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My 2015: Year In Review

Yikes, 2015 flew by! Fortunately it was action packed. Every year I like to reflect on the past 12 months to see where my life has taken me (or where I’ve taken my life). 2014, 2013, 2012 were all amazing years. Let’s dive into the highlight reel.

January

Amber and I rang in the new year with bass thumping music on the beach in Cabarate, Dominican Republic as we pedaled our bicycles through the North Coast of the country. We learned that no one in the DR rides a bicycle. All the locals thought we were crazy.

Dominican - North Coast

China trip #1 didn’t wait too long and I headed across the Pacific. Fortunately, I set my sites on the Portuguese colony of Macau and I really enjoyed exploring this special area. It’s very different from mainland China and also uniquely different from Hong Kong. Known as the Vegas of the far east, Macau has much more to offer than just casinos. Most of my time was spent walking the streets of the city – getting lost and soaking it all in.

Macau

A visit from our good friends, David and Haley, was welcomed. Whether we’re hiking, singing karaoke or making sheep jokes, it’s always a pleasure to spend time with these two.

January - David and Haley

February

Month #2 and China trip #2. Again, I was lucky enough to make a short stop over to explore another place I’d never been to – Taiwan. I spent a night in Taipei on my way out and as I do in every new place I visit, I walked… EVERYWHERE. Seeing the similarities and differences to mainland China was fun (the food was very different and quite delicious). Next stop, the 2nd tallest building in the world – Taipei 101 (ya, that’s the building’s name) at 509 meters stands like a goliath over all of the cities other sky scrapers. In 45 seconds the elevator raced me to the observation deck while my ears popped twice on the ride up! Scooters flooded the city streets.

Taiwan Beer

During my favorite holiday (Chinese New Year), I travelled back to my hometown on the east coast. While I loved seeing my friends and family, my California blood was a bit shocked with the sub-zero temperatures (Fahrenheit). Miraculously, I didn’t freeze to death during the 10 degree snowshoe hike (-10 degree with windchill).

Snowshoeing

Let us not forget about China Trip #3. Two trips in one month.

March

Spring weather and cycling with the J’s.

J Cycling

A unique opportunity presented itself. I had a week long business trip to China scheduled that perfectly aligned with Amber’s spring break. China Trip #4… For the cost of a few frequent flyer miles, she set off on her first trip to Asia. We had a great time together exploring Shanghai, Changzhou, Yangshuo and Hong Kong. After a long New England winter, her pale white skin was blinding eyes. While not fashionable in the US, it was revered in China. Kids also loved her blonde hair and wanted pictures with the 老外.

Amber with Chinese Kids

Death Valley came knocking again and a few friends and I set our sights on the adventure motorcycling rally. Much like last year, we got in way over our heads, ran out of fuel, water and food, experienced numerous mechanical breakdowns, and got stuck in deep sand. I even managed to ride at night with a missing helmet visor and a headlight that points to the sky. It was exhausting, yet incredible and very memorable. So it was pretty much perfect.

Death Valley Moto

April

While I do find it nice to kick back and relax on the weekends, I find it much more energizing and rewarding to take on challenges. In April I attended my second Startup Weekend, where entrepreneurs from all backgrounds come together to form a team, build a product and launch a startup, all in 54 hours. I partnered with a group of really talented engineers and together we built RedHound, a hassle-free smart alarm. Over the course of the weekend we created a prototype and pitched our startup. It went well and out of more than a dozen teams, we came in first place!

RedHound Startup Weekend

After a weekend of mental exhaustion, it was time for physical exhaustion. Over the course of a few hours, I pedaled my bicycle up the East Bay’s Mt. Diablo.

Mt. Diablo Strava

May

Without a visit to Asia in more than a month, I must have been getting antsy. So it was back across the ocean for China Trip #5, but first I made a stop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to visit my college fraternity brother, Austin. He and his wife were gracious hosts and it was interesting to explore a city with a unique mix of people and religion. It was my first time in a predominantly muslim country and it felt nothing like I would have expected. My only previous experience with the faith came from what I’ve seen on TV about the middle east. Touring the grand mosque was really interesting. Below we’re taking our touristy picture in front of the famous Petronas Twin Towers.

May - KL

Back east for Amber’s graduation from Occupational Therapy graduate school.

May - Amber Graduation

June

A trip to Japan was a nice break from all the China travel (but for easy record keeping, let’s call this China Trip #6). These two economic giants are separated by the East China Sea but their histories have been intertwined for centuries. I find it fascinating to see how different the two cultures are though. I spent a few days touring around Kyoto, which has a very different feel from my previous trip to Tokyo. Around 2,000 temples are scattered about this ancient city. Of course, the food is always fantastic in Japan.

June - Japan Kyoto

July

July started off with a bang! Amber and I celebrated our July 4th holiday with an exhilarating and exhausting day of learning and riding at SoCal Supermoto. These guys put on a fantastic session and immense fun was had by all!

July - SoCal SuperMoto

Time for China Trip #7. Thankfully, a stop over in Hawaii on the return leg made the journey much more enjoyable! Spending some time catching up with my cousin, hiking, surfing, and stand up paddle boarding with giant sea turtles made this one hell of a trip! Here’s the view from the top of Diamond Head Crater, overlooking Waikiki and Honolulu.

July - Hawaii

Restless legs and good friends took me back to Yosemite for some more hiking at the end of the month. What a rad place this is…

July - Yosemite

August

Missoula, Montana! A celebration for a great couple, Mike and Katie, who tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony in big sky country. We partied late into the night, and I unfortunately had to wake up at 5am to catch a flight to China…

August - Mike And Katie

China Trip #8. BBQ anyone?

May - China Food

September

For months and months and months, Amber and I planned our wedding. The big day finally came and all of our hard work paid off! We had an incredible weekend with friends and family on a beautiful summer camp in rural Maine.

September - My Wedding

And I surprised her with a ride in a Ural sidecar. She loved it.

September - Ural

The weekend after our wedding, our friends, Matt and Alana also tied the knot. With all the running around that goes on at one’s own wedding, it was great to relax and enjoy our time at someone else’s wedding.

September - Hedrick Wedding

The next day we hopped on a plane and headed to Eastern Europe for a bicycle touring honeymoon! We spent just shy of 2 weeks pedaling from Ljubljana, Slovenia to Poreč, Croatia. It was fantastic, exhausting and beautiful. To top it all off we spent a few days in Venice, Italy before flying home.

September - Bike Touring

Still adjusting to the jet lag, we rallied to stay awake and celebrate the wedding of more good friends, Kyle and Caitlin. It’s so great to goof off with friends that I don’t get to see often, now that I live on the other side of the country.

September - Kyle Wedding

October

With so many wonderful weddings under our belt this year, I headed back to California and then made a U-turn after 2 weeks to head back to New Hampshire for one last 2015 wedding to celebrate with the incredible Byron and Sally. An H-Town selfie shows our group of childhood friends back together again.

October - Byron Wedding Group

After the wedding I went directly to Asia for China Trip #9. On the way home, I caught up with Amber in LA. She had been hard at work in her second and final fieldwork placement. Her first was in the Bay Area and for the first time in 2 years, we lived together again! Yet, for the remainder of the year, she was down in LA for an amazing opportunity to complete her fieldwork at one of the nations premier sensory integration clinics – a great step in her career. I headed down for a long weekend on my return from China and my fraternity brother, Biscuit (future Mars astronaut), took us for a sunset cruise over Los Angeles in a small prop plane. Sweet!

October - Flying with Biscuit 2

November

Amber and I split the difference in driving and met up for a weekend in Pismo Beach where we rode ATVs around miles and miles of windscaped sand dunes.

November - Sand Dunes

China trip #10. Double digits this year, yikes!

Later in the month, Joel and I did something we’ve been talking about for years. We went 4-wheeling in Hollister with his Jeep. His truck is very capable and he’s a great driver. Oh so much fun!

November - 4wheeling

Back in LA, Amber and I attended the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach. Seen below, we found a great bike for a loop around India! We also met up with some moto friends and attended a fantastic presentation from the Striking Viking, Glen Heggstad, about motorcycling around the world.

November - IMS

To wrap up the month and enjoy our Thanksgiving holiday, we hiked and hiked and hiked all throughout Joshua Tree National Park. My sister who teaches elementary school in Las Vegas also joined. I was sad not to be with all of my family, but grateful to be with some of them while exploring this beautiful place.

November - JTNP Hiking

December

China trip #11 was underway, until a 5 hour delay eventually turned into a cancelled flight. I ended up scrapping my entire trip.

The real year’s end excitement came with an overland journey through Baja, Mexico! I thought that moving from NH to CA would mean more opportunity to visit Mexico since I would be much closer. Sadly, it’s been hard to find the time to jump away from work for so long. But the long holiday break worked out great and our unique trip was incredible. A month prior, our friends drove an SUV from San Francisco to Cabo at the southern tip of Baja. They parked the truck and flew home. A few weeks later, Amber and I flew down to Cabo and drove the truck back to the USA! Here’s short video edit from the trip:

Baja Cactus QX4

What went well in 2015?

  • I visited 1 new state! Traveling to Hawaii takes me up to 48 states visited (Alaska and North Dakota are still pending). I’m now tied with my Dad who has also visited 48 states (missing only Hawaii and Alaska).
  • I visited new 4 new countries! With Taiwan, Malaysia, Slovenia and Croatia on the list, the total country count is now up to 32 (I think I miscounted last year – oops). I also re-visited some other amazing countries and explored new areas around Japan and Mexico. Furthermore, having Amber join me on a China trip was a real treat too.
  • I didn’t even mention our educational iPad app, SnapType. After teaming up with our awesome new developer, Brendan Kirchner, we launched a new version 2.0 of the app in January. To date, there have been more than 400,000 downloads of the free version and enough sales of the paid version to keep it interesting. Each week we receive emails from ecstatic parents, teachers and therapists who share how the app is literally changing lives. It’s incredibly rewarding.
  • Work continues to go well. I was promoted to director level this year and took on a new role. It’s great to know that I’m adding a lot of value to the company.
  • Months upon months of preparation for our wedding was well worth it. We made memories that we’ll remember for years to come! Check out this highlight video if you’re curious.
  • The year contained many small wins. I spent a good chunk of the summer rock climbing at the gym with Amber. I also made it through 15 “Learn to speak Mandarin (Chinese)” audio sessions. Fluency is still very far away, but I gained quite a bit of street credit from my colleagues in China.

What did not go well in 2015?

  • As with every year, back pain continues to be my biggest challenge. Fortunately, this summer I found that yoga has helped me have fewer “bad days.” Although, it’s a struggle to keep it up every day, especially with so much travel.
  • I was happy to have travelled back east many times to see friends and family, but it always feels too fast. There are some great people in my life and it stinks that they are so far away.
  • After the trip to Death Valley, I didn’t ride my motorcycle for the rest of the year. The battery died (finally, after more than 70,000 miles) and I simply was too lazy to get it up and running. I’ve been eyeing a new bike, but I’ve yet to pull the trigger.
  • While work is going great, it’s also quite stressful at times. My colleagues are fantastic, but it’s just the nature of the beast. More often than not, I do well with managing my stress, but at times it’s difficult and it get’s magnified when those times coincide with flare ups in back pain.
  • My quest for passive, location independent income continues. SnapType has been the great surprise, but despite my best efforts with tweaking the Motorcycle Mexico sales funnel and working on related affiliate sales, it’s much more of a hobby and less of a business. I should let it go, but I like being a part of the community.

Looking ahead

2016 brings with it new challenges and opportunities. With Amber finally done grad school, we’ll once again be living together full time and I look forward to seeing her grow into her role as an occupational therapist. Continuing the quest for passive income and spending time with friends and family are my top priorities. Amber and I both would love to take on a big quest and we’ll be discussing what that might entail.

How was your 2015? Are you happier now than you were the same time last year? Have you made progress on your personal goals? What went well for you this year? What could have gone better?

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My 2013: Year In Review

I really enjoyed writing My 2012 Year In Review so I thought I’d give it another go with 2013. This is my chance to look back on the year to see what went right, what could have gone better and what I might like to do in the year to come. It’s been a busy year…

January

After spending New  Years Eve in a 70’s style British pub in California, 2013 began. Thankfully my good friends David and Haley put together an artistically shameless 2013 wall calendar. It really set the tone for the coming year. At the onset, their goal was to find 12 awkward photos of me. As it turns out, they had to whittle it down from more than 60! Ya, we’ve had some fun over the years…

Ben Calendar

It didn’t take long for our first moto guests of the year to stop by. Bernd and Heidi from Germany stopped in during their two year around the world journey. Opening up our home to overland travelers is incredibly rewarding. Their stories help keep the travel spirit alive.

Bernd and Heidi

By the end of the month, I was off to China for trip # 1 of the year.

February

I work daily with my colleagues in China and each morning I wake up to an inbox filled with technical emails. But during my new favorite holiday of Chinese New Year, my inbox was nearly empty each morning! It  gave me time to spend a long weekend with friends up at a gigantic cabin in Lake Tahoe thanks to my buddy Charlie.

Tahoe

Amber and I also headed east for a visit to Yosemite. It was perfect timing with a little snowfall and only a handful of other tourists.

Yosemite

But by the end of the month it was time to jump on a westward plan bound for China. China Trip #2. Hungry? Eat some chicken feet…

Chicken Feet

March

With spring in full effect, it was time again for more exploration. Lots of day hikes around the Bay Area with friends, discovery of a local motorcycle stunt park, a trip to wine country in Napa Valley and a visit from my sister made March a fun month.

Golden Gate Bridge

Vilen

Hollister

I spent some more time in front of the computer screen as I learned some basic programming skills with the help of Codecademy. I find programming both straightforward and extremely complex, but intriguingly powerful. I still can’t do anything useful, but it’s been fun to learn the foundation.

April

I hit the big 30 this year. I don’t feel 30… In my mind, I feel like I’m 18. My body however feels more like 65… I continue to struggle with back pain and it’s very frustrating not doing the activities that I love. On the other hand, my amazing girlfriend rounded up 30 letters from 30 of my friends. This was an incredible gift as so many of the wonderful people in my life shared stories from our past. Wow, 30 years have gone by in the blink of an eye…

30

Even though life moves  fast, there is still so much time for adventure and good times with friends. At the start of the month we travelled south to San Diego for the wedding of our friends Danny and McKinsey.

Chair Dance

From there I boarded a plane on another business trip. This time headed east en route to Germany. Even though my feet were only in Germany for about 48 hours, it was exciting see the city of Munich. Better yet, I stayed in a working class neighborhood and devoured several delicious Turkish Kebabs. mmmmmmm.

May

Over the past month, I worked with a software development team in the Ukraine to build a resource for overland travelers. The site is Border Helper. Until now, it had been very difficult to find information about border crossings. This site makes it easy to read and write reviews.

BorderHelper

Furthermore, I went to Arizona for my 3rd consecutive Overland Expo. I gave lots of presentations with advice and stories from traveling the world on a motorcycle. And as always, it’s so fun to be in a place without cell phone service and be surrounded by people who share the passion for overland travel.

SideCar

June

Ryan and Rachel’s wedding took us back to New Hampshire for the first time since Christmas.

Moto Proposal

Meanwhile we hosted more moto travelers. Ken and Carol Duval previously stayed with us in New Hampshire and now this time in California. This amiable couple has been on the road for years, exploring all around the world.

Duval

By the month’s end I was back on a 737 and flying over the pacific ocean. China trip #3.

July

For years I’ve been reading Chris Guillebeau’s blog (The Art of Non-Conformity) and I’ve wanted to attend his World Domination Summit. But Portland, Oregon was always so far from New Hampshire. However, it’s close to California! It was well worth the trip and so inspiring to be around ordinary people living extraordinary lives.

Half way through 2013. Amber packed up all she had, and along with her 11 year old nephew, drove across the country so she could start grad school and work on her masters degree in occupational therapy. While we were both sad for her departure, we agreed that it was the right move for the future. So for now we’ll have 3,000 miles between us.

On the bright side, my back started feeling a little better and I hopped back on the road bike for the first time in nearly a year. It felt great to pedal through the Californian hills!
Biking
My Dad also came out for a visit. We toured all around the Bay Area including Alcatraz and the Santa Cruz boardwalk.
Dad Beach

August

Through smoke and ash from the Sierra Nevada forest fires, I rode up and over beautiful passes and settled in Nevada just south of Lake Tahoe for an Adventure Moto Rally. I gave a presentation and really enjoyed other presentations from renowned racer Jimmy Lewis and track legend Walt Fulton along with some fantastic dirt riding.

Carla

Over the past two months I had been working on another software project. This time I was building it all myself. And finally in September I launched www.RiderMix.com, an exclusive, members only club, for borrowing a motorcycle anywhere in the world.

RiderMix

Asia? Why not… China trip #4.

September

More exploration around the Bay Area. Hiking at Castle Rock State Park.

Charlie

I racked up frequent flyer miles with another flight. China trip #5. At least I had some time for a hike along the Dragon’s Back in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Hike

October

Another New Hampshire wedding had me back home. This time it was my sister’s. As always, it was great to see the family. Life flies by and it’s easy to get into routine. Even though I can’t make time for a big adventure these days, I find it crucial to celebrate life’s small adventures. With the help of the One Second Everyday app, I created this compilation of my daily mini-adventures over the course of a few months.

Motorcycle Travel nuts, like me, wait impatiently all year for the Horizons Unlimited meeting. I was back for another round in Cambria. I gave a few fun presentations, met up with old friends and made new ones like Jeffrey Polnaja from Indonesia who has been riding around the world for 6 years on a Ride For Peace.

Ride For Peace

November

China trip #6. But the really exciting thing about this trip was a long weekend stop over in Japan. It was my first time to Japan and I loved it! I stayed in old Tokyo at a quaint airbnb place and for a few days I walked all over the city, took a train to the south to see a giant Buddha, and even went to a Japanese Onsen (public bath). The weather was great and the food was delicious. Hey Japan… I’ll be back!

Buddha

Then I left the California sunshine for a taste of the bitter New England winter weather! But it was a perfect visit with friends and family (and way too much turkey).

December

I easily surpassed 100,000 miles in the sky this year with the help of China trip #7.

I returned from China and two days later boarded a plan for my final trip of the year. This time for a vacation with Amber in Guatemala! I’ll do a separate post about our time spent in Guatemala, but I’ll share one piece of exciting news – On the top of Volcano Acatenango, in the freezing cold, howling wind and pouring rain, we got engaged!

Volcan Acatenango Proposal

What went well in 2013?

  • I racked up frequent flyer miles with 7 business trips to China and made it to 1 new country (Japan).
  • I gave several presentations about adventure motorcycle travel at exciting venues like the Overland Expo, Tahoe Adventure Moto and Horizons Unlimited.
  • I launched 2 new resources for motorcycle travelers www.BorderHelper.com and www.RiderMix.com.
  • I increased my income and reduced my spending which helped me save a significant chunk of money.
  • I got engaged to the woman I love!

What did not go well in 2013?

Like last year, 2013 was a good year. But as always, there’s room for Kaizen.

  • Although I reached out to many of my old friends, I feel there’s still an opportunity to stay better connected and strengthen our relationships. On the same note, my family lives on the other side of the country and I didn’t spend as much time with them as I’d like.
  • While my back improved, it’s still very far from normal. I started running and cycling again but I’m still not strong enough to do other activities I really love, like basketball and freestyle mountain biking.
  • I didn’t devote any energy to languages. Sure, I learned a few phrases in Chinese to make people laugh, but I’d really like to become more proficient in Spanish and resume my previous studies in Russian.
  • I enjoy writing on the blog but it’s takes dedication and I rarely posted updates over the past year.

Looking Ahead

Though I didn’t set goals for 2013 (even though I said I would), I do have a few plans for the year to come. For one, I have a wedding to plan! There are also business opportunities that I’d like to explore. Of course, I wish I had more exotic travel, but I’ll probably stick to business trips in China while I rack up the frequent flyer miles. It’s been a good year and a good 3 decades. I’m looking forward to another good year and hopefully many more healthy and happy decades to come!

What about you? How was your 2013? Are you happier now than you were the same time last year? Have you made progress on your personal goals? What went well for you this year? What could have gone better?

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30 Years

My wonderful girlfriend collected 30 letters from 30 of my friends and family for my 30th birthday. Here is a compilation of the memories that made me laugh, cry, cringe and smile! (click the image to see the full infographic)

click on the picture to see the full story!

click on the picture to see the full story!

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The Americas According To Motorcycle Travelers

I put together this info graphic. It’s a fair representation of the Americas through the eyes of a motorcycle traveler.

The Americas According To Motorcycle Travelers

The Americas According To Motorcycle Travelers

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Weekend of Freedom World Tour

Some Most days I daydream about riding the world. While it’s not always possible to get away, there’s still room for adventure. In order to celebrate our freedom on the Fourth of July. Amber and I packed up the bikes and headed north. Some might think of this trip as a relaxing ride through New England’s back roads. Instead, I like to think of it as a mini world tour…

First stop, the Wright Museum which exhibits artifacts illustrating the heroic efforts of ordinary people living during extraordinary times and is dedicated to celebrating Americans’ sacrifices and achievements during WWII.

Next stop, Whitehorse gear in North Conway so amber can pick up a kidney belt for back support.

The friendly folks at Whitehorse gave us a great road recommendation that took us up through Evan’s Notch in the White Mountain National Forest. Once in Maine we said hi to our buddy Paul Bunyan who was hanging out in Rumford.

The riding was mellow and fun.

Soon afterwards we crossed into Mexico. Wait, what? I’m so confused…

The plaque threw me off a bit. Shouldn’t it be in Spanish?

Sadly, there wasn’t even a Mexican restaurant in Mexico, Maine! Maybe that’s a business opportunity…  After Mexico it was off to Peru. There is no downtown – just lots rural land. Does anyone know what an ATV bottle is???

So, are we on Peruvian soil or American soil?

Having had enough of Latin America we jumped across the pond and stopped by Rome for lunch. Rome was burning so we notified the volunteer fire department.

After our civic duties were done we went east, really far east, like to the far east. Welcome to China!

Unlike mexican restaurants in Mexico, we did see plenty of chinese restaurants in China. Oddly, China looked a lot like Rome, Peru, Mexico, and Maine… Oh well. We looped back around for a quick stop in our hometown of Manchester. Well not Manchester, NH but Manchester, ME. This one goes out to our buddy Pete from Manchester, England. Last month he rode his motorcycle to every Manchester in the USA (there’s more than 30 of them). We had dinner and beers with him as he rolled through our Manchester.

With 300 miles logged we called it quits for the day and headed to Amber’s aunt’s place for some delicious homemade apple pie. mmmmmmmmm.

Awake and reenergized we set out the next morning to continue the adventure. We headed south to Lisbon, Portugal Maine. Unfortunately we were a week early for the Moxie Festival!

Lisbon was fun so we decided to see more of Europe. Next stop, Poland. I had to pee and just as I was about to take a leak by the building I caught myself. Fearing that if a local kid saw me peeing by an elementary school I would be charged as a sex offender, I decided to postpone my whiz until I could find a proper rest room facility.

We continued with the European theme and headed north to Norway.

Only a stones throw away from Norway, we found Paris. Imagine what a mini Eiffel Tower replica would do for tourism… Unfortunately, there wasn’t  much going on in Paris, Maine.

A few more miles (pun intended) down the road was Sweden. Judging by the few people we talked to, I’m willing to bet that most folks here do not know there’s a country called Sweden. The fire department had the only sign in town.

After Sweden we popped back down into mainland Europe for a quick stop in Denmark.

By that time we really started to enjoy Europe, so we shot over to see Amber’s other aunt who lives in Naples, Italy Maine. Together we celebrated our journey with a traditional Italian pizza served in an Irish pub…

The next morning I realized I had a freeloader trying to hitch a ride around the world. He wasn’t talking much…

We wrapped up our Weekend of Freedom World Tour with a brief stop in Limerick, Ireland Maine where they conveniently have a US Post Office.

Maine has several other worldly towns that were a bit out of our reach. We’ll leave Madrid, Moscow, Columbia (ya, they got the spelling wrong), Athens, Stockholm, Verona, Belfast, Lebanon, Vienna and Belgrade for another trip.

Editors note: We skipped all the English town names because just about every other town in New England is named after… Well… England…

As my friends at NEMO would say – Adventure Anywhere. Because memorable and meaningful adventures can happen anywhere from the backyard to Mt. Everest.

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Adventure Motorcycle Presentation

Hey Everyone. It’s been about 6 months since I’ve had an update. Since we last spoke, I’ve launched the Motorcycle Mexico DVD. It’s now being distributed by Amazon and Whitehorse Gear. If you’ve been dreaming of riding your motorcycle through Mexico, this should be your first stop for research. I’ve sold a few hundred to date and the feedback has been wonderful. It’s not a Hollywood masterpiece but the content is a gold mine of information for planning a trip south of the border.

I’ve also been busy presenting at Overland Travel and Motorcycle Rallies around the US. In April I presented at the Overland Expo in southern, Arizona. The event attracted thousands of veteran and aspiring overland travelers from around the globe. I sat on the panels for group discussion “to ride solo or not” & “borders, bribes and checkpoints” and I moderated the “safety on the road” discussion. In addition to presentations I share space in the authors and filmmakers tent alongside many of my heros. Ted Simon, Carla King, Austin Vince, Lois Pryce and Sterling Noren just to name a few. I made up a fun poster for rally goers to jump in and take a photo. All in all it was a great event.  You can read the full write-up on the Motorcycle Mexico Blog.

A few weeks later I was off to the BMW Georgia Mountain Rally. I rode down with Bob and Sue of Micatech and we trailered the bikes behind. Once again it was great to escape the New England cold and head down for fun in the sun. After camping through a tornado, the weather really cleared up and the entire time was perfect. I gave a few presentations and had my bike on display for everyone to explore. After the event I ate some boiled peanuts and rode Deals Gap – 318 cuves in 11 miles! I continued north on the Blue Ride Parkway for a few days getting free moonshine from the locals until I made it back to NH. Read all about it on the Micatech blog.

Sidestand Up, the worlds only Motorcycle Radio Road Show had me on as a guest and we talked about riding down south of the the border. Here’s the link to the interview.

Back home in New Hampshire I’ve been giving several presentations about my travels through Latin America. Many of the local public libraries have contracted me to present to their patrons. I really enjoy my sharing my stories and photos and it’s great to inspire others. I added the list of presentations to the  sidebar of the A Few More Miles homepage.  At the time of this post, here’s the upcoming schedule. All presentations are free and open to the public. If I’m in you’re area, be sure to come on out for a night of adventure!

Drop me an email at ben AT motorcyclemexico DOT com if you would like me to present to your group. 

(all events below are at the respected public libraries)

2/15 – Lee, NH 7pm
3/23 – Derry, NH 6:30pm
3/29 – Hooksett, NH 6:30pm
5/10 – Milford, NH 7pm
5/19 – Hancock, NH 7pm

6/14 – Gilford, NH 6:30pm
6/16 – Lincoln, NH 7pm
6/21 – Goffstown, NH 6:30pm
6/22 – East Kingston, NH 7pm
7/12 – Amherst, NH 7pm
7/14 – Bow, NH 6:30pm
7/17 – Freedom, NH 4pm (Sunday)
8/3 – Epsom, NH 7pm
9/16 – New Boston, NH 7pm
9/22 – Dunbarton, NH 7pm
10/19 – Sommersworth, NH 7pm
10/20 – Salem, NH 7pm
TBD – Dublin, NH

I’m actually writing this post from Casa Blanca hostel in Cali, Colombia where I’m working on a pilot episode for a new motorcycle travel documentary taking place in Colombia. But I’ll tell you more about that later…

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Now Available: Motorcycle Mexico DVD

Hey folks!

As I announced last fall, I went back to Mexico for another round of adventuring and more importantly to film for my new project, Motorcycle Mexico. I wanted to make the DVD I wish I could have seen before I left on my trip. I hope it will help riders to get inspired, get educated, and get on their way.

Have you been dreaming of a motorcycle trip through Mexico? In this 2-disc DVD set, you will get the advice you need to help you cross the border, buy insurance, organize your documents, interact with police, find safe hotels and camping, break the language barrier, avoid Montezuma’s Revenge and much more to ensure that you have an amazing ride!

In addition to what he learned on the road, I interviewed veteran travelers and local experts who share their hard-earned knowledge with you. This DVD will get you inspired, educated, and on YOUR way! Whether you are riding in Mexico for just a few days or en route to Central and South America, This DVD will help you prepare for YOUR ride!

Here’s a short 5 minute movie trailer to show you what it’s all about.

Motorcycle Mexico DVD Trailer from Benny on Vimeo.

It’s $36.99 + $4.99 Shipping = $41.98.
It’s 2-discs. 5 hours of insightful content 
Available at www.MotorcycleMexico.com

Disc 1:
Intro, People, Culture, Weather, Gear, Border Crossing, Border Towns, Accidents & Insurance, Family Reactions, News & Drug Cartels, Personal Safety, Bike Safety, Women Riders, Riding, Road Quality, Toll Roads, The Left Blinker, Topes, The Bike, Tires, Tools & Packing, Mechanicals.

Disc 2:
Gas, Navigation, Camping, Accommodations, Secure Parking, Food, Drinks, Montezuma’s Revenge, Health & Evacuation Insurance, Health Risks, Checkpoints, Police, Money, Language, Connectivity, Get Gone, Credits, Bonus Footage.

Thanks to everyone that contributed and encouraged me along the way!

Ride & Explore!

Categories: Mexico, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In The Mean Time…

I’ve been broken down in El Salvador for about 5 days now (not sure exactly how many days, I lost track). More info to come soon but until then I thought I’d share two things with you all.

First, I can review my blog stats and one is a list of terms that people have typed into search engines that lead them to my blog. Sometimes they are apt and sometimes they are a bit strange… Here’s today’s list. I’m particularly proud of the first line item.

Blog Stats

Second is an article from Chris Guillebeau at The Art of Non-Conformity. I read Chris’ blog regularly and this short article really hits the spot when thinking about my trip. It’s titled Beware of Life. It’s a short article and I recommend reading it through. He talks about living life and taking risks. Here’s a quick blurb.

 

But if something ever does happen to me, all of you can tell the real story to anyone who asks: Chris didn’t want to take any risks on missing out. That’s why he climbed the mountain.

Instead of trying to live a risk-free existence, let me tell you a few things that are truly worth worrying about:

The road not taken.
The destination not explored.
The adventure not pursued.
The life unlived.

If we’re going to lose sleep over something, it seems to me that those are the things that should keep us awake.

Life is dangerous. It’s risky. It’s worth it.

I hope to be back on the road quickly and moving south to explore new lands and meet new people. Stay tuned!

Oh and don’t worry about Charles, he’s been lounging on the beach while I’ve been in the city.

Categories: El Salvador, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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