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Thread: Introducing...

  1. #16
    inte_gs
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultracyclist View Post
    Fabulous!
    When will your trip be on the big screen in a theater near me? Your posting was basically the trailers, right?
    The film I was working on back east was unrelated to they moto stuff - it's a documentary about a family that moved their entire family from the east coast to Mexico to start the first home & school for the deaf in Mexico.

    BUT ... it provided the impetus to pick up the GS and start a film project of my own. I've since shot a ton of test footage across the US, Mexico, (and most recently Nicaragua).

    A couple production companies have expressed interest, however I'm finding I might be better off from both a creative and production standpoint to simply do everything in house!

    Some of the test footage is on the website - all filming/editing/audio/web production was done in house (actually the entire thing was put together & uploaded while on the road using internet "cafes" in Mexico ... audio was recorded stateside) .

    Working on 'shoestring' budgets does present it's challenges, but I'm learning there are also several advantages ... currently talking with potential partners/investors to explore the possibilities of a larger-scale production.




    Quote Originally Posted by ultracyclist View Post
    Just curious, what helmet do you use?
    Arai XD

  2. #17
    inte_gs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    great photos... and welcome.

    what type of camera equipment do you use?

    ian
    Thanks - got a bevy of stuff I use depending on what I'm shooting. My DSLRs are Nikon/Fuji, For film I used a Nikon F5 and Voightlander, for some of the more "hectic" trails I rely heavily on Canon Powershots (currently the G7, SD 600, SD 550 - have crushed a camera or two in the past from trips over the bars & try to choose what glass to carry accordingly...)

  3. #18
    inte_gs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statdawg View Post
    Welcome Jon

    Thank you for the two great ride reports. I am glad you were able to spend sometime with Salcar. He is very inspirational and successful. Not too many people would consider going to Nicaragua for riding, and you both proved that it is an emerging market with endless possibilities. I too feel it is going to be an expanding hub for touring. Sal's other venture will help a large amount of underserved people by expanding access to health care and information.
    Salcar is a great guy to ride with for sure - like any true adventure, things don't always go as planned & having the right attitude when things get weird is important...

    Nicaragua was truly stunning - didn't have any preconceptions worked up over what to expect other than people here telling me to be sure my life insurance was paid up... . All I found was good food, friendly people, and amazing views. Added benefit of this type of touring is we would meet people along the way and Salcar is able to assess needs in certain areas (medical supplies, school uniforms, etc...) and try to make arrangements for assistance in any way possible.


    Quote Originally Posted by Statdawg View Post
    Sorry from most of us here that we missed you in the northeast. But there is always next time.

    I am still wondering how you covered such a distance wearing that Arai XD Helmet. By now your neck muscles must be the strength of F1 auto racers. That is a great helmet but it has such drag at highway speed or on some long and lonelies with cross winds.

    After my recent ride through the NE I'm really hoping for a return trip at some point

    As far as the XD goes ... I guess ignorance is bliss - I used to make the 300-mile freeway trek from my place to Mexico in an open-face dirtbike helmet with goggles, then hit the dirt from there. After picking up the XD the using the shield & sunglasses was a whole new world, couple that with the fact that I can remove the peak & it's the smoothest helmet I've ever owned.




    Quote Originally Posted by Statdawg View Post

    Since your GS purchase do you still have your KTM Adv ? Both are great bikes and it depends on your application to adventure. Nimble verses comfort yet both have their own issues.

    Again all the best and a big welcome.
    Still own both ... REALLY hard time letting go of either Posted a vid above using both - footage shot in the US & Mex between November 07 - Jan 08

  4. #19
    inte_gs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Statdawg View Post
    Since your GS purchase do you still have your KTM Adv ? Both are great bikes and it depends on your application to adventure. Nimble verses comfort yet both have their own issues.
    The whole BMW/KTM adventure bike topic may have encountered a major tipping point with the introduction of the F800GS IMO ... I haven't ridden one yet, but at some point would like to take on on more of the more difficult loops from US into Mexico & back ...


    Some of this terrain from past rides would be well suited for a test run...














    ...and now back to your regularly schedule report.

  5. #20
    inte_gs
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    Wind.

    Seems it's always how a thing ends that sticks in your mind. So much has taken place over the past few days - visiting new places, meeting new people ... the western half of Texas provided enough wind to literally blow most of those memories away. I asked a couple people if this was normal & most said "we get a few days like this a year". A few days ... I just happen to be on a bike on one of those few days... Most people would bring it up when they saw me roll in before I even had the chance to ask. The tumbleweeds blowing around provided for some classic views however.

    I had spent the previous night in New Orleans. Wasn't sure what the place would be like since Katrina ... sure enough, it bears the scars of that storm. Driving into the place is amazing ... the bridges seem to go on forever. There's a huge construction effort south of the city where a new road is being constructed over the water. Once off the bridges, building still half-stood that show no evidence of attention since the storm. Partially collapsed structures stand weakly next to piles of rubble from other previous structures. Life goes on right in the midst of this. Pulling off the freeway into downtown revealed an urban environment similar to San Francisco or New York at first blush. The most noticeable difference of this place actually came from my GPS - I was looking for a place to stay and following the directions provided - arriving at the address for the first two hotels revealed only vacant lots or piles of rubble. A quick trip around the superdome and I decided to look for a place just outside of downtown.




    Getting on the road I had some miles to put in - the US is much bigger in person that on a map. I thought I was making great progress until I realized by the HUGE bridge up ahead that I hadn't yet crossed the Mississippi.\




    An interesting aspect to travel via motorcycle - at least this type of travel - it's actually easier to camp in a tent that use hotels. Pulling up to a hotel requires you register & such, then unload the bike, bring stuff in, unpack, repack, reload the bike, etc... camping means you park & leave everything on the bike. Pitch a tent next to the bike & you've got everything you need right there. I was on a mission to find a campsite next to a river. Being on I-10 through Texas didn't really lend itself to that, so a quick search online found some campgrounds with hopeful names. I took a gamble on one - 40 miles off the 10, but fortunately not out of the way at all as I 10 happened to curve in the same direction as the detour to this camp ground in the hills. After pulling off the road I was getting a little concerned that the listing was old or wrong. Saw a couple massively unappealing places to camp, but soldiered on - when I got near to the supposed location of this campground it turned out to be the entrance to a residential neighborhood. There was an extremely faded, partially legible sign, indicating evidence that a campground may have once existed there. I was already here, it was getting dark, might as well investigate. I pulled into the housing tract & there were no more signs for the campground, just a bunch of older houses. After hitting a few dead-end streets, I rolled down a long hill & the houses started to dissipate ... then I saw a sign for a boat-launch - a hopeful development. Sure enough, at the end of this long road was a sign for a campground. $10 for primitive camping - exactly what I was looking for. First thing the caretaker said was "people seem to have a hard time finding this place".

    No kidding.

    Perseverance sometimes pays off however...








    I had also been warned about deer on the roads ...





    I awoke the next day with a serious mission at hand - wanted to make Tucson - just shy of 800 miles away - before dark. In go the plugs, fire up the XM ...






    Then the aforementioned wind happened.

    My fuel economy was literally cut in half.

    You'd get used to the buffeting of the wind to a certain degree - the occasional tumbleweed across I-10 or folded-up semi served as reminders to stay on one's toes. Plus, Texas is big. The plan was to get through El Paso before traffic - didn't realize at the time El Paso just isn't all that big. First time I'd seen the Rio Grande. Interesting that this knee-deep river & a chain link fence is all that represents such a drastic line of division between the two economies.

    I pulled over just outside of El Paso to consider my options...






    The KOA in Las Cruces had pretty much everything I was looking for - laundry room, free WiFi, and a place to pitch a tent. I pulled in, set up the makeshift office, and tried to get caught up before what is looking to be the final few days of this trek.

    From an amazingly windy campground in New Mexico - this is Jon signing off.


  6. #21
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    Wow. When you take a ride down to the corner and back you don't mess around.

    Welcome Jon.

  7. #22
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Very cool! Also cool avatar.
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  8. #23
    inte_gs
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    Quote Originally Posted by BradfordBenn View Post
    Very cool! Also cool avatar.
    Tks ... that was drawn up for a mock album cover to the audio heard in the BMW/KTM video posted above


  9. #24
    inte_gs
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    The Hidden Culture

    Riding a motorcycle allows for a bit of maneuvering around certain social conventions. Imagine the guy hopping out of his sedan wearing full leathers, or moon boots, etc... same guy rolls up on a bike & it makes sense.

    The helmet is the key identifier in all this. Your pass to unusual fashion. I learned this recently at a truck stop someplace between Georgia & Louisiana. Virtually 100% of the time I carry my helmet with me anytime I have to go inside a store - force of habit. The GS I picked up for this trip is the first bike I've ridden with a helmet lock - I ended up using it a few times.

    So ... after locking up the helmet, I stash my gloves & glasses in one of the boxes and walk in to grab some water - wearing boots, black overpants, big jacket ... Guy next to me at the counter, big guy, looking at me nervously for a while. Finally asks, "so ... it's uh, pretty cold out there yeah?" I didn't pick up on any of this at first & just replied, no, it's actually kinda hot." [ long, shifty, nervous pause followed ]. I follow up with something about being on the bike helps cool you down on the road. He suddenly looked obviously relieved and said, "oh ... I was wondering about the big 'ol jacket ... don't know that there's no insane asylum around here ... didn't know you were on a bike."

    Funny that such a minor thing as carrying a helmet would take care of all the confusion.

    So, still at that insanely windy KOA after taking care of laundry, some work emails came in ... great WiFi here, 6 hour batter life on the VAIO, time for the makeshift office:





    I work there until around midnight & set the alarm for an early start in the morning.





    The wind had died considerably this morning. The lack of tumbleweeds blowing in my path meant I could get a bit more filming in of the desert. That's when I encountered the Hidden Gila Bend.

    I'd been through Gila Bend a couple times earlier this year. Stayed here one night & just blew through the 2nd time.

    I wanted to check out a few places - some of what I'd photographed on the previous trip wasn't there any longer - only foundations remained of the buildings. Found another abandoned hotel & did a quick pass through for a few shots. First thought was this would be a perfect homeless shelter ... I stopped to rearrange some of the camera stuff & that's when I noticed the little things - items hung on certain doorknobs, stuff tacked to a door or window here & there - signals of some sort, though I didn't understand the code. Sure enough, a few minutes later one of the 'tenants' emerged with his dog to greet the new visitor. He just came out, waved, had a quick look around, & just as quickly disappeared back inside. Funny thing was, during his 'quick look around', he happened to make glances specifically in the direction of the doors with the signal markings attached to them. A secret society mere feet from the main highway, but a world away.




    Just before leaving Steven Tyler's doppleganger happened by on a bicycle.

    This guy had style. Aerosmith wardrobe, girl's cruiser, sunglasses borrowed from Bootsy Collins, Doc Holiday facial hair ...

    In spite of my fascination with this place, it was time to roll.



    Arizona was full of sound.

    I've passed through here many times, but this time is was the sheer panoply of noise that drew my attention. From pulling into Yuma just as the fighter jets were performing exercises directly over the gas station where I stopped, to the snoring in the truck stop.

    This wasn't just any snoring.

    This was amazing. I went in the rest area with the benches, T.V.'s and such to look for a data port - man. The wall of sound that hit when you entered the room - it was the most violent sound I've ever heard produced by a human. There was a percussion to it - like a human impact wrench. It gave you that same uneasy feeling you get when listening to the tire guy install your wheels & just barely start to strip out the lug nuts ... I was worried this guy was going to bust some threads & send vocal chords flying across the room. The very fact that no carnage occurred is testament to the durability of the human body in my opinion.

    After a few minutes I left without even remember why I had gone there in the first place. The whole "needing a data port" thing didn't occur to me until around 50 miles later.

    As the day wore on, the miles seemed to blow by. I'd gotten off the 10 back in Tucson and had been following the 8 ever since Gila Bend - sticking to the original route the Everett's would have most likely taken. Fortunately, I'd been through the border crossings of both Agua Prieta and Sonoyta earlier this year & figured there really wasn't much of a direct east-west route they would have used between here & the Mexican border until reaching the 94 near Mexicali.

    The 94 & old highway 80 are extremely fun motorcycle roads - weekends will see streetbikes of all kinds down there - it was a welcome relief to get off the superslab for a moment & into the twisties. The GS really seems to like that kind of riding.

    I reached eastern San Diego County at twilight and being only 100 or so miles from home, there really wasn't much point in camping - I figured traffic would be clearing by the time I reached town & it would be clear sailing. For the most part it was, save for the overturned vehicle that shut down the 8 for a few miles...

  10. #25
    inte_gs
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    Added a fitting conclusion to the ride by taking the GS from its East Coast home down to baja ... subject of another thread:



  11. #26
    inte_gs
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    A side-thread to this adventure was bodysurfing in three separate oceans ... (well 2 oceans & a gulf at least).

    The day I arrived home saw a trip down to the pier just a few miles from my place... which was shortly followed by a trip to Baja, the subject of another thread which I should get back to sometime...

    A local photographer was kind enough to snap this on my arrival:



    12 days, 4662 miles.

  12. #27
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I want a job like yours.
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  13. #28
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    way cool man, you're making me wish i had high tailed it out of here 2 months ago and gone for a ride, rather than doing what i've been doing most days (nothing), hahaha. sorry the bronx traffic got ya, there's very few good ways around NYC.

    keep it coming!

  14. #29
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
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    Sweeeeet!
    -=Brad

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  15. #30
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    What an introduction. I can see an ON article or two from you.

    Great report, great pics. Thanks for warming up winter.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

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