Round Africa with a Surfboard

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by garnaro, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    335
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    In 5 days I'm headed across Europe and down the west coast of Africa.

    Awhile back I go the idea into my head to strap a surfboard to my motorcycle and ride around looking for waves.

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    After a fair bit of fiddling and research, a more solid plan formed to tackle Africa. On September 30th 2013, I fly from California to London to meet my beloved DR650. I'd like to circumnavigate the continent in about a year or so, in search of good waves and good times. Route will be something like this:

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    The plan is to take about 8 months riding from London to Cape Town and if all goes well enough, carry on up the east coast, give the surfboard away to some kid in Tanzania, run up Kilimanjaro, cross the Middle east, and back to Europe. Maybe another 6 months for the return. [​IMG]

    This is me:

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    I'm 37, working as an environmental scientist in Santa Cruz, California mostly trying to solve water pollution problems. I've felt overdue for a trip like this for a long time now. During the past few years, I got myself a bike, learned to ride it on the road and in the dirt, bolted tons of crap to it, learned how to fix as much stuff as possible, lurked on the HUBB, watched Mondo Enduro at least 23 times, and set off on a few short motosurf adventures along the California and Baja coasts (see bugsonmyboard.org).

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    Bike modifications completed, bike shipped, carnet acquired, vaccinations done, stuff sold, job quit, sanity checked, friends shocked, girlfriend kissed goodbye. Ready to move into my motorbike.

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    Stay tuned for updates...
    #1
  2. junglemototours

    junglemototours trailplug

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,667
    Location:
    Idaho to Costa Rica
    this sounds fun :ear
    #2
  3. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv.

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    757
    Location:
    Darnestown, MD
    Sounds awesome, I'm in!


    Cheers,

    .
    #3
  4. Paratrout

    Paratrout Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    179
    Location:
    Cackilackistan, Concord Oblast
    #4
  5. 125uCrazy

    125uCrazy Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    24
    Location:
    Good Ol' London Town
    Looking Forward to following your travels.
    #5
  6. arjones

    arjones Roads and Waves

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Bahia, Brazil
    Being a surfer myself I just got overwhelmed by your journey! I dream of Mongolia; I've done most of Chile; the entire Argentina; Atacama, Patagonia and shit; one day I'll do the Silk Route in China; but my wildest dreams always seem to back off the combination of adventure riding and surfing... You just nailed! :deal

    I'm subscribed, I'm really thrilled as I could be if I was in this journey myself! F*&K man this is great!

    I wish all the best and I will follow this no matter what. BUT, you sir MUST report the waves you will find along the way... Although the season for the South Atlantic major swells are coming to its final moments, you will score MOROCCO!! :freaky:clap And Namibia, maybe? Skeleton bay? Are you kidding me?

    \m/
    #6
  7. infoatnmmoto

    infoatnmmoto with the band

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    Oddometer:
    19,603
    Location:
    Wanted felon
    Oh my. In.
    #7
  8. Shooby

    Shooby Anti-Cager

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,012
    Location:
    San Diego
    Yes, this ^ Oh, and J Bay too, right?

    Could you post pics / links of your surfboard rack when you get a chance?
    I like the apparent somewhat cantilevered rear bracket / strap.

    Following with great interest from the left coast, safe travels man!
    #8
  9. jestragon

    jestragon Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    224
    Location:
    Until recently W-Africa, temp. Leipzig Germany
    There's some decent waves in Dakar.

    Nothing surfable as far as I know in Guinea Bissau, although the Bijagos archipelago is gorgeous, but if you let me know when you're passing through, I'll buy you a beer.

    In South Africa, make sure you head past Victoria Bay (about 400km east of Cape town).
    #9
  10. arjones

    arjones Roads and Waves

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Bahia, Brazil
    Almost forgot!! Perfect timing for riding sick barrels at basque country!!:lol3
    #10
  11. Scubalong

    Scubalong Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    884
    Location:
    So Cal
    This is Epic.....Have fun and be safe. Looking forward to your report and pictures.
    #11
  12. Edmond Dantès

    Edmond Dantès The Kanto Pain

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2009
    Oddometer:
    617
    Location:
    Château d'If
    Take care on that bike in the wind dude.

    Big Wednesday could turn into Big Windsday!

    However you should be able to pull some good wheelies with the board strapped to the bike and the right crosswind!

    IN
    #12
  13. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    308
    Location:
    Redondo Beach CA
    This is going to be EPIC!!! Not a lot of roads along the coast on your map so I think you're going to be doing a lot of illegal border crossing. But that will add to the adventure.
    #13
  14. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    335
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    [​IMG]
    In 4 days I fly to London, collect my motorbike, and point her south towards Africa. During the month before I sent loaded her onto the boat, I fussed neurotically about every mechanical detail, piece of gear, tool, and spare bolt that I might send her off with.<!--more--> At one stage I found myself lying in my driveway at midnight with two piles of bolts in front of me trying to decide which ones to bring and which to leave behind. This did not feel like normal behavior.

    Nobody puts baby in the corner. Time for a moto makeover.


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    No matter how much you may plan not to ride in the dark, some times you just get caught doing exactly that. An LID headlight that puts out 1000 lumens should make it a bit safer when it happens.

    Its amazing how the adjustment of just a few inches of plastic can have on your comfort level.

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    I slid all over the place in the mud in baja leading to less that graceful dismounts. I'd rather not repeat the performance somewhere in the middle of the Congo, but also need tires that can last a good distance rather than wear down quickly like knobbies do. I'm hoping that the Mefo Explorers prove a decent compromise between traction and durability.

    Fresh drivetrain for a weary girl

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    I've run out of gas enough times to decide that I don't really like pushing my motorcycle for miles on end. A 5.5 gallon Acerbis tank should help reduce the problem.

    Essential storage for items to keep Dyna running her best.

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    I broke some bits off in Baja that required some welding to reattach. I reinforced had all of the brackets on the frame that hold the exhaust and my toolbox.

    Along with new heavier straight rate fork springs, Dyna got a fresh shock rebuild with a Race Tech gold valve installed to improve damping performance over the bumps and lumps.

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    An extended fuel screw provides easy adjustment of the air fuel mixture in the carburetor at anytime. It comes in very handy when gaining or dumping lots of altitude quickly.

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    I built a set of mini jumper cables with 10 gauge wire that live under the seat. Just in case...

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    Tappy valves are happy valves. Keep her tappy, keep her classy.

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    Scrub the Wyoming dust out of that carby..

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    She's Serengeti ready

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    #14
  15. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    335
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa
    thanks guys! It will be great to have some followers along the way. This idea has been in my head for years and today I sit at my last day of work before making it happen. Too weird

    They just found on in Angola that looks nearly as good as that wave in Skeleton Bay! I'll try to time the trip so that I'm in Morocco and Senagal during the swell season, and I won't be to Namibia until about May or so, so that should put me in the window for the S. Atlantic swells :clap
    #15
  16. garnaro

    garnaro MotoBlunderer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    335
    Location:
    Somewhere in Africa

    Awesome...thanks for the advice!
    #16
  17. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    308
    Location:
    Redondo Beach CA
    Great stuff so far. We all like hearing about the bike prep as much as the ride. I had to re-read your earlier post...is the bike already in England where you're starting? Or...are you shipping it there...or what? I'd like to hear the details.
    #17
  18. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    3,677
    Location:
    syd oz
    Is that a twin fin
    Loved my old one
    Put some gorilla grip on
    The wax will be melting off
    All the time
    If you get any size
    Watch that board
    It will spin out
    Still got a scar across my chest
    From mine about 30 something
    Years ago
    Enjoy
    I'm jelly
    Cheers
    #18
  19. Hawk62cj5

    Hawk62cj5 2 Cheap 4 a KLR

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    642
    Location:
    Southern Va
    Ill be watching , good luck .
    #19
  20. Vksf

    Vksf Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    25
    Location:
    San Francisco
    So stoked you are finally doing it! :photog
    #20