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Financial Suicide: A new life behind bars

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by stuntheavy, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Watch out mama, as your son already knows, this ADV thing can be a very slippery slope :D
    I remember rushing home to read ride reports too and now look at me, I'm an addict! :rofl
    Seriously I understand your statement and totally agree!


  2. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list Supporter

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    Man, sorry to hear you guys are closing it down, but totally understandable. Looking forward to reading about your return home. Thanks for keeping us in the loop!
  3. Trane Francks

    Trane Francks Been here awhile

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    I think heavy should get momma on a bike. Just sayin'. :evil
  4. McRuss

    McRuss Been here awhile

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    If you cross into Tejas at McAllen, I'm sure the San Antonio inmates will host you for a meal or two (and maybe a bed.) Just sayin'.
  5. FargAT

    FargAT Been here awhile

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    Well, Chris & Austin, thanks for 24 hrs and 47 pages of keeping me tied to the seat, only to be interrupted by the petty tasks referred to as "work". :deal

    No doubt about it, I love my job, but I still find myself looking at the "what's out there?!", and while I'm tied down here at the moment, I'd like to thank you both for taking me on the journey with you.

    Seeing your trip come to an end is bittersweet. Funding is always an issue, so is mental and physical stamina and the desire to keep pushing for a destination that can only be described as "vague". Albeit, at the end of the day, it's just that mix of variables that make your RR the fun it is to follow. :clap

    Of course, the realist wonders how the super-long-term riders stay fiscally afloat? Lisa & Simon, BeemerChef, and a few others - either the sponsorship dollars are working wonders, or their individual skill sets are highly applicable, no matter where they go. :huh

    Be that as it may, I don't think that this is your last epic RR - so, I'll finish reading this one as your riding and writing, and then I'm just going to look forward to the next.
    Also, should you ever be crazy enough to get to ND, shoot me a PM. Place to stay, WiFi, :freaky , etc. all on hand. :1drink
  6. Animal Instinct

    Animal Instinct Long timer Supporter

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    talented gentlemen and scholars!

    At twice your age, I salute you, your determination, your talent, and your willingness to share with us.

    Thanks for sharing.
  7. honda20

    honda20 Been here awhile

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    This report and Ulysses are the best two I've read so far. Great writing! I'm a Honda man and have an xr650r setup that's getting ready for adventure. Almost to the point of embarking on the unknown. You guys have inspired me to get out of the comfort zone. Good times to ya!
  8. ADVMindset

    ADVMindset Americana Adventurer

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    Between here and there...
    + 2..... 57 now and wonder where the HELL has all of the time gone ? A word of advice to any of you inmates out there, if you can swing something like this now, DO IT ! Don't wait for another chance...it may never come !!!

    Just came across this RR yesterday and have only got to post #106 and can't wait to see how the trip has gone ! I have often thought about doing this same exact thing, but have never pulled the trigger and now some health issues will probably keep me from doing it...:cry

    Take care and ride safe wherever you're at by now !
    I've gotta get caught up !
  9. CharlestonADV

    CharlestonADV I do my own stunts. Supporter

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    IMO, it's a waste of time to focus on past regrets. Much better to live one's life in the present. There are lots of 'old people' who continue to experience new adventures. You just have to go for it...in spite of a few more aches and pains.
    shiryas likes this.
  10. FargAT

    FargAT Been here awhile

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    :bow :bow :bow

    Wise words. I totally subscribe to that! :clap
  11. h2o_snow

    h2o_snow Water, snow & dirt too.

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    +1.

    Its better to burn out than to fade away! Always another valley to see! :clap
  12. mitchn06

    mitchn06 Been here awhile

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    i've been reading this for the last week inbetween firmware downloads here at work, needless to say, it has given me goosebumps in the style of writing i've come across. You are right, ADV guys are all around us, just gotta look for the decal! This was awesome.

    I havn't read a book in the last 6 years, since i got out of HS. i'm your age Chris. and now i seriously am contemplating picking up the books you have noted. As of right now, there is no way i can do this as i'm 2 years married and trying to have kids.

    I also have a big XRR thumper and it was awesome to see somebody do a RR with one. can't believe i missed the start of it several months ago. I'm currently building up funds to finish my rebuild and to convert to a more adventure friendly moto for longer distance trips. The TAT sounds amazing and someday it will become a reality, but for now, i will set my mind on the TSDT (Trans South Dakota Trail) al bit less exciting but none the less.

    It was a fun read and will be hard to top. good luck with your next leg in life.
  13. singletrackjack

    singletrackjack Adventurer

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    [​IMG] This is just another segment -- many more adventures to come for heavy and swifter -- hopefully some of us will be able to ride along in time - man you guys nailed one heck of an adventure - You two have given many a renewed belief -- faith that we too can live our dream -all we have to do is make it happen -- focus on that goal -- thanks so much you two - You guys are truly an inspiration!!! :muutt
  14. stuntheavy

    stuntheavy Been here awhile

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    MX11 part 2: After having to make the tough decision to call it to end, we reluctantly packed our stuff that morning and made our way downstairs. It was clear the mood of the trip had entirely changed. Reality had set in, and soon we would just be back working some form of 9 to 5, somewhere, making someone else lots more money than we were for ourselves.

    Anyway, it had to be done, and the day started with putting Austin's radiator back on his bike. In the morning, he reinstalled it, as I dinked around, and contemplated selling my bike and thumbing it back to some beach on Baja for a life of :freaky. The JB weld worked just fine.

    [​IMG]

    We got on the road, but not before engorging ourselves in the local cuisine. I have to admit, I was not looking forward to Mexican food. Generally speaking, I hate Mexican food. Now, I have learned I hate Americanized Mexican food! The real deal is fantastic!

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    Anyway, we headed north. Par for the course, we chose to not pick any particular path, no particular stops. Just try to see as much of the real Mexico, not the watered down tourist areas, as we could. This brought us through some highlands. I believe we peaked out at just over 7000' according to my GPS. I was surprised to say the least. I had no idea Mexico had this kind of geography! It was amazing up there.

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    It didn't feel like Mexico in my mind.

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    However, while riding down the road, in shorts, (Yeah I know, atgatt would have helped. You try wearing a Kilimanjaro jacket and Rev-It pants in July/August in Mexico), I felt a searing hot pain in my left leg, just bearly above the top of my Alpinestar boot. Shortly after, we pulled over and there was a single red dot. It was similar to a bee or wasp sting, but I can't even begin to explain how incredibly hot it felt. To this day, I still don't know what it was that got me, but it caused my leg to swell quite large over the next couple days, and the immediate area reddened and became very tender, in an area about the size of my fist. Any ideas from you more frequent travelers as to what got me?

    [​IMG]


    You know its going to be a good day when the GPS looks like this. I'm a nut for corners, while Austin prefers to keep the percertage of getting home safely slightly higher, so off I go to do my best at not becoming a mexican hood ornament.

    [​IMG]

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    Back at it, we came upon a couple interesting towns.

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    Check out this run way. One direction you take out the town, the other, you careen into the abyss below. Talk about being dedicated. Surely no contraband have ever flown out of this mountain town. Surely.

    [​IMG]

    While taking that last picture, I still had my helmet and goggles on. Just then, somehow, a wasp had gotten into my goggles and walks across the inside of the lens, just below my right eye. :huh I can't begin to explain the sheer terror that the next 15 seconds were, trying to get my helmet off. :lol3:rofl

    That night, we stayed in some unknown town where the hamburgesas had fried pineapple slices and ham ontop of them.

    Also, this dog came out of nowhere and was keeping me in check bigtime. The weird part is, he's about 25 lbs too light, but looks identical to my dog at home (which I hadn't seen in about 100 days, and was looking forward to seeing shortly) Insignificant to most, but just kinda was weird to me. I guess everyone has their doppelganger.

    [​IMG]

    My dog for reference...

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    The room that 350$ peso gets.

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    [​IMG]

    MX12:

    Nothing too exciting happened last night. The town was kinda iffy, although, if DaFoole and Jay are out there, I did see the infamous bag of Cheetos and contemplated bringing ya'll one as a souvenir!

    Back on the road, its just most mountain roads, more great turns, and pickup trucks filled with kids running to and from school.

    [​IMG]

    I learned there is absolutely zero need in this universe for 3/4 and 1 ton pickups.

    [​IMG]

    We did see some great woodwork though. Some say that staining is a lame way to cover up imperfections, but I love dark, deep red stained pieces. It was a true shame to see on some of these pieces had exposed drywall screws. Great skills and time went into so much of these pieces, and to finish off with drywall screws was just a shame.


    [​IMG]

    More often than not, it seems like we would come around a corner and see this sight. Many times, it would be coming at us, and it was our responsibility to use the shoulder, or the ditch. I didn't get a picture of that. I was too busy shaking the poop out of my pantleg.

    [​IMG]


    Late in the day we pull into Tampico. This sign about made me throw up.

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    We decided this was going to be our last night, and press on East, toward the shore. In a way this would turn out to be a mistake. Upon arriving, two things were clear. 1: I've been saying I was going to get a coconut with booze in it, on the beach this entire trip. Tonight, it had to be done. 2: There were no gringos to be seen anywhere, but this MUST be the place wealthy Mexicans come to play, because the hotels are ungodly expensive (in comparison to the rest of Mexico).

    We splurge on the second to cheapest hotel we can find, and go get some food. I have my first, second, and possibly third Corona of the trip. Then its time to go to the beach. Austin hops on his bike, and click click click...dead battery. I make an off-the-cuff assumption it must've internally shorted (walmart battery, 10k miles of abuse, 6500 of which was bouncing around offroad, I figured a plate must've broken and finally shorted another one). No time to mess with such affairs. To the beach!:clap I start my bike, put my foot on his pannier, and slip the clutch until we get rolling at a decent clip, and let him go. A quick pop of the clutch, and the KLR comes to life. This would become a tactic we do the entire rest of the trip.

    At the beach, sure enough I find my drunken coconut, and then some. All in all, the entire night of drinking may have been 10$ USD. I don't think 10$ has ever been so rough on my liver. We sit under some palapas, and reflect. This is the last night in Mexico, and ultimately, the last night of the trip. We made it count!

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Stupid tourist tricks

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    Tomorrow we will be in Texas, and the next day we will be in Houston, the end of the loop for me. Austin will head back to Georgia to complete his loop.

    10,000 miles. 100 days. Offroad, Onroad. Wet. Cold. Burning Hot. Sick. Hurt. Broken bikes. Sitting here as the sun drops, drinking away, it's hard to comprehend just what has been accomplished here. This is my first ever vacation. Just a short while ago I was on a mountain, running switchbacks in CO. Before that the XRR was laid out on rev limiter for endless miles in OK. Mud in MS. Washed out roads in TN. Tearing up the Dragon on knobbies. Truly, what an adventure.

    After....enough of the coconuts, it's time to retire back to the hotel for some street tacos. This is where we discover Corona Mega. All I'm going to say about this is: Ouch.

    MX13:

    Up and at em at the crack of noon, we get the bikes loaded, and head for the border. It's a fairly unexciting trip, apparently so much so that I forget to take pictures. It could be that, the hungover haze that I'm in, or the fact that the trip is ending has me grumpy.

    We make it to the Texas border town, McAllen late in the day, and noone is around on the Mexican side, other than the toll booth operator. Onto the American side the young customs agent played 20 questions with me, and had no idea what I was to do with my Mexican visa, or if I could cancel it and my TVIP tonight (which he had never seen before). After answering 'tylenol...is that too rugged to bring back?' to his 3rd or 4th time asking me if I had any drugs onboard, he got fed up with me enough to let me through.

    About the time Austin gets through, we remember his battery is dead. And there are speedbumps everywhere through customs, so there is no way I can bump him here. Instead, I just put my foot on his pannier, and we cruise through customs like an off-kilter 4-wheeler. The agents seemed less than impressed by the two 20-somethings that clearly must still be very intoxicated to be pulling this crap at the border crossing. :rofl We weren't, but I'm sure it seemed like it.

    It amazes me how black and white the border is. Literally, within a 100' distance, everything changes. Literally everything. Jack in the Box, BP fuel, and Wells Fargo are instantly in sight. The signs and billboards are now something I can understand, and are now much less interesting. We get a hotel and go for some food, where we again have to bump start his bike (I'm getting good at this).

    MX14 (13.5): In the morning, we have to go back across the border to cancel our TVIP. It's a complete mess, and we have a hard time figuring out where to go (Purely our fault, language barrier). Eventually, one of the mexican customs agents takes us outside, points to Austin, then to his bike, and then to himself. So now I have to bump Austin's bike, so that him and the agent can get on and lead the way. Quite a sight, I'm sure. Here, two dusty gringos, on dirty, beaten, overloaded bikes, and the customs agent doesn't even think twice. Fancy uniform and all, hops aboard and next thing I know, he's directing Austin at about Mach 10 to where we need to be. You wouldn't see that happen on the American side!

    [​IMG]

    Getting it all taken care of, we cross back over to America, and head north on the highway. About 50 miles in, I get a nasty speed wobble. Yup, you guessed it, riding on the rim. We did all of Baja, a decent amount of offroad out there, a good chunk of riding in the Mainland, in some truly 3rd world towns where there is junk and trash all over the streets. Not a single flat. Now, here, back in the US, on the freaking highway, I pick up a nail. Go figure! But as I've said the entire trip "If it were easy, everyone would do it".

    Eventually we get back underway, and 5 or 6 hours later, pull into Houston at around 9pm.

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    We were treated to one final fantastic sunset of the ride...
    [​IMG]

    I have friends here who have graciously offered up a place to sleep, and wrench. Neither of which would happen that night. Whether we were up for it or not, it was time to celebrate. And celebrate we did. :freaky:freaky.

    So there it is, folks. That's how 2 ADV'ers spent 100 days and 10,000 miles. I can't even begin to think of what was the best, or worst part. There were times that were just out of this world, and other times that just didn't seem like the cold rain, or the bike issues would end. At the same time, there was not a single day that I thought "I wish I wouldn't have done this". I can't speak for Austin, but I'm sure his feelings aren't too far off. Hands down, by far, this is the best thing I've ever done in life.

    There we so many relationships made with people from all walks of life. Some thought it was crazy. A waste of finances. Some thought it was a suicide mission. And some got it. Most people that scoffed at the whole thing were the 20 and 30 somethings, with a high-dollar vehicle, and something to prove. On the flip side, the 50+ crowd, from those who were homeless or nearly so, to those that I met in California on their million dollar+ houseboat, all said the same thing: Do it. Do it now, don't wait, and don't look back. To me, that says something. That it was the right thing to do.

    There were much more responsible things I could have done with this money, but in terms of life experience, and frankly life changing, there isn't a dollar amount I can place on what I've learned. Not only about myself. About what a human, in general, truly, truly needs to survive the day to day. To hell with your 75,000$ sports car, and your 150$ pair of denim jeans. And frankly, f$&% off with your impressive bank account. There are basic needs everyone needs to survive. I understand and agree entirely with that. However, they are extremely basic. And once they are met, the affect that money has on true happiness is nearly non-existent. I've seen someone completely miserable in a bar in NC, while his ZR1 corvette sat outside. I've seen fishermen in OR that struggle to fill their boats with fuel so that they CAN work, having an absolute ball, saying they love life. And I've seen kids in Mexico, grinning ear to ear, with nothing more than a couple sticks and an empty water bottle.

    Think about that for a minute, and think about how often you are in a bad mood about something that in the big picture does not matter. What for?

    Sorry, guess I got a little philosophical there. But my point remains the same. Don't be your job. Don't be your shiny car. Don't be the contents of your bank account.

    With that said, ladies and gentlemen: Travel. It will humble you. It will change you.

    To every single one of you that helped out on this trip, I cannot express enough thanks. Literally, you have made a serious difference. Much of this trip would not be possible without you. And that's the truth. For everyone that helped, if you are interested I would like to send you something in the next coming months. It isn't much, but a token of thanks. Please PM your addresses if you are interested.

    Until next time, and there will be a next time someday.

    -Chris
    [​IMG]
    sk3tch likes this.
  15. woodly1069

    woodly1069 Long timer

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    Damn man you sure put it down in black and white for everyone there! Good on ya! Fantastic story you are living man, now it's just time for a different chapter that's all! :freaky
  16. Steveo1o9

    Steveo1o9 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
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    Eastern MD
    I have followed this entire journey for you two and always looked forward to your updates. All I have to say is Bravo! you did an excellent job documenting this trip and portraying your thoughts. Thank you for taking us along for the ride, it is sad to see this end and I look forward to your next adventure. :beer
  17. ktmissouri

    ktmissouri Racer turned Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
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    27
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    Ozark, MO
    Gents,

    This is my first time posting on your RR. That last post was just awesome! I am one of those 50 somethings and I can't agree more. I loved every word of this RR and loved the way you adapted and overcame. Great job!
  18. Blind Mule

    Blind Mule Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
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    28
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    South East Idaho
    Hey thanks for letting me ride along with you (in spirit) Your posts were awesome and you basically parroted my thoughts on happiness. Its not the money, its the memories. I will tune in to your next adventures. Long may you Ride!!!!
    :clap
  19. Tex83

    Tex83 Motersykle Advntyers

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    Feb 17, 2012
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    960
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    Dallas, Texas
    "Don't be your bank account" words to fucking live by. I'm in the 30 something crowd and couldn't agree more. Do what makes you smile. ¬°Buena suerte!
  20. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2007
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    Alaska
    I doubt it. Consider it tuition for continuing education. That's pretty damned responsible actually. It has already taught you lessons about life that most people will never be able to experience, much less understand.

    When I had the fortunate chance to live off the bike for a couple years, coming back was a bit of a shock. It amazed me how many people were caught up stressing and worrying about little things that were really no big deal. After basic needs and good health, the rest is really all fluff. That's wisdom that most of the older crowd understands perfectly, hence the "do it now and dont look back" attitude.

    Well done. :freaky