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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


CarData

July 29th, 2008 by sunflowers

ER6fI put my Kawasaki ER6f up for sale and I think that I advertised it too expensive as the only interest I got was from a company called CarData. They were extremely persuasive and said that they offer financing to interested buyers and that they would be able to sell my bike in a week for the full asking price. I only had to pay £79.95.

I put a post on my advanced motorcycle forum and someone came back to say that it was a have and that after you paid the money you didn’t hear from them again. So now I will try and sell it when I come back in September.

Posted in Motorcycling | 3 Comments »


Death on the Dalton

July 28th, 2008 by sunflowers

“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive – the risk to be alive and express what we really are.” Don Miguel Ruiz

DR650Though I am actually pretty fearful of death. I have been doing some research on the Dalton Highway up to Prudhoe Bay and came across a posting commiserating a 57 year old who died in a motorcycle accident on the road last month.

Mind you removing my initial fear I do know that people die on the roads of London every day and I still ride my motorbike on them.

DR650I am starting to pull together my plans for Alaska including the infamous Dalton (Haul Road) Highway. After Alaska it will be seeing family in Alberta. Then I am debating whether to rider down through Montana as google maps suggests from Grande Prairie to LA or take the Pacific Highway which might be very busy this time of year.

Alaska Cycle Centre forwarded me a couple of pictures of my bike. This is the beast of burden that will be my transportation and home (with camping gear) for the next month.

Posted in Alaska | No Comments »


Trapped in a Black Out

July 24th, 2008 by sunflowers

Yesterday we lost our power at work from 11:30am onwards and I ended up trapped in an elevator with no lights or air conditioning for 45 minutes. Exciting stuff!

But not as exciting as the road from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay appears to be. I have been reading up on the road conditions and it sounds horrific. I only have 10-12 days from the time I pick up my bike to get down to Banff to meet my mother who is coming out from New Zealand to visit my sister who has just moved to Calgary from South Korea.

I am wondering if I should give the northern most reachable road a miss. But then I wouldn’t get to go above the Arctic Circle and I would feel like I have failed at the first hurdle. On the other hand I do want to enjoy my trip, I will see get to see lots of things and won’t be so rushed so can spend more time with my family.

I have always loved planning and want to make the most of my trip but I might also just see what the weather is like when I get there. Today in Anchorage it is 14 degrees Celsius and heavy rain.

Posted in General | 6 Comments »


Noise Control

July 22nd, 2008 by sunflowers

4 men killed in LondonFour men were stabbed to death in London on one day a couple of weeks ago and over twenty teenagers have been killed London since the start of the year.

For the last few years I have considered myself lucky that even though I live on a council estate in inner London (1 mile from Kings Cross) it is fairly quiet. That is until the neighbours from hell moved upstairs about a month ago.

Finally their late night noise drove me to action and I was going to go upstairs and knock on the door but as they are probably on drugs (they dropped an empty packet in our backyard) paying them a late night visit isn’t probably the best idea. Particularly in the neighbourhood that has had 3 youth stabbings recently. So I was on the phone to noise control until 2:20am in the morning…and my mother thinks my trip is going to be dangerous!

Though to be fair even though I thought that the Alaska to LA part of the trip was going to be fairly easy I am getting quite nervous )c:

Posted in General | No Comments »


Red Ribbon

July 16th, 2008 by sunflowers

I won best speech of the evening at my last toastmaster’s session. I gave my speech on my bike trip, how I am fundraising for Casa Alianza and stopping to visit some of their projects on my long route south.

Casa Alianza works with 12,000 street children a year in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Mexico.
In Guatemala Casa Alianza have:
– 2 transitional homes
– 2 crisis center,
– 1 home for adolescent mother,
– and a dozen group homes.

I think one of the reasons I did so well is I thought that I had to do my speech last week but got the dates wrong so had time to practise on my hapless colleagues.

Posted in Childrens Charities | No Comments »


Bought Bike

July 3rd, 2008 by sunflowers

Suzuki DR650SEAs I was phoning up dealerships to see if one of them would hold a second hand bike for me until August I found one dealership that had a black DR650 in a crate. It must have just arrived as the other sales person didn’t even know about it when I phoned back. So rather than sort out how to pay a private individual for a second hand bike and not knowing the state of it I decided it would be better for me to buy new.

Then the bloke selling the DR650 to $2,800 but by the time I had responded to him it was gone. So now I am waiting on the dealership to confirm they have taken my deposit off my credit card but I should be the proud owner of a new DR650.

I have been doing some research and this is the list of items I am going to get the bike shop to add or modify:

IMS 4.9 gal fuel tank $239
Lowering kit
Centre stand
Tank guard (depends on cost)
Skid Plate (depends on cost)

On these ones I am still making up my mind on types but if you have any suggestions I would appreciate it.

Corbin Seat (colour red and goes with the IMS fuel tank $379)
Tall windscreen
Panniers (I am looking at happy trails $689)
Re-gear it 16 sprocket but open to suggestions
Extra thick tyre tubes

I have modified a picture of a new DR650 to have a red seat.

Posted in Preparation | 2 Comments »


Total Trust?

June 28th, 2008 by sunflowers

Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true. – Buddha

I have found the perfectly set up touring bike. A 2000 DR650. Apparently DRs are used by the police in South America so they are easy to get fixed. At $4000 seems a bit dear for an eight year old bike you can buy for $5000 new but it has about $2000 worth of extras including a tall windscreen, panniers, bash plate and large tank.

Suzuki DR650SEThe bloke who is selling it is moving soon and wants me to send cash so I have asked him if he would leave the bike at a dealership for me to get a lowering kit and a new centre stand. I am a bit nervous about the whole thing and when I talked to my mother this morning she said it was up to me but could I take a gps so that people could find me (I explained that gps are used for finding places not so people can find you) and my sister said there is no way I should be sending strangers money. I think when you do a trip like this you end up having to have faith in people so maybe this is a good way to start (or a bad way if something goes wrong).

Posted in Preparation | 5 Comments »


Best BBQ

June 25th, 2008 by sunflowers

BBQMy fund raising bbq went well and I managed to raise £270 on top of the £150 that had already been donated. Not to mention we had brilliant weather and a good time catching up, drinking and eating.

I still haven’t been able to find a bike in Alaska. I have a lead on a DR650 all kitted out for a long distance trip but the bloke selling it is on a ship at the moment. Also someone who saw my wanted ad on Craigs list kindly offered to sell me his 2003 KLR650 if I can’t find one by the time I get there. So I have a backup plan.

Now I am trying to figure out how a non-us resident purchases a bike. Maria (who was at my bbq and has just finished travelling around SA) mentioned they had met someone who had bought their bike in the US and has posted on the HUBB so I emailed them and they have given me some good advice including to get a sat nav phone particularly if I am travelling by myself.

Posted in General | No Comments »


First Fundraising

June 18th, 2008 by sunflowers

2006 KLRI must admit that fund raising has come pretty low down on my list of things to prepare for. Top of the list has been trying to find a bike in Alaska. I did find a cool looking KLR in Wyoming but it appears that to ship it to Anchorage it has to be created and air freighted as I guess they don’t want to ‘import’ it through Canada.

One of the aspects of my trip I am really looking forward to is stopping at the projects Casa Alianza is doing with street children. So I have finally organised my first fundraising event. Holding a BBQ for friends and flatmates friends and asking them to donate £10 to www.justgiving.com/casa-alianza. I really need to update the photo on that page as I am now a brunette.

ps. I bicycled past London’s new mayor Boris walking up Holloway Road on my way home from motorcycle maintence tonight.

Posted in Preparation | 2 Comments »


Apprentice

June 4th, 2008 by sunflowers

Nick HewerNothing to do with my trip but I rushed home after my motorcycle maintenance to watch the penultimate Apprentice episode. I must admit that I was disappointed that one of the main reasons put forward by the interviewers for firing Lucinda was that her interests were alternative which somehow meant that she wasn’t interested or good in business when actually out of all the candidates was the most successful monetarily in her career. What does it matter whether your interests are sports or flower arranging when it comes to doing a job?

I just did a search and it turns out that Alan Sugar’s helper Nick Hewer is doing the Mongol Rally to raise money for a children’s charity.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »


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