An Introduction - Seattle to Shanghai to Frankfurt to Seattle 2002
This log chronicles my trip from Shanghai, China, to Frankfurt, Germany, under the able tutelage of tour leader and organizer, Helge Pedersen. My motorcycle will ship by sea from Seattle, WA, to Shanghai, China, on or about 15 APR 2002. I will then fly to Shanghai, take delivery of the bike, join the 11 other members of our troupe, and set out on 10 MAY. Two months and 11,000 miles later, we plan to raise a liter of Germany's finest in Munich. I will then drive to Frankfurt, load the bike into the belly of an Air Transat 747, and fly back with it to Vancouver, BC. From there, I will clear the bike through customs, and motor back to Seattle, thus completing a circumnavigation of the globe in something less than 80 days!
I offer apologies to Jules Verne for toying with the title of his wondrous book. In elementary school, I was spell-bound by trials and tribulations of Phineas Fogg and his able assistant Jean Passepartout. As an adult, I was fascinated by the witty and wondrous travels of Michael Palin, chronicled in several BBC travel mini-series, to include his re-tracing of 80 Days. Finally, as an escapee from the intensely driven world of high-tech, I read, with incredible envy and admiration, the travels of Helge in his book, 10 Years on 2 Wheels. I was "no longer gainfully employed". My head was filled with visions of motorbiking around the world. I had purchased the incredibly capable BMW R1150GS motorcycle two years previous - it was time to go!
And in case you're wondering, 82 liters is the total capacity of my two panniers (or saddlebags). As we were strongly advised to not take a tank bag, everything that the bike and I need for this journey has to fit into "82 Liters".
September 01, 2002 GMT
The Ultimate Hardtail....
TUESDAY 02 JULY, 2002 - KRAKOW, POLAND
[The Cracovia Hotel in Krakow, Poland]
GPS TRACK SINCE LAST UPDATE
Globeriders Interlude - He's Baaaack!
SATURDAY 31 AUGUST, 2002 - SEATTLE, WA USA
[Just another beautiful night in Seattle. For those of you who have never seen the Seattle skyline, a view of the Space Needle looking towards the downtown area.]
I have a stubborn streak that demands I finish what I started. In my last update, I was mending a few bruises and broken bones at home in Seattle, watching the weekly video coverage of the Globeriders World Tour on Speedchannel, wishing more than anything that I was there with them.
After weeks of sleeping upright (ever tried to lay down with broken ribs?), I couldn't stand it anymore. On 30 JUN, my wife Aillene and I and departed Seattle-Tacoma International airport on NW/KLM Flight No. 34, bound for Amsterdam, with our final destination being Warsaw, Poland. Our plan was to meet up with the Globeriders as they crossed the border from Ukraine into Poland.
Flying now across the Atlantic, we endured a blessedly uneventful flight, arrived in Warsaw, and took the train to Krakow. Our tour leader, Helge, suggested that we drive to the nearest border crossing to meet the group. Little did I realize the crossing was hundreds of kilometers East of Krakow! Nonetheless, we re-joined the group as planned, and finished the tour. Since I was still in recovery mode, we assumed a new role as the "chase vehicle", renting a Mitsubishi Charisma, the best that Hertz Rental in Poland had to offer.
Today, I received "how are you" email from Mrs. Feng Lin, the kind woman who was my translator at the hospital in China. Hers was one of many messages that I recv'd wishing me well, and wondering how the trip ended. Like I said, I like to finish what I started. Over the next month, I'll be sending "slightly" delayed Updates on the remainder of the tour. It certainly doesn't have the impact of real-time reporting, but, there's some good stuff to come....
In the next Update - Poland!
June 06, 2002 GMT
RESTLESS IN SEATTLE
05 JUN 2002 - SEATTLE, WA (06 JUN 2002, Krasnoyarsk "Globeriders time")
Since I last saw them, the Globeriders have traveled thru:
CHINA: Huludao, Shengyen, Changchun, Harbin, Daoqing
MONGOLIA: Zhalantun, and Yakeshi.
Have crossed the border into Russia at Manzhouli, then continued on:
RUSSIA: Zabaikalsk, Chita, Ulan Ude, Irkutsk, Lake Baikal, and Tuluun, and now, Krasnoyarsk.
Exotic names, continually shifting roads, new dialects and languages - how I wish I were with them. But, here I sit, restless in Seattle....
As I noted before, Speed Channel's Bike Week did begin coverage of the tour with this week's episode(s). I watched in admiration and envy. One-third of the broadcast highlighted the remarkable exploits of Helge, his comments and thoughts on this year's tour, with some footage from the first one in 2000. To paraphrase Andy Warhol - I had my 5 seconds of fame moving bikes around the warehouse and into the shipping container with Helge. I think part of next week's segment may include scenes in our house here in Seattle as I was packing for the trip. Right now, I'm Bike Week's most avid fan.MORE...
June 05, 2002 GMT
Globeriders Tour Now on TV!
04 JUN 2002 - SEATTLE WA, USA
I don't know if the Speed Channel is available outside of North America, but, for those in the North Seattle, WA area with AT&T cable, it is Channel 33. Bike Week shows on the days/times below (PLEASE NOTE: The times shown are Pacific Standard Daylight Savings Time - you'll need to adjust accordingly):
And, it looks like another rider is out! Roy Lee Cox, from Arlington, TX, rolled to a stop somewhere between Irkutsk and Lake Baikal in Russia. His left foot slipped out from under him, resulting in several broken bones in his foot - the one needed for shifting. I have few details, but understand he was hospitalized for X-rays, diagnosis, and has been released on crutches, his left foot in a cast. My heart goes out to Roy, a good rider, and another kind and generous spirit. I know exactly what he must feel like - at least HE made it to Russia!
As for me, I'm excited to announce that I'll be doing "live" Updates again from the road! Working with the fine touring company that helped Helge put the "from China onwards" part of the tour together, MIR Corporation in Seattle (you can see them at: http://www.mircorp.com/), my wife, Aillene, and I, will be flying to Warsaw Poland, taking a train to Krakow, renting a car, and re-joing the group at the Ukraine/Polish border crossing on 02 JUL 2002!
No pictures in this short Update. I promise some in the next one - the remaining 10 riders are pushing on to Munich.
June 02, 2002 GMT
Sleepless in Seattle, Thinking of Dezhou
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON, USA - SUN 02 JUN 2002
GLOBERIDERS TOUR DAY NO: 26
Before getting into the update itself, a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU! to all of you who have sent "get well" and "good wishes" email. You're generous with your online time - I've spent upwards of five hours a day simply replying to it all! And, a special thanks to my wife Aillene, for having her vacation cut short, making the journey to Beijing for what must surely be one of the shortest stays in China for any US citizen, and for taking care of me at home. Thanks to my mom for not lecturing me. Thanks to my sister Lily Paull for having chosen nursing as her career, and for being there not only with ready medical advice, but for also literally being there when we arrived t the U of W Med Center where she now works. Thanks to my brother Pat Paull, for watching and maintaining the house while we were gone, and readying it for our return, to include a full re-stock of fine ales, none of which I can drink until I'm off my meds! My deepest gratitude to the the wonderful people at MEDJET Assistance and Global Doctors, for my evacuation and repatriation back to Seattle. And to Sim, Julia and all the kind doctors, nurses, and staff in China, I hope that someday I may repay the wonderful kindness that you showered on me. Man, this is starting to sound like an Academy Awards speech....