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Old 01-24-2005, 11:13 AM   #811
flaterik
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Thanks for the reply, Glen.

I've not done any power mods to my KLR, and didn't really plan any. But suspension was next on my list... I believe I'll move braking up a notch.

(See, not every motorcycle comparison has to turn ugly!)
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Old 01-25-2005, 12:59 AM   #812
elfederiQo
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Location: Bavarian Expat in Austria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
The Blue Beast is here! Details coming.
Now that's good news....the beauty and the beast back together again
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Old 01-25-2005, 06:14 AM   #813
Slice
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Go, Glen, go.
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Old 01-25-2005, 08:20 AM   #814
strikingviking OP
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Location: Mazatln
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The Beast is unleashed! Although it took a day and a half, that was only because this was the first time in their known history that a foreigner ever imported a bike. The rule was simple and clear but finding the right inspector took a few hours of tea stops and introductions. No bribes, the biggest complication was so many people trying to help. God Bless the great people of Pakistan.

Heading north in the morning, keep your fingers crossed. Might be out of touch for awhile. BTW Thanks to everyone for the email and comments here. It's gets a bit lonesome sometimes and it's nice to have support.
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:12 AM   #815
pierce
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strikingviking
Heading north in the morning, keep your fingers crossed. Might be out of touch for awhile. BTW Thanks to everyone for the email and comments here. It's gets a bit lonesome sometimes and it's nice to have support.
Hey, if you happen to see a 6'4" elderly arab with a large contingent of bodyguards, I heard this morning, they've raised the bounty on his head to US$50,000,000...


j/k... Go! Go! Glen!

So, from Pakistan, its across India, Bangladesh, Burma-err-Myanmar, then into Thailand? Does Myanmar even allow tourists anymore? I thought I'd heard it was rather closed....
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Old 01-25-2005, 09:28 AM   #816
Ostrich
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce
Hey, if you happen to see a 6'4" elderly arab with a large contingent of bodyguards, I heard this morning, they've raised the bounty on his head to US$50,000,000...


j/k... Go! Go! Glen!

So, from Pakistan, its across India, Bangladesh, Burma-err-Myanmar, then into Thailand? Does Myanmar even allow tourists anymore? I thought I'd heard it was rather closed....
That bounty should cover expenses and then some. Maybe you have incentive to ride faster now.
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:37 PM   #817
ktmnate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiLeR650
Look for the next ride report from Glen, "The world on $10,000 a Day (with friends)"
There, I fixed it
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Old 01-26-2005, 09:51 AM   #818
ridin gaijin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiLeR650
Look for the next ride report from Glen, "The world on $10,000 a Day"
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:19 AM   #819
strikingviking OP
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Just checking in. Am alive and well attempting to load journal and photos but no luck. Something will be up as it reaches Hugh.
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:45 AM   #820
Hayduke
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Glen- just recieved your book and started reading it last night- stayed up way too late 'cause I couldn't put it down. I catch a flight from Denver to Santiago tomorrow morning, traveling with the wife through Chile and Argentina for a month or so. You're an inspiration to wannabe travelers like myself. I'll probably have the book finished before I arrive in Chile. Gotta pace myself! Thanks!
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Old 01-29-2005, 10:58 AM   #821
Hugh
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Cop Shop [from Glen]

Cop Shop
January 28, 2005
Pakistan

Tuesday, January 25, 2005
After clearing Customs it was a thrill to be riding again. Two weeks without the Blue Beast was like meeting an old friend again, almost like a first ride.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005
Last night, I crashed early while reorganizing my gear but awoke with a rising fever. It’s been a double whammy the last two weeks--respiratory flu accompanied by stomach disorder. Total exhaustion finally set in. After popping the last of the Immodiums and first of the Ciprols, I closed my eyes for a minute and opened them twelve hours later. More time wasted on a dwindling fourteen-day visa. With two days left on it and no possibility of renewal, a hard choice needs to be made.

It’s a thirty hour ride to the border of either India or Afghanistan. If choosing the latter, and I reach their Embassy in Islamabad; what if they deny a visa? Once in Kabul would Pakistan re-issue another transit-visa in order to cross to India? There’s eight hundred miles until a Tee in the road where that decision must be made. A right-hand turn to sunny India or a hard left upwards into the snowy mountains of Afghanistan.

Upon visiting the US Embassy to obtain additional passport pages, a skeleton staff invited me to the American Club, the compound’s only restaurant, pool hall and media room. None venture outside the walls without guards and chase vehicles. They advised against traveling in Pakistan. Actually the security advisor preferred I go back to California as this is not the right political climate to travel in. “If you get by the robbing cops, the villagers will kill you. This country is way more dangerous than you understand.” Sound advice from those living under guard for the last year.

Thursday, January 27, 2005
The Afternoon:
The Highway Police stopped me seven times today for riding in the wrong lane. Pronounced well, their English is spoken in unfamiliar phrases. “I am sorry to recommend to you that you must to drive in the next position.” Each time, I prepared for intimations for bribes but conversations ended with “We are service to you. You are guest in our country, how can we be of assistance to your journey?” And of course, “Would you please to accompany us to a restaurant for to take tea?” Declining such offers is an offense that is only overlooked because of my request we take pictures together.

At Dusk:
At the first gas stop entering Punjab province from Sindh, I met a motorcycle-character straight from a Cheech and Chong movie. So stoned, his bloodshot eyes could barely open, he claims in perfect California slang, that as one biker to another it was his duty to show me a good time. “Dude, you wanna’ smoke some killer hash?” Not wanting to experience the marvels of Pakistani prison for hanging with druggies, I thanked him but continued north solo.

His final reminder, “Watch out in Southern Punjab man, people sometimes don’t dig foreigners, but if you’re cool, they’re cool.” As another note of caution he adds “Yeah and the road gets real fucked up ahead.”

Successful travelers learn early not to stare down at a man when it’s better to look him in the eye. Often I walk away having looked up at him. Wary crowds are handled best by selecting a child to humor. Get him to smile and move on to a better dressed elder and greet him in his language holding forth a hand. Win him and the rest are easy.

With a dozen Islamic countries to cover, the most effective tool in my arsenal is a copy of the Arabic Koran with English translations. As a better way to understand this section of the planet, it’s been helpful to study Islam. The response from Muslims when discussing the Five Pillars of Islam or the early life of Mohammad is overwhelming.

Although India is supposed to be worse, no warnings are strong enough for driving in southern Pakistan. At dusk, the road transforms from semi-organized double-lane to death-wish-bumper-car ride to hell on a single strip of dirt and mud for both directions to travel simultaneously. It’s hard to believe what’s happening. Riding from Karachi had me on edge but now I gasp in anxiety. The last four hours turn suicide posturing by collision seeking demons determined to meet Allah.

Truckers are bad but bus drivers rule. Recruited from asylums, they’re selected on lunacy. If answering test safety-questions correctly, they fail. Everyone backs down to them and they fear only each other. Reflexes quickly develop after cringing from earsplitting, warbling trumpet horns followed by the intimidating roar of an accelerating diesel coming straight at you. Fishtailing through the mud and rocking side to side makes me certain, this time he’s going to roll. Since commercial cargo is more valuable than human life, truckers cower onto shoulders, letting them pass. Overloaded camel carts hauling piles of sugarcane and motorcycles don’t have a prayer. When able to catch up, I draft behind them, safe within a wake bored through legions of buffaloed victims.

Particles of road dust and black soot reflect headlight beams into swirling opaque clouds of sinister grey. It’s like trying to see through wrinkled wax paper. Four hours later, with lungs clogged from the grime, my nerves are frazzled and my eyes burn too bad to see. Passing through a small village someone calls out, “Hello!” Warnings from all were to sleep only in major cities but nearing collapse from fatigue, another electrifying jolt of alarm is unthinkable.

The Western dressed youngsters are English students excited to meet a foreigner. Few pass this way. “Please wait, we will bring our teacher to speak with you.” On top of the national language of Ordu, three different ones are spoken locally but business is conducted in English. They buy dinner and set up a room in the town’s only guesthouse. In the morning they return to guide me to breakfast and the road north.

Friday, January 28, 2005
Two five-hundred-mile days is taking a toll but relief is timed for sundown at the Tee in the road where I make a critical decision. For the last three hours, taxi drivers have been assuring that better times approach. “In one hundred miles further you will encounter a luxury road.” There were frequent signs indicating M-2 Freeway was near but none revealed mileage so when finally arriving, relief was instant.

So far, motorcycles have been exempt from road tolls and permitted to pass booths without stopping. But these were different, with signs listing rules. One of them was a motorcycle symbol with an X over it. For twelve nerve-wracking hours, I had fixated on the ecstasy of a German quality autobahn as refuge from the madness. There’s no turning back now.

Ignoring shouts from soldiers, I rocket past flashing blue lights looking straight ahead. Aware capture is imminent, I unleash the ponies anyway and soar onto the seamless tarmac of heaven with sirens in pursuit. A few miles later they catch up. Polite and proper, apologetic troopers approach. “From which country do you travel?”

“Hello my name is Glen, how are you? I come from California”

After accepting excuses for not seeing them, we have a friendly debate why it’s unsafe for motorcycles on a Super Highway. “We are responsible for your safety Mr. Glen and you must return to the small road.” Realizing the flaws in their argument, a compromise is struck. “We will please to honor you for tonight at our camp. You can sleep there. And as you wish, you may demand our service to you. We will prepare meals according to your satisfaction.”

Chicken and rice is served in an empty dorm followed by photos and tea with the commander. In the morning, there is a soft knock at sunrise. “We have prepared for you these boiled eggs and hope it is to your acceptance.” The recital continues. “It gives us pleasure that you restored your sleep and we have prepared to escort you to the small road.”

As for the Viking; I’m almost to where I’m going.

locovikingman@yahoo.com

Hugh screwed with this post 01-29-2005 at 11:20 AM
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Old 01-29-2005, 02:52 PM   #822
fifthcircle
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I am totally hooked.....


I will be out to buy my copy of Two Wheels Through Terror as soon as I can!

Keep on going Glen, My prayers are with you!

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Old 01-29-2005, 03:10 PM   #823
Swiss Chris
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Reading the Posts of the Mr. Glen

Given me much pleasure has
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Old 01-29-2005, 08:34 PM   #824
Mr Kawasaki
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Location: Springfield, MO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh
Ignoring shouts from soldiers, I rocket past flashing blue lights looking straight ahead. Aware capture is imminent, I unleash the ponies anyway and soar onto the seamless tarmac of heaven with sirens in pursuit.


Does this guys bike have a sidecar or a trailer on it or what? I mean...where on the bike does he manage to carry his balls? Running from the cops/soldiers in that part of the world....with the geopolitical theater being what it is right now? If they aren't the size of watermelons they must be made out of solid diamond.

Keep up the the good work Glen and for fuck sake be careful.












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Old 01-30-2005, 02:00 AM   #825
strikingviking OP
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Actually, I would never try a stunt like that in LA--there, I would likely get shot. The cops here have been so friendly toward foreigners that I just figured to plead ignorance. It's common practice in Russia to blow by them also.
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