The lady aiming to be the youngest to journey the world by motorbike
(CNN) — Born right into a household of motorcyclists, Bridget McCutchen was capable of witness firsthand the fun that using a motorcycle might deliver from a really early age.
The 22-year-old, who grew up in Northern Wisconsin, obtained her first bike when she was round 19 and shortly started heading off on journeys to the likes of Baltimore and New York.
However the notion of using world wide hadn’t ever occurred to her till her older brother identified that she was nonetheless younger sufficient to beat the file for the youngest individual to circumnavigate the globe on a bike.
McCutchen, whose longest street journey had been from Wisconsin to Washington, says she dismissed the concept at first, however it stored coming again into her thoughts.
“After some time, I used to be like, ‘why not?’ The one purpose I did not assume I used to be going to do it was as a result of I used to be petrified of it,” she tells CNN Journey. “I used to be telling myself, ‘no.’ After which I made a decision to inform myself, ‘Sure.’ So right here we’re.”
Bridget McCutchen is attempting to beat the file for the youngest individual to circumnavigate the globe on a bike.
Courtesy Bridget McCutchen
With a view to turn out to be the brand new file holder, McCutchen is required to stick to an inventory of specs, together with utilizing the identical motorbike for the complete journey and avoiding staying in a single location for over two weeks.
McCutchen will even must journey overland throughout the Equator at the very least as soon as, whereas the journey have to be a minimal of 24,900 miles (40,075 kilometers) as a way to qualify.
After saving as a lot cash as she might, McCutchen set off in August, spending her first few weeks “bouncing across the States,” earlier than heading over to Baja and crossing over to mainland Mexico by ferry.
She’s touring with a using accomplice, Kiva, who she met a couple of months in the past, throughout this part of the journey, and says they typically trigger a stir once they arrive in a brand new place and pull off their helmets.
“A variety of the time individuals are very shocked,” she says. “Like they count on males to be using these bikes.”
“In a automotive, you are in a bubble shifting by the world,” she says. “However on a bike, you’re subjected to all the things, for higher or worse. Sights, smells, sounds. Every part issues to you extra.
“You’re uncovered to all the things, and it is a lot extra partaking. It is extra intimate.”
McCutcheon is presently using from Mexico to South America as a part of the primary leg of her journey.
Courtesy Bridget McCutchen
McCutchen, who has simply left Mexico Metropolis, plans to slowly make her solution to South America, touring by Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay earlier than flying to Europe.
“That is the place there’s much less of a plan,” she explains. “As a result of I’ve to search out someplace to ship my motorbike to by way of boat, which goes to take round two months.”
As soon as each McCutchen and her bike have reached Europe, ideally by way of Spain, McCutchen hopes to journey by the UK, Eire, and over to Turkey, which straddles Europe and Asia, and “developing subsequent to the Caspian Sea.”
At this stage, she has a restricted variety of route choices for going additional into Asia, every of which include fairly main challenges.
McCutchen had initially deliberate to enter Russia, however this will not be potential as a result of ongoing warfare in Ukraine.
“The state of affairs may be very difficult,” she says. “I nonetheless imagine Russia to be my most suitable choice.”
As soon as, or if, she’s capable of efficiently full the Asia leg of her journey, McCutchen goals to have her bike shipped again to Mexico, the place she’ll journey again to the US.
In the interim, she’s targeted on making it by the primary leg, and was thrilled to be in Mexico for Día de los Muertos, often known as Day of the Useless, which extends over the primary two days of November.
In fact, touring by motorbike on unfamiliar roads, comes with its hazards, and McCutchen has discovered it robust to navigate some off street sections of the nation at instances.
She’s fallen from her bike onto the sand on a couple of events and has had some “shut calls with vans round blind corners.”
“Probably the most tough factor to this point has been mountain passes,” she says. “As a result of we have been avoiding the toll roads.”
McCutchen says she’s needed to be taught to decelerate and luxuriate in her environment reasonably than dashing from place to put.
McCutchen with biker group the Los Renecidos in Mexican village Bernal.
Courtesy Bridget McCutchen
“Usually, after I was on a bike journey, I used to be going someplace and did not have plenty of time,” she explains. “And now I’ve a ton of time.”
McCutchen has opted to dump a few of her gear alongside the way in which as a way to maintain issues as manageable as potential, and is presently carrying two pairs of trousers, two shirts, a tiny air compressor, an additional gas bottle, a tenting range, a tent, a sleeping bag, digital camera tools and a laptop computer.
“A few of it may be heavy, however it’s actually simply tremendous primary stuff,” she says.
Though she had saved some cash earlier than starting the journey, she shortly realized that it will not be almost sufficient to cowl all of her bills.
“At first I used to be like, ‘how am I going to pay for it?'” she admits. “As a result of not with the ability to keep anyplace for greater than two weeks sort of limits my skill to work on the street.”
McCutchen is massively grateful to those that’ve supplied their help and/or donated to her fund, acknowledging that the generosity of others has been “just about the primary purpose I have been in a position to do that.”
She’s been notably having fun with interacting with locals whereas on the street, explaining that the motorbike, a Kawasaki Versys X 300, has proved to be a fantastic dialog starter.
“Folks assume bikes are cool, they usually come as much as speak to you,” she says. “It is like a bridge to extra folks. You turn out to be extra accessible.”
McCutchen, who comes from a household of motorcyclists, obtained her first bike when she was 19.
Courtesy Bridget McCutchen
Whereas she was cautious of the risks she might doubtlessly face whereas using a motorcycle in unfamiliar nations earlier than starting the journey, McCutchen says her experiences to this point have helped to place her thoughts comfy.
“You hear plenty of stuff about how the world may be very harmful, and it is best to keep the place you are protected,” she says.
“A part of that’s true. There isn’t any getting round that I am placing my life in danger by doing this. However there’s additionally a lot of the world that may be very variety and superb. And I believe that far outweighs the very scary bits.”
Though the journey has gone comparatively easily to this point, McCutchen is not taking something without any consideration, and says she’s properly conscious that her problem try might be thwarted for causes past her management.
“I am positively a bit apprehensive about not with the ability to proceed due to one thing occurring,” she admits. “Just like the bike breaking, or issues on the earth getting worse.”
In fact, if she is profitable in breaking this specific file, the chances are somebody even youthful will come alongside and set a brand new file sooner or later.
Nonetheless, McCutchen is not anxious about this in any respect. Actually, she says she’ll gladly assist anybody who’s eager to take action, even when it implies that they beat her to it.
“I wish to get different folks to do issues like this,” she says. “Perhaps not essentially to this talent, as a result of not all people has the time.
“But when somebody got here to me now and was like, ‘I wish to break this file,’ they usually broke it earlier than me. That might be superb.”