Meet Kinga Tanajewska - the ultimate adventure rider.
There’s something inspirational about a rider who can jump on a bike, solo, and head off to explore.
Kinga Tanajewska, the star behind the website On Her Bike, has done just that. From travelling across Australia on her BMW F 800 GS, to her future riding aspirations, Kinga is the kind of rider that makes you remember why you became a motorcyclist.
We interviewed Kinga to pick her brain on her riding story, tips and future goals.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO MOTORCYCLING?
I’ve had a passion for motorcycles since I was a teenager. My very first experience was on an iconic vintage Polish motorcycle, a 350cc JUNAK M07 with a side car. It was a good way to start as I didn’t have to focus on balance … just kick start it and off I’d go. After that, at any given opportunity I would practice on my friends’ bikes until I finally got my very first bike – a 1981 Honda CB 440 Nighthawk.
Over the years my taste in motorcycles has changed, and desire for adventure was ever growing. I did a lot of travelling through Europe on sport and naked bikes and when I emigrated to Australia I quickly realised that if I really wanted to explore this amazing country I have be able to go off road and that’s how I developed a passion for adventure riding.
WHAT MOTORCYCLE DO YOU CURRENTLY RIDE?
I purchased my first adventure bike (a BMW F 800 GS) just before I set off for my trip around Australia, and I absolutely fell in love with it!
I found this bike to be a perfect match for my height, strength and riding abilities. It’s very versatile, it’s comfortable on long rides with panniers and camping gear, and it has serious off-road capability. Thanks to adjustable suspension, ABS, traction control and on/off road riding modes you can enjoy your ride through all sort of terrain.
Unfortunately after 30, 000 kms of unforgettable adventure across Australia my beloved GS got destroyed in a head-on collision. Once I recovered from my injuries I had no doubt what bike to buy next… another F 800 GS!
WHERE HAVE YOU PREVIOUSLY EXPLORED ON BIKE?
In 2013-2014 I completed a solo ride around Australia.
When an opportunity for a work transfer to Western Australia came along, I though “this is the moment to do this … it’s now or never” … so instead of flying to WA, I rode there ‘the long way around’. I split this trip into two stages: first, I left Sydney and went counter-clockwise, through Queensland and the Northern Territory before stopping in Pilbara (9500 km) where I worked in the mining industry for a year. Then I hit the road again for the rest of the trip: from Western Australia to South Australia, then through Victoria and back home to Sydney.
After this trip Adventure Riding become my lifestyle, at any giving free moment I’m on my bike exploring the Australian outback and countrywide, taking the roads less travelled and camping in the bush.
Kinga has documented her travels on her YouTube channel, gaining thousands of views on her video exploring Australia by motorcycle.
Her adventure supported The Shepherd Centre, assisting children who are deaf or hearing-impaired to reach their full potential.
WHERE DO YOU PLAN TO RIDE IN 2017?
Well, I’ve got lots of plans for 2017!
I’m finally making my dream come true which is travelling to Poland on two wheels. I’m planning to ship my bike to South Korea and from there continue via sea to Russia, then ride through Mongolia, most of the ‘stans’, Iran, Turkey and continue to Poland though South and East Europe. And after that …we’ll see 😉
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT SOLO RIDING?
Solo riding gives you the freedom, independence and a great sense of achievement.
Riding through remote parts of Australia and bush camping in the outback on my own was an eye-opening experience. You experience so much more when you’re on your own and really, it’s not as hard as it seems. You can go at your own pace and if some piece of the scenery catches your fancy, you can just ‘stop and smell the roses’. And every time you drop the bike you get to prove yourself by picking it up on you own: pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on your bike!
Riding solo has definitely made me more confident, especially in facing new challenges and pushing my personal boundaries. I always think to myself: “if other people can do this, then so can I!”
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR TIPS FOR FUTURE ADVENTURE RIDERS?
First and foremost choose a bike that suits you riding capabilities, if you’re planning to travel solo through remote areas you need to be able to pick it up on your own. Secondary, make sure you have enough of the most important resources: fuel, water and food. Also, invest money in good gear – everything needs to be superlight and if you’re wearing it, then comfortable too. What you carry is effectively your ‘new home’ when you’re on the road. You’ll be using this equipment everyday, so it needs to be good quality and to last the distance, and it will be used again on many more adventures to come. Invest in the best and look after it.
And last but not least – be open minded. Go for it. Take detours. Try things. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
The only mistake to be made is not being adventurous in the first place …
Kinga is a pure adventurer. Check out her website, On Her Bike, for riding tips, stories and reviews.