The Twin Cities was lucky this past Sunday as a couple of the local motorcycle clubs were able to convince Lois Pryce to come back and talk to us about her trips. Over 250 people showed up to listen to Lois talk. As in 2009, it was standing room only for those who didn’t arrive early.
She was last here in 2009 and told us about her Americas trip where she rode from Alaska to the Southern tip of South America solo. This was my first introduction to her. I bought her first book “Lois on the Loose” which chronicled her 20,000 mile trip across the Americas. A great read, and I recommend you find a copy if you haven’t read it.
During her 2009 talk in Minnesota, she also talked about her second solo trip riding from London to Cape Town in South Africa. She also wrote a book about that trip. It’s called “Red Tape and White Knuckles” and it was much more tense than the first, and another good read.
I was lucky enough to get her to sign my copy of her first book today which I managed to get as a hardcover in 2009. She only had the paperbacks today. My fantastic wife bought me the second one, and had it autographed for me too!
In 2009, Lois and her husband Austin Vince (of Mondo Enduro fame) rode a 2009 Ural Patrol 6000 miles from Richmond, VA to Washington. They took the slow scenic route and only rode back roads. It took them about 2 1/2 months. They made made short film about the trip which Lois played for us – “Ural USA”. It was quite entertaining, and made in the typical Austin Vince style. If you saw Terra Circa or Mondo Enduro, you’ll probably like this one too.
Lois is quite entertaining to listen to. She is a witty and charming brit not unlike a certain other brit I know. If you get the chance to read one of her books or see her in person, I would recommend it.
I smiled during her talk as she explained their experience of riding a sidecar for the first time. It reminding me of December 2009 when I first learned to ride a sidecar. I had a bit of a chuckle as she admitted, “I’ve been riding for a few years, how hard could it be?” Funny we both had the same hard learning experience.
She also experienced the same UDF (Ural Delay Factor) that every Ural owner quickly grows accustom to. It’s the delay you should factor in to answer the questions from the swarm of people that appears every time it stops. Whether at a red light or a gas station, they will come. They even went so far as to add a sign on the front that read “It’s a Ural”. It didn’t seem to help much.
It was also nice to hear that they rode 6000 miles and only put gas and oil in the Ural even with all of their shenanigans off-road. They didn’t have any other troubles. I’m envious.
The other part of the talk I liked is when she explained about how a couple riding in a sidecar together is a nice test of the marriage/relationship. Each of them was used to riding and controlling 100% of their own destiny. As a passenger, they had to give up that control. She talked about how they both had to learn to shut-up and not comment as the rig flew into the bushes or narrowly missed a truck. Sage advice.
After the talk it was fun milling about with all of the other riders and fans. I was surprised how many people showed up that I had met at other events.
Outside there were three Urals that made the trip to listen. I was sad mine wasn’t there to join them. It was a fun time. I look forward to reading about her next big adventure which might be somewhere in Asia.