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Old 08-02-2012, 02:39 PM   #301
vintagespeed
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awesome Ryan, do what you do and dont look back. :)
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Old 08-03-2012, 03:56 PM   #302
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Cool Cool.....

Ryan,

This is about as cool as it can get! Thanks for taking the time to do it up right. Good luck with whatever your next moves are. This was/is great reading, even for an old man!

Gary
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:25 AM   #303
Ben Carufel
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Bump! Ryan, watcha up to these days?
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:40 AM   #304
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Location: Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
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Hey im still here

Quote:
Bump! Ryan, watcha up to these days?
Thanks for asking man, Ive just opened a bank account in a Spanish bank, yes I know.

I just got an email this morning from two friends, Bob and Rebeca who I met in Panama, they saw my bike in Ecuador! The new owner, from Canada, has been cruising around the Andes on my old girl and seems to be happy with her.

I start work soon as an English teacher, I will be drumming up some extra cash on the side tutoring and all that, Ive got a badass apartment on the Mediterranean for 350 a month, split 3 ways. I live in Mazarrón, Murcia and so far its great. Im trying to pick up a used bike to explore the bad ass canyons and cliffs and coastal dirt roads nearby. Its like the forgotten coast in Spain and ive got it all to myself. Spanish life is REALLY nice, I got a 5 year green card so we will see what happens.

I rode a Honda XR125 yesterday and the damn thing has some power! It took me and my girl down the road comfortably at around 80kph with plenty of pick up. Tank is full for 11 Euros and will go for about 300k. The only problem is the 600 euro EU drivers license. I wonder how long I can fudge the date on my INTL drivers license and just tell them im a tourist? hehe, I learned a few tricks in SA.

Im really hoping to get you guys some more material, as soon as i get back on two wheels.

I picked up (probably stolen, spray painted black) mountain bike and damn there are some breathtaking roads around here.

Ive been in contact with Carlos, the guy I met in Antigua, Guatemala, he shipped is bike (Aprilia 1000cc V-Twin) to Germany and is now in Bulgaria planning an overland trip through the middle east and India, into South East Asia. Heres a pic of his bike in Guatemala with me in the background.



Hopefully he will get a site up and running so you guys can follow his journey, hes not on ADV. RTW trip on a 1000cc street bike, should be interesting.

Ive basically been trying to solve my problem of wanting to travel but getting bored of wandering without purpose. Now I have a job in a totally new place and I like the rhythm here I like Spain a lot, from Mazarrón I can get to Morocco faster than I could get to Barcelona or Cadiz.

And when Im not travelling, I chill out on my porch which wont get boring anytime soon:




My dream at the moment is to do a trip around the South of Italy, land of the Mafia. Andalucia, Spain is nice too, and maybe ill dive into Morocco on a bike sometime.

Badass trip through America Latina though. Ive never had so much fun on a bike. If I were to do it again (which I will) I would take a smaller bike and take it slower, blending in a little more, just enjoy riding and seeing new sites. Ive learned that it doesnt matter what bike you take. The best bike for any trip is the bike you like.

I will update my website soon with a little bit on my time in italy. I flew to Liguria from Spain for 24 Euros and found some work with the communists, bussing tables and working on a farm. The next section called Italian Communists should be a good one, although no motorcycles involved. We made wine, ate well, butchered rabbits and I learned some Genovese curse words. Ill post the link.


-Ryan
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:24 AM   #305
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Every rider should enjoy this short film (6 min.)

3 old Beemers, 3 crazy French guys, good music...

http://vimeo.com/49445992

You guys might like this
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:17 PM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PorLaTierra View Post
3 old Beemers, 3 crazy French guys, good music...

http://vimeo.com/49445992

You guys might like this
That's awesome.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:21 PM   #307
zzo
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Eek

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorLaTierra View Post
3 old Beemers, 3 crazy French guys, good music...

http://vimeo.com/49445992

You guys might like this
Huh?
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:33 PM   #308
Adv Grifter
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Very nice little film! Well done boys! Loved the music too ...
I loved their funky BMW's. Excellent. FUN FUN FUN ... that's what it's all about!

Austin Vince would be proud of those guys!
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:57 PM   #309
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Great vid, glad you're still at it!
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #310
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Bump, news?
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:40 AM   #311
PorLaTierra OP
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Location: Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
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Im back!

Update, I got a bike again. Yes my friends I'm on my way to Brazil right? Ok so I am in Spain, not exactly on the way but the world is round right? The whole idea of this adventure riding thing is to ride one of these machines with 2 wheels and an engine and have a hell of a time.

So, I bought a bike, I have been working as an English teacher in a little coastal town and I finally scraped together enough €uros to buy a little Yamaha SR250. 1985, 3400km I know I was suspicious too but the gas tank isnt rusty and the engine is sound, carbs a little dirty but no big deal. This region of Spain is known as one of the driest and very mild temperatures so I plan to ride all year whenever I have time off. With all the strikes and chaos of the Spanish education system in times of crisis I have plenty of days off. The crisis is serious but as far as being a 26 year old and having no real direction I dont want to be anywhere else. The crisis is real, but its also a fascinating time to be in Spain.

I knew nothing about Spain before coming here and what a surprise, I love it, its a great culture. Considerably less stressful than anything I could expect from the US of A. The Spanish take it easy. Im not sure whether to start a new thread for my wanderings on the 250 or keep them on this one. For now, heres a few pictures of my bike, some back roads and life on the Mediterranean.

Me on the bike.








From left to right, my bike, my lady, and my buddy Jose on his XR125. Here we are at an abandoned mining town.



The abandoned minging town







The town I live in is called Mazarron in the state of Murcia, Andalucias little brother. Its in the south, its dry and hot and right on the water. There are also miles of canyons and old Spanish towns that are way the hell off the tourist map. There are mountains too, and I cant believe how many routes are available to get from point A to point B. I will never get bored. I plan to explore the hell out of this area and as soon as I can I will also explore Castilla de la Mancha, the land of Don Quixote and windmills. With so much history its hard to find a place in Spain that does not have things to see.


The dirt road at the edge of town that winds down the coast to Almeria, where I could potentially take a boat to Morocco.









Some mountains about an hour away.





The beach near my place.



Elevator to the 8th floor. In the summer rents triple but in the winter the town empties and you can pretty much take your pick of places to rent, we have a bad ass place for just €116 each per month. Leaves me some to spare for gas.




Spanish tapas, delicious small plates to accompany your drink.



Weird food of the month: Fried blood






Mazarron has kind of a faded 70s feel to it, like a fishermans town that blew up with tourism and then faded. But in the summer it comes alive again. The winter has its charms though and on an average night, due to the warm wind and the Spanish eating scheule (dinner at 10pm) there more people out at midnight, taking a stroll, drinking in a bar or watching a game in an open air cafe than even a city twice its size in the North. More adventure on its way.

Let the Spanish motorcycle diaries begin!

-Ryan
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:06 AM   #312
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You have direction...it just changes frequently. Bought you a tank of gas, now go somewhere already. It's going to be a long, cold winter for the rest of us if you don't!
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:20 AM   #313
PorLaTierra OP
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Quote:
You have direction...it just changes frequently. Bought you a tank of gas, now go somewhere already. It's going to be a long, cold winter for the rest of us if you don't!
Thanks Matt! Gettin pretty good mileage on that thing, and it handles fine on the open road (as long as theres no wind). Ill do my best to keep things interesting.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:44 PM   #314
Adv Grifter
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Sounds like you found all the places I wish I had done when I was there on my 955i Tiger. Fantastic stuff! I always looked up into those mountains figuring there would be some good riding. Being solo, I never went exploring.

I did go to Morocco, but left the bike in Spain. But you should do it ... Take your bike! Getting a bit cold now for the Atlas mountains but lowlands and coastal areas should still be OK. ??

I'd wait till late Spring ... then make the Maroc dash.
Takes just over an hour on the Ferry, IIRC.

Love to hear more about your impressions of the very serious situation in Spain ... sadly, most Americans are 100% clueless about what's really going on. Even the so called "educated" just say "... they need to adopt more austerity programs."

I believe they might consider kissing off the Euro and flip off the banks regards their debt. (the way Argentina did). Nationalize oil companies and re-build from the ground up. Regain power from the Multi-Nationals who now have too much control and give things back to Spaniards.

It would be a HUGE risk with no guarantee of success, but what else can they do? I doubt any of that would ever happen ... but one can hope.

Suerte and safe travels!
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:59 AM   #315
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Location: Madrid, the coolest city on the planet.
Oddometer: 119
Im back!

Every day I go out for a spin on the SR250 I am amazed at what I find. Giant old aqueducts, crumbly little towns and excellent rural highways. I love it. I cant wait for the next long weekend.

Its raining today so what a day for a little writing. Ive had a few excellent rides since buying my bike. Ive been getting comfortable on it and testing its limits for some longer trips this winter and spring. I dont work mondays so all it takes for a 4 day weekend is local holiday or a good strike on a Friday or Tuesday.

Riding an old bike reminds me of riding my first bike, a Honda nighthawk. I took a few week long trips in my early days. Maybe because it too was an '85, the Yamaha is more like the nighthawk than the BMW. Heres a shot of the Honda on my very first motorcycle tour near Condon, WA.



On that trip I drove to California, then back up through eastern Oregon then on to one of my all time favorite roads, the highway near Antelope and Fossil in North Eastern OR where I visited exotic locales such as:





And after 16,000km on a BMW F650 I find myself in Spain on another classic motorcycle:

Heres me on my Yamaha SR250, my girl on her new Peugeot scooter (her first vehicle) and my buddy Jose on his XR125 from right to left.




So on to the present.

I bought the bike from Motos Raul and here is the timeline,

Ride 1: (not counting test ride) I ride home from the shop taking the long way through the beach comunity of Bolnuevo. Bike dies and I think WTF did I buy? I flip the petcock to reserve and off I go (my favorite kind of break down).
I get gas the next day and the tank is no where near empty so I guess that wasn't it, I suspect a dirty carburator.

Ride 2: Ride to Jose's house to show him the new bike (aka how how my drinking buddy became my riding buddy)
He says "You're quality of life has just improved my friend" and off we go. He took me down some wonderful backroads through farm land VERY reminiscent of Mexico and Colombia and into a little town where there is supposedly a guy who will cook you badass meals in his farmhouse if you make a reservation, which I plan to do some day when I have a guest maybe. Also, he says that in that town (Balsicas) there is a contest every December where contestants try their best to imitate the neighing of a donkey. IM THERE! I said, I cant wait.

Ride 3: I cruise to Cartagena (the one in Spain) and tackle the old cobblestones in the beautiful old port city, in search of the guy who sold me my useless mp3 player. It turns out its only 26km from Mazarron even though it takes an hour on the bus. I pat myself on the back again for buying a motorcycle. On the way home I choose the inland route and take a left on a little one lane road. The rural roads here are the type you would expect if motorcycles ruled the world (everyones fantasy right?). Its clear why there are so many small vehicles in Europe, roads like this. Farmers drive 3-wheeled pick ups and stare at me as I go by. These guys are the real thing, seems like a lot of work doing it all the old fashioned way but man the veggies around here taste good, practically cook themselves. Where am I again? I feel like I never left S. America. Road takes me up a hill and then drops me into a canyon, a dry river bed actually (una rambla in spanish). This one is called the Rambla del cañar and it's cold. Evidently the sun never reaches the depths of this canyon. Rising up to my left is a giant rock face, probably a kilometer long and very tall. The road ends, can the SR250 handle the dirt? It has a much smaller rear tire than some of the newer models but I go for it. Its a smooth dirt track in parts and in others, loose sharp rocks but I move along in 1st and 2nd and no flats. A few small creek crossings add to the fun. It spits me out 10km from home in the middle of one of these "seas of plastic" that make up parts of the countryside here. Giant greenhouses as far as the eye can see with sad looking faces, Moroccons, Ecuadorians, Algerians, picking tomatos and wandering home (its 7pm).



I need to clean the carbs, but besides that the bike is tons of fun.

I think its worth writing a bit about the process of buying a bike in Spain. What a bitch, I almost gave up.

First I had to establish residence in a foreign country which was unavoidable if I wanted to open a bank account and get paid.

Once legal, I had to get the "empadronamiento" which required a signature from the landlord who lives in a different city. The lease at my apartment was handwritten which didnt help.

That took a week because things are slow here. There is a nap in the middle of the day and anything bureaucratic takes time.

The empadronamiento proves my residence here in town.

To ride a bike legally you need insurance. To get insurance you need to have a bike in your name. Catch 22.

So in short, I got residence in the country, then registered here in town, then I went looking for a bike. Once I found one I got the title (transfer costs €100, normal price unless you want to go to the DMV, but there is none in my little town) and paid for it then asked Raul if I could leave it at his shop while I got insurance. The insurance didnt like that I had an american license. American drivers licenses are kind of a joke here unless you are just a tourist, and I am supposed to get a Spanish one eventually. I tried a few different companies until I found one that would take me. In the box for country they wrote Italian (my other citizenship) and then wrote in my US license number. This was a little trick but technically not against the law. Just had to find an insurance agent who didn't ask too many questions. Just put some numbers on the form and get on with it.

Its my job to license myself and the insurance company only needs to provide me with coverage, so even though I cant use my US license much longer that is my problem if I get stopped.

So, with insurance, the bike title and my license I had the bike. The only problem with the whole thing is the insane price of insurance because apparently my 10 years of driving vehicles of all sorts in the US doesn't count in Europe and I am treated like a 16 year old with no record. I am also expected to get an EU license soon now that I am a resident. A license in Spain can easily run you €600 or much more because of the strict program and many required classes. Once I get a license I can only ride bikes up to 500cc I think for two years.

Loophole: Most cops dont know the rules for American licenses and rarely stop motos anyways. Plus, my AAA international permit has the date written in pen and I think I saw a good strong eraser at the corner store...

My camera is currently being repaired by Fuji but if I take off on any cool trips I will borrow my girlfriends for now. So I hope to provide a little entertainment for my readers, I've got the time so I'll try me best to keep you entertained, my trip continues...here its warm and while my teaching job is not gonna make me rich I cant complain. I have reached my goals for now. I have a place to hang my hat for a bit while I plan my next move.

-Ryan
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