SPENCER HILL: @THE_GEAR_DUDE
By Paul Strubell of Dirt Orcas – 1/28/19
For the one hundred and first installment in our ongoing interview series here at Dirt Orcas, I am very pleased to speak with Spencer Hill. You may know as @the_gear_dude.
Spencer is truly a jack of all trades in the motorcycle industry. In addition to being a freelance writer and photographer, he also works as a social media and marketing manager withing the industry. If that isn’t enough, he’s also been known to work as a trip planner and guide.
He does all of this in edition to taking epic rides and really putting his bikes through the paces. Riding adventure bikes to adventurous places. You can learn more about his work at his website, thegeardude.com. There you’ll also find a link to his blog about his ongoing project with KTMTwins.com.
I first found my way into the Spencer Hill orbit via Instagram. Seeing his rides with the likes of Nick Livingston (@rodeo.cowboy) and past Dirt Orcas interviewee’s Randy Commans (@my1090r) and Ryan Turner (@eat_sleep_moto_beer). Spencer uses the handle @the_gear_dude and I highly recommend giving him a follow if you aren’t already. You can also check him out on Facebook or YouTube under the same name if you prefer those platforms. Hell… follow him everywhere, you won’t regret it.
Spencer has crafted a professional life that many dream about. He is a great reminder that applying your passions to something always pays off.
Check out the interview and his photography below. You’ll also catch a few shots taken by @rodeo.cowboy, of Spencer riding, where noted.
What do you consider to be your place of work?
Sitting behind a keyboard, at the controls of a motorcycle or squinting through a viewfinder.
Tell me about your bike. What do you call it?
2017 KTM 1090 Adventure R, I call it the Bro Dozer
When and how did you get it?
I took delivery of this bike in September of 2017, Scuderia had it delivered to my house.
What other vehicles did you consider and what made you ultimately pull the trigger on the one you bought?
I considered a 1290 Super Adventure but went with the 1090 because it seemed a little more practical off road.
Have you made any upgrades or changes to it?
-Rottweiler Performance Stage 4 Intake
-FasstCo Flexx Bars and Impact footpegs
-Seat Concept Seat
-Cyclops Adventure Sports LED headlight conversion; Evolution Safety LED turn signal inserts and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
-Custom Konflict suspension
-Camel ADV Camel Tank
-Touratech RallyeForm skid plate
-Rumbux crash bars
-Perun tail rack
…And other stuff I’m sure that I’ve forgotten…
What is your favorite part about it living off of your bike?
Being self-sufficient, in control of my destiny: knowing that I can sleep almost anywhere I like, and my schedule isn’t dictated by accommodations.
What is your least favorite part about it?
Getting on the bike first thing in the morning when the temperatures are below freezing.
What is the best place you have taken it?
This particular bike? Probably central Idaho near Stanley. The vast wilderness of Idaho is perfect for this beast with its long range, and it eats up the rough stuff.
Is there just one?
Favorite road you’ve ridden?
Outside of Escalante, Utah there’s a “road” called Death Road (No Shit), and it was the best thing I’ve ever experienced on two wheels. It’s really a UTV trail but the views are stunning, and the challenging terrain is non stop fun!
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?
Spend less time speculating and more time cultivating! Don’t plan things to death, get out and do it.
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 that kind of person?
When I rode the continental divide in 2016(?) was when that set in, I had all of these grand expectations for millage and progress that bummed me out early on in the trip. Once I got over all of that and just started taking it in was when it turned into the trip of a lifetime.
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?
Just being open minded I think, never saying NO to an experience.
I admire your outside the box approach to career and home. Do you see yourself as people who took a leap of faith to live in an unconventional way or do you think it kind of just happened?
I think in my particular case it just happened; I wanted to share my experiences and people showed interest.
Where do you want to go next?
Nevada, Utah, and Arizona are in my near future and then Moab, Utah more specifically after that. I am helping to put on an event called The Dirt Circus in Moab at the end of March that is sure to be a riot.