Other Motorcyclists Riding The World – Update

As you can imagine, it’s hard for me to sit still while following those friends I’ve met on the road or over e-mail during my seventh month sojourn around the world – currently in intermission while my my leg and I regain our strength and composure.

So while I can’t entertain you with more of my own stories, anecdotes and photographs from around the world, I’d like to fill you in on the status of many of the other moto travelers I’ve mentioned.

55732281-M-2Anne Giardin – aka Anna MotoDiva

A French native living in California, Anne left on her BMW F650GS from her home in California to tour the Americas. From Alaska to Ushuaia and more. She left several months before my departure and during her nearly 12 month odyssey spent some time riding with others I met on the road including Mike (Mikes World Tour), Sacha, Jeremiah, Brad and others I’m sure. Even a group of motorcyclists I met in Honduras asked if I new Anna MotoDiva. Funny thing is, I never met her. We exchanged e-mails, ideas and travel tips but I never caught up to her. I was so close in Bolivia. She was just days ahead of me when I tossed it in the mud in Tica Tica.

Well, Anne made it to the bottom of the World last month. Since then she’s been spending time in Buenos Aires. Her recent e-mail details her plans:

{…}This is it… I am going home a bit sooner than expected. Read the reasons why here. I just updated my website with the latest pictures. People from California, I will be in San Francisco next week, at Joe’s place (my former house), I hope to see you there and celebrate. People from the rest of the world, I hope to see you someday somewhere… It has been a very fun trip and am already thinking about the next one […]

As I write this she is gearing up for a homecoming party in San Francisco. Unfortunately, I cannot make the trip. But somewhere down the road, I’m sure I’ll run into Anne.

31199412-SDavid McMillan – aka MotoTrekker

Another San Francisco motorcyclists, though born and bred in America, David left on his motorcycle adventure from Anne’s homeland – France. Along with his girlfriend Erika and aboard a 1989 Honda Transalp – a 600cc adventure bike no longer marketed by Honda. Their plan? Simple. Ride from Paris, France to Sydney, Australia. They left Paris in April, the same month Anne left San Francisco. Over the last 8 months David and I have exchanged numerous e-mails. We were hoping to meet up somewhere along the way. However, it looks like he’ll be back in California this summer so our rendezvous may be on our home turf.

Erika and David’s adventure is mind-boggling. They rode in China. Had to brave ice and snow crossing the Himalayas and Karakorum mountains. His photos of the Karakorum Highway are amazing. That ride on the KKR has been one of my dreams and was one of the top 3 roads I want to ride on my journey. I’ve got lots of questions for David when we meet this summer.

But perhaps most amazing they happened to ride through the epicenter of the devastating earthquake that killed more than 80,000 people in Pakistan. David has been plagued with stomach problems off and on, but nothing has slowed them down. That is until they go to Laos. Seems a cow just didn’t want to get out of the way of David’s bike. The ensuing collision left him with a broken collar bone. For the last 2 1/2 weeks he has been recuperating in Bangkok:

[…] I hit a cow a few weeks ago in Laos and broke my collarbone, so I am recovering too and know exactly how you feel, although it sounds like yours is a bit worse than mine. We are in Bangkok recovering for another week or two until I can ride again.[…]

[…] Its pretty scary when something like this happens in BFE, glad you had a partner to help you out. Erika was on the back of my bike (she was unhurt) and helped coordinate the tuk-tuk ride to the hospital […]

I guess the bike is okay. But it’s just another one of those cases where time will heal the wound. Once they get on the road again, I’ll report here further dispatches as they make it through Malaysia, Indonesia and onto Australia. Very exciting.

Img 1567Dave & Deb Welton

I met Dave and Deb in Mexico while attending the Horizons Unlimited motorcycle meeting in Creel near the Copper Canyon. We rode through much of northern Mexico together, then split up in Zacatecas. As traveling reminds you of the smallness of our world, I ran into them again a month later in Guatemala.

Unlike David and Erika, Dave and Deb each are riding their own F650GS. Equipped with wireless bike-to-bike communications, they have taken a very leisurely approach to their world ride. After selling their home in the mid-west they embarked on a journey that had no itinerary, no schedule and no set list of destinations or expectations. When I was flogging my way through the wind, rain, fog and cold in Ecuador, they were still lolling in the sunshine in Panama or Costa Rica. But they’ve made it as far south as Mendoza, Argentina and they plan to store their bikes and spend the summer in Canada. Then in November returning to Argentina where they’ll ship their bikes to Australia. It will take several months for the ship to arrive down under, so they’ll explore the southern part of Chile and Argentina by bus and car until they fly to meet the bikes in Australia.

[…] We were in Chile for a second time on the island of Chiloe and when we returned to Argentina the Aduana gave us an 8 month visa for our bikes. By the time we road to Bariloche ( a very beautiful area by the way) we had both independently thought that we should leave our bikes in Argentina and return in the fall to ship them from Chile to New Zealand – the same cost as shipping to Miami.

[…] So here we are back in Mendoza storing our bikes on Saturday and flying our to Detroit on Monday. We will spend the summer in Canada then fly back November 13, ride to Valpariso, Chile, ship the bikes to New Zealand by boat and go further south by bus to see Moreno Glasier. Then catch up to our bikes for 5-6 months of riding.[…]

There are others. I’m still in nearly daily contact with Jeremiah. He is in Southern Brazil and I will report more on his journey and plans next week.

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