ow, my balls!
Joined: Mar 2007
No Fumar Espaņol: South from San Diego
Lets start off with the Ride Report trailer.
Given the current economic doom and gloom with no light at the end of the tunnel, my employer was offering unpaid leaves for up to 2 years. Gotta stay lean and keep the earnings looking good for Wall Street dont ya know. To most of my co-workers, in light of the cut backs, things look bleak. However, to me, it looks like an opportunity.
I thought it would be pretty cool to take a leave for a few months, load up my truck with a dirt bike and surfboards, and hang out in Baja. Ride, surf, drink beer, and generally just screw off until I run out of money. That sounds like a plan. So, I signed up for 3 months of no work and no pay.
Then I figured, wow, how cool would it be to do a really big Mexico and Central America ride? Very cool. So I decided that I should take a year long leave, do a great big ride and surf my brains out at every world class break from San Diego to Panama. I think a plan is coming together.
Then I got to thinking again. This is really a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have no obligations here at home. I need to do whatever is necessary to take full advantage of this opportunity. How cool would it be to take off from my home in San Diego ride south, and see where I wind up? Perfect. Now that's my kind of plan. So I signed up for 2 years of unpaid leave.
That was in July. I am now out of work. I rented out my apartment. I sold and/or donated all of my crap. I had too much crap anyway. For example, I now own exactly 2 pairs of underwear, and I think that's just about right.
This was my day job, and more often than not my night job as well. I've been flying airplanes around for most of my life. Sure, I'm going to miss it, but not for a while.......
I am welcoming the change of pace doing some world travel with a little smaller and slower machine..................
I have been pouring over South America ride reports trying to come up with a plan. After all of my research, countless questions to the Latin America experts, countless posts, and countless hours scouring over maps, the scale of what I intend to do finally hit me right between the eyes.
Holy crap. Am I really going to travel for 2 years on a motorcycle? How does one go about preparing for that? If any of you figure it out, please let me know how its done.
I am mainly an off road dirt bike guy. I have a bit of experience riding in the US and Mexico, but I have never attempted anything of this scale on a motorcycle. Up until last week, I did'nt even have a motorcycle license. I never really needed one until now. You just don't see many cops in the places that I ride.
A remote dry lake in southern Nevada: No cops.
The vistas of the lonely deserts of Southern California: No cops.
The stunningly beautiful barren wastes of Death Valley: a few cops, but not many.
The scenic remote two tracks of Mojave: about 2 cops for the whole place.
The jaw dropping star studded skies of the middle of nowhere, Mexico: only narcos and bandidos here.
Baja dirt. It just doesnt get any better: No cops at all.
But, I digress.
Now, back to the plan. I can hardly plan out what I'm going to have for dinner much less make travel plans for 2 years. So, the bottom line is that there is really no plan. In Baja I fly by the seat of my pants, but since it seems crazy to take off on a journey like this without a plan, I had to have a plan. My plan is to get on my KTM 990, cross the border into Mexico, and head in a more or less southerly direction over the next year until I cant possibly go any further south. When that happens, I will then make more plans. Is that a good enough plan?
I really have only a few goals.
1. To have fun and return home alive and well.
2. To learn a little Spanish along the way because right now I "no fumar Espaņol."
3. To take lots of pictures.
When I tell people what I intend to do, I get some interesting reactions:
"Wow thats crazy, its dangerous down there. Did you hear about that guy that was riding his motorcycle in Colombia and got kidnapped?" I respond, "yeah, I did hear something about that."
Or another one, "What about the swine flu? Arent you scared?" Yeah, I'll be fine, I only eat fish tacos and I chase everything with Tequlia.
Or, "what about the narco wars? You'll be killed before you get out of Mexico! Its dangerous down there!" Well, I dont plan on doing any drug deals to fund my ride.
Then my favorite. "You're going to do what? You're crazy! Dont you know how dangerous it is down there?" Well, uh, yeah. Its dangerous here too.
Its disturbing that so many people let the sensational news media form their world views.
Of course its dangerous. Anything involving motorcycles has an inherent danger about it. My biggest challenge will be to keep my right wrist in check and not take too many chances. It is what it is.
There are of course like minded people, whose reactions are always, "whoa, holy crap! You are a lucky bastard. I wish I could go with you." These people are my friends.
So, while I'm feeling lucky, I invite you to follow along on my little journey south through the deserts, jungles and mountains. Through the bad roads, the mean streets, the narco wars, the swine flu, the corrupt cops, the coups and revolutions to the bottom of the planet.
Despite all the naysayers and doomsday peddlers, I think its going to be one hell of a positive experience and a heck of a good time.
Before I get underway, there are a few things to take care of. I'm close to departure and will post up some of my preparations later this week.
Hasta luego amigos......
Riding the Americas: No Fumar Espaņol
crashmaster screwed with this post 07-01-2011 at 01:35 AM