This weekend we met up with Kinga Tanajewska from On Her Bike to chat about her amazing travels and take some photographs of her with her BMW F800 GS.
If you ever get the chance to meet Kinga, it’s immediately apparent how much of her life revolves around nature and the need to feel constantly connected to it. Her travel stories are enough to make you fill your tank, grab your bungee chords and start fastening your tent to your rear guard.
“Any reason is a good reason to go riding – and the further the better!”
This line from Kinga’s website seems to sum up her attitude, and her passion for two wheels can clearly be seen through the variety of comedy one-liner style bumper stickers on her panniers, our favourite being the bold ‘Your car is boring’ on the back. However, the closer you look, the more they become overshadowed by a library of locations that have been conquered across Australia and beyond.
Between shoot locations we had time for a chat and to run a few questions by Kinga about her time on the road – this is what she had to say…
Could you tell us a little about your background with motorcycles?
Motorcycles have been my passion since my teens and I don’t really know what triggered it, but I just loved bikes and wanted to learn how to ride them. Back in the 90’s in Poland the Polish motorcycle community was very small but I still got the chance to meet some fantastic people who shared the same passion for bikes, and for going on rallies etc.
What was it like making the transition from sports bikes to your current ride?
I’ve been through a few phases throughout my motorcycling journey: firstly I had choppers, then nakeds & sports bikes … and finally my current ride which is a dual bike. I’ve developed the taste for adventure riding only recently: after a few years of living in Australia, I realised if I really want to explore this beautiful country I’ll need to be able to ride on dirt as well as roads. And thus my GS – I love it and have never looked back!
You’ve ridden through hundreds of places, but where has been your favourite so far?
Australia is such a large and diverse country, and there are so many great places to explore here. For example Far North Queensland is unreal… Like a movie with its tropical flora and fauna … Crocodiles anyone? But then I also love the Snowy Mountains and the Victorian High Country for their spectacular scenery and awesome ‘twisties’. But if I had to pick my absolute favourite place on earth that would be the outback of Western Australia, from the Kimberly to Pilbara, with its vast, remote, red, alien landscapes… sometimes even moonscapes!
Throughout your travels you’ve spent a lot of nights sleeping in the bush, how do you feel when you’re out there on your own?
I love it! I must admit that I was a bit frightened at first as I had never camped on my own, but after a few nights I got used to all the bizarre noises coming out of the bush at night (koalas anyone?) and if it’s all getting too loud – or weird (koalas anyone?) – I simply stick in some ear plugs. Even now I’m back to busy city life and there is no better stress relief and joy that to go riding to the bush on my own!
What is your ‘must have’ piece of kit when you’re on your travels?
Having enough fuel and water is obviously the most critical thing to plan when riding in remote areas … so a spare-fuel bladder/bottle and plenty of water is a must.
In at a very close second, especially when riding through vas areas without phone coverage, is my trusty emergency satellite beacon; having it gives me the peace of mind that if something catastrophic occurs I can always press a button and call for help.
In at equal third is a good GPS and an action camera.
Do you listen to music on long rides? If so, what is your soundtrack?
I’ve tried to listen to my MP3 player few times but found that it’s very distracting in the city, and that out on the open road I can’t hear anything anyway once I go over 80km/h … so I’ve given up on it! If anything, my soundtrack is me singing in my helmet … I specialise in loud, off-key tunes.
If you could take any celebrity on a road trip, who would it be and why?
Chris Cornel – just because he’s an awesome rock singer! … and if he sings me a song I might even let him take my GS for a spin!
Check out some of the snaps from the shoot below:
If you have any questions for Kinga, put them in the comments below and we’ll endeavour to get them answered and update the article.
So there you have it, a bit of an insight into personality behind On Her Bike – but don’t stop there, check out the videos of her travels around Australia part 1 & part 2. You can also read more about Kinga on the Global Women Who Ride website.
Be sure to follow Kinga’s upcoming journeys (they seem to never stop) on her Facebook page and continued updates on the On Her Bike website.
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