Yes, I’ve been gone a while. When I last left you I was heading south to meet Alicia Sornosa in Madrid. I did make it to Spain, but then I smashed my laptop and have been unable to update the site for a few weeks! I’m saving that craziness for a different post. First, let me tell you about Madrid.
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.
Seeing New Things
Arriving in Quito felt a bit like coming home. Almost two years ago to the day my friend Lex and I landed in Quito, we planned on staying in Ecuador for three days and loved it so much we stayed for three months. We spent a lot of time in Quito, Mindo, Baños, the Galapagos Islands, and Guayaquil. As much as I’d love to visit all of those places again I’ve decided to explore a part of Ecuador I haven’t seen yet, Cuenca – and if possible, El Cajas national park.
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.
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: