If you’re reading this, then you already know… My wife and I are pregnant preparing for a cycling adventure!
In just over a week, Amberlynn and I will fly to Northwest China and pedal west along the legendary Silk Road through Central Asia.
Our rough plan is mapped out in the photo below. We’ll start in far west China, cut across a corner of Kazakhstan, meander through Kyrgyzstan, suffer and delight through the roof of the world on the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan, explore ancient cities and gorgeous architecture in Uzbekistan, potentially visit the mysterious country of Turkmenistan (if we can obtain visas). Sadly, as Americans we’ll have to bypass Iran. It’s very challenging to get a visa there. As our governments duke it out on the world’s stage, we’ll miss out on the infamous Iranian hospitality. Instead, we plan to hop on a plane and explore the Arabian Peninsula as the temperatures recede into the winter months. Tentatively we’ll fly into the modern United Arab Eremites before cycling through the less flashy Sultanate of Oman.
If these places sound foreign, you’re not alone. Until we started researching the trip, my geographical knowledge about this part of the world was scarce. With ill-formed borders from the collapse of the Soviet Union, these countries are still young and redefining their identities.
It all seems so simple on Google Maps! In reality we’ll travel somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 miles over the course of 6 months.
We’ve been planning this trip for more than a year, yet inevitably there is so much to due as the starting line approaches. We’re down the wire with a little more than a week to go, it’s crunch time. As the calendar whisks the days away, we’re hurrying to make final preparations and say our farewells to friends and family. This isn’t goodbye, it’s simply au revoir.
So if you’d like, please feel welcome to follow along on our journey. We look forward to sharing stories, photos, and videos from the road. If you’d like to get emails on your inbox when a new blog post is published, you can sign up here for emails. If RSS is more your thing (it’s totally my thing), the RSS feed is here. You can also follow us on Facebook.
My apologies that this blog is really out of date (still detailing my motorcycle ride back in 2009). I’ll be updating it in due time. If I say I will l fix something, I will. There is no need to remind me every 6 months…
It all happened so fast… Last week I put El Burro up for adoption and this week he’s roaming new pastures with his new family.
I told myself I wouldn’t cry… As I rode to the loading dock a mile away, it hit me… This is the last adventure with my trusty steed. El Burro was adopted this morning by a nice father and son planning a ride through Baja. They will give him a new lease on life. Many more adventures await. Ride like the wind!
I told the new family that the original owner of the bike still keeps in touch when I share updates on this blog. (Hi Lee!) He loves knowing that his bike lives on. I will too. I’ve asked them to send photos and stories from their journey.
Here’s the add I posted online. It was fun to write it and I received so many emails from people saying they enjoyed the post. It will be great to immortalize it here on the blog.
— — — —
Are you fed up with your KTM or Ducati attracting all the ladies? Well, if you’re looking for a bike that deters women, I have just the bike for you!
El Burro is for sale. He’s certainly no prized race horse, but rather a working donkey who is a great companion.
Once heralded for his feats of riding to the southernmost city in the world (Ushuaia, Argentina), his wounds are reminders of adventures gone by. He’s now saddened by the neglect of his owner who is too busy to take him on wild journeys.
— — — —
We’ve had a good run together. I adopted him from his 2nd owner when he was just 7k miles. He underwent a heart transplant (top end) around 40k. Today he’s somewhere around 70k with more than a few gray hairs. He farts (backfires) way more than he should and his hearing is going so he talks far too loud (loose exhaust and no packing in the muffler). For the past few years, I haven’t had the time to give him the attention he deserves – sadly day rides and the odd weekend trip are all he gets these days. I hope some budding adventurer will be able to give him a new home and a new life.
— — — —
2001 Kawasaki KLR 650
~70k+ miles (after the spedo cable fell off the 3rd time, I quit replacing it. Odometer says ~33k)
40k maintenance: New piston and rings, rebored the cylinder.
Aluminum skid plate
Heated hand warmers
Done did the doohickey
Fat off road foot pegs
Rear brake master cylinder guard
Corbin seat (2nd best accessory)
$5 plastic inline fuel filter (best accessory)
SW-Motech side racks (with custom 4th mounting point for extra stability).
Micatech rear rack
Micatech side cases not included…
Engine guards with highway pegs (highway pegs not included, they fell off long ago)
Hand guards with bar-end protectors
Progressive front fork springs
PROTAPER handlebar with rad foam pad that says “PROTAPER” – adds 2.7 horsepower
Pre-routed spare throttle cables. (Despite replacing 3 clutch cables, the throttle cables just won’t quit)
Spare clutch cable
Half-used spare brake pads
K&N air filter (dirt from Death Valley included at no extra charge)
Fork brace (with 2 stripped bolts, so it looks cool but doesn’t do much aside from looking cool)
Large Wolfman tank bag with map pouch and KLR specific mount (this bag has been awesome)
Aftermarket muffler. It sounded great 60k miles ago!
Stock muffler also included (but not mounted)
Oversized front brake rotor
Headlight protector (protector fell off in Patagonia, dead bugs and industrial velcro squares are all that remain)
Tubes that never go flat (seriously, I’ve never had a flat tire on this bike… ever! That said, you should probably change the tubes…)
New stock rear turn signal (the original melted in Bolivia, some kind person on ADVrider sent me a new pair)
Custom rear shock flap to keep mud out (handmade from a great mechanic in Ecuador)
Stainless steel front brake cable (then again, I forget if that comes stock…)
Running (hey, that’s pretty good!)
New battery that sits on a battery tender
Drivetrain surprisingly ain’t too shabby.
A face that only a mother could love.
Backfires (often mistaken for a lawn mower).
Loose exhaust (I had the stock exhaust as well)
Kickstand switch sticks – need to use your hand to flick the switch
Lots of other little stuff…
50% tread left on the tires (50/50 trail/street tires)
Rear brake light doesn’t work (running light works just fine).
Speedometer doesn’t work. Don’t worry, you’ll never be riding too fast.
Odometer stuck at ~33k (it will be great for your resale value).
Headlight points to the sky (don’t ride at night…)
— — — —
Is this the bike for you? Probably not.
Is it a great bike? It once was.
Is it a gateway to adventure? Absolutely.
I hope someone out there can put it to good use!
Not looking to part it out, unless you buy everything except the mirrors.
Located near San Jose, California
Price: $2,200 cash or $2,100 and a whole bunch of beer
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…
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…
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.
By the end of the month, I was off to China for trip # 1 of the year.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ryan and Rachel’s wedding took us back to New Hampshire for the first time since Christmas.
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.
By the month’s end I was back on a 737 and flying over the pacific ocean. China trip #3.
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!
My Dad also came out for a visit. We toured all around the Bay Area including Alcatraz and the Santa Cruz boardwalk.
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.
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.
Asia? Why not… China trip #4.
More exploration around the Bay Area. Hiking at Castle Rock State Park.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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!
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 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.
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?
Last weekend I attended the 5th (my 3rd) Overland Expo outside of Flagstaff, Arizona. As expected, it was an amazing weekend filled with inspiring and empowering presentations from travelers all over the globe. Trucks, bicycles, motorcycles – they have it all. I sold lots of Motorcycle Mexico DVDs to aspiring travelers and had the opportunity to give several presentations to more than a hundred people. If you missed all the fun, you can have a look at my slides (unfortunately, you won’t get all the sarcastic commentary). If you’re reading this by email, click through to the www.AFewMoreMiles.com website to flip through the presentations.
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)
I’ve looked back over 2012 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 fun to reflect on the past twelve months. Here’s a brief summary of the path my life has taken:
The new year started with lots of preparation and excitement as I set forth to film a motorcycle documentary down in South America. I also built and launched Darien Gap Info A peer review website dedicated to crossing the Darien Gap.
Late in the month, I travelled down to Colombia to meet again with my partner Mike Thomsen of Motolombia. Together with 8 riders, we rode through the heart of Colombia. Filmmaker Andreas Munksgaard and I documented the entire journey. Capturing each days events was hard work but also a great learning experience.
Filming in Colombia for The New World Ride
Upon returning to the cold New Hampshire winter, it was time to make sense of the nearly 100 hours of film. I began the pain staking process of cataloging all the footage. This was slow and arduous but laid the necessary foundation for developing the documentary. To keep sane, I played volleyball one night a week with friends.
More computer work… During the week I spent 8am – 5pm at my day job (mostly on the computer) and then came home, cooked dinner and spent 6pm – 10pm working on the film (also in front of the computer). I enjoy editing but it was tough to spend all night on the computer after spending my of my day there as well. However, I pushed on, and each day I saw progress.
At the end of the month I took a break from the film and headed to India on another business trip for my day job. I worked with my team of programmers and business analysts to develop custom web and mobile applications to better serve our customers. The work was fun and of course I enjoyed experiencing India. Best of all was renting a Royal Enfield Bullet 350 on the weekend and getting lost in Southern India!
Riding the crazy streets of Southern India
On the way home, I spent a few days in London where I met up with Andreas. We went over some of the story I had been putting together and he also showed me all around the city. The famous Ace Cafe was high on the list amongst all the numerous historical landmarks. It may be hard to believe, but the English weather was beautiful, sunny and warm!
Ace Cafe in London, England
Back in States once again it was time to finish building the story for the The New World Ride (the name of the soon to be released Colombian Motorcycle documentary). More countless hours spent staring at the computer screen. I also turned 29 years old…
Final Cut Pro Sequence from The New World Ride
As spring rolled into New Hampshire, I continued building the documentary day by day. By the middle of the month, I was ready for another quick getaway. Setting my compass southwest I headed to the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona. This was my second expo and I was amazed at how much it had grown. If you want to travel the world on 2 wheels or 4, this is the place for you. With hundreds of vendors and thousands of travelers, there is no shortage of gear and stories. Motorcycle Mexico, my how-to guide for motorcycling south of the border, was on sale and I spoke at several roundtable discussions including “Borders, Bribes and Checkpoints.” It was great to catch up with old friends and make new ones.
Riding Monkey for Carla King
June was a big month… I gave my 23rd and 24th presentations about my 6 month, 23,000 mile motorcycle ride from New Hampshire to the southernmost city in the world, Ushuia, Argentina. Moreover, I was recruited for and accepted an exciting new job opportunity on the west coast. It was a tough decision to leave my day job that I really enjoyed and to put so much distance between my family. But ultimately it would be a great experience in an exciting and growing industry with many new places to explore during weekend adventures. So, in three weeks, I gave my notice, Amber and I packed up everything we owned and with excitement and exhaustion we jumped on a plane headed for Europe.
Thanks to our friends Bob and Sue at Micatech, we rode all around Western Europe on their 1995 BMW K75 motorcycle. In three short weeks we cruised through France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Ya… I’m still working on that blog post :). It was an incredible trip. We camped each night and lived off of fresh bread, cheeses and sausages.
Crossing the Alps from France to Italy
And finally after more than 10 years of dreaming, I finally saw the Tour de France! We followed the first few stages of the tour in Belgium and France – wow, what an experience!
Tour de France – Peleton Climb
From Europe we scooted back to South America for Amber’s sister’s wedding in Quito, Ecuador. The ceremony was in a tranquil mountain setting just outside the busy city. After the wedding we rented a Suzuki V-Strom from Freedom Bike Rental. Mountain twisties and serene beaches were on the agenda for the quick 5-day ride at the equator. (Yup, still working on that blog post too!)
Lunch on the beach in Ecuador
With Ecuador behind us we were off to California to find a place to live in Silicon Valley. Fortunately, it didn’t take long to find a cute little duplex right in Cupertino (a 7 minute walk from the Apple campus) with a palm tree and lemon tree in the front yard!
Our House in Cupertino
I began work at AAC Technologies were we develop custom micro-speaker, microphone and vibrator solutions that integrate inside today’s smartphones, tablets and mp3 players. By the middle of the month our friend John arrived with all of our belongings. We are so thankful that he drove a 26′ moving truck 3,000 miles across the country just to help us out! For the past 2 weeks we had been “camping” in our new home waiting for all of our furniture to arrive.
Our motorcycles came in the same truck and we were excited to hit the ground and explore California. At the end of the month we rode through the Sierra Nevada mountains to the Lake Tahoe Adventure Motorcycle Rendezvous. Amber went on road rides with a bunch of new friends and I set out for desert dirt riding with people much more capable than me. After pushing my limits and almost dumping the bike several times we headed over Ebbets Pass on our way back to the bay area. We also hosted our first motorcycle travelers in our new place – a young couple from France.
Amber Motorcycling over Ebbets Pass in California
Finally settled into our new life on the west coast, we continued exploring with weekend surfing trips in Santa Cruz, city excursions around San Francisco, road tripping to Fresno to see the Colorado football game and hiking in the Redwood Forests. I also have a bunch of friends from college in the area and it’s been great to reconnect with them too. Additionally, my sister came to live us with. She’s a certified elementary education teacher but there are no jobs to be had in New Hampshire. The hopes of gainful employment lead her to California instead.
September also brought my first trip to China since 2009. I got a custom fit suit in Shanghai before going west and then finally south to Shenzhen. In Changzhou, I climbed to the top of the world’s tallest pagoda. I was amazed at how much Chinese I remembered (still only a few phrases) and was able to pick up a little more along the way. The locals always get a kick out of it when I say something in their language.
Worlds Tallest Pagoda
Unfortunately however, a night out at every kids dream (a warehouse filled with trampolines), was the straw the broke the camels back and I was in debilitating back and neck pain.
I began physical therapy but still encountered relapses of my injured back. Not fun! I had to give up cycling, running, hiking and any other form of physical fitness. Even simple tasks like putting on my socks or sitting up in bed in the mornings were painful and demotivating.
I slowly progressed as the month went on and with the support of a kidney belt, Amber and I rode 200 miles south along the coastline on Highway 1 to attend the Horizons Unlimited motorcycle travelers meetup in Cambria. New friends like Cliff Danger reminded us of a simpler life with stories of riding Lucy, a small Minsk motorcycle, throughout Cambodia and Vietnam.
Big Sur coastline along California’s Highway 1
Putting on my marketing hat, I revamped the Motorcycle Mexico landing page and saw a huge boost in sales conversations. It’s a gold mine of information for aspiring travelers and I get joy out of helping them ride their dreams. We also hosted more motorcycle travelers, this time a couple from Guatemala on their way back from Alaska.
Motorcycle Mexico Landing Page
And with 48 hours notice, I headed back to China for a quick business trip. At least I got to sleep in a round bed…
Round Bed in Shanghai, China
Remember that motorcycle documentary? In the summer I handed my work off to Andreas who put on the final touches. Over the following months we released mini-episodes from each day of the trip. The penultimate release was a feature length film – The New World Ride. It was a wild journey and it wouldn’t have been possible without everyone involved – To all of you… ¡MUCHAS GRACIAS!
Two hours a day of back stretching and strengthening exercises finally started to pay off and I slowly began seeing improvements. Amber and I had hoped to ride to Baja, Mexico during the Thanksgiving break but her work schedule and my health had us put it on hold. Nevertheless, we found some fun in hiking and camping in Marin County just north of San Francisco. Aside from an evening spent convinced that we were being stalked by a mountain lion, we had a great time.
Point Bonita Marin County Hiking
My work schedule isn’t the typical 8-5. Some days are slow and others are action packed with customer meetings during the day. I’m up most nights until midnight working with my team in China. With the end of the year in sight, we headed east for a much needed vacation, exchanging our computers for the families we hadn’t seen in 6 months. It was the perfect Christmas gift.
What went well in 2012?
The past 12 months have been action packed.
I traveled to 12 countries (8 of them for the first time) and spoke 7 languages (granted some of them were only a few words).
I gave 6 speeches about my motorcycle travels around the world.
I did all sorts of new things like paragliding over Medellin, Colombia, motorcycling around Lake Tahoe, eating congealed pigs blood at a Chinese restaurant and shooting trap with a shotgun in California.
I built and released a feature length motorcycle travel documentary.
What did not go well in 2012?
Though 2012 was a good year, not everything was perfect.
For one, my Russian language learning got de-railed. A new job with a shorter commute meant no time for audio CD’s. I got through 45 lessons (the same amount of Spanish before I left on my first big trip) but it quickly faded with lack of use. I still hope to explore the now disolved Soviet Union and it will be great to use the Russian language to connect with people from many countries. I need more practice.
Also, I didn’t do a great job maintaining friendships. I spent a lot of time in front of the computer with interesting but isolating projects, and I didn’t see my family for the entire second half of the year. As I grow older, I realize how important friends and family are. I’m disappointed that I lost my way in strengthening those relationships.
Finally, I’m not happy with how things finished with my physical fitness. I reached a peak level of fitness in early May when I was playing basketball every day at lunch and running on the weekends. But then a combination of injuries, travel, and a new job with many business lunches made me a little soft. I’m carrying an extra five or ten pounds now, and my fitness levels are lower than I want them to be.
Though I didn’t set goals for 2012, I do have a few plans for the year to come. Soon, I’ll share some of my goals for the future. I have a lot in mind including travel, technology projects, friends & family, happiness, 2 wheels (without a motor), business, health and more.
What about you? How was your 2012? 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?
Wow, I’m not doing very well with updating the blog these days! Fear not, for life has still been an incredible adventure and I have lots to share to get caught up to date. For starters, I was back in India on another business trip and had an opportunity to rent a Royal Enfield Bullet 350 for a weekend of touring southern India (photos still to come).
Also, this past January I partnered with Motolombia and took 8 riders down to Colombia for an 8 day motorcycle tour through the heart of the country. Along with me was filmmaker Andreas Munksgaard and together he and I filmed the entire journey. It was one hell of a ride complete with smooth and twisty mountain roads, bumpy and dusty trails, cows covering the road, military checkpoints, coffee plantations, private mansions, exotic fruits, colonial villages, crazy chicken buses and best of all… delicious deep fried arepas!
We set out have an incredible ride through a very controversial country. With this film we hope to show the world how wonderful of a place Colombia really is. The past decade has brought many changes and the people of Colombia are once again proud of their beautiful country. It’s important to remind ourselves not to get caught up in the fear that is portrayed in mass media…
After the ride it was time to fly back to the US (to get back to my day job) and spend countless hours in front of the computer editing the footage into a documentary. The film is cut into 8 episodes (one for each day of the ride). After months of hard work I’m excited to announce that the first 2 episodes are now live!
Stay up to date with the latest happenings of The New World Ride episodes by following along on our Facebook page. I must give a BIG thanks to everyone that’s been involved in the project!!! To all the riders (Mike, James, Dave, Brandon, Walt, Al, Sacha), Ken Freund (our rider-journalist from RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring and Travel magazine), Mike Thomsen (owner of Motolombia, Colombia’s premier motorcycle tour and rental company), filmmaker Andreas Munksgaard (who is a wizard of final cut pro), GiantLoop motorcycle saddle bags, Kawasaki of Colombia, Mashtech motorcycle accessories, Luis Puerto (support truck driver), and all the friendly people we met along the way.
Stay tuned as the final 6 episodes will be released over the next few months. Until then, here are a few photos from the trip. Enjoy.
Most of the video gear laid on on the kitchen table the day before the flight to Colombia.
Jay and Mike in the Colombian Backcountry.
The tallest palm trees in the world (oddly enough, in the high mountains of Colombia).
Riders at the top of the 4000 meter Cerro Guali mountain pass (we started the day at 100 meters).
Jay and Walt (hidden) posing for a photo at a Colombian military checkpoint.
Mike at a fruit stand in the central square of a small Colombian town.
Me and Juan Valdez. Haha…
Jay LOVES arepas!
Back in Medellin after completing the trip. Having a drink at Al’s real imitation Irish pub.
Lastly, as a brief update of all the other goodness that has been going on over the past few months… In June I said goodbye to everyone at my day job in NH. Amber and I packed up all of our belongings, threw them into storage and hopped on a plane headed for Europe (maybe you’ve heard of it). We spent 3 weeks motorcycling all around Western Europe before jumping on another plane destined for South America. We attended her sister’s wedding in Ecuador, grabbed a motorcycle from Freedom Bike Rental and set off exploring the Andes mountains and the beautiful beaches along the equator. After 2 weeks in the southern hemisphere we jumped on another plane set for California. I’ve been recruited for an exciting opportunity in the tech industry and so we’ve moved out to the Bay Area (Cupertino – an hour south of San Francisco). I’m really excited to begin exploring all that sunny California has to offer. In the coming weeks, I’ll put together a recap of this past summer’s adventure. Until then… Ride and Explore!
Back in August I shared with you the first two pilot episodes for the upcoming New World Ride – a Colombian motorcycle documentary. Mike and I filmed these episodes back in June as we were preparing for the future film tour. If you haven’t checked out the final two episodes already, do so now. There is a lot of adventure in these two – Avalanches, grave tunnels, Colombian kids, riding single track down the edge of a mountain, nearly crashing while passing trucks, Bike Week with a local biker club, delicious fresh fruit, and a tour of a working colombian coffee finca.
Episode 3 of 4:
Episode 4 of 4:
Mike and I are getting really excited for this journey. We received lots of interest and spots have been filling up fast. We have only two more spots available. Contact me if you’d like to ditch the snow this winter and ride through paradise! Our tour begins on January 15th and runs for 8 days. Spots on the tour are going for $3,500 which covers nearly everything except plane tickets.
I’ll be posting lots more photos and video clips from our tour in January so stay tuned for more adventure!
Oh ya, I found myself in India on a business trip just last week too and decided that I need a 3-wheel tuk tuk taxi! It would be great to ride around Manchester…
2 months ago I started a new full time job. The new gig has no shortage of engaging challenges and I’m really excited to make a solid dent my student loans debt. After I accepted the offer, the count down to “normal life” began and so with 3 days notice, I hopped on a plane and flew to South America. I visited with my friend Mike from Motolombia. I met Mike in early 2010 when I was passing through Colombia. He also owns the superb Casa Blanca Hostel in Cali where he’s housed more than 1,000 motorcyclists over the past three years! Originally from Denmark, Mike’s been traveling the world on two wheels and four since he was a child. Several years ago he settled in Colombia, married, and started a family and business.
Mike and I kept in touch since I passed through and he was really excited about the Motorcycle Mexico film I put together to get riders educated and inspired to ride in Latin America. Now, we have teamed up to create The New World Ride – A Colombian Motorcycle Travel Documentary. In January 2012 I’ll be headed to back to Colombia to film the ride.
We’re looking to give 6 lucky riders the adventure of a lifetime. To learn more and to join us on tour, check out www.TheNewWorldRide.com. In addition to riding on tour, we also have non-riding spots available in Mike’s SUV as well as opportunities to pre-order the DVD and T-shirts.
A few months ago, Mike and I toured Colombia to research routes. In doing so, we filmed 4 pilot episodes to show you just a little of what to expect in Colombia. Two episodes are now live and the remaining two will be posted in a few weeks.
Here are a few photos from the recent Colombia ride when we filmed the pilot episodes:
Tour Guide, Mike, ripping it up at a local’s motocross track in southern, Colombia.
The local kids put us to shame when they jumped their Chinese 125s!
A spectacular afternoon of riding at the local “backyard style” motocross track.
Popayan – The White City
Wire bridge with wooden planks…
Drunk locals in Silvia, an indigenous village in the mountains, offered us lots of free whiskey at 10 in the morning.
Muddy road far off the beaten path in Colombia.
Friendly construction worker.
Local kids at the top of a natural pyramid in Tierradentro.
Mike crossing a river in Colombia’s coffee region.
Colombia is a beautiful country with a tainted reputation. Did you know, in Colombia the locals said I was crazy for going to Mexico. Yet, in Mexico the locals told me I was crazy for going to Colombia… However, in New Hampshire they tell me I am crazy for going to Massachusetts – I don’t know what to believe anymore… The truth is, Colombia has spectacular on and off road riding, friendly and interesting people, delicious food and amazing scenery.
I’m really excited about this project. If you or someone you know would like to join us on tour, sign up at www.TheNewWorldRide.com. Even if you can’t get away, you can still join the adventure and support the project by pre-ordering the DVD and T-shirts. Go ahead and share the videos with your Facebook friends, Google+ circles, and Twitter followers. Mike and I really appreciate your support!