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Old 12-09-2011, 02:41 PM   #151
granite
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mightymatt43 View Post
thanks!
i honestly can't remember where we saw that race. we've been to so many places already, i need to start taking notes. powered division, you say? wow.
it looks like the Burlington, VT waterfront (harbor)

have a great trip
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:54 PM   #152
Ed_in_miami
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Cool!

Subscribed!
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:36 PM   #153
cmaridersa
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Home for Christmas

Matt
After you two get home in a few days or so (for Christmas, right?), give me a call. I would really like to see your rig. I PMed you my number a few days ago.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:04 PM   #154
Country Doc
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Every so often I realize that I've been logging in to ADVRider and doing nothing much more than checking out the buy and sells, and I start getting cynical about the community, and about life in general, particularly in my current phase where for the most part, my wife and I feel like we are mostly always struggling to keep two little kids happy and fed with little time for travel or reflection.

Then I check into Ride Reports, and find a story like this.

You two are amazing, really. The photography is stunning, the writing insightful and entertaining, the story profound and inspiring.

Subscribed for sure! Many, many thanks for taking the time to allow us to join you on your journey. Hope to meet you out there one day.

dc

(ps - I'm a gear dork myself, and would be interested to know what lenses you use on your 5D's. Are you two professional photographers?)
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Old 12-10-2011, 04:49 PM   #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Dub View Post
Wow, into what many consider to be a volatile area as it is... don't know if I'd be heading in that direction. I wish you two all the luck.
We were in Medallin last December as well as Bogota and Santa Fe de Antioquio and had a great experience. The cities have good and bad spots and require an attentive perspective. Outside of the cities the locals were friendly and helpful.

My 2 cents.......ride on and enjoy!


-Terry
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:25 PM   #156
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Awesome adventure.

Thanks for sharing, I am subscribed. Your photography is stellar.
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Old 12-11-2011, 09:24 AM   #157
J-Dub
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventure Trio View Post
We were in Medallin last December as well as Bogota and Santa Fe de Antioquio and had a great experience. The cities have good and bad spots and require an attentive perspective. Outside of the cities the locals were friendly and helpful.

My 2 cents.......ride on and enjoy!


-Terry
Doesn't that always seem to be the case? I've had incredible times in Mexico despite all of the warnings. You'd think that a decapitation is waiting for you as soon as you cross the border...
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Old 12-11-2011, 08:49 PM   #158
madeouttaglass
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Location: California bound but stuck in NY for now
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I've spent the last few nights reading both of your adventures. First let me say how sorry I am for your recent loss of your brother. I can't imagine. I'd also like to say Thank you for sharing your trips with us. It has been a pleasure to read and look at the beautiful pictures. You have underlined me wanting to buy another Ural. I sold my 1wd 650 and am hoping to find a 2wd like yours so I can play in our snow. Keep the posts coming and best wishes for the rest of your trip.
Tom
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Our ride across the USA on a Ural Gear Up- http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781149

Escape from NY- http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955520

madeouttaglass screwed with this post 12-12-2011 at 12:22 PM
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:34 AM   #159
alekkas
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Sharing the impetus for the trip helps add perspective to the ride and to life. Thank you for sharing the personal side of things.

I am really enjoying the read and the incredible shots. Best of luck in your travels.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:14 AM   #160
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replies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Dub View Post
Wow, into what many consider to be a volatile area as it is... don't know if I'd be heading in that direction. I wish you two all the luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adventure Trio View Post
We were in Medallin last December as well as Bogota and Santa Fe de Antioquio and had a great experience. The cities have good and bad spots and require an attentive perspective. Outside of the cities the locals were friendly and helpful.

My 2 cents.......ride on and enjoy!


-Terry

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Dub View Post
Doesn't that always seem to be the case? I've had incredible times in Mexico despite all of the warnings. You'd think that a decapitation is waiting for you as soon as you cross the border...
It's kind of hard what to expect even after researching on sites like this one and Horizons Unlimited. I guess we'll just go and see for ourselves. I'm hoping for a mix of the good and bad reports as they both feed the adventure!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_in_miami View Post
Cool!

Subscribed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by XxdrpxX View Post
Thanks for sharing, I am subscribed. Your photography is stellar.

Thanks guys!


Quote:
Originally Posted by granite View Post
it looks like the Burlington, VT waterfront (harbor)

have a great trip
I think you may be right... I need to take better notes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaridersa View Post
Matt
After you two get home in a few days or so (for Christmas, right?), give me a call. I would really like to see your rig. I PMed you my number a few days ago.
I will give you a call for sure. I'm supposed to get a new phone in the next week or so and it should be the same number that you probably have for me...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Country Doc View Post
Every so often I realize that I've been logging in to ADVRider and doing nothing much more than checking out the buy and sells, and I start getting cynical about the community, and about life in general, particularly in my current phase where for the most part, my wife and I feel like we are mostly always struggling to keep two little kids happy and fed with little time for travel or reflection.

Then I check into Ride Reports, and find a story like this.

You two are amazing, really. The photography is stunning, the writing insightful and entertaining, the story profound and inspiring.

Subscribed for sure! Many, many thanks for taking the time to allow us to join you on your journey. Hope to meet you out there one day.

dc

(ps - I'm a gear dork myself, and would be interested to know what lenses you use on your 5D's. Are you two professional photographers?)
Thank you!
I knew this about me before our recent tragedy, but I've always needed to get away to process the things that life was throwing at me. We don't have kids so I can't speak directly to how they may complicate this, but I think the necessity of detaching from normal life to examine ourselves and the burdens that we bear is pretty universal. I hope that Kristen and I will be able to find the time to do that even when we have kids in the future - but you would know better than me - maybe it's just impossible.
Anyway - thanks for your interest in what we're up to. It's been great, but even harder emotionally than I could have guessed. It's already drawn us together even more and I can't wait until we get to some of the more adventurous areas to see how that molds us even further.
Oh man - I love gear. The 85mm 1.2 is the most ridiculous lens I've ever used. In low light, there is not a lens that can match it. We also use a 24-70 2.8, 24mm 1.4, 70-200 2.8 and I do like the 16-35 2.8 even though it warps stuff on the edges of the image.
Good to hear from you...


Quote:
Originally Posted by madeouttaglass View Post
I've spent the last few nights reading both of your adventures. First let me say how sorry I am for your recent loss of your brother. I can't imagine. I'd also like to say Thank you for sharing your trips with us. It has been a pleasure to read and look at the beautiful pictures. You have underlined me wanting to buy another Ural. I sold my 1wd 650 and am hoping to find a 2wd like yours so I can play in our snow. Keep the posts coming and best wishes for the rest of your trip.
Tom
Thanks for your thoughts, Tom. It's really been great to read the sympathy of those on this site - I'm taking a lot of pride reading the responses we've received to Kristen...
Also, we just got back to my parents place in San Antonio and I have been riding my Ural around town a bit. I cannot believe how small it is compared to our new rig - I'll have to post some pictures - but it is a blast. I don't think I'll ever get rid of that thing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by alekkas View Post
Sharing the impetus for the trip helps add perspective to the ride and to life. Thank you for sharing the personal side of things.

I am really enjoying the read and the incredible shots. Best of luck in your travels.
I think you're right - it wouldn't have been an honest report without the tough stuff. I was actually thinking of giving a little update on how we're doing from time to time as this is as much about exploring as it is grieving.
Thanks for your kind words.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:52 AM   #161
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Destin, Fl - New Orleans - San Antonio



I was unaware that there were any beaches like those in Destin, Florida in the USA. We rode into town through some fierce winds (BigBoy was not a happy camper) and were greeted with some of the softest, fluffiest, and whitest sand we’ve ever seen. It honestly looked like snow.

*

Even though it was beautiful, we had our family in San Antonio on our mind and decided to push onward into the paralyzing wind that was whipping right into our faces. I have to say, that with the wind coming in at the wrong angle (quartered into our face and coming from the left) this rig is a beast to handle. My back and arms get a serious workout and I can tell it's putting a little bit of a strain on the GSA, not that it can't keep up the speed.



*



As we hugged the Gulf coast along the empty Route 98, we passed a multitude of small forest roads that led away from the highway. At some point, both of us needed a break from the wind, so we pulled down one of these rough paths and made our way behind a grove of trees. It was here as we were both laying completely prone in the dirt that I had a revelation.
What was happening to us?!?
How had I talked Kristen into becoming okay with this lifestyle of constant movement and how had we both become okay with plopping down on the ground in pretty much any circumstance for a nap?
But wait...was it me that talked her into it or was it the other way around?
As I looked at my wife, laying on her back with her feet propped up on the sidecar, hands behind her head and eyes focused on the branches above dancing in the breeze, I suddenly realized that I didn’t care.



Yeti gloves are good for cold, windy days.


Despite making horrible time, we eventually made it into a city we have somehow skipped over for the past 29 years, New Orleans.


We had chosen a hotel that was only a few blocks away from the French Quarter, but had booked the room by phone the day before. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. The hotel was perfectly fine (they even gave us our very own parking spot right next to the guard), but the area was all-in-all pretty sketchy. It didn’t stop us, however, as we had places to see and wonderful things to eat...



*



*



*



*




We spent the next several hours on our feet, doing the site-seeing thing until our bellies said otherwise. 
Cue Cafe du Monde.



I know, I know, food again. But c’mon. How can you say no to a place that only serves coffee and beignets, 24 hours a day, year round for the past 100 years? Perfect.



*


Those deep fried pillows of goodness were delicious and memorable (and the powdered sugar filled my beard to an amazing extent) but the real reason we came to New Orleans was for the music.

The streets of the French Quarter are filled with musicians. They share the road with cars and bicycles, but they continue on just the same.


*

This particular band had a lion/dog as a mascot.


*



*

These guys were playing right next to the sign below:


*



*



*

This guy's tone from that little Vox was ridiculous. I have an old AC30 at home that never sounded that good (maybe it was the operator).


*

This particular group was so good that Kristen dropped $20 to buy her jazz-loving dad a Christmas gift.


We spent the rest of the day wandering the streets and trying to get a better feel as to why people come here. I'm pretty sure the nightlife/bar scene/restaurant scene is the main draw, but I there is a pretty cool history to this place... especially the French Quarter.



*



*



*



*



*



*



*



*



*



*



*

The Superdome glowed outside our window and was a good reminder of what this place has been through.


I have to admit that I wasn't blown away by New Orleans. I think given the right group of people who knew the city, we could have had an awesome time but our visit was just too short and even more admittedly short sighted.

We eventually decided to try and make a push for home right as the rain started to fall. The next couple of days we tried to take delight in the cold, windy, wet flats of Texas until we were about 120 miles outside of
San Antonio. This close to home, we should have known something was about to happen.




We were on the highway, strolling along at 70 mph when the entire rig jerked to the right and almost yanked the handbars out of my hands. At first, I thought it may have been a gust of wind but soon after a nasty noise started humming from the sidecar wheel.

We pulled off the highway and limped to the next town at 10 mph and an Autozone parking lot.



*



It turns out that we had experienced a wheel bearing failure. In fact, I think we had a wheel bearing disintigration. This totally shouldn’t have happened at 8000 miles, but it did. It’s hard to know why it failed (maybe an over-tightening, improper greasing, probably just a defect) but I do have to say that I’m glad it did!

Two guys from the Autozone, Jonathan and Torian, not only taught me how to replace a set of bearings, but they also did all of the work so that I could see how it was done (I've never actually replaced them, only tightened). With their own tools. While they were going back and forth in between the store and our bike. Ridiculous.



In addition to these stellar guys, another friendly face appeared with his two kids to help oversee the process. As it turns out, Hugo (pictured on the far right) is not only a BMW aficionado, but he also travels throughout different areas of South America nearly every week for work. Coincidence? I think not.

Hugo turned out to be a true gentleman and really looked after us and put both of our minds at ease about traveling in South America. I hadn't really experienced the BMW community before, but it made me feel like I was a part of something special. Thank you, sir (I think Hugo is a ADV reader, not contributor).

Seriously, we felt totally blown away by the generosity of these three guys who came to our aid when we just wanted to make it back to our families.

*

After a bit of a delay, we finally rolled into San Antonio to be met by both of our families for a nice home cooked meal. Our hearts and stomachs were happy.

*

We are now going to be hanging out at our parents houses for Christmas while we prepare and research for our trip to South America. We plan on shipping BigBoy to Colombia in mid-January (through Gaston, here on ADV) so we’ve got some serious work to do. I’ll be keeping a log of what we’re up to in case any of you are interested in making a similar trip. In fact, I'm headed to the BMW dealer in town right now as their head mechanic is going to talk me through a few things and help me order some stuff to take along (just in case).

More updates soon as we work to get ready for the next phase of our trip!
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:30 PM   #162
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BMW vs. Ural

Now that I have the chance, I figured I would get a comparison shot of our 2007 Ural next to our newer BMW rig. The overall size difference is obvious, but what's surprising is that the ground clearance is pretty comparable.

Check it out:



*



*

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Old 12-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #163
J-Dub
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size comparison

Wow, what a difference! As much space as my Gear-Up takes in my garage, I never would have thought that it would be dwarfed by that GSA/CSM combo. Cool stuff!
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Old 12-20-2011, 09:38 AM   #164
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Video: Rig Walkthrough

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Old 12-20-2011, 09:39 AM   #165
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Video: Rig Walkthrough

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