Preface
June 21, 2007 GMT
One week to go

Hi, I’m Les Kay and my travelling partner is Cai, my 18yr old son. We live in a small village in North Wales, UK. Cai has just finished his pre-university exams and is spending his gap year on a fairly epic bike trip covering a great deal of the American continent. Me, well I’ve spent the last stage of my life self employed, doing a variety of jobs; from posing nude for artists, to delivering bouquets of flowers. Recent summers have seen me associated with local friends and their Glastonbury festival escapades, they’ve had me leading painting workshops for kids, building giant caterpillars (see Creative Recycling ) and even driving a three wheeled trailers. Despite the offer of another manic festival this year it’s my privilege to be accompanying Cai.

I’ve ridden bikes for thirty years. Mostly for the enjoyment but also as in instructor, this eventually detracted from my enjoyment. Cai’s early experiences never progressed beyond sitting on bikes under someone else’s control. Though he always liked being the one to operate the throttle, as he sat in front of me on the tank.

That all changed a few months before his 17th birthday when he got an early Christmas/birthday present, a cheap and nasty Chinese copy of the XL125. But hey, it did the trick! We’d take it round the fields at a friend’s, playing at locking the rear wheel under control, falling off and slow delicate stuff. By his 18th birthday he’d passed his test and gone onto an old CB250 RSA, then a Cagiva 500 Canyon. The progression was timed to bring his riding standard and confidence up to scratch for starting this trip.

The intention is to start in LA and head north along the coast road, Highway 1. Somewhere between Vancouver and the Yukon we’ll turn right and ride up into the Rockies; where following the continental divide south will eventually spit us out towards Mexico. We’ll try to follow our own noses and cover Central and South America before returning home. Our ideal is to stay off main routes and tarmac as much as possible. We're going to show our route and some of the sights we see along the way on our Google Maps page

There is so much behind organising a long distance journey on a bike. It’s generally believed the better organised, the less that can go wrong; yet often it’s the things going wrong that make a journey more memorable. I find the unexpected generally provides more variety in life than the expected; it’s less tainted with your own preconceptions. By far the better way to ride is to keep your eyes and mind open; its not that you look for the obscure or profound experiences, just be aware of them when they occur. And boy do they occur!

The intention is to start in LA and head north along the coast road, Highway 1. Somewhere between Vancouver and the Yukon we’ll turn right and ride up into the Rockies; where following the continental divide south will eventually spit us out towards Mexico. We’ll try to follow our own noses and cover Central and South America before returning home. Our ideal is to stay off main routes and tarmac as much as possible.

We’ve planned this for the last eighteen months. With only one week to go now it still doesn’t seem very real. There’s too much to get our heads round and too many people who want to know everything we plan to do. How do we know what we’re going to do? We won’t get bikes till we reach LA; which ones, we don’t know. It will be nice to get a couple of XR650's but I'll not buy without seeing the bikes first, so it has to wait until we get to the states. We have our luggage and all the equipment we’re taking packed! Now all there is left to do is pack the rest of my household goods away and throw a massive party to say cheerio to all our friends. Aren’t all trips started with a healthy hangover? I hope not!

Posted by Leslie Kay at 11:44 AM GMT
June 22, 2007 GMT
Farewell party

Well, it could be said a good time was had by all! I certainly hope so, it went on for long enough and there was so much consumed. Mrs Doubtfire made a very good impression and I'm glad to say I retain my reputation for coming up with a damned good costume. My apologies to those who will never see their grannies in the same light again. Didn't they bounce so well when I danced?

Our appreciation to all who attended and the effort they all put in. Marilyn was on form and all our friends definately showed clearly what Hollywoood should be all about. Johnny

Depp was such a nice guy, even if he did appear to be a bit effeminine. And I don't know what was going on between him and Velma, it all looked a bit dodgey from where I was; but oh, so sweet!


There was an abundance of Cleopatras and definatley not enough milk to go around. Despite the fear and loathing and there being more Kong than dong it went very well. A very well celebrated end of an era, thank you all and good luck.

There is now only two days left and so much still to sort out. Was it really wise to put my house on the market just before leaving? Who cares, I won't be here!


Posted by Leslie Kay at 06:34 PM GMT
 

Grant & Susan's Europe Ride 2014.



Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

The weather has finally turned, so Gear Up for your motorcycle travel adventure! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - Gear Up! 2-DVD set until June 30 only. Gear Up! for your motorcycle travel adventure! Get all the info you need to hit the road!

Which bike, how to prepare it, what else to take, how to pack it all in! 6 hours!

"It's another great job, informative and entertaining."

"It's really professional and full of useful information, a must for any traveler."

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GEARUP' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!