Gary called and had locked his keys in the car. Come on we’ve all done it at one point or another, but here I am at home donning my walking shoes ready to embark on my 3 mile morning walk. I believe the conversation went something like this…
“NOOOOO, you didn’t”
“well ya, come on, it’s been years since I’ve done anything like this! Can you just bring me the keys?”
“Ya, of course I can, but it won’t be without consequence, and it begins now.”
“You know that trip I wanna take…”
Well, I brought him the keys. Let’s begin there. But even that had complications. I rolled out the R12R , got geared up and on the bike to discover that I didn’t even have idiot lights. Nada, it was dead as a doornail, if that’s as dead as one can get. I grumbled, rolled the bike back into the garage, got the Suzuki out and of course it started right up. I rode to Cisco, where Gary works and gave him my key, he opened our Subaru and I headed home, grumbling all the way. Well, that’s one hour I’ll never get back.
Once home, I fired off an email to my friend Gail Weaver, sales manager at Cycle Specialities in Modesto, where I purchased my R12R. He quickly responded to my email saying the battery should have been replaced by them and it must have been an oversight, but he would replace it and install it, if I brought him the bike. Additional motivation was supplied by 2Ride the World, Lisa and Simon, Brits who were giving a presentation of their ongoing ride around the world that very evening. Well, it’s a no-brainer. I had the R12R on a trickle charger and it gave it enough juice to start and after removing my side bags so I could easily lane split, I was off to Modesto in prime time traffic, 4:50 PM.
Man, have I told you how much I LOVE this motorcycle. It’s freaking amazing. It’s 110HP of pure muscle. It makes me hot just thinking about it. . What a brute!!! I skimmed easily through the lines of traffic at a brisk pace, smiling all the way. I got to Cycle Specialities just past 6, not a bad run with horrid traffic all the way. I pulled up in front of the service bay and took off my helmet to Gail who said, “where’s your key, we’ll get it right in and taken care of. In the meantime, go and grab a bite and get a seat it’s filling up fast for Simon and Lisa”. He no sooner said that, and the bike was being rolled in and I was off to find a chair for the presentation. Man, this is what I love about motorcycling. When it becomes more than a dealer and client, when it becomes a bunch of riders taking care of one another!!! THANK YOU CYCLE SPECIALITIES for taking care of me.
So, I grabbed a breadless cheese and meat sandwich and found a seat. They were ready for a bunch of people and had a great spread of meats, cheeses, rolls, awesome trail mix, meatballs, coffee, soda, water and later…ice cream, brownies, and cookies! Wow…
The place was teeming with people and seats were quickly filling but I found a place in front and snugged in. Both Lisa and Simon’s bikes had been rolled in for all to view. The bikes had been to 78 countries over the past 10 years and had gone 516000km or approximately 278,000 miles. Both are BMWs with aftermarket gas tanks holding 10 gallons of petrol. The bikes are shining in the spotlight. They both look sweet and barely used. Amazing what washing with a toothbrush can do. As the evening progressed they talked about how a bike had to be spotless to enter certain countries, the USA being one of those, and if that be the case, these bikes had been very well attended!!
There are just not enough superlatives to describe the evening presentation. I was in awe, but at the same time filled with adoration of these two humble people that both said they were only motorcyclists traveling the world, not peacemakers, or brain surgeons, but simple travelers doing something anyone with a passion for motorcycling and travel could do. I both agree and disagree…it takes a special person to endure what foreign countries can present in just crossing borders, let alone some of the hardship encountered. Their tales were amazing and brimmed with a humor, the kind that only a couple who never took themselves too seriously and found an enduring loving friendship in their relationship. They made me laugh but could also bring a tear to my eye. They used the phrase “privilege” often, in that they were privileged to meet the amazing people they met along their journey. I wanted to hug them both, they were amazing and beautiful people, whose photography throughout the presentation was simply gorgeous and talented. Selling these beautiful prints was just one of the ways they purchased that next tank of gas or that needed tire. They were self-sustaining which also surprised me, seeking online support and selling photos and t-shirts. I thought to myself, what’s next a bake sale?? In all honestly, I was surprised they weren’t sponsored by several companies. They had help, but mostly they were self-sustaining. I just put another feather in their helmet. Yep, they were to be awed.
The shop being readied for the evening.
Gail’s intro with Simon overseeing…
Lisa and her motorcycle.
Simon and his motorcycle.
A slide shot from their presentation of them when they began this journey and now. On numerous occasions Lisa and Simon both joked about Simon being her “toy boy” which we here call “boy toy”. There was some distance between their ages, something to which I could totally relate having even more distance between me and Gary. Yep…”toy boy or boy toy”, it’s all good.
Lisa laughing at Simon’s statement, whatever it was…
Simon’s wonderful casual demeanor.
One of the amazing photographs in the presentation.
Yep they have covered some territory…wow
During the break…
I had to ask Lisa about her dashboard as there were just too many things, i did not recognize and I’m a rider! The top read out was created because her old analog dial vibrated so badly that the pointers just fell off, so she needed something a bit more accurate for her RPMs and speed, digital was the way to go. The screen below was a type of mapping reader board for the rallies they ride.
No, this isn’t jewelry, but the control for the rally reader board. Looks pretty!
A more poignant moment…
Please, this photograph of a slide does NOT do this amazing shot justice. This shot was taken in Mongolia and this colorful gentleman rode up on horseback with this eagle on his arm. The bird was nearly 3 ft tall and when he handed it over to Simon to hold he needed to use both arms to hold the bird up. To me this photo epitomized this journey, one of wonder and amazement. This man looks like part of a cast of a film, but for him this is just another day, another moment in time, in a life well lived.
I am still in awe.
I can’t thank Cycle Specialities enough for this wonderful presentation and their dedication of support from riders taking care of riders nor Simon or Lisa for thier passion and dedication. What an amazing world we live in…and it’s a pleasure to meet other humans with a full respect and adoration for the world in which they live. KUDOS.