Sometimes the the trip feels like a living breathing being, and sometimes that being doesn’t seem to like me very much.
Let me refresh your memory. I’d just shipped my bike from Nairobi to London (several thousand dollars), then my bike was stolen, smashed, and found. Bike needed serious repairs (many thousands of dollars) and I’d have to stay in London for weeks while repairs were being made (many more dollars). And then, after a wonderful stay in Spain, I arrived in Frankfurt only to discover that, somehow, I’d smashed my laptop. This was not good for a guy who’d just drained his bank account.
I recently made some significant changes to Bike. I wanted to give Bike a small overhaul for the ride through Africa. Most of the work was done with the help of Hex Microsystems and Bavarian Motorcycles in South Africa. They really did a great job. Here’s a rundown of the things I’ve added or changed.
Once I arrived in Lima I made a beeline for Touratech, Peru. I wanted to get my pannier repaired and I wanted to buy a few odds and ends for my bike: new handles for the side panniers, a new helmet, thermals for the cold weather. I also wanted to get some off-road training.
Before heading out for my big adventure I talked to every experienced rider I could find. I got a lot of great advice about gear, packing, and preparing the bike. One thing they all told me to do was a “shakedown ride”.
Last weekend I was in New York City talking about my travels. Watch this rebroadcast as I talk about why I travel, how I believe we can change the world through art, and some tips for better travel photography. There’s a ton of good information in this talk. Grab some coffee and enjoy the show.
This morning I went on my first off-road test ride. My friend Keith followed behind in his Jeep and documented my first day off-road. I had three goals: get some off-road riding experience, test out all my new riding gear, and do some experiments to determine the best way to document everything when I’m riding alone. This was a learning experience, and I learned a lot!
I’ve been working for the past few days to get the bike prepped for the trip. I’ve been getting a ton of help from the staff at Touratech USA. These guys know what they are doing and have really been great. After many phone calls and a lot of research I ordered my first batch of parts: