A World Wanderer on His Love for Gravel Roads

A World Wanderer on His Love for Gravel Roads

In Gravel Roads, Soil Stabilization, Unpaved Roads by Frank Elswick

If it were up to globetrotting motorcyclist Eric Massiet du Biest, all of the world’s roads would be made of gravel and salt.

All Eric Massiet du Biest wants for his 60th birthday is to have driven his motorcycle in every country on Earth. 196 nations, 7 continents and millions of miles on countless paved and unpaved roads — that’s du Biest’s only goal for his milestone birthday in 2022. And while most people have their sights on retirement at age 60, du Biest hopes his job never ends.

Against the Grain

Du Biest is a traveler by trade. For the past several decades, this explorer from Nantes, France, has spent the majority of his days and nights away from home, speeding over salt flats, crawling through marshland and conquering loose-gravel cliffs. A modern nomad of sorts, du Biest earns a living by taking the road less traveled and leading the way for others to do the same. In his own words, du Biest’s “only boss is the sun. It tells [him] when to get up and when it’s time to go to bed.”

Since 1998, du Biest has served as resident tour guide for T3 Adventures, a French expedition outfit that takes willing wanderers on the “voyage of their life.” As founder and head of T3, du Biest maps out and leads motorcycle or car tours that can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, on the continent(s) of the group’s choosing.

The concept for T3 arose naturally out of du Biest’s lifelong passion for diverse culture and eclectic landscapes. He embarked on his maiden world tour in 1988 and, along with three friends, virtually pioneered the concept of adventure blogging. 45 countries and 18 months after leaving France for the first time, du Biest was hooked on finding — and conquering — every unbeaten path on Earth. His one goal in life became finding new experiences and forming lasting connections with fellow adventurers, and his chosen vessel was the motorcycle.

The Mission of the Nomad

Twenty years down the road, du Biest maintains his fascination with getting off the main strip and venturing out into unknown territory. When he rides, he does it “to go far and not fast.” When he travels, he does it with curiosity and wonder. When he guides, he does it “to make people happier.” He promises that those who choose to join him on his journeys will be better for it.

Du Biest’s passion for the unknown, unending, and unpaved path gives him fits of wanderlust whenever he’s off the road for too long. “I can last two months at home, then I start sprouting wings everywhere…I can’t play the guitar, I can’t build a house. The only thing I can do is traverse continents.”

The nomad’s mission is to find a sustainable and safe spot to set up camp in each destination. In the journey to find this place, interesting and even life-changing experiences are inevitable. Du Biest is a nomad in search of a place to lay his head, but more than that, he wants to share the unmatchable experience of traversing the unknown with others.

We applaud Eric Massiet du Biest’s commitment to the road less traveled. With a similar passion for the integrity of unpaved byways, Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. helps communities and companies around the globe care for the gravel roads that link us together. Whether it’s using native soils to build stronger, more eco-friendly roads or dust control solutions to protect the air we breathe, Midwest is dedicated to preserving the spirit of travel and communion among adventurers on the open road.

Frank is the sales unit manager of Midwest's road construction and natural paving markets.