Friday, May 30, 2008

Bike's finally home

I figure it was shipped by pony express at best, took almost a month!
Shipper did $2000.00 damege to the good side too!!! Ouch!
Fixing in progress, nothing structural, can't wait to get it back!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Gonna be able to start actual writing soon I hope, hands are still kinda sore from the crash....

Monday, May 5, 2008

More to come!

Now I gotta write the "actual" book, pick which pictures I'm going to use & get it published! Stay tuned.........

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Day 13 photos

Home Sweet forkin HOME!!! Day 13...

Wow, it's finally really over! By the way, sat in row 13 on my flight to Nanaimo on day 13 of my adventure....Stayed in a really nice hotel in San Fran last night, right at fishermans wharf, & flew first class home, but as usual... of course it wasn't gonna be that easy!

Had problems with united airlines, they screwed my check in up & I ended up missing my flight, a number of people, but united employees, air Canada people (who for a change were AWESOME, helpful & AWESOME!) & some frequent flyers, all told me united has gone seriously downhill, overworked, understaffed, but that's no reason to be rude shitheads! Which they were!!

A/C fixed it & got me home, but I had to spend an extra 6 hours in San Fran airport! The A/C people picked me up in one of those golf carts & wizzed me thru customs etc, was nice! Got home about midnignt, it was AWESOME to see Lara & then get home to my zoo, who mauled me, that was awesome too!

Glad I'm home, glad I did it, can't wait to do it again, who's comin with me???

Home at last!

Scott is now home, safe and relatively unscathed. He flew in late tonight from SanFran; the bike is being shipped. I'm sure he'll have an update tomorrow about the last leg of the trip, unexpected as it was.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Day 11 & 12 photos

day 11 photos

Day 11 & 12 update

I thought I could make it home in 2 days, & I would have….

I left El Cajon (San Diego suburb where I was staying with friends), got out good & early, it was cold & overcast & even started raining as soon as I hit the highway & it rained right past long beach, not too hard & it wasn’t that cold & hey, I’ve got the clothes for it, especially for southern California’s mild “chill” & rain. It started clearing up around. LA. Man the traffic is nasty, this lane splitting stuff is such a time saver, but as I pass by I’ve noticed that So-cal people talk too freaking much on their cel's, even when they're passing on both sides running at 140k + they’re still freaking blabbing their heads off, it’s really annoying, especially when they should be concentrating on not hitting me!!!!!

Stopped at Ventura for lunch & gas, couldn’t help myself, that song was running thru my head over & over, “Ventura highway in the suuunnn shine…” & hey its sunny & beautiful again! Food, gas a pic & back on the road!

Next I got to Santa Maria & stopped for gas, Wind is kicking my ass, it’s the 2nd worst I've come across , the oregon coast might have been the worst I ever rode in, but at least its sunny here. Holy Crap, the wind kept getting worse, I can’t even believe it, it was killing me, I needed a break & I wanted to take 1 more pic so as to have something decent, the Ventura pics didn’t seem like enough for a whole day’s ride & the California coast is really gorgeous when there’s no buildings in the way, so I took the exit to Monterey Bay for a photo. The truck in front of me turned too sharply & left a slick of oil when it cut in front of me, maybe it was carrying barrel’s, regardless there was nothing I could do, the bike instantly went sideways & we frizbee'd clockwise down the onramp, when we stopped moving I couldn’t believe it, how the hell did that happen, why didn’t I listen to my little voice that was telling me to keep going to San Fran, CRAP!!!

OK, now it was time to take stock of the situation, the bike was on it’s side facing the opposite way, still on but not running, tried to get up & my knee really hurt, went for my side zipper to check it out & shit, my fingers really hurt too, painfully pulled my gloves off & my 2 middle fingers were no longer pointing in the right direction, I have no idea why or what the hell I was thinking but I seem to have decided that this seemed like the first issue I should deal with, so (what the hell was I thinking!) I grabbed them one at a time, pulled them straight & they popped back into place, didn’t even hurt that much… at the time! Then to the knee, we’ll that was interesting, kneecap’s are supposed to face forward, so this can’t be good?! My boot got caught under the bike & I must have twisted around while sliding, confirmed by the scuffs & damage on my gear. OK, back to the knee, I’ve had a dislocated kneecap before, can’t be any worse than the fingers right, gave it a shove, POP…. HOLY FREAKIN SHIT, wow, that one hurt! Then over my shoulder I heard “Holy Mama” I looked up to see a trucker who had been behind me & stopped to help, looking quite pale & “crossing” himself, adrenaline rules!! He got my bike upright & me on my feet, I mean foot & moved on, THANKS DUDE!. Next a cop came by about 2 minutes later, took a report, although he confirmed the wet oil when he arrived he had to tell me just as we started down the ramp, that it was dry & said “too bad you weren’t 10 minutes later… no shit Sherlock, he then followed me down the hill as I rolled the bike down the off ramp to the motel at the bottom, Oh yum, 7-11 stale hotdog for supper, nothing else in hobbling distance! Things got worse, the pain started to overpower the adrenaline & the insurance people told me the private portion of my bike insurance had expired, FORK!!!! This was NOT happening… Actually it wasn’t, at least the insurance part, I finally found someone at the insurance company that found my current policy & assured me everything would be fine, whew…. Now I could relax in pain & be pissed off that the cheap motel at the bottom of the off ramp didn’t allow outgoing long distance at all, not 800 #’s not collect, can’t wait to see my cel bill…. There was a bike shop close so I got it there early, they had the parts I needed, on a bunch of new bikes in the showroom, but would not sell them to me, pricks, like 9 guys are going to walk in & buy the same bike the same day… My bikes pretty scratched up but not really in bad shape, the rear brake lever is broken as is the end cap that holds the throttle grip on the handlebar, probably $50 worth of parts that make the bike basically undrivable. So I was forced to jerry-rig the broken parts to at least get it somewhere I might get it fixed.

It was getting harder to get around so I finally broke down & went to a Doctor, $300. Later I’m on crutches & in this weird brace/cast & the Dr says there was no way I’d be driving back even if the bike could make it…. He did give me vicadin though! Well, this was a disappointing ending to a really spectacular trip, although there’s really not much more to photograph on the I-5, right? Do I have any regrets, no, not really, would I do it again, ABSOLUTALLY I’d still be riding now if the bike was safe! I made it to Tijuana, via storms, wind & weather from hell on the Oregon coast, long hours to Yosemite & Death valley, rattle snakes, M16’s, cel phone blabbing speed freaks massive winds & 5000kms in 11 days….. and an oil spill brings the trip to an end what a bit of bad luck. But it’s not really over, I plan to do it again, but without so much urgency & pressure I would like to do an anniversary run & bring some friends, take more time, less rush, no “schedule”. I really put a lot of pressure on myself to get this done & done within a challenging timeline to say the least, but I had to get back, got stuff to do back home!!

Next time I’ll go down the coast to San Diego, probably TJ again too, then up thru Death Valley, Yosemite, hit sequoia park too, then the redwoods & north to Nanaimo! No book, no picture pressures, that parts done, but don’t think I’ll be camera-less, are you insane?!. I survived my “guardian angel” Vultures the instant death hallucinations at Death Valley, the wind, the snow, the assorted weather, snakes & guns & an oil spill ends the trip…. I’ll be fine & my bike will too. I met a bunch of awesome people, some I didn’t even get their names, but they all impacted my trip & I remember all the smiles and interactions, from the stranger who just gave me his own map & then explained his best directions, to the girls at the hotel in Fresno who gave me such an awesome room & fantastic deal, & everyone I met in between however briefly or when I imposed myself for 3 wonderful battery recharging days at Jim & Ron’s! I saw some of the most spectacular scenery in North America & tried to capture it all

If it had to happen the timing might have been good to end it now though, like I said there’s really not much to see on the I-5 & I get one more visit in San Francisco. This has been good for me & I hope you all enjoyed it too…. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Day 11 & 12 all good things come to an end....

I'm in San Francisco, dr says no riding & no parts to fix back brake & throttle, we're being shipped home :(.

Downloading pics & figuring how to write this one, will be up soon!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 11 to Monteray

I'm doing better than my bike, was in an accident, oil on the off ramp. a disappointing end to an otherwide awesome trip, don't think I'm hurt bad, pissed tho! Tryin to sleep, gotta get up & push the bike to the dealer to see if I can ride it (hopefully I can still walk in the am?, who cares if I can ride right!)

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 10 photos

Day 10 & My 2 wheels made it in 2 Tijuana Mexico today!!

Just crossed the border out of TJ, that was an experience, I'm travelling alone, the road signs in Mexico are lacking at best, so you can imagine how I felt when I took my first wrong turn into the REALLY bad part of town, cops with M16's in balaclavas, oh ya I made a good choice, 2 Wheels 2 freakin San Diego sounded pretty good right about then!

Got directions from some cops not modelling the latest in cold weather headgear fashions, I then tried to take a photo of Mr Balaclava but quickly learned he did not allow photos, which was made VERY clear by the quick back & forth movement of the M16's barrel pointing just a wee bit too close to my head for comfort, the message was further reinforced by whatever he was loudly yelling in Spanish…. The other cops, who gave directions spoke a bit of english & told me he said “no pictures” those two were pretty cool dudes & even posed for a pic! I couldn’t get outa there quick enough though & finally navigated to the touristy part where I decided to walk around. Everyone is selling something & the english is quite good there. Most were friendly but everyone there was also SELLING HARD! Barter & negotiation is alive & well in TJ.

It was hot & I was getting tired & was faced with the looooooong nasty border lines, except when I was waiting to merge a Mexican border guy told me to lane split, Oh Ya! & to boot people actually moved to make space! The 2 hour car line took me about 15 minutes & I was across, the US border guard did a serious double take when he looked at my plate & said WTF, you came all the way down here on a bike, by yourself?? Well yes I did & it’s been cool, but to be frank, it was a bit scary down there with the shootings & legendary banditos, but everyone (except balaclava man) was very friendly, thanks for a real experience TJ! Off to El Cajon (san diego).

Got back chilled out, hung with the dogs at the pool, was awesome, just had dinner, packing for tomorrow. I’m heading up the coast to Big Sur & getting back on the interstate around Carmel, got about 2500kms to go, I’m targeting Saturday to be home, how’s the weather up there?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 09 photos

Day 09 finally some rest

This'll be a short one, was kinda a battery recharging day for me. Went to the San Diego Wild animal park. As an african photo safari is one on the things I have on my "bucket list" this was the next best thing & it was AMAZING! They're very conservation oriented & it shows.

I've only titled 2 because I think they all speak for themselves. Sadly one of the titled pics is a female Northern white rhino, one of approx 8 left in the world & none in the wild as their territory has been decimated by war. There is only one left of breeding age......

It was REALLY hot here today, over 100, we took a fantastic ride on the backroads thu Wildcat Canyon & it was beautiful. I fell asleep at the pool after. All in all a good day. Mexico tomorrow & then north up the coast & home!

Day 08 photos

Day 08

Thanks Chris Mortano, I appreciate your skill with my f%$#@d up filter on Saturday night!!

Man, the cool ocean breeze feels awesome on my face. It's my first view of the so-cal water & I'm at a rest stop, my last recharge before San Diego.It has been a loooooonnng day. I overslept, guess my German friends kept me up too late, & hot the road 3 hours later than my optimistic take off time.. I left just ahead of the Germans, it was nice, warm but a bit of a breeze & I was keeping my eyes open for the perfect pic for my friend Maureen. She's redecorating & has specific color needs, took a few, hope there's at least one she likes!

It heated up quick, I went in a long sleeve t-shirt & my small helmet & sunglasses, lathered up in sunscreen & loaded with water. The trip was pretty uneventful, picked a comfortable pace & enjoyed the view, occasionally stopping for a pic or 2. As the day goes on I have to stop more frequently just to stretch out a bit, I stopped at Jawbone canyon again to say hi to Rose & Bobby, they’re the folks I met yesterday. Anyway, long story short, I had a nice visit & on my way out finally had the nature close encounter I'd been waiting for, just not with a creature I wanted to meet, especially so up close & personal....... when you hear the rattle you automatically KNOW what it is..... The rattle sounds just like on TV, Bobby says it spends a lot of time around their shop & has scared the crap outa lots a folks! It’s called a Mojave green & they're quite rare now, people have given them a bad rep that Rose says they don't deserve. Regardless, they can keep them in Jawbone Canyon, if he wants a ride, he needs a helmet get away from my bike!

The heat started to get to me & there's still bumper to bumper traffic thru LA on Sunday afternoon? How freakin Crazy is that!!!!!! I think I'm now about 1/2 hour from San Diego, looking forward to relaxing at Jim's, need the break, THANKS Jim!

An odd observation, Vultures & crows really are the dominant birds down here, no disrespect intended to my wonderful US brothers & sisters who have made my trip so AWESOME, but there are ALOT of them & no eagles, whats up with that??? Met a dude named Paul at rest stop, he gave me advice on locations to check out & shared a recent & particularly gruesome motorcycle accident he viewed, Hey, thanks Paul, I’m already stressed by the crappy drivers on the 405 south, that visual has made me much more alert!!! Gotta wonder about the speeders, they all drive so freaking fasst? I did finally se someone get a ticket so obviously CHP does write them once in awhilr. The other strange thing besides selling booze at gas stations, is the cel phone use, people were flying by me on both sides at better than 90mph & 90% 0f them were holding cel phones to their ears, not even hands free?? Morons, makes me wonder if anyones paying enough attention to see me?!

Was almost to Jim’s place & got “misplaced” I thought I was in a bad part of town & I knew I was lost, I saw a police car & decided to ask directions. I pulled up & he already had a dude in the back of the car, confirming I was indeed in a bad part of town, but officer Meyer, once he & his partner had their prisoner safely in the back seat, offered much appreciated assistance & gave me directions away from the wrong part of town I was in & to where I was going! Thanks Bro!!!

Finally found Jim & Ron's place & getting there was like getting to an oasis after the endless hotels! The steak & hot tub were awesome & I’m gonna sleep like a baby, thanks guys, San Diego zoo & wild animal park tomorrow!!!!