Fueled by Adventure: A Journey From Four Wheels to Two

June 12, 2024

Fueled by Adventure: A Journey From Four Wheels to Two

By Ally Hardgrave
Content Creator, Ride With Us

Growing up in rural Texas, being outside has always been a part of my life. Living on acreage allowed me to roam pretty freely and for as long as I can remember. I’ve had a sense of adventure that manifested in different ways: quads, dirt bikes, mountain biking, go-karts, hiking, and everything in between.

Life shifts and time passes, but starting around 2016, my family began venturing into more remote camping and set the goal to get out farther and stay out longer. Our weeks were spent strategizing while the weekends were filled with experiences that made amazing memories but also allowed us to learn and further push us toward the ultimate goal we’d set. This period marked the beginning of a formal transition into what’s most commonly known as “overlanding” or simply traveling to remote locations for extended periods. The crux is having a capable vehicle to get you to these incredible places, so I began my build.

Ally on an adventure, photographing wildlife from the roof of her SUV.

When the pandemic hit, we made the substantial decision to sell our home and travel in our adventure trailer full-time. Our family traveled across the country, working, homeschooling, and adventuring all along the way. We collectively spent about 11 months on the road and those experiences will stay with us forever.

As overlanding became more of a way of life instead of a pastime, I began to envy the dirt bike crowd as the riders were getting to experience areas and locations a full-size vehicle would never be able to visit. I always loved chatting with people we met on the road with bikes as they were able to experience the same spaces we inhabited in a completely different way.

More shifts came in life, and our time on the road was coming to a close. A new chapter in my life was beginning, so the thought of two-wheeled exploration went on the back burner.

My life substantially changed personally and professionally as I walked away from a tenured career in agency life, advertising specifically, and shifted to working with outdoor brands through a creative lens. The brands I sought for my gear collection were now clients I was able to work with! Just as overlanding transitioned from hobby to necessity, it transitioned yet again into my career. I was capturing, writing, filming, and evangelizing this passion point I loved, exposing individuals to all the possibilities that outdoor exploration could offer.

Attending Overland Expo, I stumbled across the Moto Experience and saw first-hand what adventure touring was all about. I was immediately intrigued, yet intimidated, and went back into my comfort zone of off-road rigs and trailers. I stayed in this lane until I finally couldn’t resist scratching the faint itch of two wheels that stuck in my brain.

It started with the purchase of a SUPER73; cruising neighborhoods and getting in the mud around campsites. I hauled that electric fun machine everywhere and it did enrich my camping experience as I now could explore with something small, light, and more capable of squeezing into more dense areas. From there I wanted a bit more capability and shifted my eye to a Surron. Researching the Surron inspired me to explore more of what dirt riders were into and the lifestyles that now seemed much more within reach.

At this point, I went down the research rabbit hole and decided to take the leap and signed up for an MSF Basic RiderCourse. I wanted the formal training; the licensing option was just a bonus. The experience I had across those two days was beyond anything I could have imagined and had me completely fall in love with the thought of motorcycling in different ways. I walked away inspired and empowered to continue the journey and immediately snagged that Surron I had dreamed about. I wasn’t riding the street yet, but I was enjoying trails and hauling this electric dirt bike on all my camping trips to explore even further.

What’s next on my list? Signing up for the AdventureBike RiderCourse to begin building the skills needed for riding from street to trail, and working my way up to a longer trip! Plus, I’m now in the market for a dual-sport motorcycle and hope to have a new addition in my garage soon.

Two wheels have helped me expand my outdoor adventures as I have a new way to explore. I hope I can now be the rider who inspires others to dream about motorcycling and the incredible ways that riding can enrich their lives. 

See you on the road!


Ally Hardgrave joined the Motorcycle Industry Council in 2024, landing what she refers to as her “dream job” as a Content Creator with the Ride With Us team.


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