The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
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Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
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Ride TalesAn 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.
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Great report Alex, great pic's. Your enthusiasm and optimistic attitude no doubt inspired a lot of people. Cant wait to see how that "cooler on wheels" goes behind that awesome looking new bike. All the best on your return home.
Dakar Motos is exactly what you want when you’re traveling in Argentina, a cheap, friendly place to stay with secure motorcycle parking, and a mostly friendly family staff. There are 6 beds in the form of 3 bunk beds, and a 7th pull-out bed. There is also room for about 5-6 tents as well,
While I was there for the first 4 nights in Buenos Aires, I met several friendly people. Mick, from England, had already been staying at Dakar Motos for 8 weeks. Yes, eight whole weeks, and was planning his exit in the following few days. Here you can see him writing in the guest book.
Bob and Chris, a retired couple from England were staying there as well, and were about to embark on a 9 month journey that will take them to Prudhoe Bay this summer. They are well “adventurized” on their 2011 KTM 990 Adventure, complete with safari tanks to hold 41 liters!
Mick is riding a 90’s era Honda XR650 Dominator.
I arrived on Monday, November 28th, the same day that my bikes new owner Steve would arrive. 3 days later, Mick, Bob, and his wife Chris would depart, heading south, aiming for the Horizons Unlimited.
If you ever want to get me a birthday or Christmas present, I wouldn’t mind to have a riding suit like what Bob is wearing. A two piece Goretex shell Rukka suit. The pants and jacket cost more than I sold my bike for!
Well, off they went and Steve and I were left hanging out with Heikki and Ulla, another retired couple, this time from Finland that were waiting to be permitted to collect their R1200GS from the shipping company. They were very nice people as well, and the company of other bike oriented travelers was a nice change of pace from the last 3 weeks of backpacker hostel filled travel.
The next day Friday, December 2nd, Stephen and I caught an early boat to Colonia, Uruguay for the sole purpose of transferring the bike into his name, and achieving legal status for him while he is inside Argentina. First step though was for me to get us to the Buquebus terminal with ONLY 15 minutes left to spare as we left at peak rush hour traffic at 8am and damn near missed our boat! The Argentine dock workers have seen this plenty of times before, and after lane splitting the entire 22kms to the ferry, asking for directions from every car at every stop light on the way there, and arriving with no time to spare, we were rushed through customs, and I handed over my temporary import paper for Argentina, effectively canceling my import and permitting me to leave the country.
In the case of this ferry, the same time we left Argentina, we entered Uruguay, and THEN, the bike was exited as well.
On the boat, we got ready for the 3 hour journey across the waters.
The view from the front of the boat showed nothing but water ahead. The ride was smooth though, and enjoyable.
At this point, I had yet to print off the new paperwork that would allow Steve to reenter Argentina with the bike in his name. We were planning to do that in Colonia, Uruguay after we arrived. Leaving it up to the last minute eh? Have you met Stephen yet?
On the way across we had front row seats of the cafeteria on the boat, and eventually ended up with some food as well.
Here we are, just about to exit the ship on the other side of the large bay that separates Argentina from Uruguay. Steve was stoked to be on the road and to be experiencing this kind of travel. Before we left Dakar Motos, we removed the panniers and top case off the bike, and just strapped a large duffle bag across the rear rack on the bike. Bob and Chris had brought all of their gear in two duffel bags, and offered them to anyone that wanted them, as they were sacrificial bags in the first place. I snagged the 15 year old scuba diving gear bag with heavy duty canvas and hard core zippers.
On the other side, I went through the paperwork to enter Uruguay, and while chatting with the customs officers, this motor-home rolled up with two older Germans inside. They too are headed to Alaska. I have given my information to them, and also to Bob and Chris, I hope to see them this coming summer!
In Uruguay, we hit up the firs t ATM possible to find some local money. Everyone out here seems to ride a bike, and bike specific parking is all over the place!
After getting some money and finding a hostel, we took off down the street looking for a print shop that could print a good quality color copy of my photo-shopped title that had Stephen Cook typed under the owner rather than Alex Smith.
We weren’t able to immediately find a place though, and instead opted to eat some food instead. Hell yea.
Then it was off to a photo printing shop that we found that printed me a nice color copy of my desired document on good paper, with good quality. Set, we headed back to the Hostel for a . Steve likes !
That is how our night went!
The next day, at 8pm, we had a scheduled departure back into Argentina in Buenos Aires. Before hand though, we took the bike down to the local beach for some beach action. Awesome.
As we say there, Steve began to realize what he has signed himself up for, for the next 5 months. Relaxing wherever he wants, doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants, with whoever he wants. He really liked that idea.
Steve learned quickly to get some sun while he still can. It’ll be dang cold when he begins his southern ride to Ushuaia.
The bike was getting some sun as well. It even had a new TKC80 rear tire put on a couple days previously as well, as the rear Pirelli MT90 Scorpion had made it over 4800 miles. Not bad.
Then, sooner than later, it was time to get back on the boat, and head back into Argentina. On the way over, it was the same as before just in reverse. Leave Uruguay and enter Argentina, and then cancel the temporary import papers.
On the top deck as the sun was setting, the weather was quite nice. This girl stepped into view and got her picture taken. Not bad.
Leaving the port of Colonia.
See you on the flip side Uruguay, maybe next time.
As the sun set for good, the sky changed color.
Uh oh, we’re docked in Argentina. You had better ride the bike Steve, just for the sake of it. You have that re-done title in your pocket? Good. Let’s roll. First and only time as passenger on the back of the bike, and only for a few minutes!
These two Brazilians were traveling in style! They were riding a nice Honda Shadow.
Success! We’re in Argentina and the temporary import paperwork is in YOUR name Steve! What, what did you say? Oh right, we got a flat rear tire. Shit!
Stack the bike on some boxes because we left “home” without the trail stand, and get to work. I made Steve buy a bicycle pump for fixing flats should he get one. We got one, and THIS time, we were prepared.
That night we found ourselves at a cheap hotel down the road after asking for directions all over the place. And the next day we were off for some food. I love the food in Argentina. It’s not cheap in comparison, but it never failed to be good.
Steak, fries, bread and ! Putting on the weight!
Almost finished with this portion of my trip here in South America. I’m glad I get some good food to eat!
It is day Day 248, the outskirts of downtown Buenos Aires at the Munro Train Station. Stephen and I are headed into the center to find the restaurant called La Cabrera where I intend to buy us dinner, and eat the biggest steak of my entire trip. If not for having gone there once before, it would easily be the largest steak of my life.
In no time at all, were down town in the Retire Station, a massive colonial style building that serves as the main train hub for the city.
We soon hailed a cab, and found ourselves headed even more so into the center of Buenos Aires, into the Palermo district. Fortunately for us, the driver knew where to take us.
When we arrived, we put our name down on the waiting list, and settled in next door at the adjacent bar and shared a liter while we chomped on a bowl of peanuts. It was a good called Patagonia.
In about 30 minutes, my name was called and less than a minute later we were seated inside La Cabrera, looking at menus that consisted mainly of Steaks and meat cuts. Steve ordered the 400gram (14oz) Rib Eye steak, and I ordered the 800gram (28oz) Rib Eye. I am glad that I did. It was awesome!
We also ordered one of the cheaper bottles of wine which was still great, and enjoyed the entire meal, complete with the several side dishes that come along with the steak. Steve was stoked, I was in hog heaven.
Steve promptly “smashed” his steak after this photo, and left nothing to spare. Not a crumb.
This type of meal gets a thumbs up from me!
If you are vegetarian, or the thought of consuming large quantities of meat disturbs you, you may look away now.
And that was my last night in B.A. and last night in South America, sharing a fantastic meal with the new owner of my bike, who is about to embark on an adventure of his own soon as well.
I you are ever in B.A, check this place out (La Cabrera).
After leaving the restaurant, and finding our way back to the train station, and catching the train to the station closest to our hotel, we called it a night. It was T-17hours until lift off.
It is 31*F outside, in the garage, and I am working on my ’06 DR650. Why? Because the petcock was left on sometime in the past 8 months and the carburetor was clogged and not delivering gas to the engine. So, here we go! (See that Red BMW K75 behind the DR? That’s mine. You can’t have it.)
So, after taking the side covers, seat, and gas tank off, I tore into the carb, removing every single part, cleaning it with gasoline, and then blowing the hell out of all of the passages with my brother in laws air compressor. It has a fine rubber ended nozzle on it. It worked a charm.
This bike has less than 5k miles on it, versus the 25k miles that were on the bike I just sold. It felt like riding a brand new bike. I didn’t know what I was missing!
So, along with my motorcycle, I also sold my pants, my jacket, my camera, my camera case, my sleeping pad, my Enduro Star Trail Stand, and some of my tools (duplicates).
Of these things, I replaced the motorcycle jacket and pants before I even arrived home. I bought a new jacket from the Fleamarket/fellow ADV'er, and bought new pants on Ebay. I left home with a Rev’it Sand Pants, size XXL. Just short enough to sit above my boots, and just large enough to fall off my ass. I replaced them with size 36 Long AeroStich Darien Goretex Overpants. No more wet outer layer on my pants for me! Hell yes!
I left home with a Rev’it Cayenne Pro Jacket, size XYL (XXXL), just long enough to reach my wrists and just big enough to sag off my like a child in his father’s jacket. I replaced it with a Rev’it Sand Jacket, size XYL (XXXL), which I had tried on at the dealer before I left, but didn’t buy as it was not on clearance. It fit’s better than the Cayenne Pro for, and has better straps to cinch down any extra bulk, of which there is none currently as I am wearing the thermal liner because it is so damn cold outside J
Ready to ride! Wooo!
Got my hairs cut yesterday too. Hot damn! Tis the season!
What’s next? I am going to the Seattle Symphony tonight with Kristi; she bought us tickets when she found out that I had bought tickets to come home. So, in a few minutes, I’m getting out of here, going over to her parents house, having dinner, and then heading out for a sophisticated night on the town. Good thing I still have nice clothes from my friend’s wedding I went to last summer!
Surprise! Surprise! Tom has returned home! But to do so, took a bit of planning. SO, I shot a message over to our long time friend Megan (friends since the 6th grade, 13yrs), and asked her what she was doing on Wednesday the 21st. Her response was, "Nothing, I'm not working." "Ok, Megan, come get Tom with me at the Vancouver airport?" "Seriously?" "Yes." "Ok!"
And so it went, I found someone with a car to help me collect Tom upon his glorious return to the United States of America.
Here we are in the parking lot of a Starbucks in Vancouver, Canada hanging out because we are an hour early.
Hey Tom, Where did you put that yellow ticket that they gave you for your checked luggage? Oh, you misplaced it. Excellent. Oh they don't have your luggage and are going to deliver it to your parents house? Excellent. Lets get out of here. Oh, by the way, you're paying for parking.
Tom's first declarative statement when he stepped out of the Vancouver International Airport?
"I detect a distinct lack of PISS in the air."
That's right Tom! You are home!
Glorious Bellingham fed Tom well at the Hawaii BBQ & Noodle House. Chinese food stuffed our guts to the brim, and Tom was as happy as a clam. Doesn't that air smell good Tom?
HOME! Don't sleep too much Tom, we got shit todo!
As you can see. Tom is home. His bike is not as of yet, and will soon arrive at the Port of Seattle withing the next few weeks.
To get the full account of what went through Tom's head in the weeks leading up to his return, please see his blog at:
Hola once again my friends! I trust that everyone had a good holiday season, fantastic Christmas, and a kick ass New Year celebration. If you happen to celebrate something else, I hope it was kick ass too! And if things were shitty, well, write me an email, and I'll write you one back. (I haven't forgotten about you N8!)
So, like always, I have been rifling through the ADVrider website, and keeping my eye open on things, and buying and selling, and jostling funds around and making things happen. Since I have been home I have:
1) Replaced the riding gear that I sold in Argentina, thanks to the Fleamarket and Ebay.
2) Renewed my registration on my '95 BMW K75
3) Sold my miscellaneous gear and extra parts I had lying around, all to fellow inmates.
4) Sold my '06 DR650 that I had in the garage, to a fellow inmate.
5) Bought a Moto-Mule Trailer (moto-mule a cargo trailer to pull behind your dual sport motorcycle - ADVrider), and arranged to have it shipped to my the pick up location of my soon to be, new to me, fully farkled, 2009 DR650 in Mobile, Alambama. (Bought from an inmate.)
6) Sold the extra wheels that came with my bike, to a fellow inmate
7) Bought a new Canon G12 Camera (on ebay) to replace the G11 I sold to Steve the Aussie in Argentina. (Gotta have a decent camera for the Ride Report, and this one can take 720p HD videos, sweet)
8) Picked up Tom Reuter at the airport.
9) Retrieved my '76 Suzuki TS400 from my friends house
10) Enjoyed Christmas and New Year festivities
11) Spent a LOT of time with my fantastically wonderful, super hot girlfriend Kristi.
(Not in any particular order of course.
SO, now you see, I have a few things left to do.
I still need to:
1) Plan my route from Mobile, Alabama to Lake Stevens, Washington
2) Contact all of you ever faithful ADV inmates that have offered me a place to stay, wether it be on your couch or in a bed, or on the floor.
3) Buy a plane ticket to Mobile, Alamaba
4) Ride my new to me motorcycle back home, covering 8-10 different states and anywhere from 3,000-5,000k miles.
5) Get a job.
Planned date of departure from Seattle International Airport is January 19th, landing in Mobile, Alabama. That give me 15 days to get my shit together. Sounds like I have about 13 days to screw off in the meantime!
Well, today, the sun was shining and the roads were dry. Around 9:30am, my Mom sent me a message saying that I should take her for a ride down the Snohomish River Road to a familiar place called Skydive Snohomish.
I got the message around noon, and inside of an hour, I was back at the house, and we were getting ready to go. The roads were still dry, and it wa s49* F outside (18* C). AWESOME.
Mom picked a good day for a ride. A couple weeks ago, it looked a bit more like this outside .
Well, we went cruising down the county roads, speed limits of 35-40mph, in a big loop that took us out of town, into the next town, into the next town (almost) and back home a different way. It was great, my Mom really enjoyed it, and I had a good time! For 2 up riding, my BMW K75 is a bit nicer to it's rider/passenger than the average DR650.
Rock Springs, Wyoming
Life is temporarily back on the road, but this time, in an 18 wheeler. The call came, and inside of 3 hours, I was bobtailing a Semi Tractor from Seattle to Rock Springs, Wyoming, where I am now back to work with my last employer, making money and putting it in the bank, while preparing to fly out of here to Alabama where I'll collect my new to me 2009 DR650 which I'll then Ride home to Lake Stevens, Washington. AWESOME.
This is what I drove from Seattle to Rock Springs, Wyoming. A 2006 International Day Cab Semi.
Well the Semi Tractor that you see above, we haul a 32 foot trailer with a Moffett Forklift piggybacked on the back of it. Not unlike what Tom and i were doing in Alaska. (Though in Alaska we drove a flat bed truck with no trailer).
Let me describe my job a bit more to you guys. I work for a business called Mr. M LLC. Mr. M specializes in many things, one of which includes supplying trained contractors to a company called 3PD, which in turn deliver products for Home Depots across the nation. Currently, roughly 1200 Home Depot Stores contract their delivery services to 3PD. Among those Home Depot Contracts, Mr.M runs 15 of them full time, all while supplying trained contract servicemen as Rapid Response contractors.
I fit in the middle of it all. I help Mr. M specialize in training new contractors, and filling empty contracts, anywhere that they may exist, anytime, for a nearly unlimited amount of time (hence my 6 months in one location in Juneau Alaska).
This time it was up to me to deliver a truck to Wyoming, train a new contractor, and stay there until a new contractor can be found.
All was well until....
Well it was fourth day into the week that I have been here, and the forklift that we use to off load all of our appliances went "tits up" and was dead in the water, stuck on the back of our trailer. It kinda went like this...
The Fork Lift was run out of fuel, and we weren't able to start it without priming the fuel system (but we didn't know that yet). Well, first we had to fuel up the fork lift. After that, we tried to start it. And on the second crank of the starter motor, the starter solenoid welded itself open, and completely drained out battery while simultaneously frying the starter motor. That's when stuff went downhill.
The rest of the day was spent offloading any deliveries that could be made, by hand, and returning to the store, borrowing a "Load and Go" truck, and hand delivering a dryer and a gigantic fridge. But what about tomorrows deliveries???
Box Truck Rental to the rescue!
And that is where I am now. Rock Springs, Wyoming is a town of just under 20,000 people, with an average high temp of 32* and an average lo temp of 11*. This winter has been fantastic from what I hear from our daily customers, and the temperature has been significantly warmer than normal. Today was 43* and was awesome. However, the wind DOES NOT stop here in South Western Wyoming, and that really can chill a person to the bone. Two nights ago, temperatures dropped below 0* F and it was damn cold. I'm still glad that I'm not in Fairbanks Alaska though, where it should be 46 BELOW ZERO tonight! (Currently -31 during the day.)
So here is a shot I snagged during our days work.
I'm not sure exactly when I will be heading to Mobile, Alabama to collect my bike, but you guys will see it here first thing!
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