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Ride Tales An easy way to post your ride reports, whether it's a weekend ride or around the world. Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is. See the announcement in the forum for details on posting. Please do NOT just post a link to your site. For a link, see Get a Link.
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  #16  
Old 13 Sep 2009
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Enjoy your trip! We are with you and your good cause!
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  #17  
Old 16 Sep 2009
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Thank you guys, keep the comments coming. i sometimes feel like i'm writing to myself.
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  #18  
Old 16 Sep 2009
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Updated again, Sep 9th to 15th. Cassiar Highway.www.motorcyclememoir.com
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  #19  
Old 16 Sep 2009
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Alone?!! You're not alone!!!

Keep it comin'
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RIDE like your LIFE depends on it.
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  #20  
Old 17 Sep 2009
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Keep it coming

BTW we just missed you at Eagle Plains. You were a day ahead of us

Good pictures on your website !!

Kevan and Karen
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  #21  
Old 20 Sep 2009
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Updated again, Sep 17th. Vancouver.www.motorcyclememoir.com

I'm in vancouver now, i'm just getting the bike fixed here before i can do anything. found a valve cover gasket and oil filter. stay tuned.
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  #22  
Old 20 Sep 2009
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I appreciate the effort required to allow the rest of us to enjoy your adventures. But will there be no text & photo updates here at the HUBB, only a link to your blog?

Safe travels
Sean
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  #23  
Old 20 Sep 2009
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Seattle

Ifyou pass through seattle then give me a shout. We can have a and I'll make a donation to your cause :-)

Craig
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  #24  
Old 24 Sep 2009
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The reason i don't post pictures here is that they are much nicer on my webpage unless i spend another 30 minutes, uploading full size pictures here. when i have a good connection i do but sometimes it's not practical.
I will be in Seattle on Thursday the 24 and will stay for a few days. anyone has a couch or a backyard? Ride along? drink along?
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  #25  
Old 24 Sep 2009
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Sep, 18th – Sep, 22nd Vancouver, CA

The Hwy 99 was a long and twisty hell. With a leaking bike, I really didn’t enjoy it one bit as I my riding pants got soaked and construction road blocks at every bend made it a 5 hour ride. Oil kept dripping on the exhaust and every time I stopped; a cloud of smoke encircled me which made breathing difficult.
I got to Vancouver in the rush hour and found my way towards Sarah’s apartment. Sarah was my couch surfing host on Friday and Saturday and she was a great one at that.
On Saturday I finally found a valve cover gasket and oil filter and Andy offered his garage to do the operation. Andy read about my problems with the bike and called me when I was in Williams lake and he even offered to ship the complete rear wheel off of his bike to get me down to Vancouver.(I had already changed the tire at that time, but the random act of kindness was touchy). On Sunday afternoon, we tore the bike apart once again and changed the valve cover gasket along with the tar colored oil in Andy’s garage and had a great time talking about GS motorcycles the whole time.
My Sunday host had canceled on me and I had nowhere to go so with Sarah’s help, I found a cheap hostel called the American backpackers in downtown Vancouver. This place was a rundown place, putting it politely. If I concentrated hard enough, I could do a study on rats and other small mammals in their natural habitat. It was $10 and I needed a place to stay so I checked in. The only parking spot was in the back alley and as I was getting my stuff out, I noticed that there was broken window glasses all over the lot so I put on 4 different locks on the bike and started walking in. 15 feet from my bike I heard a window shatters and saw a guy running with something in his hand and that was enough to turn around right there and go back to the bike. I rode the bike right in front of the hostel and chained it under the light but I still didn’t feel completely safe, so I opened the double door of the hostel and moved the bike inside in the front hall. I didn’t care what anyone says, I wasn’t going to move it an inch, no matter what.
Besides being a dirty place, this hostel was one of the coolest places I’ve visited in Canada. I made many friends from all over the world and had a great time.
On Monday, I managed to get a print shop to do my brochure printings. Thanks to TR Trades Production, LTD, I now have 500 brochures to pass around. Danielle Dongan, the owner of the shop was super helpful and she even tri-folded them before I picked them up. Thank you Danielle, you’re a doll.
I spent Monday and Tuesday at Elizabeth’s. My new host was a cutie who rides her yellow JAZZ scooter all over the town and her dream is to do the Tour de Europe on her Bicycle. An explorer at heart, she was smart and very enjoyable to talk to.
On Tuesday, I decided to do some fundraising on the rich side of the city, so I setup my display in front of the Starbucks (one of my sponsors) with the help of a pretty and very enthusiastic Persian girl; Natalie (I hope the spelling is right). Natalie provided muffin samples, donation bucket and tables but as the day went by, I realized that it’s hard to get a penny out of this pretentious bunch.
5 hours of begging and only $20. That has got to be a new record for me. (I didn’t see one beggar in the whole area, maybe they knew what I didn’t know!) There was a lady who bought a bottle of water for her dog while pushing her $4000 stroller and refused to throw her change in the bucket.(She ate the free sample though.) I watched a parade of Lamborghinis, Mercedes and Ferraris go by with people who had so much but spared so little. When you talked to them they all bitched at the economy, like they were suffering. I suppose they used their helicopters to do the shopping; now they are forced to drive their crapy Rolls-Royces. It’s true when they say that “the less they have, the more they give.”
I am leaving for Ferndale, Washington tomorrow. Good to get back to States after all.

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  #26  
Old 29 Sep 2009
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Sep, 22nd – Sep, 29th. Washington State

I know it’s been a long time since my last update but I’ve been sick ever since and been battling a bad case of influenza.
I got to Ferndale rather early on the 23rd, and had to wait around for Ted to get off of work. I bought some oil and another tube of epoxy for later patch works and waited at the library for Ted to call. I arrived at his house around 6pm and we got to work, changing the oil and drilling a hole in my front box for a camera mount. One of Ted’s friends name Carter showed up on an another GS and we got talking for a good long time. When Carter left, Ted and I talked about skiing for another 2 hours and finally I hit the hay after midnight in the “Man Cave.” There’s nothing like waking up to a fresh cup of coffee, two big smoked salmon steaks and a box of crackers. I said my goodbyes to Ted and got on the road for Seattle early in the morning.
If you have a choice between driving in Downtown Seattle on a loaded bike and no map or giving birth to a flaming walrus; look into the second option. Seattle is a city of agony. I rode around downtown for hours without finding a single parking spot that was safe or cheap. 0-2 hours of parking goes for $8 and more than 2 hours for $16. There are cheaper places to park but most likely the bike will get stripped as soon as you turn your head.
After a long day of cursing and swearing, I finally hooked up with my host, Natalie and hunkered down at her house. Natalie and Christy were my hosts in Seattle and they were so nice and cool I didn’t want to leave. I got sick the first night and was no good after that but I managed to make some Chicken marasala for them as a show of appreciation. Thank you guys.
Between the antibiotics and fever reducers I have no recollection of the small details but I got out of Seattle on Sunday and went to Chris Mathews’ house in Buckley, WA. It was 2 years since I saw Chris and the reunion was great. I stayed at Chris’ for the night and as much as I loved to stay longer, I had to leave the next morning. There is a big storm coming over the northwest that can be pretty nasty, plus it’s no fun riding in rain while being sick either.
After a great breakfast of sausage and eggs at Chris’, I fare welled with Chris and his hospitable and cool girlfriend and headed south again.
I was dozing off on the highway when I heard a metal scraping the road and to my horror, one of the front boxes was hanging on a shred of aluminum and scraping the ground at 70mph. I slowed down but couldn’t stop since I was in the fast lane and Hwy 5 is a 10 lane highway. By the time I made my way closer to the shoulder, the box finally came off and started bouncing up and down at high speed. Miraculously, it did not hit any cars and when it came to stop it was on the shoulder of the highway.
I picked up the box and lashed it to my rear pannier and got back on the highway again, for Portland, Oregon. I will be staying at Wade’s house tonight with a garage so I’ll put on a new rack and will adjust the load so this doesn’t happen again.

I’m still pretty sick, so bear with me here. I will write more as soon as I can.

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  #27  
Old 3 Oct 2009
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Sep, 29th – Oct, 1st Oregon, The Beaver State

This flu took a lot out of me as big city traffic, rain and popping pills don’t really mix. There were many people who sent me get well emails including Debbi Matte, my battery sponsor (Batteries Plus) who looked after me like a mother hen and sent me jokes to cheer me up. Thank you guys.
I made Portland a little after 4 and started looking for a rack to replace the broken one. The only place I knew that carried the same rack was Wal-Mart but since Portland is anti Wal-Mart, I had one hell of a time locating one and when I did, they were out. After riding for another hour I found another Wal-Mart on the other side of the town and luckily they had one left. I called wade and got directions to his house and was home free.
Wade read my posts on ADVrider.com and offered me his garage and a sleeping quarter which I desperately needed. After couple glasses of wine, we got to work and replaced the old rack with the new one and mounted the solar panel that Debbi gave me on the right aluminum pannier.
I stayed with wade for two nights and reorganized my gear and shifted the weight backward a little.
While I was in Seattle, I stopped at the Touratech USA and Tom the owner was kind enough to supply me with a great Ortlieb dry bag which made my life easier. No more garbage bag over my backpack for water proofing!
Another member name Todd from GSresources offered his garage while I was in Prince George, so I called him and met up with him in Beaverton. He took me out to lunch to a Hawaiian joint and I stuffed myself with kalua pig. Man that was good. He performed some surgery on the front forks to straighten the bend I had in it along with drilling another hole in my broken windshield and I was on my way. Todd is a canny navigator and every time he gave me a direction, it was right on. Thanks to his gift, I found my way out of the wine country and toward the coast quickly but wetly.
The Oregon coast is a phenomenal place, 800 miles of sand and giant rocks coming out of the ocean, with little towns scattered all along the way. Speed limit is 55 at the most and I don’t like it but the scenery makes up the difference.
After Beaverton, I stayed with my couch surfing host, Corrina in Otis for two nights. She was the only person in the area on the site and I was lucky to be her guest. A non-profit environmentalist, she lives in a cute house nested into the woods of country side with 13 chickens and a cool cat. She made a killer dinner of fish and pasta with fresh vegetables and I devoured the whole skillet.
The next evening I worked with the Lincoln City Food Pantry and got to get more familiar with the Food Bank system in Oregon. My observations are mixed as it was very much like the other food banks I’ve visited and volunteered; it lacked the educational infrastructure.
With shelves full of food, it is sad to witness people coming in and stacking up on unhealthy garbage and passing up on the fresh produce they had to offer. There was only one lady who picked up an apple in 3 hours that I was there and I had to take a picture of it.
Feeding without providing education is wasting resources. As simple as that. Food education is something we are lacking and there has not been a serious attempt to make it a reality. Let’s try cooking sessions in churches one Sunday out of the month. I’m sure God would be fine with that.
In the year 2009, the obesity rate finally caught up to the hunger figures. According to United Nations, there are 1.1 billion people worldwide who are suffering from hunger and the exact number hold true for obesity. Of course there is no relation whatsoever between these two phenomenon and you would be a communist if you ever made one.
In our own country, we have an obesity rate of over 30%! That means that out of every 3 people, one weighs as much as the other two, and what do we do? We switch to Diet-Coke instead of the regular Coke! They are the two ends of the same spectrum; poverty. Have you ever wondered why George clooney doesn’t weigh 400lbs but the guy in the trailer park down the road does? Education and healthy diet is the answer. Education and healthy diet is the answer. When you are on food stamps, you don’t pick the healthiest food, you pick the most filling one.
Sometimes I think that human race is not as evolved as other species. We care more about our lawns and Halloween costumes than we care about our neighbors.
I read an article on Vampire Bats not long ago that made me shiver. Vampire Bats, which primarily feed on blood of mammals and birds, must obtain a blood meal at least every 3 days or face starvation. On a given night, there are individuals that do not successfully feed. Fortunately for them, those who do get their share of blood, regurgitate their meal for the unsuccessful ones. This trait has persisted through evolutionary time, and they have developed a level of recognition which they will refuse to regurgitate blood for those who have not participated in food sharing in the past.
With our IPods and million mega pixel cameras, with our triple over-head cam engines and Mars Rovers, we still don’t possess a decency of sharing our meals with those who need it desperately. It doesn’t cost us much, maybe if we didn’t buy another $18 stupid gadget that ends up in a box in our 19 door garage, maybe if we cooked a meal once in a while instead of stuffing our guts with shit shiny Chinese food from a buffet, or buying a 50 gallon drum of mustard from Costco, we could scramble up 20 bucks to feed a family of 4. To get them educated so they don’t have to eat fat and sugar when they do get to choose their food. Maybe I’m a visionary or maybe I’m just talking to my god damn self or maybe both. Perhaps that’s the problem.
This month is a month of giving. Spare that ugly orange walnut turkey that you put on the kitchen table to bring the “Holiday Feel” to your home, instead bring joy and life to a family by giving them their very basic need: Food. Scroll down and take a good look at what a “Mechanically Separated Turkey” (This was on the label, I didn’t make this up) looks like in a Food Share freezer, then compare it to what your Butterball will look like on Thanksgiving Day.
For the month of October, I’ve chosen a well deserved and a unique organization called “The Centro de Recuperacion Nutricional Infantil Bethania” in Jocotán, Guatemala. It is a private medical center that treats about 400 malnourished children each year. They are desperately underfunded and your donations are matter of life and death.
Children that are being treated in this facility are extremely malnourished. Antonio they boy pictured in my donation page on the website had a weight of a 6 moths old baby although he was 3 years old at the time the picture was taken. Every recovery costs $900 per child, in a nation that 75% of the population live on less than $2 a day.
Please make a donation of any amount (think of it as a second turkey for thanksgiving dinner) and I will pitch in $2000 out of my travel funds, although it will cripple the expedition. Donations can be sent by checks, cash, kiss, hugs and credit cards. Please visit the Donation Page for more information.
Let’s not be human for a while, let’s be vampires…(if you make a bumper sticker out of that, I want royalty )


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  #28  
Old 4 Oct 2009
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Location: Beenleigh Qld Australia
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Hi,
I have been following your travels adventures and looking at the mechanical side of your bikes performance.
Happy to say that I am a proud owner of a 1977 GS750 and love the appeal of the bike, what I find amazing is that you are travelling the world on your's.
I would be interested to learn of the bikes durability and how it will preform off the bitumine in the tough spots.
I will be doing a little restoration as there is an oil leak at the head, and it dosnt idle really gret at the moment, I will be removing the cams and having them rebuilt and reground back to original (I worked for Dean Tighe in Brisban....they specalise in this area) One thing I did learn is that engine manufacturers have a wide tolerance in setting up things like cams, So I will have them perecissely timed , it makes a big difference to the overall performance of the Bike.

Asthetically your bike looks great and as you say a clasic.
Travel well and keep up the communication

Kind regards

Champ
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  #29  
Old 8 Oct 2009
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Champ,
The 750 GS is a great bike but a different animal. i'm finding the 850 a little under powered for my liking but it has to do. the engine is going strong and so far no real trouble that i can think of. it's getting a new suspension in california with new tires and raised fender but besides that, it will stay the same. stay tuned.
P.S. Check out the Gsresources.com - gs resources Resources and Information.This website is for sale! for a wealth of information and great people. you'll love it.
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  #30  
Old 8 Oct 2009
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Oct, 2nd – Oct, 8th. Rogue Wilderness Crossing

When I was in Beaverton, I asked Todd if he knew a road that went from the coast to Medford avoiding major highways and he said yes. “There is a road but you don’t want to take that with a loaded bike like that”.
The road that goes from Gold beach to Merlin is indeed a challenging road. I know that because I rode it. It passes through the Rouge Wilderness and Kalmiopsis National Forest and is 50 miles long. It is a one lane road with two way traffic, with blocked sections due to slides and loose gravel patches. It is a gorgeous ride through some the oldest forests in Oregon that goes from sea level to 4500 ft at the Bear Camp Pass. The wind was so strong that at times I thought I would get blown off the ridge and the temperature dropped by the minute.
To begin with, at the junction in Agnes, I took a wrong turn and I was officially lost. After riding for 40 minutes, I got to the conclusion that there was something wrong. The map showed that the road was paved and heading east but my compass kept on pointing north and the road turned into single tracks.
For the second time since the start of the expedition, I fired up the GPS. (I used it once to tell Todd where I was in Portland but I wasn’t lost that time). My GPS is not a mapping unit so I had to match the coordinates to the map and figure out my location. The problem with the map that I have is that the latitude markers are not very precise and had to be divided into minutes and seconds so I could get an exact fix on my position. With no ruler to measure, I did a good job of dividing degrees and to my horror, I found myself about 12 miles north of my intended route. My compass was right, I was going north indeed.
I backtracked to the junction and found the sign for 23E to Merlin. At Bear Camp Pass, my thermometer showed 29 degrees Fahrenheit in full sunshine. My hands where frozen in my summer leather gloves and I could swear I had an icicle hanging from my nose. All I wanted was to get to lower elevation quick and be out of the wind but the road didn’t go down. Instead it kept on going at 4000 ft for another 5 miles before descending down. It was getting late in the day and I had to find a camping spot but I had no water. I saw a truck camper in the woods and approached it to ask the guy for drinking water.
The man in the camper; John Scullion turned out to be one hell of a nice guy and in all strangeness; he was from South Carolina, where I lived for few years. We knew the same fishing spots and beaches and had a lot to talk about so I pitched my tent next to his camper and got down to talking.
I made chicken cacciatore with Basmati rice for dinner over the fire and he told me what gold mining was all about which I found very interesting. He even showed me some of the gold nuggets he found and we got along pretty good. The next morning, after a mushroom omelet, (regular mushroom that is) I hit the road to Medford.In Medford, The Rogue Regency Inn sponsored my accommodation for two days while I went around the town looking for sponsors. The hotel was clean with indoor pool and spa and friendly staff.
Motorcycle Superstore headquarter is located in Medford and I wanted to get those guys on-board. I have not call me back yet but I hope they do. While in Town, Kurt Beckman from the Bike Barn Motorcycles did sponsor me and Medford was all good again. Bike Barn is on the N. Pacific Highway in Medford and their focus is on dirt bikes but nevertheless, it was a cool shop. He had some Husaberg dirt bikes which you don’t see around very often along with some cool Moto Guzzies. Thank you Kurt for your Support.
I left Medford this morning and will stay in Ashland tonight with Gib (we finally caught up again). I will head south tomorrow towards San José to meet up with Tom, another member from GSresources to do the final adjustments to the bike before crossing the border into México.
P.S. I have not received a penny in donations for Centro de Bethania. Get moving guys. I’m counting on you.




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