Hello and thanks for clicking. Two months into a ride from Los Angeles to South America, I wrecked in Ecuador resulting in a 4 inch fracture through my right Scapula (Shoulder Blade - a cool X-ray below), now the trips on a three month summer recess while I mend. I'm hoping this ride report will help me to catch up on my writing, store some memories and hopefully you'll find it amusing that one man can be such a consistent idiot. A brief intro: I ride a 2008 Road King Harley Davidson, quite possibly one of the most comfortable toys to churn up highway miles, except I don't like to ride highways, in fact, I'm happiest on twisties, dirt, and knee deep rivers. In fact, there are very few places the 1,250lbs of bike, man and gear won't go on a set of road tires. Dalton Highway, Alaska Some quick background: I started riding 2 years ago - on a dare. I had been saving money for a while - I was planning on buying a small sail boat or maybe take flying lessons. I work freelance in TV commercials and sometimes I have several weeks between jobs. The downtime in LA was driving me crazy - I love to travel and I needed a hobby. I work with my brother and while we were driving to set, he wanted to pop into a Harley dealership in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles (no we don't work in porn). My Brother has a Road King from the late 90's and wanted to check out some of the newer HD's. Walking among the bikes, I was a little bored and had little interest, I thought motorcycles were dangerous, I had no desire to own one, especially a Harley. We walked around the small dealership and I was dismissing most of the bikes as impractical, silly, and clearly a tool for a middle-aged man to overcompensate for making exclusively the "safe choices" in his life. Then I saw it and the world simply slowed - a black and chrome Road King Classic, I was in love [full stop]. I smiled and told my brother that that I found my bike, no question about it. He laughed, thinking I was joking or maybe bluffing, there was no way that I was going to buy an 800lbs cruiser for my first bike, and know what, he would have been right had he not said just the right thing, "If you don't buy that bike, youre a pussy." I'll hand it to him, even though I was 31 years of age, big brother can sure lay on the peer pressure. The challenge had been laid and I found my vehicle for traveling, I didn't need a boat or plane, too impractical - I needed a Harley. I called over the salesman with the most detailed arm sleeve tat's, and said that I found my bike. The sales guy was overexcited, he gave me a high-five and slapped me on the back, causing the breasts of the hourglass shaped naked woman tattooed on his forearm to vibrate. After filling out the paperwork and finding an insurance agent who would take-on a certain disaster of a first time rider buying a full sized cruiser, I was ready to take the keys. The salesman ran up more excited than ever, his raspy voice was an octave higher, "You're a Harley Man now, you excited to ride your bike home?" I responded, "Um, yeah, but no. I can't ride the bike home, I don't know how to ride. But my brother will get it home for me." The smile drained from the salesman's face, he was heart broken, he was sure this would be just another shiny Harley that would sit in some dick's garage, collecting dust between the two weekends a year it would be ridden. He was almost right. I put less than five hundred miles on the bike in the first three months, absolutely white knuckled terrified every time I took it out of the garage. Sure I would enjoy some straightaways on the Pacific Coast Highway, stealing a brief glimpse of the ocean before someone in an SUV would swing in front of me, cutting me off, after all, this is LA and to be fair, I was afraid to do more than 40 miles per hour. I knew I would never learn how to ride only doing 60 mile loops to Neptune's Net, in fact, I'd was pretty sure that I hated riding a motorcycle and I was starting to regret even buying the bike. If I wanted to really learn how to ride, I would have to get out of LA and commit to something big. With six hundred miles of experience under my belt, I was heading East to New York. The sun was setting behind me, this was the first time that I ever rode on a freeway, at night, in rush hour and I was alone - statically I should be dead. Fortunately for me it's LA, traffic was slow and stopping often, so I wasn't going to get into too much trouble that first night. The plan was simple, LA to South Dakota where my brother would meet up with me for the Sturgis rally in August, then I'd head to New York alone, meet my best friend since childhood and we'd both ride back to LA. Dressed in full leathers and taking ATGATT to an epic level not seen since the middle ages, I spent the first thousand miles debating if I'd rather be cremated or buried. The next thousand miles were spent wondering if my health insurance even covered motorcycle wrecks. And after spending a week in Sturgis, I spent a thousand miles wondering if Harley was the right bike for me. It wasn't until I was around turn number 200 of the Dragon's Tail in North Carolina that I had what I could only describe as a holy experience, my body and bike just knew what to do and how to lean, there was no other thoughts in my head other than the ride, and I loved it. I was one with a piece of machinery, this shiny mass of steel, chrome and rubber had become an extension of my body. I felt like I was right where I was meant to be, on the perfect bike for me, and I knew that few things could make me happier than leaning right, then left, then right around a series of curves. My buddy Doug and I had a blast on the ride back from New York, although I was happy to be home with my girlfriend and dog, I couldn't wait to get the bike out on the road again. The bike got very little use over the next 10 months as riding around Los Angeles sucks, I want the open road. Every time I'd take my bike out for a spin around town, I debated just heading one direction and not looking back, like an addict, I knew I needed to get a travel fix. I talked it over with my girlfriend, who is amazing and although upset, understood that I needed to get out of LA; she is so supportive and I love her dearly for it. She smiled and asked where I was planning next, I simply said "North." North took me through British Columbia, up the Al-Can through the Yukon, and I kept the setting sun on my left until the road stopped in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, literally the end of the road. The landscape of Alaska is breathtaking, truly exceeding all my expectations. Dead Horse, Prudhoe Bay, Alaska Eventually I want to do a Ride Report on this solo trip to Alaska, but the trip through Central America is fresh in my mind, and I want to get it down before it gets lost in the ether. I posted some pictures of this ride through Alaska onto Facebook and my friend who drove cross-country the year before said that he wanted to do another trip, he wanted to head to Alaska. Although I eventually do want to go back, the world is a big place to explore, I told him I wanted to head South. He called my bluff, and we set April, 2010 as our start date. I spent the next 10 months anticipating a trip to South America, careful not to read too much about the journey as I still wanted to be surprised. It seemed like forever waiting. In early April, fearing a large job that I had later in the month could delay the start of the trip, I rode to Texas and stashed the bike in a hotel parking lot so I couldn't back out. So that's it, my introduction to this little journey I have planned South through the Americas, I hope you enjoy. I guess this is where I'm meant to put in the teaser... so Spoiler Alert - I've made it to Ecuador, before a rockslide caused an unsuccessful pavement power-slide - now I have a neat fracture and I'm on a summer hiatus. I'm planning on heading back to Ecuador in late September to continue this trip South. If I can keep up with this RR, I'm hoping others find the stories that go along with these pictures as amusing as I do. Crossing into the Darian Gap - Via Pedestrian Bridge Columbian Car Alarms, yup the army just loaned me three loaded assault rifles And fortunately, more than a few pictures featuring my Harley's skidplate So that's a Scapula - check out the larger crack on the upper right of the bone I'm looking forward to sharing this journey South.