At the beginning of last year I got an awesome opportunity to travel to Vietnam. I was in Cambodia to organize a Motocross training for Top 1 Oil and the decision was made to extend my trip with a weekend in Hanoi. Vietnam doesn't have any Motocross tracks but a lot of Enduro riders so we decided to focus on Enduro riding while we were there. I had been to Cambodia before and it was really hot and humid and after a short look at the weather app seeing 90 degree temperatures I decided to pack for a hot weather trip. Upon arrival in Vietnam I came to find out that even though the two countries are neighbours the weather can be very different. Temperatures in the low 30s welcomed us and I realized that only bringing shorts and one sweatshirt wasn't the smartest move I've made in my years of travelling around the world. After a quick trip to the mall to get some warmer clothes it was time to explore Hanoi and see what the city had to offer. The history and architecture of Hanoi were amazing. We tried some of the local food and had one too many coffee's trying to stay warm. Day two meant it was time to go riding. A lot of rain over night and in the morning weren't a great base for a day of Enduro riding in freezing temperatures. We met the vietnamese Top 1 distributor at the hotel and drove an hour out of the city to the banks of the red river. We had a great view of the city with the Cau Ving Tuy bridge in the background and a lot of sand, rocks and mud to work with. I was provided a Yamaha WR 450 which was perfect for the terrain. Shortly after the riders started trickling in and we were ready to go. 25 riders showed up and were ready to fight the wet and cold weather to learn how to ride their Enduro bikes better. Throughout the day we covered all kinds of riding techniques and little tricks to make it easier for them to navigate the challenging terrain. A nice lunch grilled over a open charcoil fire rounded up one of the best Enduro days I've ever had. Everyone that came out improved their riding tremendously and left with a big smile. It was a surreal feeling riding on the banks of the red river and realizing that 40 years ago this was the side of heavy bombings during the Vietnam war. It put in perspective how lucky I was to travell to so many different places in the world to enjoy riding motorcycles in peace. The riding scene in Vietnam is growing every year amd even though it is hard to find terrain to set up a track or a trail system because of government regulations the enthusiasm of the local riders is at an all time high. If you are intrerested in travelling I recommend putting Vietnam on the top of your list of places to see in Asia. I'm looking forward to going back and seeing more corners of this beatiful country.
Travelling overseas always requires a lot of planning and packing even more so if you are planning to ride or race overseas. I’m getting ready to head to India to race the Pune Invitational Supercross there next week and I’m giving you a little inside on what it takes to get there.
Luggage: I’m a big fan of Ogio bags. I’ve been using Ogio products for many years now and I’m very happy with the durability and space they offer. I’m only going to India for one week with a total of four days of riding so I decided to pack light and only travel with one checked bag.
Gear Bag: Ogio 9800
Carry On: Ogio Layover
Backpack: Ogio Gravity Backpack
Four days of riding requires four sets of gear (jersey,pants,gloves,goggles) a set of boots, knee braces, chest protector and a helmet. I use my gear bag for all my riding gear. I protect my helmet by putting it in an extra helmet bag to make sure it gets to my final destination in one piece. I also pack my jersey in that helmet bag to give it some extra padding and also to save some room for the rest of my stuff.
I also bring a couple tools to make sure I’m able to set my bike up once I get there. A set of T-Handles, a couple wrenches and a small screw driver are always coming with me.
The top pocket of my gear bag is for snacks. Travelling to far away places and not knowing what you will eat can make a race weekend very long and difficult. I learned this the hard way when I first started travelling 10 years ago so nowadays I always pack energy bars, a bag of trail mix and a couple small protein snacks to give me some energy in case the local cuisine only serves crickets and fried lizard (It happened before).
Lastly I always bring a couple posters and stickers from my great sponsors. For this trip to India Top 1 Synthetics hooked me up with some really cool key rings that I will be handing out over the race weekend.
My carry on luggage has all my casual clothing, underwear, deodorant and a tooth brush. It’s always nice to have your every day clothes with you when you land. There is nothing worse than finding out that your luggage didn’t make it after you’ve been travelling for 24 plus hours so it is good to know you will have some clothes to wear when you get to the hotel.
My backpack carries my laptop, my camera, phone chargers, my note pad and a sweatshirt in case it gets cold on the flight.
That’s it. That is my packing list for next weekends race in India. I’m excited to go see a new country that I haven’t been to yet and I’m looking forward to meet many new Motocross enthusiasts over there.