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Old 10-19-2013, 11:08 PM   #1
cmkaduce OP
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The Minnesota Boy Heads South (and I'm not talking Alabama)

It's 3:00 AM. I have meetings in the morning, employee evaluations to write, budgets to prepare, and other issues that will surely become pressing later on. While I recognize I need sleep to perform well the following day, I simply cannot help but lie here awake thinking about this world I know so little about. I may think my life is in some way, shape, or form important, but then I come to the quick realization that my concerns are insignificant. I begin to ponder my life at age 30 questioning whether I want to continue down this path I have chosen for myself.


A little about me. I was born and raised in a rural town in Southern Minnesota about an hour and a half south of Minneapolis. I have great parents who instilled very traditional American values that still serve me well today. Ever since I was little, I had a job doing something. Attending university in Minnesota I carried two jobs and went to school full-time. I graduated and took a job immediately after with a large employer headquartered locally. From there, I accepted a position in Atlanta, GA where I lived from age 23-30, which pretty well brings you up to speed in short order.


So, we're on a motorcycle forum and you just read two paragraphs with no motorcycles. Let me fix this. I was always the kid in school that was literally terrible at all things athletic. I tried baseball and no good, how about basketball...a little worse, football you can forget about it. Not only was I awful, but I had no interest. One day my parents had this bright idea of buying a motorcycle, and I was just conniving enough to convince them to buy me my first dirt bike at 13. From the first day I threw my leg over the bike, I knew my life had changed. I was connected with the machine and it just felt intuitive and right. From there, I raced a little motocross and graduated to sport bikes at 17. Through my late teens and early 20's I owned a few sport bikes including a stunt bike. I eventually sort of grew out of the stunting thing (although I still enjoy the occasional wheelie here and there) and started doing more track days. I became a track day coach and spent four years coaching until deciding it was too resource-intensive. From there, I began taking longer trips on the road. It was this path that lead me to the intriguing, treacherous, and unassuming world of adventure motorcycling.


OK, now that we have some background, let's get back to 3:00 AM. This wasn't the first sleepless night. As my 20's were coming to a close, I was starting to reflect more and more on my life, what it was, and what it meant. Was I destined to work for a corporation? Does my life need to be centered around money? Why am I single? Do I want to live in Atlanta anymore? Do I want this job anymore? Do I want this life anymore? If I wasn't doing what I'm doing now, then what would I do?? The questions continue on with no clear answers. A close friend had recently traveled by motorcycle from Nashville, TN up to Alaska then down to Argentina. The experiences he shared with me, the places he has seen, the people he has met filled me with this sort of respectful envy. I soon began to step back and focus on one question; If I wasn't doing what I'm doing now, then what would I do? A clear answer emerges. I would travel by motorcycle.
What would it take?



1) Get buy-in from parents
2) Rent townhouse
3) Resign from job after 11 years at the same company
4) Eat into savings
5) Sell most everything and move what's left to parent's home back in Minnesota
6) Buy KLR and take a 10 week test trip in North America focusing on the west coast
7) Take said KLR to South America riding from Minnesota (except Darien Gap of course)


Well friends, bullets 1-6 are complete. I type this as I sit on the same bed in the same room I grew up in my parent's basement. The nostalgia of the room, the town, the people make me reminisce of younger years gone by. In a little more than a week's time, I will be embarking on a journey that I am incredibly excited about. If you haven't been paying attention, those are pretty big bullet points and I'm not even sure all this change has fully sunk in just yet. A year ago today, I was in an office with my moderately successful life knowing with damn near certainty what today, tomorrow, and next week are going to look like. Now I sit here, uncertain about tomorrow or the following day. This will be my life during this journey. Left tentative...wide open to be fully appreciated. A trip very few have the opportunity to take, or choose to take for that matter. This will not be easy, and while I am ecstatic, I am also fearful. Day 1 of an unforgettable journey is coming at me in short order. Let's hope I'm ready for it, and I hope you follow me along for the ride. 10/28/13 is D-Day.


Throughout this trip, you can check photos below:


http://s1283.photobucket.com/user/cm...?sort=3&page=1


Check videos here:


http://www.youtube.com/user/zuma954
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:13 AM   #2
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Yay Cody!! So excited for you and can't wait to follow you via pics and video on your adventure! Hope we can make it down to see you at some point!! ~Tiff
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:43 AM   #3
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Good Luck

I will be watching.
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Old 10-20-2013, 08:07 AM   #4
trapperj
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I'm in

I have several bikes...ride 20 to 30 thousand miles a year. I look and dream and half ass plan a epic trip like the one your about to do.

My bro in law passed last night after a short battle with lung cancer. He had no wife and no children. He was 62. Drugs and booze was his downfall. At the end he had few visitors. I was one of them. He loved riding his powered chair out of his Hospice room he shared with another patient, to look at whichever bike I had rode up for that visit.

He knew I had thought about taking a long trip on my bike. His passing has made it clear to me that time is something you can't control....you can't stop or reverse it.

I will do a trip this coming year somewhere...I simply must. Not for my bro in law. He's gone. But for me. Sounds stingy but it's not. I'm 52...if not now....when?

Good lucK cm kaduce
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:29 AM   #5
cmkaduce OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trapperj View Post

My bro in law passed last night after a short battle with lung cancer. He had no wife and no children. He was 62. Drugs and booze was his downfall. At the end he had few visitors. I was one of them. He loved riding his powered chair out of his Hospice room he shared with another patient, to look at whichever bike I had rode up for that visit.
Sorry to hear about your loss. No matter where you decide to go, you simply can't go wrong on a bike.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:52 AM   #6
amangia
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Looking forward to this one

I envy your opportunity. I wish I had jumped in long ago, but I wasn't bitten by the wander lust bug til later in life. I hope to do some catching up as it hit me like a ton of bricks not long ago that time has no element of control. You can stop the clock from ticking, but time keeps on passing. "Seize the day" is one of the simplest, shortest, most profound and potentially powerful statements ever.

I'm in!
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Old 10-20-2013, 05:39 PM   #7
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Looking forward to a good KLR Ride Report.
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:08 PM   #8
Cmnthead
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A place to stay in Panama

Good for you!
My son and I are leaving about a week after you, November 7th. We are going to shoot thru the States fairly quick then take our time in Mexico and C.A.
If you are interested, you have a place to hang your helmet in Panama when you get there or maybe we will see you along the way before then.
Keep in touch!
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:54 PM   #9
cmkaduce OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmnthead View Post
Good for you!
My son and I are leaving about a week after you, November 7th. We are going to shoot thru the States fairly quick then take our time in Mexico and C.A.
If you are interested, you have a place to hang your helmet in Panama when you get there or maybe we will see you along the way before then.
Keep in touch!
Sounds great! I'm planning to catch the Baja 1000 so let me know if you and your son are planning to be in Encenada mid-Nov. If not, then maybe I'll take you up on Panama!
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Old 10-21-2013, 02:50 PM   #10
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Bellingham To Brazil, Not Coming Back

My son did this trip last year. He has some good info on travel in Mex, Central Am and Columbia. He had planned on 2 weeks in Columbia but it was so beautiful and entertaining he stayed for quite some time. I was lucky enough to ride my 1977 BMW R100 to meet him in Mexico for a short ride, then later flew to Columbia and rented a bike for 10 days. Columbia was a very friendly and exciting place to ride.
His ADV report:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=770001
So maybe you can talk your dad into meeting you somewhere!
Enjoy your time.
Kurt
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Old 10-21-2013, 03:48 PM   #11
cmkaduce OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwb210 View Post
My son did this trip last year. He has some good info on travel in Mex, Central Am and Columbia. He had planned on 2 weeks in Columbia but it was so beautiful and entertaining he stayed for quite some time. I was lucky enough to ride my 1977 BMW R100 to meet him in Mexico for a short ride, then later flew to Columbia and rented a bike for 10 days. Columbia was a very friendly and exciting place to ride.
His ADV report:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=770001
So maybe you can talk your dad into meeting you somewhere!
Enjoy your time.
Kurt
Thanks -- I'm checking your son's ride report now!
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:18 PM   #12
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Dia Uno

Saying goodbye to my parents and brother was harder than anticipated. Not sure when Iím coming back or when Iíll see them again. Boarding the KLR an incredible feeling of truly liberating freedom runs deep through me lacerated with anxiety and fear of the unknown territory I will encounter on this journey. It is a balmy 45 degrees in MN when I hit the road. I decide to stay the night in Nebraska. The town is small and pretty unmemorable so I donít recall the name of the place I stayed. What I do recall is making the decision to camp knowing full well that the temperature will drop below freezing that night with winds at 15-20 mph, but hey, its $15 to camp or $60 for a shitty motel. Camping it is. I setup camp just before dark and crawl in for an early nightís rest. Iím awakened by this bone-chilling scream at around 11:00. Literally, shouting ďaghh aghh aghhĒ as loud as he could and I could hear it plain as day even though he was probably a ľ mile away. Sad Iím thinking the man is mentally challenged as this continued on almost like clockwork on the hour. Take this and couple it with 25 degree temps and high wind results in little to no good sleep.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:19 PM   #13
cmkaduce OP
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Muy frio

On day 2 it is freaking cold. Iím trying to stay cozy using my heated gear but at below freezing temps Iím still cold. I also found out the hard way that my stator will not let me run heated gear without gradually draining the battery. Trying to start the bike and no go at the gas station I ask a younger guy in front of me to give me a push. Iím able to bump start the bike and ride over to the nearest motel for the night. I donít care if itís $50. Iím cold and the battery is dead. I let the bike idle for a half hour and pray to the motorcycle gods that it starts in the morning.
Iím up early and try starting the bike first thing in the morning. Crank, crank, crank and vroom. Success! Enough battery to start the bike. This turns out to be the coldest day of riding yet. Temps are below freezing and now it is starting to flurry. I ride cautiously and slow WAY down for all bridge crossings. My windshield is one sheet of ice and icicles are forming around my handguards. Yep, I should have went further south even though it means a lot more miles. Too late for that. I continue plugging along as semis pass me and spray me on their way by finally arriving safely in Salt Lake City.
A good buddy of mine Michael lives in Salt Lake but is out of town riding the Blue Ridge Parkway in VA. He is nice enough to leave me a key and I feel right at home as I walk through the front door to see an R1 and a GSXR 750 in the living room. The living room is also a shrine for Arai helmets with more than a dozen on display. Making my way to the garage, there are motorcycles everywhere. This just keeps getting better. My favorite of his collectionÖ.a toss up between the í98 R1 tricked out with carbon fiber and Ohlins goodies or the old 500cc two-stroke Gamma. As I look around the house, I find a room with vinyl records from the 70s and 80s covering the walls. Michaelís place is a full-on man cave and Iím thinking I might just move in.
I stay in SLC for a couple days and tour around a bit. I take in a movie and pop in to Squatters microbrewery for a delicious pint of stout. I pickup Michael from the airport and we get an opportunity to catch up over a couple beers. I tell him about how I toured the Morman temple square and asked if it was wrong to flirt with the sisters in the tabernacle. We get a few good laughs in as we are both like-minded and have similar religious (or lack of religious) views.
My next stop is Reno, NV. I have good weather the entire way. Itís between 45 and 50 degrees most of the ride and Iím enjoying myself even though Iím on the I-80 slab. I score a hotel room at the Sands Casino for $20Ösweet! After getting checked in, I find out one of my favorite bands is in town playing a showÖand itís Halloween night, so yeah, Iím going out. I start at the bar downstairs in the hotel and chat with a local and the bartender. The bartender ordered too much Spaten on the last run and wants to get rid of it, so that means $1 Spatens for meÖscore! 5 beers later and Iím off to the Knitting Factory to see the band Cut Copy. It is packed and damn near everyone is in costume except me. I really like dressing up for Halloween but had NO room at all on the bike for a costume, so I guess Iíll have to wait until next year. I talk to a few folks inside and jam out to the tunes until close. I then made my way to a little jazz club for one last pint before wrapping it up.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:21 PM   #14
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If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair

Friday morning arrives in Reno and Iím off like a prom dress to Sacramento. I meet up with Janelle, or The Nelly Nel, as some call her for appetizers. Itís great seeing her and turns out she was a bit inspired by my travels and is planning to head to Germany next summer for 3 months. She is 1 cool chick. Leaving Sacramento, I arrive in San Francisco at a hostel for the next 3 nights.
Itís Saturday and there is a local film festival happening at the Castro Theater. Watching movies all afternoon and getting to vote on which project gets to receive funding is fun fun. I get there early and get myself seated. There is plenty of open seating, but a really nice woman decides to sit right next to me. Her name is Claudia and she is from Italy. We have really good conversation and turns out she is there to support one of her friends that created one of the films in the festival. During intermission, Claudia invites me to have dinner with her and her friends and I take her up on the offer. I meet some really nice folks at the table and we eventually make our way back to the theater for the rest of the short films. After voting, I say goodbye to Claudia and we agree to stay in touch. What a wonderful person she is. It is now 10:00 PM and I am on my way to my friend Rebecca, or Rebz, birthday party at The Mint Karaoke bar. I met Rebz and Eseop when I did my trial run on the KLR across North America earlier this year. These two people are some of the best I have met on the road thus far and it is really great seeing them. Iím lucky I have gotten to know them and fortunate to be able to spend some time with them on this trip. The bar is crowded as hell. The waiting list to sing is +2 hours. Iím introduced to Cahir, an Irishman that is sure to get me into some trouble. Cahir and I get along pretty well and hang out a bit between snapping a few photos of folks in our group singing. It is past 1:00 AM and everyone is ready to start heading home, except of course for Cahir and me. I hear about an after-hours party that goes until 6. Cahir is game so we stop into a bar for a quick shot of tequila and off to the hostel to rally troups. The night is young.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:28 PM   #15
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Somewhere Under San Francisco

I have two passions in my life. 1 is obviously motorcycling. 2 is house music. House music if you are not familiar is more than a genre of music. It is a vibe, it is a feeling, it is being a part of something, it is a community, it is special. Through connections with people that understand and appreciate this movement like I do and social media I happened across an underground party going from 11 pm to 6 am. Location announced day of the event. I check messages and have a new one in my inbox with the address. It is around 2:00 AM as we make our way to the hostel to meet up with the Irishmanís buddy. We have a couple pints at the hostel and convince one of the girls to come join us too. We now have a cab full of party-goers anxiously waiting to see what the morning will bring. We arrive at the party around 3. The subtle sound of bass is pervasive as we make our way to the front door. Once inside we are led into the basement where there are two rooms setup with sound and lighting along with a full bar. It is a fun crowd with the right amount of people where it isnít crowded but you also donít feel like youíre alone on the dancefloor. The Irishman is making rounds and probably knows everyone in the place within the hour. People are coming out of the restroom in pairs. The crowd is primarily people in their mid-20s to late-30s. The music is solid. Everyone is getting down. What a great party. I gravitate toward one of the ladies on the dancefloor. We dance and share a drink. She is wearing this white sort of bridal looking thing on her head and she puts it on me. We get down as the morning goes by and these moments are fleeting. In what feels like 15 minutes, we spend the early morning hours under San Francisco. The music comes to a close. The Irishman and I step outside to see that the sun has already risen. A sketchy cab ride back to the hostel and I enter to the smell of pancakes and a room filled with busy people waiting to start the day as I end mine. Good night San Francisco.
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