PR for International Friendship 2009
Itís time for our annual asylum sponsored PR for International Friendship Tour 2009. For those unfamiliar with this project--this is an occasion for us to pool resources in order to bring a brother moto-adventurer from a distant land, to North America. Fellow earth rider Pete from Berkeley and I initiated this program two years ago after several discussions regarding how while traveling we had discovered that motorcyclists worldwide, no matter the politics, culture or language differences, were part of a larger family of fanatics sharing a common passionóadventure motorcycling.
Two years ago, we invited our first victim, renown moto-adventurer ChanderJeet (CJ), from India and the following year, a man famous for aiding international riders passing through Siberia, Shustrik (Alex) from Russia. Among other components of our selection process is to chose a rider from a developing country who would not otherwise be able to manage such a journey, and might also be of particular interest politically.
For an idea on our thinking, we considered people from Iran and Africa. After consultations with former longtime China resident CrazyCarl, we decided that this years guest would be a noted veteran motorcyclist representing one of our planet's oldest civilizations, Mr. Lu Fei from Beijing, China. Lu is currently scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles, Wednesday, September 2, at 11:30 AM--and after a five-week ride with a route to be determined by Garth, depart from the same location, Saturday, October 24th at 1:30 PM. A contingent of local motorcyclists would be a nice welcoming.
With $2,000.00 left over from last year, we were able to purchase Luís $900.00 round-trip air ticket with enough cash remaining to keep him on the road for a few weeks. Still we need contributions via PayPal and as usual, a bike to ride. Iíll kick in the first hundred bucks, but donít be shy, $5, $10 and $20 accumulate quick so every little bit helps. Expenses are minimal as there are always more invitations for places to stay than our guests could ever enjoy.
As the process goes, Pete and I select a candidate based on a certain criteria and then approach that person with questions about their family situation, job, ability to read, write and speak English and most important, would they be able to qualify for a US visa? Once satisfied with the answers, we asked Lu to upload a few ride reports with pics to spark further interest here, and find out if he knows how to write, take pictures and post.
Form your own opinions: Ride 1 Ride 2
Followed by a formal invitation, came securing permission from a reluctant employer for a leave of absence, and then pitching the local US Embassy personnel for the often difficult-to-obtain, US Visa. In the past, and currently, this involves carefully crafting a letter of explanation addressed to whoever will make the final decision.
There are a number of wild-cards that can cancel a candidate, which is why we began the process approximately six months ago, to allow sufficient time to vet our man. As the green lights continued to flash, we broke our silence and brought Garth Tomic on board to handle route planning and general coordination. Subsequently he requested Direwolf to join the team as treasurer to establish a PayPal account credit card and to secure flight reservations. Since this event showcases collective effort and defines goodwill, once kicking things off, Pete and I will again step back and marvel at what this community achieves by working together. So far, you all have made us both darn proud to be members in a global community of like-minded lunatics.
We encourage participation at all levels, so please fire away with questions and comments. Garth will be along shortly with details on logistics.
Glen Heggstad/Peter Corboy
Follow Lu with SPOT at http://tinyurl.com/mcehca
Lu's will be an approximately 50 day ride. Based on experience, we have dialed
back the mileage traveled to allow more PR for International Friendship and less
droning of endless and friendless freeway miles.
When Lu arrives in LA, and after he gets kitted up with a loaner bike from one
of our many notoriously generous inmates, he and his escort(s) will depart for the
US/Mexican border. After all, what rider wouldn't want to say they rode from
Mexico to Canada and back? Lu will not enter Mexico but he get darn close. Same
The escorted portion of the ride is to familiarize Lu with the bike, road customs, and
conventions such as fueling and using his PayPal debit card. Somewhere on the way
to Las Vegas, Lu's escort may break away and then Lu is as on his own as he wants.
Shawn/Direwolf, as SV mentioned is this year's treasurer. Already he has stepped up
to the line and solved a few knotty problems helping Lu get funding straightened out.
Oh, did I mention debit card? Inmates can use the ever so improved funding method
of PayPaling directly into Lu's debit card. DireWolf is in control of the debit card and
any questions about donations should be directed to him. Hopefully, DireWolf will not
experience any bookkeeping or money transfer difficulties with this new system.
The PayPal account for Lu is: firstname.lastname@example.org
I know some inmates have a burr under their saddle about PayPal. They might want
to send a personal check. Any money is gratefully accepted but I can tell you from
my experience that personal checks add a lot of extra handling and bookkeeping effort
to the process. So if you can force yourself to use PayPal, please do so. You don't
need a PayPal account to send. Just log into www.paypal.com and you can send
money from a credit card.
But checks are certainly welcomed, PM DireWolf for a snail mail address.
Lu's basic route covering everything from the lush Pacific to the high desert. There is a
banquet of points of interest to choose from.
Optional or second route.
This is going to be fun!
I can help as I have in the past but I believe my GS Adv would be too tall for him and I modified it to fit me at 6'4''. :eek1 So we need a bike available from someone else. Maybe mine could be used for emergencies but the first of October I am on the road myself.
I have a place for him to rest, food, a few dollars to spare, maybe some gear and can help in getting him from point A to B.
Septemebr is going to be interesting for me I have a Scotsman, a Spaniard and our Adv Rider guest in the same month. :lol3
What do we need ?
Well tis' the end of the riding season and that's sure as heck when things heat up!
Glad to hear there's progress on the project and am anxiously awaiting more details. :wink:
At this point we need everything. Lu has riding gear and as SV pointed out it wouldn't make sense to buy it here since it would probably be made in China anyway.
First and foremost, we need a bike. Radioman has sold the bike Shustrik rode and I don't have anything up to the task.
We do need insurance. Ken took care of that in the past- you out there Ken?
Spot? sure- I guess.
Money. We need money. I'm in for a hunner.
Awe, so kool. I could hardly wait for you guys to post this thread and announce the next PR rider. This is gonna be great. Go Lu Go !!
Hey CJ- the original alumnus of this act!
Looking forward to this, and glad I could be of help.
Not sure how the donations have been done in the past, but I would request that any PayPal donations include a name and screen name. I'll post a hearty "Thanks" to any and all donors. If you want to be anonymous - let me know that too, so I can send a PM. Not only do I want to tip the hat to donors (public or private) I think it is a good thing for anyone generous enough to contribute to get some verification that payment was received.
As for PayPal - I have opened an account under the email email@example.com - but it is not connected to any bank account, and all funds donated go into that account, and that account only. GTomic gave great advice on the book keeping side of things, and this account is being used for one thing - this ride. We went with the PayPal debit Card (in Lu's name) to ease the whole process, and require Lu to carry less cash - hopefully making the whole process more secure for everyone.
Please, please, please - it you can find it your heart to donate - please use the PayPal account. I will accept checks (PM me), but I have to deposit the thing, and then somehow transfer the funds over the PayPay wall into Lu's account.
Looking forward to meeting you Lu!
option 2 brings him this way.
I've got an extra room in the house. :nod
Shame he wont be making it to ATL. but I'm in for some spare scratch, or anything else I can help with.PP sent
Ok, I looked at Post #2. How will it be decided which route Lu takes? :ear
Best of luck. I'll be following this one :deal
Some important points...
Cash wise, I'm in for a Benji. CASH SENT!
Lets get some donating spirit here and show a brother man from across the seas a good time! Shit, if we just donated the amount of change we got in our beat up dirty ass tank bags, we'd be able to send holmes to the moon so...
PONY UP SUCKUZ! :deal
Last, but far from least, since some of you may meet Lu Fei in the future LET'S BE ABSOLUTELY CLEAR HOW TO SAY HIS NAME.
Lu Fei is pronounced "LOO FAY"
Don't make me get subliminal on your ass!
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