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Old 08-19-2009, 09:52 PM   #1
T.H.E OP
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Around the world on a classic Suzuki for a cause

Name: Chris Sorbi
DOB: Sep, 17, 81
www.motorcyclememoir.com

What you see on this website is the collection of my journals, photos, videos and reports of my everyday life, riding a classic Suzuki motorcycle around the world. The expedition started in Helena, Montana. From there I rode to Canada before turning south toward Latin America. I will be traversing 6 continents, 200 countries and territories, 24 time zones and 130º of latitude. I am working with both non-profit and non-governmental organizations all along the way, raising awareness and funds for ‘world hunger’, while humbly trying to make a difference, however small it may be.
Home is both “here” and “there” or somewhere in between. Sometimes it is “nowhere”. For me, the border is no longer at any fixed geopolitical site. I carry the border with me and find new borders wherever I go. I believe in a race-less and borderless world. Being black, white, yellow or purple does not define us. We only get one life and one ride, so lets leave our differences behind and enjoy this train before it has passed. It is just a ride and we can change it any time, it is only a choice, between “now” or “never”.
Imagine all the money spent on nuclear weapons and meaningless wars each year, all the embargoes and sanctions imposed upon innocent people – trillions of dollars. If we spent that money feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, not one soul excluded, it would pay for itself many times over. We could explore our globe together, forever in peace.
Lets not forget that my opinions are just like everyone else’s. They are all personal evaluations of certain situations in a given time. Scratch every opinion and underneath it, you will find a human being, trying to defy and justify his own existence. What follows is the account of my struggle: first-hand, unbiased, and uncensored.

The Iron Horse

For full list of modifications and more photos, visit: www.motorcyclememoir.com/motorcycle



T.H.E screwed with this post 08-25-2011 at 06:15 PM Reason: Updating Information
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:01 PM   #2
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Preparation: Vaccination and Immunization


Entry into many countries require certain immunization and preventive measures against diseases such as Hep A, Hep B, Malaria and Yellow Fever. International certificate of vaccination or prophylaxis is a mandatory piece of document to have in hand for border crossing. It must be complete and accurate in detail, or the traveler may be detained at international ports of entry.
I have never imagined that I would volunteer myself to be stabbed with needles full of viruses but it had to be done. Couple of days of soreness and agony later, I am now vaccinated against: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Typhoid, Yellow Fever, HEP A and HEP B.
My medical kit contains:
 Antibiotics: Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin
 Diarrhea medication: Acetazolamid, Diphen/Atrop
 Motion sickness: Promethazine
 Pain medication: Hydrocodone
 Malaria medication: Mefloquine
 Acute mountain sickness: Dexamethasone (Injection)
 Allergy Medication: Benadryl
The kit also includes insect bite medication, burn ointment, fever reducers, gauze, suture, tape, Band-Aids, disinfectant solution, Quickclot, blister kit,…
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:01 PM   #3
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Aug, 8th. Motorcycle Safety Course

When I decided to take the motorcycle rider course, I was very much in denial on how it could further improve my riding. 15 hours of riding a Kawasaki Super Sherpa around loops under unbelievably knowledgeable instructors, Ken Conrad and Udell Sharp changed that all.
The first day started rather boring with couple hours of classroom lecture and 2 hours of walking the motorcycle around without even firing it up. Around 1 pm we were off to lunch and upon return the real deal started. From that point it was probably the most fun I had practicing useful techniques and was instructed after each run on how to make it better.
The second day was the most intense and we rode for 7 hours until we completed our riding test and written exam. Those of us who passed the course were awarded with a certification of completion. I strongly recommend taking this course no matter how experienced you are. There is much to be gained and I am a living example of it.
I should like to thank the Montana Motorcycle Rider Safety for sponsoring this expedition and giving me an opportunity to take a vantage of this masterful step by step instruction. I would also like to thank Ken Conrad for offering me a spot in his class and for his wonderful advices and suggestions. He is a top-notch rider and a caring teacher. Thank you ken.

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Old 08-19-2009, 10:02 PM   #4
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Aug, 16th. Wet and wild

Many doubts rushed through my mind when I watched Bill Ryder ride away. I asked myself this question as I rode the opposite direction toward Whitefish, MT. “What the hell am I doing?” My doubts were not of my own abilities, they were of the uncertainty of following years. Going around a world on a motorcycle is not a walk in a park let alone taking on a global issue such as World Hunger.
The night before the expedition started, the bike broke down yet one more time. This time the regulator/rectifier went bad as they are prone to do so at the most inconvenient time. I called up Bill Ryder and he rode his Kawasaki from the other side of the town in rain to come to my rescue with a unit off of a Honda. Tom Blankenship offered his garage and we worked on it until it was running again. I went back home and started gathering my stuff till I passed out. At 7 am the alarm went off and I kept on packing but it was a race against the clock. I had to be at the capitol building for the send off at 10 am and had no time to actually fit everything in the boxes so I shoved them in as best as I could and headed to the capitol.
It was an emotional time to see the people I cared for all standing and waiting to see me off. If there is one thing that I hate the most, it has to be saying goodbye. Hugging everyone, kissing the good looking ones and off I went with 4 motorcycles in tow. We rode out of town towards McDonald Pass and I cursed at the wind every second. It blew at 40 mph constantly and my motorcycle having an aerodynamics of a brick, trashed about with every gust and I held for dear life. I said my goodbyes to Lonnie and the rest of the Harley gang and headed west toward Avon with Bill Ryder for lunch. The cafe at Avon was the last familiar place and Bills the last familiar face.
I have to admit, I do not like riding in rain. High wind and wet roads are nerve wrecking to say the least but I had to press on towards whitefish to meet up with Pam Gerwe to visit her farm. I got rained on every mile of the way but my rain gear held up. I stopped a few times to clean my goggles but it went smoothly the rest of the way. With all the gear, I am still getting around 43 mpg which is pretty good considering the wind and mountain passes. At 6 pm I arrived in Kalispell and went to a coffee shop so I can check my emails and get Pam’s phone number out of my laptop. I called Pam and arrived at her farm, the “Purple Frog Gardens” at 6:30pm.
Pam Gerwe is a small organic farm owner, alternative energy activist and a very bright person. She read my article in the newspaper and emailed me and offered a tour of her farm. We all gathered up in “Commons House” with other farm workers and had a hearty dinner of vegetables from the garden. We stayed up late into the night and discussed the world hunger and I immensely enjoyed our conversations. I pitched my tent in the yard and crawled into my sleeping and before I knew it the sun was coming up.
I spent most of the next day re-organizing the boxes on the bike and had to send back some clothes and extra gear that were unnecessary. Now I can fit everything in the boxes and nicely close the lids. In the afternoon I called the progressive insurance and got the bike insured for Canada. I am meeting some business owners in town tomorrow and possibly a newspaper interview and will head towards Glacier National Park late afternoon.
The start was hectic and could have been more organized but it all worked out. I am more prepared after my whitefish stop and the forecast is in favor. Till next time…. O. Christopher Sorbi



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Old 08-19-2009, 10:03 PM   #5
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Aug, 17th. Hungry Horse

I kept opening my eyes and expecting to see the sun come out but had to give up after 3 hours. Gray skies and a wet tent was not what I exactly hoping for, but it strengthened my lifelong suspicion that when it comes down to predicting the weather, a monkey does a better job than a meteorologist.
I packed up the tent and took a shower in the Commons House and started packing my stuff. I think now that I have less stuff with me, it takes longer to pack the bike. Hope I get better at this soon or I have to wake up 2 hours early just to get ready.
Around noon, two of Pam’s friends came over and we talked for a good while, had a bowl of chili, said my goodbyes to everyone and headed toward town. I stopped at the Whitefish Pilot, the local newspaper and had an interview that will be published next Thursday.
I headed toward Colombia Falls and mailed out some unwanted documents back home, then searched the whole town for ear pieces for my MP3 player but no luck. I called up Joe and asked him to buy me a set and send it out with Kyle as there is no big town between Colombia falls and Canada.
I started looking for a camping spot and decided to go to Hungry Horse. Hungry Horse is the Montana’s highest and the eleventh largest concrete dam in the U.S. It is built on the south fork of the Flathead River and is the gate to the Flathead national forest. Water is crystal clear and the dam filled up a gigantic canyon with walls over 1000 feet high. It’s a vey scenic drive so I took lots of pictures and finally found a turn out in the road for what seemed to be a perfect spot. The dirt road took me to a beautiful river front spot and before I knew it, I was too close and my front wheel started to sink deeper and deeper. No matter how hard I tried I could not steer the bike out of soft ground and had to stop 2 inches from the water. With not a sole around and no way of getting out, I started walking back the mile or so to the road to get some help. After standing for what seemed to be an eternity, a white SUV came out of the curve and I literally threw myself in the middle of road to stop it. The truck came to stop and they followed me back to the crime scene but they never offered me a ride. I suppose if you’re stupid enough to get that close to the water, you deserve the walk of shame. Lots of pulling and shoving from my two helpers got the heavy beast moving again and I parked it on a high ground this time and in the direction of the road.
After pitching the tent and gathering some wet drift wood, I now got a fire going with a meat stew cooking on the coals as I’m writing these blurbs. A little bit of fishing later and cup of tea should cap off this gray and still wet day. Looking forward to see the sun one of these days…



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Old 08-19-2009, 10:05 PM   #6
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Aug, 18th. Glacier National Park

The sun, the rainbow, the warmth! They must have replaced that no good weatherman with a monkey. So god does listen to me!
As it turned out, Kyle is not coming to glacier after all, but I still needed my tent and stuff. He shipped them overnight to Babb and I will pick them up on my way tomorrow. I was looking forward to see him in glacier but things didn’t work out as planned.
I stopped at a motel to ask if I could use their internet. While I was in line, I saw a couple asking for the same thing and got a no as an answer so I put on my disaster face and told the owner my bike has broken down and I needed to order some parts online. He hesitated a bit but then agreed to 5 minutes of wireless use. The old man was cranky and checked on me a million times to see if I’m really ordering parts so I updated the website as fast as I could and got the hell out of there.
I started for the Glacier National Park rather late since I was expecting to meet Kyle in Hungry Horse around 3pm but the road was clear and the park seemed pretty much deserted so I roamed the twisties at 50mph in full sunshine, stopping to take in the breathtaking views at every opportunity.
I met a nice couple from Minnesota and chatted with them for a while then started to look for a camping spot. I stopped at St. Mary’s campground but found every spot already filled. After circling around a few times, I found an empty spot but the ticket said reserved till August 20th. There was no car or tent around so I lurked around a bit longer and decided that I am going to poach it no matter what. I was hungry, tired and running low on gas so I wasn’t about to go back the 20 or so miles to the last campground.
I made dinner and ate some cookies and since no one showed up, I officially pitched my tent and claimed the campground. I’m leaving tomorrow morning pretty early so I’m sure no one is going to care.
It is beautiful here and the mountains are majestic. Got a healthy fire going and typing my diaries, couldn’t ask for a better day. Next stop: Canada.








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Old 08-20-2009, 08:42 AM   #7
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Very cool ride report so far. Look forward to reading it as you progress! Did I miss it or did you give a more detailed description of your whole route?
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:19 AM   #8
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I am in Calgary, CA at the moment going for Edmonton and the Arctic Circle. On the way back doing the Jasper and Banf and heading south for South America via pacific Coast. Stay tuned and lets see how the old gal does on Dempster Hwy.
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Old 08-20-2009, 11:51 AM   #9
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Awesome! I wish good vibes and a safe trip!
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My moto blog: http://jbloggie1.blogspot.com/
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Old 08-20-2009, 02:19 PM   #10
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This is the page I get when i click on : http://www.motorcyclememoir.com/

Error establishing a database connection
.

Do you have a shot on how you mounted those front panniers? Might be more on your website....but i cant see it.

Where you headed?
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Old 08-20-2009, 03:01 PM   #11
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Thatnks for pointing that out. the server was down but now it's fixed. here are some shots from the front racks and back rack.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:06 PM   #12
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Ammo cans are good for everything! When do you expect to come back through the Jasper/Banff region? I might be around there when you do but I am unsure on your time estimates.
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Old 08-21-2009, 09:17 AM   #13
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Aug, 19th. Eh!

Woke up to a beautiful morning with the view of the Heaven’s Peak directly in sight. I had no time to prepare breakfast so I broke camp as fast as I could and got out of the park.
I rode out north towards Babb, the last settlement before crossing into Canada. Babb is a tiny town on the flathead reservation, 8 miles south of the border and consists of a cafe, general store and a post office. I was supposed to pick up my package at cattle Barron supper club at noon but I got there around 9:30 am. Nothing suggested that the place was actually open but I walked in anyway and found the cook inside. After chatting for a while, he offered to cook breakfast so I sat down and ate the biggest breakfast of my life. A giant piece of steak, two eggs, potatoes, bell peppers, butter toasts and washed it down with a few cups of coffee. I started talking to a gentleman name Larry Bean, a sales rep from “The Food Services of America”. Food Services of America sponsored my banquet in Helena but I never mentioned their name since I was asked not too (hope they don’t mind it now that I’m out of states). They are a great bunch of people and their help with the food was tremendous. Larry is a Vietnam vet and retired law enforcement officer who is as bright as he is sociable. We talked about a million different subjects till the owner showed up. Bob Burns the owner is a tall Indian guy with a great sense of humor. The Cattle Baron has been open since 1910 as the logs of the building show the years of use by cranky outlaws and rum runners who smuggled in alcohol from Canada through the prohibition years. All in all, the Cattle Baron is a place to stop if you’re ever passing through Babb.
The border crossing went pretty smoothly compare to my last visit to Canada but they confiscated my pepper sprays as they are apparently illegal in Canada. The border patrolman told me that I could leave them there to pick them up on my way back or abandon them. Since I wasn’t crossing the same border again, I was forced to choose the latter. He had me sign a paper that said “I voluntarily surrender these substances to the CROWN” which I thought was pretty funny.
On my way to Calgary, I met a family of four from the Netherlands. They invited me to go to their place when I get there and offered the use of their workshop. So far I made lots of connections just talking to people.
I got to Calgary during the rush hour and inched my way through town. Since I didn’t know anyone in town, I tried my luck at the first hotel I found and asked for the manager. I explained the situation and asked for sponsoring the night and he generously offered one of his best rooms including the dinner at the hotel restaurant.
The Port O’ Call Hotel was unbelievably clean and nice and the service was exquisite. For dinner, I had Caesar salad, blackened prime rib with mashed potato and vegetables, and Crème Brule for desert along with a nice glass of Shiraz. The bill was picked up by Chung Young the general manger of the hotel. Although I had a Jacuzzi in my room and a there was a really nice pool in the hotel, I chose to work on the website and answer my never ending emails till I passed out.
I’m on way to Edmonton now and everything is just going as planned. Edmonton is a good place for fund raising so wish me luck as I try my best in Alberta’s capital.












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Old 08-23-2009, 08:13 AM   #14
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HaHa that wanted add for a "Good Women" is hilarious!
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:31 AM   #15
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Aug, 23rd. The Festival City

The city of Edmonton is built on the North Saskatchewan River with a population of over a million. Although I’m not a big fan of large metropolitan areas, I have to admit that Edmonton is a great place to spend some time in. With its wall to wall night clubs, restaurants and never ending shows and festivals, it truly is a hub for tourists and city lovers.
I rolled into town around 5pm on Thursday and met Sabina, my Couch Surfing host shortly after. Sabina Butorac is a 26 year old Croatian-Canadian whom I met on Couchsurfing.com, the website for couch surfing travelers. The couch surfing concept was introduced to me not long ago and I figured I give it a try. My sweat wasn’t dry yet that we were off to a party. Her circle of friends are from different walks of life and the world as I met people from Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Iran, India, Croatia, Russia, Spain, Canada and the United States all in one night and one place. It was just as she likes to put it, the United Nation Council.
The next morning was rainy so I decided to spend a portion of it at home working on the computer. When the rain finally let up, I geared up for the sponsor hunt. Since it was Friday, I had a hard time catching the owners or general managers in stores but managed to add two more sponsors to my list. The remote switch for my inverter was acting up so I stopped at the Home Depot and bought a heavy duty switch and installed it in the parking lot. It’s amazing how many people ask me where I’m heading, everywhere I stop. It must be the gunship look of the bike!
That night Sabina made a lovely dinner and we went to the “Edmonton Fringe Festival”. There were a lot of musicians and amusing plays from everywhere all in one place lubricated by Canadian beers. One of the shows that I really liked was performed by two American girls, 5 feet off the ground named Aerial Angels. These girls held the crowd together with their funny and masterful show for a good 45 minutes. (There’s a clip of the show under Video Journal page)
I was anxious to leave Edmonton but the weather didn’t co-operate so I stayed yet another night. Partying as usual with the international crowd caped off the night.
Throughout my stay, Sabina and her Russian friend, Tatiana showed me much of the city and together we enjoyed some great food and treats. Our last excursion was to the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic gardens. This magnificent garden is 190 acre and is filled with exotic plants from much of the world. Rows and rows of vegetable, herbs, flowers, cactuses and trees including an indoor tropical garden and butterfly house that made you feel like walking in Amazon rainforest. It’s defiantly worth seeing if you’re out and about.
I’ve been studying the weather and my maps and will start early tomorrow morning, heading for top of the world. Weather forecast is still not in favor but I’m pushing through based on my acceptable risk factor. If the conditions stay the same, the Dempster highway will be impassable after all these rains and I’m forced to go with the plan B. The plan B is riding to Alaska and getting to the Arctic Circle via Dalton highway. The Dalton highway is just as bad as the Dempster but it is shorter and more accessible.
Winter is closing in quickly at these latitudes and you can already feel the chill of the upcoming months. I have no time to waste if I want to get out of the north without getting snowed in. my cold weather gear is already out of my panniers. Next stop, Santa’s front yard…











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