We spend a lot of time at RideApart talking about project bikes—but that is, of course, only one branch of motorbike appreciation. A part that most of us probably wish was bigger in our lives is mega journeys, like the one that Amanda Zito, the one-woman force behind YouTube channel As the Magpie Flies, recently wrapped. She completed a round trip across the United States for the second time on her trusty 2016 Honda CB500X in April, 2022—and she’s been sharing the entire journey on her channel.
For those unfamiliar with ATMF’s travel motovlogs, she does a lot of riding (both on and off-road), a lot of camping, and also some staying in motels when camping isn’t possible. Sometimes, her brother or various friends may join her for part of the route, but she’s frequently a solo traveler. Crucially, it seems like she loves it, even if things don’t always go perfectly every single time.
That’s the thing about her videos, too—she doesn’t only show you the wins, she also shows you the less fun parts. This most recent journey across the U.S., in particular, had a really rough start that included losing her favorite hat that she’d had for a very long time, and that had important sentimental value.
Also, even though she’s an experienced motorcycle tourer, that didn’t stop one piece of her setup from coming unsecured while she was riding down a highway one time. Unfortunately, that meant her satellite beacon and some other important stuff got smashed to bits by the tractor-trailer that was driving not far behind her.
By showing us both her victories and her setbacks, one of Zito’s main channel goals—and one she states in every single video she does—is to encourage everyone watching to “get out and do the thing.” It’s one of her mottos, and it’s a thing that’s on some of the merch that she designs and sells in her online shops, yes—but it’s also deeper than that, and you can feel it if you watch.
We all have different amounts of time, energy, and resources we can put toward getting out and doing the thing—but as she says in this video, it is the small moments that make up a trip. That holds true for any kind of trip, whether it lasts a weekend or a month, or even more. Most of us can come up with a whole bunch of “wouldn’t it be cool if I (or we) rode to XXXX?” Unfortunately, that’s the easy part—it's getting all the logistics worked out and actually doing it where most of us hang back.
As ATMF aims to show, any time that you can conquer whatever’s holding you back and go ride somewhere that you’ve always wanted to go is a win. Good luck, and good travels.