Jun 22, 2024 4 min read

The King of the Cape Chronicles: Unveiling Ultimate Motorcycle Adventures - Chapter 3

Have you ever dreamed of hopping onto a motorcycle and venturing into the great unknown?

Roy Kunda completing a degree in Psychology, guiding riders.
Roy Kunda completing a degree in Psychology, guiding riders.

Are you ready to check off a major bucket list item and explore Australia or the world on two wheels? While many dream of such adventures, most never take that leap.

But my husband, Roy Kunda, has lived this dream for nearly 40 years. As a professional motorcycle tour guide for over 30 years, he has countless tales to tell. Imagine this—he has ridden the equivalent of 15 times around the world, 41 times around Australia, or 152 times along Route 66.

He has guided over 5,000 riders, from beginners to motocross experts and Grand Prix winners. His legacy, Cape York Motorcycle Adventures in Far North Queensland, has been a haven for riders for three decades.

On the first day of every tour, Roy gets to know everyone in the group while they are getting ready and putting on their riding gear. After finding out their names and where they are from the first real question he asks each rider is, “How much experience do you have off-road?”

On this particular day, he had a group of novices that had spent most of their time riding bitumen, some had a little experience off-road and Dave answered that he was a riding instructor. “Excellent,” Roy thought, “I don’t have to worry about you.”

Excerpt from the book, in Roy’s words,

“We cruised nice and easy to the first river crossing. Here, I stopped the group and asked them to wait until I checked the creek for water height and checked the bottom as I took my bike to the other side. There were a few boulders that hiccupped the bike but nothing major underfoot. On the other side, there was a rather ominous hill climb directly in sight but we could take a slight, right-hand, uphill curve to navigate out of the water safely. The uphill bank was made up of loose mulchy matter, which required a bit of momentum to make it to the top. It was a bit of a challenge but nothing too dramatic. I parked my bike out of the way and then walked back halfway across the creek. I signaled for the first rider to come towards me and waved my hands down in a motion to gesture, ‘steady, steady’.

One after the other they all struggled through – my guides and I helped them across the creek.

Little did I know at the time that Dave was watching on in horror, watching all of his mates, one by one drop the bike and struggle to get up this bank. He was so nervous that his electrical system shorted out any brain activity he might have once had.

It was his turn and all he knew how to do was turn the throttle! The bike hit its first boulder and bucked. His feet were off the pegs and his legs flapped out like spaghetti, Dave still had a firm grip on the bars and that throttle opened up even more.

I watched him head to the exit turn that never happened and there was nothing I could do! He went straight up the 90-degree incline, never letting go of the throttle. The bike now had one wheel in the air and pivoted 180 degrees on the rear, and he still had a firm grip on those bars and the throttle.

His right hand was locked solid in a classic ‘throttle freeze’ moment. As the bike reared and spun towards me I could see the whites of Dave’s eyes through his goggles as he had turned back to face me standing in the water. The front wheel came back down in what seemed like slow motion towards the water.

As it did, he finally let go and assumed the diving posture with his hands out in a Superman pose and glided elegantly over the top of the bars and into the river.” We’ve called this maneuverer, “The dive instructor,” ever since. After some downtime, Roy asked Dave what happened and found out that Dave instructed ON-ROAD riding only!

So the little creek crossing seemed more technical than Dave thought - but it really wasn’t, it’s something he could have easily ridden through had he just kept his cool, didn’t overthink it, and just rode with the skills he had. Watching the majority of novice riders ahead of him making mistakes or having troubles, Dave panicked and psychologically made it all a lot more difficult for himself than it really was.

Roy always comments that he has done the longest degree in psychology because he has to find out what headspace the riders are in and judge what information they need to know right now! Perhaps he just needs to check their heart rate at each technical section because you can’t judge a book by its outside cover of frozen calm.

So the message is, in any adventure - BE HONEST with yourself and don’t go looking for your limits and boundaries. Be calm, walk before you run, and think before you act.

Adventure riding or any travel for that matter usually includes multiple days of getting to know your equipment and the area you are traveling in. Pace yourself and enjoy each day – learn the terrain, train your eyes to see it and you will enjoy a deeper connection with the places you are riding in.

Don’t be in a rush to have a good time, all at once! This could cause you to make mistakes and miss out on the rest of the vacation.

Every adventure Roy embarks on is not just a story in itself but a chapter in an ever-evolving journey. As we delve deeper into the intricacies of his memories, stay tuned for more tales and invaluable insights in the next chapter.

Whether you're a seasoned rider or a curious novice, there's more to come that will ignite your passion for adventure and deepen your appreciation for the world of motorcycle touring.

Thank you for reading and make sure to subscribe. We're constantly exploring new destinations and share our stories, tips, and the beauty we discover along the way.

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