cool hand fluke
Joined: May 2009
Location: between my last drink and my next one
The obligatory pre-face.
Seager is a good mate of mine. We went to High School together – and have kept in touch since. I would describe him as a loose mongrel of Rambo, Bear Grylls and Chuck Norris combined with the aesthetic splendor of a baboons arse. He does live a charmed life however. When he isn't dealing drugs in the middle of bum-fuck-nowhere in Australia* he spends around 6-8 months of each year gallivanting around the globe, hiking, defacing natural wonders with the presence of his ugly mug, climbing random mountains and getting into as much trouble as possible in countries that weren’t listed in my standard issue geography class atlas. His last foray was a month in The Gambia. Heard of it? No, me neither.
*to avoid a rubber glove up my ass at Columbian customs, Seager’s preferred drugs to retail are legal ones. He’s a pharmacist.
It only took him 25 years to realize that he didn’t have enough lard on his skinny arse, and he decided last year to spend his annual ½ a year vacation in the great land of the free on the conquest of Chicago style pizza, gallon sized cups of coke, racks of ribs, 40oz PBR’s and Krispy Kreme. The invasion commenced in Los Angeles where I had been living for almost 2 years. He landed, I skipped work for a couple of weeks and we did road trip up Hwy 1 to Vancouver to catch the Winter Paralympics with our heart set on seeing some good fights in ice sledge hockey. Seager covers a bit of our tom-foolery in his blog here.
While we took my cage (a lifted, diesel F350. When in Rome…), I think the spirit of the trip was something that YFF’s would approve of. Sleeping arrangements consisted of free camping, the route taken was every side road, dirt path and goat track that the behemoth could navigate and stops were made for diesel, breweries and all forms of Natural Beauty – of which there was plenty. We even kept the windows down and took photos of food! The trip was a hoot. However I probably didn’t do it justice, my face spent more time glued to my blackberry handling work e-mails than it did traversing cliff faces and early on in the trip I came down with a touch of vagina-itis (read: got a cold). Seager unperturbed by my fixation on all things work and feeling sorry for myself carried on in his typical rampant fashion – my primary fear in life, and what wakes me up in cold sweats on a daily basis was being realized. That is, being perceived as a beta male (AKA – a pussy). I was determined to rectify this dire situation. So, while we were discussing Chaos Theory, the merits of Eastern vs. Western Political systems and just generally solving the world’s problems during our conquest north, I strategically interjected in a low tone under my breath “I think doing a 6 month trip on a motorbike would be cool”. Our deeply intellectual and philosophical ramblings ceased and silence befell the truck – the echo of the straight-piped diesel bouncing off the cliff face on Hwy 1 applauding me. I had succeeded. Despite the fact that Seager was planning on following Alex Supertramp’s footsteps by seeing how much misery he could bring upon himself in the Alaskan wilderness with nary a spare pair of underpants or full tube of lipstick to his name, in this truck, right here, right now, Bruce Willis in Die Hard would be envious of my testicular diameter - let alone the school girl Seager who was sitting next to me. I thought I would celebrate my victory by wiping my runny nose with some 3 ply tissues that had a hint of Aloe Vera.
I discounted that Seager had mentioned earlier in the journey that he might plan his next 6-month vacation with another party as he stated he was tiring of spending of months in untouched wilderness with no one to speak to. My sub-conscious relieved me with the thought that this was merely a rare slip, just like when Rambo accepted that he had to whittle away his time guarding a little boat on the river - that way it would be more dramatic when he suddenly popped up from the burning village and removed a guards head with a bow and arrow.
For the rest of the trip I struggled to keep the wry grin off my face, Seager went off and chased Wild Dogs, ran across unknown Ice Lakes, climbed boulders and hiked through the snow while I cocooned myself in the warm truck applying Vicks Chest Rub to my man-boobs. I was confident my bluff game had defeated him. It didn’t bother me remotely that I had no intentions of doing such a trip. I couldn’t even recall where I had gotten the idea originally from, although I did know it was most badass. I was pretty sure I had mentioned the idea previously, but if I recall correctly it was only during the context of extreme intoxication while attempting to swoon groups of exotic Amazonian princesses into my life for a night. In a sober world, where waking up with Shakira wrapped around my body wasn’t a possibility, it was insane.
Filled with self-confidence, I overcame my little cough that was restraining the beast within and began chasing every remotely hot woman that happened across a hostel that we resided at. I took proactive measures to exemplify my typical disdain and intolerance for travelers from my nation of birth and upbringing (Australia) by threatening them with punches to the face when they were merely waiting in line at a night club. I figured that these activities would form part of the job description for someone that stated he was going to travel across the universe on a unicycle, in-between crushing infidels and juggling chainsaws that were on fire, right?
Then as we neared the end of our time together, the moment came that I dreaded, the moment that I had told myself couldn’t happen, wouldn’t happen and shouldn’t happen. While I was crusading the truck through the Canadian wilderness Seager proceeded to disprove my hypothesis that his silence over the past week was down to his inner acceptance that he was in the presence of a superior manly specimen. I clearly was wrong, he had been thinking. “You know how I mentioned that I wanted to do my next trip with someone else? That Motorcycle trip idea you mentioned sounds like a good idea. I’m in”. A thousand thoughts rushed into my head, ranging from “A 6 month motorbike trip. What part of that sounds like good idea?”, “Seager, if I see you for another 5 mins I am going to want to punch you in the kidneys – what makes you think ½ a year in remote proximity would work?”, “Isn’t “I’m in” a Keith Urban song – does Seager listen to that shit? What is someone who listens to Keith Urban doing in my truck? Get out and walk now.” and other perfectly rational and levelheaded notions. He had called my bluff. I looked over at him he looked decidedly nonchalant about the whole ordeal. I think I stammered out “uh-ok… I’ll e-mail you”. I think I may have relieved myself of a little wee-wee.
I thought I would come to terms with the fact that I was an inferior male, by doing what I do best. Running like a little girl. I dumped Seager in Vancouver, and drove back to Los Angeles. Non-stop In 24hrs. And proceeded to console myself with one of the many things that makes this land so great; glutinous food stuffs.
Cue 6 months later when Seager returned to Los Angeles from conquering the magic bus, fishing like a mad man and defeating bears. He thought he would refresh my nightmares by stating that his moments escaping death by Grizzly Bear were mostly filled with how good an idea a trip on Motorbikes would be. Sometime in 2011 was the date, and I was going to be a part of it.
I overcame my fears of such a trip by dealing with it with my typical judicious level of organization.
Which was none.
I did buy 2 bikes but. (and did my best to destroy them... story(ies) on that later...)
Seager concerned me a little with his inexperience on such a trip; he had only just gotten his Motorbike license.
I suppose that wouldn’t be so bad though, I didn’t even have that.
Despite the fact that I was a little chit scared about the whole ordeal – I thought if I was going to do something stupid, I don’t want to half-ass it. I wanted an Enfield, an old CB750 on knobbies, a Moto Guzzi, I even thought about taking my modified K1200RS (yes, that’s right, while unlicensed and having no experience I followed all seasoned advice and purchased a safe and slow 200mph 550lb scoot to lane split through Los Angeles traffic as my learning tool... this might give you an idea where this trip might end up ). In the end, I thought Seager might be a little upset if he turned up and I had bought him a pink vespa, so I followed you good folks advice got these 2 piles, mostly coz they were cheap. That and the folks at Kawasaki seemed cool, down to earth moto lovin guys/gals – they even sent me a new front rim for free after a 70mph curb jump failed, so big-ups to Jon, Agata and the rest of the folks at Kawasaki North America :) . Then I proceeded to do my best work in effing them up (aka in these parts as modifying), using yours truly for advice.