2 Moto Hobos Touring

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by s4dreamer, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. s4dreamer

    s4dreamer 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Singapore
    Off to the Land of Maple Leaf!

    After an eventful shock to the system with the bitter cold in Denver, we jetted off from Denver, Colorado (USA) to Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) to meet two very special people whom we actually met back in April 2016 in Singapore. At that time, they rode on two motorcycles all the way to Singapore.

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    Photo Credit: Gene Lee

    Of course, they went far and beyond. They are Gene and Neda, a globetrotting motorcycling couple famous for their thread on ADVrider.com called "Quit our jobs, sold our home, gone riding...". They have been travelling the world for the past 7 years and are currently residing in Squamish, British Columbia (Canada), a town north of Vancouver. This cosy town is away from the hustle and bustle city traffic so it definitely provides a tranquil retreat from all the rush that city people can relate to. They have kindly hosted us for a week and I got ample opportunities to eat so many delicious food that Neda cooked. I bet she can cook Asian food better than many Asians out there. They also did so many things for us that I am so grateful for that I feel indebted to them. They have shown much kindness indeed.

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    The view just outside Gene's and Neda's place. The maple leaves are just so red!

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    You just see the mountain outside their place. Splendid!

    Initially, I used to think that when I visit a country, I must be on a quest to visit as many attractions as I possibly can. However, I realised that it is the people I meet, the chance to understand the local culture I meet and the kindness that I see on the road that matter.

    First up, Gene and Neda brought us for some nice freshly baked cheesecake to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary. Cheesecake has always been our tradition for celebrating our wedding anniversaries. It was the first time we celebrated our wedding anniversary that far away from Singapore.

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    Then, I got a chance to experience Halloween for the first time in my life. Kids knocked on our door and dressed in their cute costumes asking "Trick or Treat?" and their parents being well coordinated in their dressing made it so entertaining for me. It was heartwarming for me to see parents not being self-conscious and dressing up for Halloween and having fun with their kids. Beneath the costumes and makeup lies family unity that makes Halloween all the more meaningful.

    On a side note, it was so fun applying tattoo on my face. Gene and Kelvin were so hilarious! Just look at them. Lol! Gene and Kelvin looked so scary.

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    All of us getting dressed up for Halloween

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    It was Walking Dead in the house!

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    The ladies with the face tattoos

    Then, we had some Japadogs in Vancouver. When Gene and Neda told us about Japadogs, we didn't know what it was. Apparently, it is an exclusive to Vancouver and not to be missed. A Japadog is basically hot dog bun served with seaweed, teriyaki sauce and mayo. The french fries also includes Japanese seasoning on it. Very delicious!

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    Next up, we went to a famous Canadian coffee place called Tim Hortons. It's also a very Canadian thing to do. In fact, it's a favourite meeting place for bikers to be at. It is pretty much like how bikers groups in Singapore would meet up at the Indian coffee shop to have some Indian pancakes called Roti Prata and drinks. Oh yes! I tried Tim Bits, the signature item on the menu. It is mini donuts in assortment of flavours.

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    Neda (1st from left), Debbie, Kelvin

    After that, we went for eagle viewing in the morning. We also saw some seagulls too. The beauty of nature took my breath away in the cold 9 degree celsius air. It was so easy to be in the moment, focusing on the scenery and the birds.

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    What's more, we went to visit the Whistler Village. Apparently, the 2010 Winter Olympics was at Whistler. It was all pretty commercial as you can find apparel brands like Lululemon, Quiksilver, The Body Shop and high-end hotels like Hilton, Westin and Pan Pacific. However, it's THE place for skiing and many people from around the world would travel there just for the sport.

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    The highlight is getting to shoot real guns! It was all thanks to Kevin and Manon who brought us to Port Coquitlam & District Hunting & Fishing Club to shoot with a Sig pistol and semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. It was exhilarating and an adrenaline rush. Kevin was so patient in showing me how to use a the pistol and rifle as I have never used one in my life. Guns are not allowed in Singapore. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn how to use these weapons. I think I am equipped to deal with zombie apocalypse!

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    Biting the bullet!

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    In fact, Gene and Neda met up with Kevin and Manon at the very start of their trip and now, we are at the very start of our trip and we met up with them too! I think Kevin and Manon have an affinity with beginner globetrotting travellers.

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    Gene (1st from left), Neda, Manon, Kevin - Photo Credit: Gene Lee

    Gene and Neda did not know us that well and yet they have shown us so much kindness in letting us stay at their place and showing us around and introducing us to their friends, Kevin and Manon. We did not even know Kevin and Manon and yet they have been so open with us.

    Kindness abound in this world and only if one opens his heart and give the world a chance, one may be surprised at what the world has to offer.

    As Forrest Gump once said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." I am ready for the next surprise. Can't wait.
    #41
  2. Pplater

    Pplater 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    Break South

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    We broke South at 5 Celsius (41F) with a window in Denver's snow. We had to make Albuquerque, where temperatures were more tolerable, but fell short by half the distance. Trying to save some money, we wild camped behind a petrol station on truckers' lots at twilight. Strong winds fought our efforts to anchor the tent down with our panniers, when a stranger, a trucker cautioned us against parking on the truck lots. He said it would be dark in hours and snowing, and the late night truckers pulling in wouldn't see us in the dark, that we could be rolled over by the container trucks. Gary even helped us shift our tent and pin the stakes down, all in the brutal Colorado winter wind at freezing temp. At night sleep would not come easy, if at all, huddled underneath the 6 layers of clothing and raincoat in the sleeping bag rated for 0 Celsius, looking at the thin film of ice on the tent's rain fly. Our physiques are used to tropical heat. At day break, spurred by the cold, we broke camp and depended on the portable stove to rewarm numb fingers as we packed the ice covered, wet tent.

    We broke South once more, determined to find warmth as far South as we could. Later we would agree that we have never felt this cold for this long in our lives. The wind chill at 80mph (128km/h) cruising through the mountain mist at single digit temps sipped through our 6 layers of clothing, still kept on since setting off. At times we shivered, but we couldn't stop, for there would be no respite from the cold until we reached Albuquerque. We could only go on, one small milestone at a time, each mile bringing us closer to warmth for as long as we could ride safely. From Denver to Alburquerque (715km/447m) we did not see a single motorcycle on the road. Now enjoying warm cooked meals and friendly conversations with fellow hostellers, what we remember from the experience, is our now established cold weather tolerances for riding and camping, and the warm memory of a helpful trucker called Gary who looked out for us.
    #42
  3. Pplater

    Pplater 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    At Albuquerque, New Mexico

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    I assessed the threat as he approached us from a distance as we were loading our bikes, carrying many bags over his shoulders like a homeless person.

    Debbie considered if the man was a drug addict as he whistled and sang while walking along the street.

    The man wished us well, as he walked up and down the street carrying more stuff. A lady stood beside us as we chatted with him, and we learnt she was his friend. He rides bikes too and is friendly and curious about us.

    The 3 men are the same person.

    Later beside the I-25 Highway, I dropped my bike for the first time, and the bungee cord somehow jammed up rear brakes as I pushed the bike to a more even ground. As Debbie and I thought through our options, a Goldwing rider stopped behind us and offered a jack knife. Some 15min of prying and I freed the rear brake of the shredded bungee. A loose mirror was left to be fixed at the next gas station.

    Because of the chat with the man as we rode off, and my dropping the bike by the road side later, prying the rear brakes, and fixing the loose mirror, a friend we are supposed to meet in Deming, 200miles away pulled in and introduced himself. I could not believe the odds of that happening. We have never met him before, and he pulled up beside us on the same petrol station on the I-25 and called out to us, and we drove in convoy to his home, 200miles away. Everything seems to happen for a reason, including my Oakley shades that I realized had gone with the wind in the morning, perhaps to teach me acceptance of the impermanence of all our kit, and of accepting and living in the present moment.
    #43
  4. chudzikb

    chudzikb Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,079
    Great timing, we are having some record lows around the U.S now. Endure this, and you can survive anything!
    #44
  5. Pplater

    Pplater 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    It's not that bad. Riders have been through worse, though I'm not planning to experience the temps we went through again :vardy
    #45
  6. s4dreamer

    s4dreamer 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Singapore
    New friends, new plans (Deming, New Mexico and Vail, Arizona)

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    City of Rock State Park

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    As many travellers have told us, plans will change along the way. I never thought it could be so impromptu. Don't get me wrong. It changed in the best possible way it could ever be.

    When we were at Albuquerque, Kelvin and I were researching and looking up info on the possible places that we could stay before crossing into Mexico via El Paso crossing.

    Plan changed! Alex Smith left a comment on our Facebook post called "Break South" and contacted his friend, Dan Wilson and he responded so swiftly. There we were... headed to Deming, New Mexico instead.

    After we left Albuquerque in the morning, we were just concentrating on getting to Deming, New Mexico on time in the evening. Who would have known that Dan would actually come up to me at the Phillips 66 gas station near the Lemitar exit on I25 highway (South) in the afternoon and say hi? I was in shock! I never seen him or met him before. Besides, I was expecting to see him only on that evening.

    We followed Dan to his cosy abode and our week's stay has been great. We learned a wealth of knowledge from this seasoned world traveller which was so useful for us greenhorn travellers.

    Dan graciously allowed us to use his garage to change our chain and even gave us tips on modification to the bike that will be useful to us like using a SAE connector to get a portable air compressor running. Trust me! We were actually thinking that hand pumps would work! Luckily we had a veteran to correct us.

    Dan also gave us tips on sizing down our tool kit that will be useful. He has also introduced us to quite a number of friends like Michael and Becky Konshak and Greg and Melanie Turp whom we are grateful to have met.

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    At first, we were intending to cross into Mexico via the El Paso crossing but our plan changed again. We decided to cross at Nogales instead, so we decided that heading to Arizona next would be a good idea. We utilised Adventure Rider Tent Space and contacted riders who live in the Arizona area. Lo and behold! John Comé got back to us and we headed to Vail, Arizona.

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    He is a gentle man with immense creativity. Look at what he created with pliers, timing chains and assortment of motor parts. I am so amazed!

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    Unfortunately, due to the impending rain storm ahead on Tues and the next few days, we decided to get out of the storm and headed southward and only stayed at John Comé's place for a night. We wanted to stay longer but we didn't want to face a thunderstorm if we know that we can avoid it. At first, we were running away from snowstorm. Now, it's the thunderstorm that we are running away from.

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    We have been touched by the kindness of Americans and had a nice time in USA. We will definitely explore USA more thoroughly in future.

    Greg and Melanie Turp will be heading from Deming, New Mexico to Algeria in March. We wish them all the best for their upcoming trip.

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    #46
  7. s4dreamer

    s4dreamer 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Singapore
    Onward to San Carlos, Sonora, Mexico

    As we rode through from Vail, Arizona into the Nogales border, the entire vibe of the atmosphere has switched. Mexico seemed to give a relaxed vibe and it reminded me of Thailand. The shops look pretty similar to what you see in Bangkok. Vendors plying their handmade goods as opposed to factory made stuff that city dwellers are used to seeing.

    I certainly feel tired pushing through to San Carlos after 9+ hours of riding with minimal break. Since we managed to outrun the thunderstorm, it was worthwhile. I felt victorious being able to outrun the weather. Hahahaha!

    We went San Carlos to meet a motorcycle enthusiast, Michael Konshak who has kindly offered his beautiful home to us for 3 nights. Michael and his wife, Becky showed us around Guaymas and it was lovely.

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    (From left) Becky Konshak, Michael Konshak, Kelvin and me

    What was particularly mesmorizing about San Carlos was the view of the beaches and listening to the wind as it lulls you to sleep. Ah... blissful indeed.

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    #47
  8. s4dreamer

    s4dreamer 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Singapore
    Ignorance is bliss in drug cartel town (Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico)

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    Sometimes it is better not to know too much, else there will be fear. In this situation, it seemed to be the case.

    Why did we choose to go to Los Mochis? There was no particular reason except that it was not too far from San Carlos. 390+km which is a doable distance within a day.

    The Mexicans we met at Los Mochis are friendly. There was not a single time that we felt threatened in any way when walking along the streets at night.

    It was only until our friend told us that Los Mochis is actually the home to the drug kingpin, "El Chapo". El Chapo is now serving life sentence in USA but his sons are still there running the business. In fact, there are many drug traffickers staying in the area. We did a search in Google and it is true! (https://www.straitstimes.com/…/mexican-town-turned-to-war-z…)

    Ignorance might be blissful in this case. Otherwise, I would not be able to see how peaceful life can be amongst the local people who are just trying to live their lives amid the violence that can happen at any time.

    I just hope that violence will not return to that area again and the people can celebrate their upcoming Christmas in peace.

    - Written by Debbie
    #48
  9. forgorin

    forgorin Stuck in Japan

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    87
    Location:
    Japan
    Man, I am green. Green with envy... Hope you guys have many exciting adventures over the coming years.

    P.S. Most of the photos don't show for me.
    #49
  10. Pplater

    Pplater 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    I know that feeling. I was like that for many years. If you have the opportunity, maybe you can do a trip you dream of too?
    #50
  11. forgorin

    forgorin Stuck in Japan

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    87
    Location:
    Japan

    I will! Got goals that have been set. Slowly ticking them off. Two years and 4 months to go!!!!

    I am off to northern Thailand next moth for two weeks of hitting the trails!
    #51
  12. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,056
    Location:
    GTA, ON, CDA
    Nice you were able to hook up with @lightcycle again! Nice Peeps.
    And a beauty Honda CB160...
    #52
  13. Pplater

    Pplater 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    Meeting the Viking at Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico



    We finally got to meet the man who inspired me to attempt to ride the world all those years ago. Glen Heggstad revelled his travel stories dramatically, telling us about his youth, his life exploits and captivated us, dispensing travel tips, helping us plan the route through Mexico, and warning us of future dangers all at once. He played tour guide, hosted us for 3 nights and showed us Mexican food at the central markets, and genuinely got along with the locals who were practically family with him. A gentleman and martial artist, he was in the news last year for beating up a robber who broke into his home at Paloma Mountains. Glen rode the world when I was still a uni student wondering how I wanted to live my life. In his footsteps and the many other Adv riders, past and present we trail. I'm glad I got to meet the man whose book and ride report steered this chapter of Debbie's and my life.
    #53
    BigDogRaven, Suncoaster and Ladybug like this.
  14. Pplater

    Pplater 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    We were glad we went to meet them.

    We're riding 2 Honda CB500X, not 160.

    Glen Heggstad was poking fun at our bikes being new. He predicts that by the time we are done with the trip, the bikes will be all worn and beat up. Very reasonable. :imaposer:lol3
    #54
    roadcapDen likes this.
  15. s4dreamer

    s4dreamer 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Singapore
    Running a fever in Guadalajara, Mexico

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    Falling ill when on the road is not fun at all. I am down with tonsillitis and fever and been feeling really sick. My throat hurts so badly that swallowing my food hurts. However, looking on the bright side, I am glad that I didn't fall ill on the 1st and 2nd day upon reaching Guadalajara, Mexico.

    Kelvin and I managed to do some sightseeing of the attractions in Guadalajara. We went to the Guadalajara Cathedral and the Mercado Libertad - San Juan de Dios which boasts many food stores and we had our fill of Mexican food. There are other attractions on Google map that we snapped some shots of.

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    Now, I am just stuck in the AirBnB. I am alternating between eating, taking medicine and sleeping. This AirBnB is cheap (only USD12 for a private room with 2 beds), however the catch is that the water in the house may run out at any time. It makes me wonder whether I get to bathe today or not. That has become an adventure in itself. It's the game of "Who gets to use the water before it runs out?"

    We have keeping 2 big bottles of tap water as emergency ration in case of bathroom emergency like "AHHH! My head is full of shampoo! And damn, no more water!". This makes me wonder whether is it a common problem across Mexico or is it just this house?

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    I hope to recover by tomorrow (1 December 2019) because I have to about 400+km of distance to push on Monday and I don't wish to lag behind in schedule.
    #55
    BigDogRaven and SOLOKLR like this.
  16. SOLOKLR

    SOLOKLR Back to work

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Oddometer:
    622
    Location:
    Green Valley, AZ
    Sorry I missed you on your way through Arizona! Safe travels, get well.
    #56
  17. btrrtlwtr

    btrrtlwtr Been here awhile Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    Oddometer:
    117
    Amazing keep the rubber side down and enjoy your travels .i know those of us following are are enjoying your travels
    John
    #57
  18. Ladybug

    Ladybug Bug Sister Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,532
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, WA (the dry side of the mountains)
    @s4dreamer, please take care of yourself and don't push yourself too hard. It's bad enough when a person gets ill at home but when you are out traveling it really takes a toll. If you can stay put and relax for a few days until you get completely well that's the way to go, if not take it as easy as you can.

    OK enough of that from me -

    It looks like the two of you are having a terrific time and meeting a lot of good people.

    Meeting Glen is certainly a high point in your report. He is an incredible man with an even more incredible story.

    Take care you two and ride safely so we get to keep reading about your travels.
    #58
  19. s4dreamer

    s4dreamer 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Singapore
    Thanks a lot for your well wishes!

    Sure!

    I will definitely take care of myself in the meantime and hopefully will recover soon.
    #59
  20. s4dreamer

    s4dreamer 2MotoHobos

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Singapore
    What the f****? (Still in Guadalajara, Mexico)

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    It was not tonsillitis after all. The spots on my lymph nodes and throat did not go away despite antibiotics. What is worse is that sores started ballooning all over my hands and feet. Initially, the spots on my hands and feet were so little that I thought there were some mosquito bites or insect bites. Now, even holding my water bottle hurts my hands and walking hurts my feet.

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    It looks worse in real life

    I started to worry as I did not know what I had contracted. Kelvin and I decided to go to Hospital MexicoAmericano which was on the list of recommended doctors by United States Consulate General in Guadalajara to find out what I am down with.

    After seeing a doctor and going through a blood test, I had to see a doctor from Internal Medicine Department, and then I was told I had to see a 3rd doctor (Dr Ernesto), an Infectious Diseases Specialist, who came to the conclusion that I might have contracted the Fifth Disease.

    "What is fifth disease?" I exclaimed.

    "Don't worry, you won't die," Dr Ernesto reassured me.

    I heaved a sigh of relief and my heart rate slowed down.

    The medical bill is not cheap but I did not want to be misdiagnosed by a second rate doctor so it came at a cost - USD$239 (SGD$327)

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    There is no treatment or cure for this disease and I have to wait until the symptoms subside. Until then, we are still stuck in Guadalajara. Let the adventure begin when I am well again to ride.
    #60