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Old 09-24-2009, 07:59 AM   #166
Treadless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtrider
Awesome, but man, you can really drag it out.

Man of many skillz he is!





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Old 10-21-2009, 12:16 PM   #167
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To pick up where I left off, I head into Avandaro KTM and Tin and crew pry the bike from my hands, wash it, and set about changing tires.



To say they treated me well is an understatement of the highest order.

Then, I head out for an extended lunch with the Ibarra brothers, and together we tell lies and luxuriate in the afternoon sun in a place that feels blessed. Ibarra is working on a Moto touring company in Mexico, and if you are interested in riding this area, you would be well advised to give him a call. Not only is he one of the nicest people you'll meet, he knows places to take you riding that you will not find on your own.





Mexico is all drug runners and poverty. Anyone who tells you different is obviously lying.





Eventually, the time comes to leave Valle de Bravo, but I am convinced that I will be back.

On the road:



I ride into a nameless town, grab an unremarkable room, eat a mediocre meal, and feel I've used all my good road karma up for a while. That's OK, because I sleep like someone with no memory.


I wake up and I am utterly compelled to make a list. It will not wait, my mind is full of things that I want to do, or that I feel like I should do, or that need to be done, and I can't function until I get them all organized and committed to something more permanent than the shifting sands of my head.

This happens every day at home, sometimes more than once, but it's been a while since I've felt the need so strongly. It's a sign that my brain is looking for new things to engage with, I think, and maybe it means I'm ready to go home.

When I worked in cubicle land, I used to "joke" with my manager that you couldn't drive a nail without taking the hammer away from the nail, in a vain attempt to explain my abundant absences from the office (I did a good job but stretched their flexibilities to the absolute limit), and while they were not amused, I've always found it to be true. Holding my nose to the grindstone, attempting to use force of will to overcome lack of interest, only works so well and for so long. A change of pace, a change of scenery, a change of people resets the stage.

I believe a trip like this is about much more than miles covered, vistas viewed, people met, and the rest. It's about getting a perspective that reminds you who you are, what you are about, and it helps me keep my actions in line with my intentions. Not answering the phone or email for a month is scary, not because things might blow up in my face (they almost never do) but because it seems like proof that I am not needed as badly as I think I am. It shows that my time is not actually valuable, that my input is not actually needed, that my mind is not irreplaceable. That realization is like a balm, something that makes life easier instead of harder.

I head north.

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Old 10-21-2009, 12:31 PM   #168
dox
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Woohoo! Ned is back!

This ride report puts some shape and definition to thoughts that have been blowing around in my mind for quite a long time. Thanks for taking us along on your journey.

If you ever find yourself in Ohio, drop me a line... Lies and libations abound.
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Old 10-21-2009, 01:45 PM   #169
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That night shot is wonderful as are your thoughts on getting away.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:49 AM   #170
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Talking good to see some more...

I'm totally stealing that nail/hammer bit to use on my boss.

Thanks Ned
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:54 PM   #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OscarZ
I'm totally stealing that nail/hammer bit to use on my boss.

Thanks Ned
I hope it works better for you than it did for me.
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:38 PM   #172
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Thanks for the update.
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:58 PM   #173
Parm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro
Quote:
Originally Posted by OscarZ
I'm totally stealing that nail/hammer bit to use on my boss.

Thanks Ned
I hope it works better for you than it did for me.
I think I'll do the same, I will probably need it soon. I tend to need that sort of excuse...

Thanks for the report Neduro! And I concur with olebiker's statement.
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:12 PM   #174
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This report ends where it began- the feeling of being alone, of feeling like I don't know how to connect with the people around me, only this time, I'm walking away from it instead of toward it.

I am gifted beyond measure with fantastic friends, but when it comes to acquaintances, at times I don't feel sure of myself, I don't feel I know how to connect or whether to trust. My journal from this trip is filled with looping bands of illogic, as I wrestle with how to allow myself to feel comfortable and help others do the same. My struggle with this will never be resolved, but days filled with time in my helmet have brought me a measure of assurance that was missing before.

A month ago, this was exciting. All of it. The menu, how it was delivered, the ambiance, every minute was all like unwrapping a gift at Christmas, where curiosity and excitement are overpowering. Now, the suspension of disbelief has gone missing, and it is often normal, boring, frustrating.

What remains is riding. 20x and I have so many miles together in the last month we feel as one, and we share our miles like old lovers, each knowing which button to push. Getting some strange may be exciting, but there's always a moment when it is awkward and uncomfortable, but there is none of that between my beloved Superenduro and I. We know the drill and great is timeless.

We leg it to the border and I unimport the bike, feeling a little sorry for how concrete it feels to know my adventure is over. We reenter America, 20x and I, and undergo a search. They want to know where my underwear is, I want to know where their souls are. They ask, I don't, we leave it at an impasse and I go North.

I make it 4 miles into my native land before the authorities take an interest:



Anthony and I have a good chat. He's curious about the bike, and about how dangerous Mexico is.

I'm riding North, it's cold, and while I want to make Dallas I decide that Saturday night on 6th Street has my name on it. Austin has always been a favorite place, and I feel an overpowering feeling to go be among people and feel connected and try the feeling I have that I can be comfortable, that I can talk to strangers, that I can be welcoming and welcomed.

It happens in a way I don't expect. I pull into the Marriott and while I know I can't afford a room, the lobby is full of beautiful women and I imagine the concierge can tell me where to go that is close by. As I stand in line feeling out of place, Dan from Chicago asks where I'm coming from. I stretch the truth and reply "Mexico City" (that was yesterday afternoon, but who's counting?). We discuss Mexico for a while, he asks where I'm staying and I explain that I'm still looking.

Dan: "I got a room, want to stay there? It's paid for."

Ned: "Uh, is that OK?" A million thoughts rush into my head about how this could go wrong. I push them all aside.

Dan: "You gonna rip me off?"

Ned: "Nope!"

Dan: "Great, here's the key, I'll be home around 11. That's the only key, see you later."



I go up and shower, then head out for dinner. Austin is not like Mexico, and there a million little things serve to remind me of that, from shoulders on the road to high heels on the sidewalk. All of it is different, sometimes subtly, sometimes grandly, but what remains the same is the feeling of humanity.

Dan returns home, offers to buy me a hooker (is it possible not to stutter?) and promptly falls asleep, rendering the previous conversation moot if no less interesting.



I slip out early in the morning, spend a relaxing day with Ant Ware in Dallas, and head home. As I pull into the garage, it's hard to reconcile the version of me that left with the one that came home, and I think that's how great travel should feel, like a reinvention came with the relocation. The exchange rate on the last couple of months has been deeply in my favor, and I'm ready for what's next.
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neduro screwed with this post 11-19-2009 at 08:03 AM
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:31 PM   #175
SpringOly
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Nice...

Your voice is clear and is connected to your heart.

Well said!

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Old 11-14-2009, 04:49 PM   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro
The exchange rate on the last couple of months has been deeply in my favor, and I'm ready for what's next.
Ned, this is perfect.
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Old 11-14-2009, 05:18 PM   #177
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Thanks for letting us be a part of your adventure
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:00 PM   #178
cyborg
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Well spoken Ned. I enjoyed this thread and your thoughts that make us think too.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:23 PM   #179
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Poet, economist.

Thanks Ned.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:34 PM   #180
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Damn.



Thanks.
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