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Old 01-28-2012, 06:45 AM   #1
Mullen OP
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Riding In The Tracks Of Giants

Morning all. Long time lurker, first time caller. Good to meet you.

'So, time to post a ride report', I said to myself, as 30,000 miles rolled over. I had time off over Christmas to start this huge task, and it'd be a welcome gift(?) to the online biker communities. The giants in whose tracks I've been following, that is.

And then my website crashed.

For the past 6 weeks I've been rebuilding all the pretty pics, accompanying tall story and - most exciting of all - the movies that go with this. I've wrapped it in the website tinsel and glitter that looks so charming. And now I'm done - things are at least as good as they were.

Three problems remain:

(1) So much for 'time off'! I'm on the road again now, and trying to keep up.

(2) The 'old' website perpetuates in cyberland so without the fresh, erm, code(?) some regular followers think I'm still on a break and have missed the new leg of my adventure. Fresh link below might help yo'all.

(3) As always I've come second to Tiffany - if you'll pardon the expression - and our glamorous globetrotting deity is already half-way through an exciting and professional looking report of the same trip - or at least, the London - Beijing section. Loving the read Tiff!

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=687109

What to do?

I love ride reports, and want to contribute. But unless we're gonna wait until 2013 for a retrospective, things need a boost.

If you've had the patients, doctor, to stick with me this far please indulge me on the following mini-report....

April 2011 - Left England... crossed Europe and the 'Stans... entered China and caught a boat out of Tianjin. As you do.

Hit the dirt in Alaska and had a most excellent adventure, Ted, all the way south to Mexico. Bashed around in the Baja before centering on Central America and that cosy little country called Costa Rica.

2012 - Next leg: South America... and found Colombia to be a biker's wet dream. Can Ecuador eclipse it? We've made a good start...

Today, well, I'm off to a country market in Pujili where I will drink a cup of tea, have a biscuit and clean flies off my visor.

If you like what you hear, let me know if you like what you see: this is my latest movie...




(With an eye to the copyright police I'm careful to mix, chop and blend my audio on the many thumping movies I've added to my site... but it has meant I'm a little shy to go public on YouTube. Don't want no trouble, officer, just doing my 'fair use' thing.)

In the depths of winter, maybe you'd enjoy the full backstory? How about the awesome movies in Moab? I'd love you to cast your learned eye to my site:

http://web.me.com/edward.mcmullen/Site/Welcome.html

And who knows? I will aim to drop a more orthodox RR update to you here from time to time?

Ok, that's quite a noob post. Hope I'm within the mod boundaries. As you were.

Cheers,

Mullen

a.k.a Riding In The Tracks Of Giants.


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Old 02-04-2012, 04:14 PM   #2
Mullen OP
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Colombia Movie - Part 2

So, where were we? On this report I think I was half way down Colombia. Here's a couple of shots to wet your appetite.






It's been a busy week one thing and another - a couple of mountains got in the way, but more about those later... another movie to come, perhaps.

I did get to finish up the second part of my Colombia movie blog. It's not my usual style (I try not to get in the way of the camera too much!), but if you've followed any of my earlier ones, you may appreciate the variety.

Either way, hopefully you'll enjoy The Courier MotoGP run down the mountain...

Cheers,
Mullen

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Old 02-04-2012, 09:43 PM   #3
knight
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Enjoyed your videos , keep up the great work
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
Tiffany
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Talking Yoo Hoo

Hey Ed
Great to see you're on here- your blogs on your website are such great reading that I reckon you'll find many enjoying them here as you write so well about what you see. as well as your awesome videos, yes, folks, he is the guy who caught me doing a very rare dropping the bike manoeuvre () on camera and it was on a very simple track which didn't deserve me to drop!

I'll be following your adventures in South America with great interest.

Ride Safe
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Old 02-12-2012, 06:26 AM   #5
Mullen OP
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Ecuador... Easy to market

Hey there Knight - thanks for the encouragement, always great to know someone got a kick out of them. Not sure if you've seen all the 'back story' movies on my main site? - Jeeze, there's so many movies now it's hard to recommend a favourite... but the two made in Moab are pretty popular with the GS crowd...

Tiff - always good to hear from you, and I appreciate the kind words. Your mini-off was so neat it almost doesn't count. But it made a great frame or two in the rather dashing Road To Hell (Turkmenistan) movie.


Now, this is turning into a bit of a movie thread, isn't it? Time for another one?

Well, after leaving Colombia (the land many travellers seem to enthuse with 'Oh, my favourite country, ever!'), the route south took me into Ecuador.

Huge scenery! Wonderful markets! Patchwork farm lands! Ok, yeah, the enthusiasm is hard to convey properly, but I've stitched something together for you nice folks.

Whilst the riding is stunning, in most of Ecuador I've enjoyed just as much parking up, and looking around: looking at the indigenous peoples of each province - each with their own distinctive hat style, or uniquely coloured poncho or wrap. I've looked up close at the volcanoes (see a couple of those movies on my main site now). This is the stuff that's been floating my boat, sorry bike, recently.

I've blogged on the daily ups and downs, but don't let me detain you any further here.

Any more challenging riding? Oh yes, indeed... but the mud roads, rain deluge and rocky canyons are to follow next time.




Cheers,
Mullen
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
Mullen OP
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Leaving Ecuador

Morning all.

So, the challenge was to save a little time and milage by taking the 'small' border crossing out of Ecuador into Peru. I hadn't realised just how small it was, nor the consequences of following this particular road less travelled.

Mind you, this meant I could pause by another local market - I never get tired of these.



Below: 'Got any apples?'


After some amazing riding in central Ecuador I had a taste of what was to come... more rain, more mud. My rate of progress slowed and it took a whole day just to get near the border... let alone cross it. Things were looking awry.




Here's the footage of the Quilotoa Loop, and then the road south. I wish you could see the HD version, and I'm working on that. Meantime, I recommend just peering into the tiny little viewer or else the quality of the movie becomes too poor.

Adios amigos.


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Old 03-13-2012, 04:40 AM   #7
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Peru Movie... mud, ducks and Paddy

So, when I looked at the map the shortest, most interesting route to Peru and beyond lay in a pretty straight direction due south. Excellent, I figured, so much better than the boring highway that heads off to the coast on a 'needlessly' wild deviation.

Well, over the course of the next few days I found out why the highway was so popular.



My muddy excursion took me over a tiny border into Peru, through riverside villages and then paddy fields. But I was soon sucking up the humiliation and heading back to the coast for some quicker, safer miles. Progress was needed, as I didn't have weeks to struggle through the wet season - if I tried, I could end up seeing Patagonia in the Winter...

For me, Peruvian deserts lose their appeal quickly and it wasn't long before I struck inland again. I had a mission to reach the Canyon Del Pato and the many dark, single-track tunnels that my brother once told me about. One failed attempt later and I could see what he was on about - great fun all round, even in the rain!



Here's the movie of all of the above, and you'll find the full write up on my site.
I'm trying to catch up a little, as the laptop was out of action for a few weeks!



Cheers,
Mullen
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:03 AM   #8
Carlo Muro
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gotta love it when your first post is a kick-ass ride report

keep it coming
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:06 PM   #9
Mullen OP
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Thanks Mr CM - always good to hear from a happy follower

The funny thing is... 'stuff' started happening pretty soon after. Drops, slides, dunks and bumps, oh my.

This trip is getting harder as it goes on - which was the plan, I suppose. Makes for an interesting story though
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:36 AM   #10
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Movie: Peru Part 2

I finished the Canyon Del Pato day in a sodden, shivering mess. I had misjudged the conditions and needed forty minutes under a hot shower before I felt normal again. I had absolutely no motivation to play on any of the local mountains, so figured I'd hit the Pan American for a while. Peru in the rainy season was proving difficult to predict, and we know what happens when things get wild.



A day later I was riding merrily past Lima - consigning the city to the bin marked 'Not worth stopping at'. Fate has a wicked sense of humor, and a few hours down the road an oil seal in my final drive failed, so I did a u-turn and headed back up the road towards the BMW shop. Five days in Lima was my penalty.



Repeated riding of the desert road south to Nasca / north to Lima left me with a sense of humor failure - at the fifth time I knew the dunes by rote. Salvation came from a happy half hour in a bitterly cold, desperate little town on the mountain road to Cusco. The simple fun of interacting with half a dozen local kids keen to meet the foreigner-with-the-giant-bike gave me back my perspective. As they giggled and shrieked with laughter I forgot the frustrations of the workshop and looked forward to my new adventures.



Cusco was the gateway to Machu Pichu, the cloud shrouded mountain stronghold that has a firm grip on the imagination (and wallets) of visiting tourists. I went along with it all, but felt happier finding the colour and texture of local Peruvian life along the road. The diligent farming folk, the fascinating urban outfits. Smooth curves and wonderful scenery had both the bike and me purring like cats.



Favouring roads less travelled I nevertheless stopped in at Puyo, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, and spent two hours with the Uru people on their floating reed islands. This preservation of a Disneyworld-like way of living was charming, if a little kitsch - it's mostly for the tourists, but as a living museum, it gave a fascinating window into the past.

A day's ride down the winding road is the border into Bolivia - and a short barge journey across a bottleneck of water at the head of Lake Titicaca. As the rickety boat chugged through the gentle swell I felt glad to be making miles again. So far, so very good.



Here's my movie that tries to capture something of Peru in the rainy season.



Cheers,

Mullen
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Old 03-25-2012, 02:06 AM   #11
Tiffany
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Thumb Great Movie

Wow- that latest film is amazing - you have such an eye for detail and great editing skills Ed. I've been recognising some of the stretches of road. Can't believe how many tuk-tuks there are now, I'd heard about them from other friends, but seeing that long queue of them was quite an eye-opener.

Can't wait to see what you make of Bolivia, not the easiest of places to travel but my favourite country in S America.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:12 AM   #12
potski
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Hi Mullen and welcome....I don't know about "Riding in the tracks of giants", I think you are making some pretty big tracks yourself.
Enjoyed it all, great RR and superb videos. Thanks for taking the time to film it all and sharing it...Nice choice of music too.

Subscribed

Ride safe

Cheers
Potski
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:32 AM   #13
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Wow!

The video log of your ride is spectacular. Thanks for sharing.

JL
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:48 AM   #14
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Very nice report, thanks...
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Old 03-25-2012, 06:24 AM   #15
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Wonderful pictures, hard to go wrong.
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