Halfthrottle Video's Utah to Panama and back.
Once in a while I write blogs, but most of my ride reports are done with video. A hobby I started on my trip from Utah to Panama and back. A 13,000 mile ride.
This is the first video from that adventure. Keep in mind, this is the first video I had ever attempted to make, first time editing, etc... After buying the cheapest camcorder money could buy, because I was sure it was going to get stolen on my trip across Central America (it didn't), we set out to see the world and share the adventure with others.
At the end of these video's there is usually a title inviting the viewer to check out my website www.half-throttle.com and help us choose where to travel next. While we were on the trip the site would have had a map and a paragraph from both Mitch on the Heritage and KLR650 and myself (Ryan on the GS), describing were we wanted to go next. We always chose different cities than each other and sometimes even opposite sides of a country.
Once the voting was finished we would head to the new location, make a video about it, and change the website asking viewers where we should go next. It was our way of letting people at home follow along and participate in our adventure.
Weeks before we left on the trip I posted a story about it on advrider... twice in two different forums. At the time I was new to forums and had no idea what I was doing. On my next visit to the site I found that I had been "banned for life" for making a double post. I was pretty disappointed about it, as we went along on our adventure my video's were missing they're key audience here on advrider.
So now since the ban seems to have been magically lifted. Every few days I'll post a video from my trip, with a few paragraphs about what was going on, where we were, why I filmed it, etc...
We called the trip "halfthrottle" because the purpose of this trip was to go slow and experience everything. Every waterfall we could swim in, and pyramid we could hike... Also the macho names were already taken, and we don't like to take ourselves to serious anyway.
I hope you will enjoy our adventure, both the ups and downs of 2 gringo's without a clue on a ride to Panama.
Episode 2: I have a Plan
This video was actually shot and edited by my sister, she helped us out a lot before we left on the trip,as did my whole family. Looking back at all these video's I wish there were more episodes like this. Just Mitch and I talking to the camera interview style.
Before this trip I worked in Iraq for one year as an electrician. During that time I dreamed of taking this trip. When Iraq totally sucked (everyday) I would look at the picture of the R1200GS hanging on my wall and remind myself that it was going to be worth it.
Mitch and I were both in the Army National Guard. And a month or so after returning from Iraq our unit was sent to Germany for Annual Training. Even though I had been planning this trip for quite a while, I still hadn't mentioned anything about it to Mitch. I think I avoided it because I was worried he would say no.
A few weeks before summer camp in Germany I got on cycletrader.com found a 1200GS in Arizona, I hitched a ride to Phoenix with some neighbors to buy it. Before that moment I had never even sat on a BMW motorcycle, honestly I was scared to death, and felt like a complete jack ass when I nearly dropped it in front of the owner trying to take it off the center stand. Had he not been right there to save it, I'm sure it would have been on the ground.
My previous experience riding motorcycles was a 82' Honda Magna which I rode for a few months before leaving for Iraq. So I really didn't know what the hell I was doing. After wobbling the giant BMW around the block a few times I told him I would take it. Loaded it up and started riding back to Utah.
Once I got the bike home it was time for Mitch and I to leave for Germany, it was our annual training. Our unit went in a few different overlapping rotations. I was on the first and was there for 3 weeks, Mitch came in the 2nd rotation so we had about a week to work together and hang out. One day while working we wandered off to a shady spot and I told him that I had an idea. After hearing my plan to take the ride to Panama, film, and blog from the road. Mitch who was planning to attend the summer semester of school when he returned from Germany said to me, "Dude get me to an internet cafe, I need to drop my classes." And just like that the adventure was on.
I had two weeks to get things ready before Mitch came home. And searched around the internet for equipment to bring, and sights to see. When Mitch got home from Germany he borrowed a 1982 (I think anyway) Yamaha Heritage Special from his step dad. That's right, Mitch said yes to the motorcycle trip of a lifetime, and didn't even own a motorcycle. He ordered 2 cheap Kelty back packs and bolted them to the back rest on the bike. He also bungee'd a jerry can of gasoline on the back of his bike, because my GS could hold so much more fuel than the Heritage. I remember trying to ride that motorcycle fully loaded around the parking lot, and thinking no way in hell is this bike making it to Panama. A statement which Mitch heard often before leaving on the trip, but wasn't about to let it stop him from attempting it.
One great thing about our trip was the 2 opposite characters involved. Mitch was a starving college student who hadn't even thought about taking this trip until 3 or 4 weeks before we actually hit the road. I had just returned from Iraq and had been dreaming of a GS and Central America for quite a while, and had set aside the money to make it happen. Although very different financially Mitch and I think almost exactly alike. We both knew that no matter how difficult this adventure was going to be. We were getting our gringo ass's across the Panama Canal on motorcycles.
Cheers for that :)
The Devil's Mule
Yes that's a giant gas can on the back of Mitch's bike.
Pointing to different spots on the map, the theme of our trip.
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