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Wow!! what a controversial post this has been. As a newcomer to the site this is the first time I have seen negative (even antagonistics) comments in response to a post.
If Mike wants to try capture his experiences on film and try do a professional job of it then why castrate him for it? If it works then he has achieved his aim and if it doesn't then at least he will have tried to live his dream his way.
I have read Ted Simon's book and it was a thrilling read, which would have been brought even more to life if he had been able to make a film of it. In many ways it is sad that the only way way you can make a professional film of such a journey is to organize it in the way of TLWR. However TLWR is the inspiration to many that such a trip is possible and because of that it should be applauded not condemned.
Good luck Mike, and if you do make money out of your film then even better for you.
Let us all try live our dreams in our own way (and finance them in any way we can) and if we don't agree with someone elses way, well we don't have to be involved (or try shoot them down in flames), do we?
[This message has been edited by harleyrider (edited 11 February 2006).]
Sucks to have people rain on your parade. It seems to me that the general feeling was that your plans were a bit ambitious and unrealistic. Could it have been expressed better? Probably, but then again, this isn't your "black-tie-diplomat-dinner-party" crowd! Lot of people have heard things couldnt be done, and have suceeded at them anyway, while others havent and wished they's listened. I guess your adventure will be found in which one of the two you become. Either way, the best movies are about catastrophic failure and grand success!!
I'm really glad, Mike, that I took the time to read all the posts, by yourself and others, before responding. I was tempted after reading your first post to follow up with something as per Dan et. al. It was only by the last few posts that I had any confidence at all that you were really on this planet with regards to long distance motorcycle travel. At this point I still think you are in high orbit (somewhere out about the moon but at least you have arrived into the Solar System) so I think there is hope for you. I will be watching for your re-entry, which I still suspect will happen not long after you start your trip.
After years of some pretty hard core bike touring, for much shorting periods than real long distance travellers, but still in some difficult places (e.g. India, Indonesia, Mexico, Cuba, Samoa) as well as many softer countries, I feel I have learnt much much more from the several hundreds of travellers I have hosted at my house over the last 5-6 years. My advice: listen and learn. Do a lot of listening. And for gods sake, do some real riding! What did you say? The last time you rode 100 miles was in '84? I find it hard to believe it when you say you are an experienced rider. Your target of 250 miles in a day is realisitic only in a minority of countries in the world.
Nigel in NZ
P.S. You don't know how hard it was for me not to make some kind of "cultural" comment about your attitude. Opps! Almost did there....
"The world is a book and those who do not travel read but a page"- St Augustine
I would suggest that your intentions are a little too ambitious. I would try a "practice" ride from where you live (Michigan, I think)south to the US/Mexican border, and cross over and ride around northern Mexico for a while. An interesting concept might be to go solo with your camera for this part of the trip, and document what you think is worthy the entire way down and in Mexico. Ride back up and play with your footage to see what worked and did not work. When you feel confident, then go for the "big trip." I have gotten the sense that many writers on the bulletin board were a little miffed by Long Way Round as it took their lifestyle and turned it into something that could become the latest thing out of Hollywood, and this thread showed that some of that anger is still there. I have not seen that movie, and probably never will because of my dislike with the hypocrisy of the movie star "elite" Seeing a major star attempt to document something as grass roots as an around the world motorcycle trip is not something that interests me, especially knowing that there is such a large crew following him. Your movie might be more interesting, but it would depend on what footage is used, and how you edit. Don't try something MTVish with those major edit jobs and crappy, blaring, music. Edit out the tedious stuff if it drags on, and leave in plenty of geography as that is what draws me to watching a film or documentary of an exotic location. Perhaps, if you take my advice and document a ride in the US for practice, you could send the edited footage to people on this site for critique to see what worked and did not work for them. Then, you can be more confident for your big plunge across the border and south and back. Good luck!
I believe this trip would have been right up my ally had I known of it before Dec, 2006. I made a life change and re-enlisted in the army for three years. I have what it takes to complete the trip to include plenty of survival training.
My only advise is to try and keep as much of the info pertaining to trip dates, times and places a little less conspicuous. The world that we live in today provides the wicked with too many rights and no need give any one the type of info to do you harm. Not to mention becoming an unwilling hostage or even being pick pocketed is a lesson no one should learn while on such an endeavor. Either way enjoy the ride and 40 days of being close to God and all he has given us to enjoy.
Mike good luck with your plans. Pls make sure you do some long distance travelling before taking off - others that have tried doing the Alaska-Ushuia trip with little experience have ended in wheel chairs or at the hospital. i enjoyed reading this thread from a small internet place in north of Brasil. i think a lot of the negativity is just jealousy and of course you need to a hell lot of research. research that you should have done before posting. there are a lot of good books out there on long distance travelling like the one from Gregory Freizer.
I hope the inactivity on your website is because you're too busy getting ready.
After reading all the replies to your original post, viewing the various profiles of the posters, and their recent posts; I noticed a couple things...
There are a lot more similarities than differences...
1. You are taking on something you haven't really done before and are brave enough to put yourself out there.
2. Knowing you didn't have the experience/knwoledge, you made a good decision to come to the HUBB and seek out advice and information.
3. Most people take on a trip like this because they are in search of something that is currently missing, and you are know different.
The main difference is approach and attitude; and to each their own. Go out and ride the ride....even if you make it a quarter of the way, or half way, I still would be pretty impressed.
One of the most important things I've learned on my current trip is that UNLESS you put yourself out there in harshness of reality, opportunity will never present itself.
Firstly, I can't resist but taking offence to you comment "It could be said that quitting one's job, hopping on a bike, and skirting all responsibilities in the absence of planning, and common sense is adventurous. Or it may be characterized as selfish and shallow.". What responsibilities?
I realise that with this you're not saying that you agree with this notion, but there is certainly a sub tone that you do as it seems to be the basis of you approach to your project. With this I'm pointing at the over-commercialised, over-competitive surrounds that you must have grown up in. You're already talking merchandise. And it has to be a contest. It's like trying to find a band member. Reality TV gone wrong.
People here take offence because for most doing trips like this (and I'm also saying this without doing market research but with the experience of meeting a lot of these people for the last 10 years on the road) is their break from the rate race. You know, where everybody rather spend time (unpaid overtime mostly) with people who all wanna be boss of something that'll get taken away from them at retirement, instead of spending time with their family. Holidays don't exist, and when they do we'll send the kids of to some camp while the Mrs and I spend time on a beach or something. And at the end of it all they wander what memories they have, and most of them are at some business score.
Come on people, flame me..... ;D
You wanna take this break and turn it into some commercial viewing of a 40 day quick representation of hardship of riding a bike. What's spiritual about that? But maybe that's just how it seems. When something comes out with broad exposure there's always heaps of people jumping on the band wagon. What ever happened to originality. I reckon Austin Vince made the best ever RTW movies. Makes E&C look like a winging poms. Hang on, Simon Pavey already addressed that.
But check out this dude. Tim Cope Journeys: Tim Cope Journeys
Secondly, you're post started with the intention of getting all your questions spoon fed without doing the bit of work that all overlanders face. All your questions are answered in Scott's book and on this webpage. It's similar to the "what oil should I use" question on the bike forums.
I can't remember who made this TLWR comment, but I don't see how TLWR represents a "I can do this too" for normal people when they open up an office to do "research" when they might as well played darts all day if you look at the outcome and availability of information that got ignored. And the money that got thrown at it. I reckon most people thought, shit, that seems like an impossible thing for me to undertake.
I like Mike.
Don·t worry Mike. This happens all the time and just for being an impulsive dreamer/do·er with a, for others, too open a personality, plus, for others,having too much intelectual confidense that You can·t help sticking up people·s nose when their lack of belief in your sincerety, disapoints you .... once more . Don·t let it bring You down.... it·s only castles burning....
cheers .... Dan(quart)!
I was not going to respond then I was then I was not.. but I guess I am responding..
Mike.. I think you do what I do all the time ( I hope), I get an idea and run my mouth off without thinking any of it though, only difference is ONLY my wife hears about it.. she "yeah yeahs" me and we move on (it took her years to learn just to let me rant or ramble and forget it). I love the visual arts (wanker term for photography and Video.. mainly wildlife stuff.) I also have this mental disorder where I can not understand why everyone on the planet does not love bikes and travel as much as I do and I have often felt that if a real movie came out that showed a regular guy or a pair or whatever, riding the world it would show everyone my passion, and they may finally understand... I don’t know why, but to have my mum complain every time I go on some trip or an other really upsets me, bikes and animals are what I live for, and if I was not to have them I would give it up
(I am luck that my wife agrees or at least humors me and we travel on the bike a lot to film critters).
I spend most of my free days exploring new places (some wild, some not .. new to living in the UK and spend a lot of time just exploring the last few months) or filming animals and taking photos of my bike trips, and then I never show them to anyone but my close friends and family, because in the end it is too personal. The LWR boys it was not personal it was a job and a way to make money for a failing actor and the LWDown will be even worse. I think (and i maybe wrong) that a lot of the people on here ride cus it is in there blood, and they are soul riders (to quote from the “northshore” surfer movie). They ride for them, they travel for themselves, bikes and over landing are their (our) religion (or something close to it) or what they see themselves as (which in many cases in no different then a religion). Many saw the LWR boys as paramount to mocking them or their religion and have taken offense (I know I did).
I guarantee if you came at it in an other way.. e.g. “I know nothing (or little), I have ridden all my life, but never over landed and I think this is my big chance, so I want to take a 40 day trip, down though south America and film it to for my own enjoyment (and so when I am 90 and cripple I can relive it) and maybe (if it is any good) share the film with you guys or even the world??. I would like some company too? What do you suggest?” or something like this. Your response would have been very different.
I hope you go... I hope you film it and it is the best motorcycle film ever made.. but mostly I hope you go, and find that piece of your soul that you are looking for and that you have fun and enjoy the ride and the people and places you see. good luck to you mate
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