MARTIN & VERENA: @WORLD_SPINS_AS_FAST_AS_WE_RIDE
By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orcas – 3/11/19
For the one hundredth and forth installment in our ongoing interview series here at Dirt Orcas, we are very pleased to speak with Martin Litsch and Verena Kaiser. You may know them as @world_spins_as_fast_as_we_ride.
Martin and Verena are an adventure riding duo from Austria who have been producing some excellent content from their adventure rides for several years now. You can follow their adventures on Facebook, Instagram and also check out their videos series on YouTube.
You can of course also check out their website directly to learn about their travels in more depth – WorldSpinsasfastasweride.com You’ll find additional information on their trips (both touring and fly and rides), their equipment, and check out their shop to help support what they are doing.
However you choose to bring this great team into your world I recommend doing so. They are a supportive couple who prioritizes adventure riding together. I am impressed by their commitment to riding and the places they select for those rides. You won’t find them smacking their skid plates down boulder fields, but not every adventure ride needs to try and top the most hardcore among us. The best rides are the ones that make you happy. Seeing great landscapes and staying in beautiful campsites or cabins make for great memories.
Check out the interview below and their photography and videos. Cheers.
What do you consider to be your place of work?
We are both teachers in Austria. Verena works in elementary school and Martin in the secondary school.
Tell me about your bike. What do you call it?
Actually, we don’t have nicknames for our bikes. Verena owns a BMW R1200 GS Rallye from 2017 and Martin a BMW R1200 GS Adventure Rallye from 2018. We equipped the bikes with original BMW cases and some Touratech equipment, so they sometimes look like big blue elephants on our travels.
When and how did you get it?
First we had no idea that we will travel the world via bike so we were interested in naked bikes and other stuff. So Verena got her first bike some years ago, a Honda NC700S. She really loved it because it was easy to drive and very comfortable. In that time Martin already get influenced by the “Long Way Round” with Ewan and Charlie and my father who already had a 1100 GS. So he did the driving license for the motorbike and bought a BMW F800GS Adventure. We did some tours with this bikes and got more and more addicted from traveling by bike. So we changed to the “boxerfamily” the big R1200 GS bikes. First they looked very big but its really easy to handle.
What other vehicles did you consider and what made you ultimately pull the trigger on the one you bought?
As Austrians we always have an eye on KTM. We tested the big adventure bikes. But unfortunately, we missed the smooth and powerful engine of the BMWs. Sorry KTM
Have you made any upgrades or changes to it?
We bought the cases for the luggage from BMW, navigation systems, communication from Cardo, packsacks from Touratech and some protection stuff like crash bars for the bikes. Martin also changed his seat to a rallye seat.
What is your favorite part about it living off of your bike?
Traveling by bikes offer us a variety of possibilities we would not have when we go by plane, bus or train. The nearness between nature, people and the places you visit is unique. That makes traveling on a bike so nice. At the beginning of our relationship, we agreed on a motorcycle holiday a year and a motorcycle-free holiday. But meanwhile we need the two wheels and the engine noise on our way. It belongs to us and we do not want to miss it anymore. We strongly associate motorcycling with camping. It is like butter on the bread. Once tried, you can’t get off.
What is your least favorite part about it?
The time. In many places we often wish to have more time. Just a day or two in a place where we like it.
What is the best place you have taken it?
That’s a very difficult question. The most beautiful places are those you did not expect. On our big tour last summer we had such a moment. We arrived in Sirkka (Finland) and moved into our accommodation above the Arctic Circle. The weather the last days was perfect and we could not believe our luck. After dinner we spontaneously decided to drive to the nearby mountain. Without expectation we could not describe the view and mood at the summit. For the first time of our trip we could admire the midnight sun. A unique spectacle that we will never forget.
Is there just one?
Of course not. Another great moment for us was the tour to Austria’s highest mountain in the spring of 2018. We were on the way back from Lake Garda in Italy and decided to try our luck. On the day of our arrival, the road was cleared from the snow in winter and we could drive next to meter-high snow walls. There were a few tourists on the road so we enjoyed the unique view on the mountain.
Favorite road you’ve driven?
One of our favourite roads is the NC500 in Scotland. It leads through the Highlands and the rough coasts. The weather, the sea and the many sheep and highland cattle along the way bring a very special atmosphere.
In one word, what describes your approach to life?
If you could give a person one piece of advice when thinking about living off of a bike, what would you tell them?
It is important to pay attention to yourself. Especially in this new world we live in, it is important for many to use ideals. You must pay attention to yourself. Do not pretend to others. Live your life and keep an eye on your goals. As we put it in our slogan: World spins as fast as we ride. Everyone decides how fast he or she is traveling, where to sleep or how long to stay on a place. Live your own adventures and not from a traveller’s journal.
It takes a special kind of person to recognize that the journey, not the destination, is the point of life. Travelers know this. Was there a point in your life where you became conscious that you were those people?
At the beginning we were not aware of that. It takes a little time to appreciate traveling. We planned everything down to the last detail, everything was prepared before departure. We had stress to do all these things. That’s why we had to change our way of traveling. Take the speed out and just make a rough plan. Then you can enjoy the journey to the fullest.
You have found a strong place in the community of adventure riders. What values do you think your home or family instilled in you, that you take on the road?
Our parents have shown us to look forward to new things, being open to people and their culture. Always be helpful because you want it from others too.
I admire your outside the box approach to career and home. Do you see yourselves as people who took a leap of faith to live in an unconventional way or do you think it kind of just happened?
We believe that many people cannot imagine such journeys. They do not want to leave their comfort zone. They feel well and do not want to risk anything in their lives. But they do not judge us. They support us and follow our projects. We want to show these people how easy it is.
Where do you want to go next?
This year we already visited Finland again in the wintertime. We had an awesome time in Levi, the biggest ski areas. In summer we had +30°C and in February we had -36°C. Crazy start in the New Year but it was great fun there. In April we will visit Morocco for the second time. Little tours in May and June before our wedding at the end of June. Our honeymoon we will spend on a motorbike trip from Vienna in Austria to Istanbul (Turkey). 4 weeks through the Balkan states on little gravel roads. And maybe there will be a bigger project for the next year but there is nothing set up so stay tuned.