Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Before departure



Another post, another update...

Since last update; bike got shipped, ticket bought and farewell dinner with close friends.

This week (05) have been full of events. Tuesday, the driver, Paul, picked up the bike to drive it to MotoFreight in Heathrow, UK. Paul, who is en ex-soldier, told me he had just come from Sweden and was going through Denmark on the way to Germany. From the he was to continue to Belgium and France to deliver and pick up more bikes. The guy was awesome and fun-spirited person and driving around Europe with other peoples bikes like they were his own.

Awesome to meet you Paul!

Because of the date my trip starts and my friends also going on vacation, Wednesday was the only available day we all could meet. They threw me a farewell dinner - sadly one friend turned out couldn't come after all.
One friend lives in the apartment underneath me and they all gathered there for preparing the feast - the good old standards: burgers!

Thanks a lot guys (Klaus, Tobias, Lasse and Philip).

Finally Thursday night, I bought my ticket to Buenos Aires (BA), Argentina. I arranged with the freight company that I would pick it up on Monday 22FEB and I wanted to arrive a couple of days early - however, the tickets for "a couple of days early" was too much money, so had to book it for 21FEB out of DK landing in the morning on 22FEB in BA. That means I would step out of the plane and go right to the customs. It is gonna be hard, but let's see how goes.

See you in the next update.
Stay safe.
RJ

Monday, January 4, 2016

Long overdue update


This is a long over due update; I have been silent for more than 2 months. A lot of stuff has happened, so let's get started.

Preparations

Since last, not much have been prepared. My girlfriend was getting second thoughts about letting me leave for 6 months - on the other hand, I haven't been very good at trying to explain to her how I imagined this to go. She thought that I would be gone for 6 months without her being with me or see me - and that's clearly not what I wanted.

So after having a few talks with her about the trip, she is now again convinced that the trip is gonna happen and she gets excited about it too.

So basically, she won't be joining for the whole trip. She will fly in once in a while and spend a week or two here and there. Now when this is done in a strategic maner, the longest period we WON'T see each other will only be about 4 weeks. Those who knows us, that is not too unusual for us.

On another note, I have started researching shipping methods - so far I have asked James Cargo and Motofreight about shipping. I want it air-freighted, so it'll cost more, but it'll be easier for me and I dont have to do without the bike for as long. Plus if it is transported by sea, there can be some pretty substantial delays and I wanna avoid that on the outgoing leg. Shipping back home is gonna be less of a problem.
Since the communication is being done between Christmas and New Years, it is limited what I get of responses - however, James Cargo are very good at answering their emails. I might go with these guys even though it is about 200 GBP more expensive.

Arizona

Since my last update, my work has taken me to Arizona. I was supposed to be there for only 3-4 weeks, but ended up staying almost 2 months.

While I was there, I talked to the people I worked with about my plans for driving the Pan-American trip. Several times, the contractor that worked with us (his name is Dan), invited me and and my colleagues out on ATV rides in the Arizona back-country and during many dinners I told him more and more about the travel plans.
Out in the Arizona back-country (near Sedona) on Dan's side-by-side ATV
He was very interested and very impressed by the scale of the trip - so he is sending me back home to Denmark with and open invitation to come back and borrow a room for when I pass next year. I very much appreciate the offer and will most likely take him up on that offer.

Dan has spend countless hours driving his ATV everywhere in the area, so he knew all the awesome small roads. He was an awesome guide.
Just south of Sedona on N Bill Gray Rd
Some roads are normally closed. When you drive an ATV, you don't care so much... You go around
Arizona offers some extraordinary views - well worth it for anyone to try
The obligatory pose
Me and Anders - I struggled a lot to keep the camera stable during the drive
This is the southern states after all - these people and their guns...
Those goggles are a necessity when driving in 2 ATV's. The one behind gets covered in dust, especially if you don't keep distance
The GoPro that was mounted gave us problems all the time - it would stop recording randomly. So I had the bring out the phone for recordings and it shows by the shaking in the video
These back-roads are definitely something I wanna visit again on the bike.

All the rest

Just before Christmas I ordered a bit of stuff of the internet - mostly special tools for the that I think I need.
Some tools: a sparkplug socket, some extenders, 1/2"->3/8" converter, USB-power plugs and and auto charger for my MacBook Pro.
I still need to arrange some spare parts for the bike but I will talk to my local dealer when the bike goes in for service first thing in January 2016.

I better stop here and save some for the next update.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

More prep


My first video. I filmed a bit during a 1-day training course I attended 1 week ago.
Read below for more info.

Hi guys,

It's been a while since the first post. I think a lot has happened since and I'd like to share some of it here.

Website

So the "website" (thats really a blog) has seen a lot of updates over the past 2 weeks. I have had a hard time having an overall picture of what information to put there and how to present it. There is a lot I wanna share, I just seem can't find a place to start.

But one of the sections that has had a major overhaul is the "Route"-section. I have draw a lot of inspiration from the Globebuster's website, but have found it a very nice way of presenting my route. Even my self have had problem trying to grasp the vastness of it, but dividing it into stages and then further into weeks have helped a lot. Before when I get a question like "When will you be in ...?", I couldn't even guess at a date. But having split it into these stages makes things a lot easier for me to wrap my head around.

Also, under each week description I have made a small statistics area and a link to Google Maps with the particular peace of the route. What to notice there is especially the "drive index" which is a description of what distance to cover on average per day. So having only 180 km/d in average is a pretty easy schedule to keep, but when that index rises to 377 km/d (as in the case of the Mexico-part) it means there is a whole lot of driving going on with very little rest or chances for filming, photographing etc.

So far, I have planned the route from Argentina to Alaska and then back down to California. So according to my original plan, I also wanted to cross USA from California to New York - however, that part I did not plan yet. Cuz in the process of actually mapping out the first south-to-north part made me realise it is a huge undertaking. So there is very well a chance that 1) I'm fed up of riding a motorcycle by the time I reach Alaska, 2) I can't keep up with my schedule or I stop somewhere for a long time, 3) that I might be unable to finish the trip or 4) some unforeseen situation arrises.
Therefore I haven't bothered to finish the planing for the across-USA part. Also, I am constantly reminding myself that there should be room for improvisation and deviating from the route - a very important rule on the trip has to be "Be impulsive". (Maybe I should make a section on the blog that lists a bunch of rules???)

Promotion

So a part of my project is also to promote it. By promotion I mean just telling people about it. By now, I don't think there is a friend or colleague that doesn't know about the trip. It is not like I'm trying to sell anything, but there more people who knows about the project, there more interesting I can make it look and make new people interested, the more I can get out of it in terms of advice and help from the same people. Smart, right?

First edition of the business cards
Part of my idea for a fast way to present this to people is by something used everyday by business people. The business card.
It is such a simple yet effective way of handing over information to other people and give them your contact info. So I wanted to make some business cards to bring where-ever I go and give to whom seem to be interested in the project when I tell them. Especially while ON the trip, I could give it to people that I meet so that they can tune back in and see the progress.

This is just the first test of the business cards, but it was printed professionally on very nice, thick and heavy paper - so it looks awesome in your hand. However, if I find a way to make it better, I will for the next print-up. But I'm actually quite happy about the way these turned out. Let me know what you think in your comments.

Off-road training

Taking the bike off-road is fun!
A week ago, I had signed up for a 1-day course arranged by the local BMW dealer. The purpose of the course is to teach you the way to drive your motorcycle outside the asphalt - where the road ends. If you spend a lot of money on a bike like mine, why not spend a few more to learn how to ride it?

During the day I learned how to manoeuvre the bike in very confined space, balance it through soft sand and water and much more. It's a lot to put into one day, but it made me a lot more confident in the terrain. And for this of you who claim different - the big BMW R1200GSA is very capable in the terrain if you know how to use it. I said it before and I'll say it again, it is a very impressive piece of machinery.

Me with my diploma
During the day, I filmed a little bit. I took me a while, but I finally cut it to a nice little 4 min. video that you see in the top of the post.

I better stop now - this post is already getting to be way to long to be interesting. But before I go, I can tell then I'm heading to Germany tomorrow (on the bike) because I signed up for another course - this time given by BMW in Hechlingen Endure Park in Germany. I will also try taking video from there and compile for the next post - it is good training for my video editing skills. The first many videos are gonna be crude but will hopefully improve over time and be top tuned for the start of the trip.

See ya next time!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Making a blog

So I've never made a blog through Blogger before, so there is a bunch of things I gotta learn. However, in the end this will be my main outlet for updates about the Pan-American trip of 2016.

So many people that takes on this kind of challenge, they name their trip/project. Most famous ones I guess are "Long Way Round" and "Long Way Down" - other less known figures might choose something like "Ride into the sun" or "One world, one journey". So I thought I'd come up with something too to describe my explorations and adventures. So after careful thought and research for available domain names, I came up with:

"Went for a RIDE
Pan-American Edition"

Now the reason why I call it the "Pan-American Edition" is so that I can reuse the name and domain later on if I choose to do a long ride through Asia too. Then it would probably be something like "Far East Edition". You get my drift.

So here I am - still trying to get my head around this blogging thing and how it all works. It does not seem simple at all - especially if you wanna have something a little more special look on your website. But hopefully it'll work out at some point.