|03-15-2008, 12:15 AM||#1|
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Okanagan Valley, BC
Phoenix Az - Panama Canal
In Jan I rode my 1981 Honda GL500 Silverwing from Phoenix Az to the Panama Canal. So all the "the only true adventure bike is a BMW or KTM" types should take note - it's not what you ride, it's that you ride.
Rather than a ride report I'll give you the link to my blog. It's long though, so you'll have to scroll back a bit to read some of the reports through Central America and Mexico.
If anyone is considering the trip and you want any tips or advice don't hesitate to ask
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even if checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat."
|03-15-2008, 08:03 AM||#3|
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto / London
Gotta be honest here.... I'm a ride report slut - I look through the pics and don't read much of the text. Your recap hit home with me.. like many here.. our co-workers have no idea what happens to us on weekend rides (not to mention 5 week long rides!). there's a whole world out there... and it's easy to get lost in the daily shuffle of paper, bills and emails!
Keep that right hand cranked!!
P.S. I'm posting your recap below... in case some guys here are lazy - like me (clicking a link just takes too much effort.. )
A few final thoughts - Feb 17th
"Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat."
- THEODORE ROOSEVELT
Well itís all over now and it feels just a little odd. Itís almost anti-climatic, and certainly more than a little surreal.
For the past 18 months weíve all worked hard: we had to buy and prep the bikes, make all kinds of travel arrangements, buy extra parts in case of a break down and complete any inoculations and other travel medicine requirements for travel in the Third World. We had to each in our own way, come to grips with being away from friends and family for over a month as well as making arrangements for the necessary time off from work. If you say it quick it doesnít sound like much now but at the time it was a huge endeavor and took a lot of our time and energy as we approached our departure date.
I canít speak for Steve, Brad or Kevan but I was bordering on obsession during the last 90 days. The trip was all I could think about and all I could talk about, and I know there were more than a few people I work with that were very fed up with hearing about it before I left.
And then there was the trip itself. In was much harder and much different than I imagined, and in other ways it was much easier.
I had a leisurely itinerary in my mind before we left, that would see us leaving at 7:00, riding for 400 Ė 500 klm by 1:00 or 2:00 and then spending our afternoons lounging by the pool or frolicking in the waves at some small beachside resort. I was sure we could complete the trip in 20 days and still have lots of down time for site seeing and relaxing.
The reality was vastly different. Up at 5:30 for a 6:30 start, breakfast at a roadside taco stand or scarf down a donut at a gas station, a quick break for lunch and ride until 3:00 Ė 5:00, then search madly for a decent hotel with the all important and overriding factor of secure parking. Instead of rum and cokes and playing cards each evening we dealt with whatever maintenance issues rose during the day and collapsed into bed by 8:30. Our average overland speed, including stops, maintenance, fuel and lunch was never any better than 50 KPH and often as slow as 40 KPH. 400 klm meant an 8 Ė 10 hour day, plus whatever time was lost due to border crossings or the inevitable getting lost while leaving town syndrome.
But in some ways it was easy. Easy in the sense that we all got along well given the circumstances, we had no major mechanical issues, no one got hurt (even Kevan made it home safely), no one got arrested and not one of us, not one single one of us, would have traded it for the world.
Itís had a profound impact on my perspective and itís affected me more than I thought it would.
I tried to go into work today to catch up on things and I found myself having a very difficult time dealing with all the e-mails and correspondence of the past five weeks. As I caught up on my reading, and learned about the latest sales targets, or newest product offering, I couldnít help thinking of the past five weeks; and that brought me back to the young girl on the side of a Honduran road, waiving at a surprise parade her grandfather held her aloft to see. Did she sleep in a warn bed last night? Eat a decent meal? Have an opportunity to play or go to school? These things are whatís truly important, not whether or not Walmart chooses Blueray over HDV or how much Canadians can put away in RRSPís this year.
I had to do some running around to take care of a few things before going back to work and I couldnít help but overhear people talking to each other and complaining about this or that Ė all minor stuff in the big scheme of things Ė and I wanted to grab them and shake them and try to make them understand what Iíd just seen and experienced. An act that would only get me arrested rather than imparting any kind of profound enlightenment. So I had to content myself with shaking my head and feeling pity for their limited understanding of a much larger world.
Tomorrow I go back to work and none of this will matter. By 9:00 no one will know Iíve been gone, nor care, and Iíll be right back on the treadmill with the rest of the world. But at least Iíll have a small understanding of whatís really out there and memories to keep me company until I can do it all again.
And for those of you that say Iíd love to do something like this, butÖÖ
I just completed a 7,000 klm journey on a 26 year old used Honda and a VERY tight budget. You may not go but itís not because you canít. Itís because you wonít.
Or, as Johnny Depp would sayÖ Are you a Mexi-can, or a Mexi-canít?
Tierra del Fuego Ė only 2 Ĺ years to go Ė Iíd better start my planning right away
|03-16-2008, 06:24 PM||#4|
Joined: Jan 2008
Thanks for the insight into the mind of an adventure rider. I am a lurker by profession and am a recovering backpacker and adventure walker/buser who is trying to get off the treadmill so to speak....so the riding aspect is a bit lost on me- but I have a friend who is embarking on a long S.A. trip via moto... this gives me a way to understand his passion/obsession for the road a bit more.
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