12-26-2013, 04:38 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Cambridge, MA
Thanks for your enthusiasm! Since we will be spending some time together, I thought I introduce myself and my ride.
Iím in a bit of an unusual position. I canít actually ride a bike for long stretches of time. I run a cosmic microwave background telescope at the Geographic South Pole.
My work place, about a km from the Geographic South Pole
I spend up to 9.5 months at a time at the Pole. Naturally, we have no bikes there. A snowmobile is as good as it gets.
Thatís the Cryo Cavalry in full swing
Itís actually a great place to live and work.
Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in the winter
The Geographic South Pole
I ran our last evolution of the telescope through three successful years of observations. Eventually it was time to leave and live life to the fullest.
My ride home: A New York Air National Guard LC-130
On my trip to Iran I enjoyed the gravel roads and off road sections the most and I knew I wanted a lighter bike that was more suited for that purpose. I donít spend much time in any one place and thus neither had the time nor the place to endlessly tinker with a bike, which is a bit of a shame, because I like doing that. I love the Internet age. Information on just about anything is readily available and I donít have to make all the mistakes myself anymore . I read a lot on ADVRider and the reasoning and practical experience with the BMW XChallenge, thankfully well documented here, here and elsewhere, convinced me to go that route. It was just a matter of finding a low mileage, used bike, ordering the parts and throwing them on.
The bike, right after I bought it
So, I spend about four weeks in early 2013 buying a used bike and ordering the parts. While waiting for the parts, I had a quick four week dash to Istanbul, Egypt, and Jordan, sadly not on a bike. After my return I went to Holland to get progressive fork springs and a new rear shock installed at Hyperpro in Alphen by Prutser and spend three days at Erikís Hot Rod Welding workshop, installing all the parts (Xtank, fairing, luggage rack, front fender) he had waiting for me while enjoying his and Dianneís outstanding hospitality. The day before I left Geir rolled in on his XChallenge and we spend an evening enjoying Erikís amazing cooking while drinking and sharing stories.
So, this is the bike all prepped, just before I left: