vision of the world could be an inspiration for us in the Western society. Even while being on a motorcycle adventure, I try to appreciate and connect with my surroundings. Consciously feel the sun rays, the wind, or the rain and notice the smell of flowers and trees. It makes you feel free and alive!
4. During this season, you had the opportunity to ride through the Trans European Trail. Would you recommend any specific part of that trip?
TET in the Netherlands offers a variety of landscapes. The part at Leenderheide, in the province of North Brabant, is very spectacular with a water crossing and some loose sand roads, which made me pick up my fresh Tiger 900 Rally Pro several times and it almost made me cry.
5. You have also made a great adventure through Iceland! Is Iceland a place to discover with a motorbike? What was the most amazing place there?
Iceland is a geological paradise! You can ride through fjords and take the motorbike via crazy bends to mountain tops while passing volcanoes and multiple waterfalls. It makes you feel as though you're traveling through heaven. But you can also choose to take your bike to hell, which I obviously did..! I took my Triumph to Askja, an active volcano in the middle of the island that is only accessible in the months of July and August since those are the only two months when there is no snow. That trip was wild: imagine riding on the moon! Rock plateaus, all types of stone you need to challenge, and long, curvy roads with thick black volcanic sand. You really need to have some skills to cross this area. I found it very exhausting and a bit scary at times since I was launched from my bike multiple times. But at the same time, the experience gave me so much energy, and I didn't want it to stop. Up until now, that has been the wildest ride I have experienced.
6. How did the Division 2 jacket and Sergeant Sahara perform there? We're curious!
The requirements I had for motorcycle gear were not easy. I spend hours finding the right gear. Of course, I needed gear that would properly protect me because riding an all-terrain motorcycle I knew I would fall several times. But also, I needed my gear to have a nice fit because I would cross the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and an ocean before arriving in Iceland. Spending so many hours on the bike, hopping on and off, you clearly don't want to wear clunky clothes. Since the weather in this part of the world is very unpredictable, you need to be able to rely on gear that can keep you warm & dry when it's windy or cold. And if you are working hard to go through rough landscapes, you need something breathable and durable.
Adding up all of these requirements, surely you are able to find some motorcycle gear. But none of these clothes would meet my last requirement.
Because most of my journey is being filmed, I didn't want the look of a typical 70-year old motorcycle retiree. All through my adventure, I needed to look classy as hell. Luckily I found Fuel, and honestly, it exceeded my expectations and met all of my requirements. I really care about having the appropriate outfit for each adventure, and every time I put on the outfit, Fuel made me feel like a superhero, on and off the bike.
7. And finally, would you have any advice for those who are still thinking about a new adventure and those who want to #LeaveTheMainRoad?
Make sure to invest in some courses before booking crazy trips. It's pretty hard to know what to expect because of ever-changing conditions. Many other bikers I've met along the way underestimated the roads that TET and Iceland have to offer. I took several lessons that prepared me for each destination, making me smile and enjoy everything much more. Even now, I really want to continue to improve my skillset before going on another trip. And besides the right preparation, love and thank your bike. It's amazing what all these machines are capable of; they can and will bring you anywhere. You're on this crazy adventure together, so always be grateful.