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Sunday 7: Steph Jeavons
Steph Jeavons has ridden her motorbike in some of the hottest, coldest, driest, wettest, highest and lowest places in the world. In 2018 she became the first person to circumnavigate the globe and ride a motorcycle on all seven continents. In 2014 she landed her bike on Antarctica having sailed across the Drake Passage (one of the roughest seas in the world) on a small sailing yacht.
We sent Steph some quickfire questions for our new 'Sunday 7' series...
What is your most treasured outdoor space and why?
This is a hard one to choose. It's between a forest and the mountains. Perhaps a forest in the mountains! I was born in Canada and raised in Wales so I guess it's in my blood. Nothing beats walking to the top of a mountain, sitting down with your flask of coffee and your dog and enjoying the view you have just earned. Preferably early in the morning when no one is around.
What is your definition of adventure? Do you think it has changed over time?
It certainly has changed. I used to think it meant extreme stuff. Now I try and have an adventure every day! It's more about a state of mind, a perspective. When we were kids, everything was an adventure. We were so imaginative back then. I try to keep hold of that. For example, I will walk my dog every morning and try to find a path I have never walked or go searching with her through the undergrowth for a rabbit, a squirrel or a tennis ball we don't really care about. This might sound crazy to some, but we love it. A simple adventure is just as good as venturing into foreign lands by motorbike. Adventure at its purest.
How do you see the perception of women in outdoor adventure and sport?
I don't really think about it. In my world, the majority of people doing what I do are men. I am often asked if it is harder as a woman. My reply is usually, "I don't know, I've never done it as a guy". I'm not out to prove anything so I don't give other people's perception of what I do much thought. I think that if we just do our thing, then perception will change - if it needs to.
The outdoors can be unpredictable - how do you handle adversity?
I tend to enjoy the chaos when things don't go according to plan. You get better at dealing with it and that is where you find your strength. My dad once said to me many years ago, “Don't worry. Teatime always comes”. In other words, no matter how bad it gets, just tell yourself you will get through it. Keep smiling and repeat the mantra, “I got this”. If all else fails, you have a great story to tell afterwards!
If you had control of the news for a day, what’s the one story you think everyone should know about?
I would give all the day to day stories. The good stories. The stories of everyday acts of kindness all over the world. The man who speaks no English, but helps you pick your bike up out of the mud. The woman with very little who invites you for dinner and lets you sleep on her floor with the rest of the family. I would talk about the hospitality, sense of humour and connection shared all over world. It might make people less fearful of venturing out of their comfort zone. Most people are good - but that's not news right?
What is it about the outdoors that keeps you coming back for more?
I love the feeling of being vulnerable and open to the elements. It makes me feel alive and more connected to Mother Nature. Being aware of our vulnerability and the power she has over us is not a bad thing. More people should get out and appreciate this on a regular basis.
How would you describe your typical Sunday?
Hmm. Ok, well most of my Sunday's I guess involve mud! Either by riding through it on a trail bike or walking through it. When I can I have Sunday dinner with my parents. I do love Sundays.
Steph is the first to take part in our new 'Sunday 7' series. You can follow Steph's adventures on twitter @OneWomanOneMoto and on Instagram at @StephJeavons