Saturday, May 31, 2003  

We are in Saskatoon at the moment. Coming here is a bit out of the way but Matt had to see the place (ask him for the story). I had fun along the way as I got to explore some of the abandoned farms and barns along the way. Saskatoon is a charming city! The College is particularly beautiful. We had lunch here, and managed to get wired. Hope to hit Banff for lunch tomorrow and ride the ridge of the Canadian Rockies to go and explore the Columbia Ice field.

Oh also wanted to add thanks to Colin for teaching us about the poor mans surf and turf.....Sardines and a hot-dog wrapped in a slice of white bread....leave it to the Irish.

Have to run as our meter is running out and we need to get a few more miles in,


posted by Henning; | 2:58 PM


Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Since the tenth grade I've wanted to see this city. Just because I had a buddy from here and we would tease him about the alliteration. Everyone knows that k is the funniest letter in the alphabet. I think Henning may be adding some stuff as well, and since we didn't coordinate, I hope there's not too much double coverage. So we got new tires in Winnipeg, a lot more street oriented than the Conti's, but beggars can't be choosers. Winnipeg BMW (Wildwood Motorsports) was quite helpful, considering that they didn't know anything about me when I called Tues. Eve. and still went ahead and ordered a set of tires and cleared some service time to get us on the road. My thanks to Luc Athot for his assistance. Packing for the ride Friday morning I really began to miss Colin and Brendan. Not just for the extra storage space in the car, (all right mostly for the storage space, JK).

As we left Winnipeg, with our brand new, still factory slick tires, we got broadsided by a tremendous north wind, which lasted for about 150 miles. The going got a lot easier once the tires were worn in, but, I said it before and I'll say it again: riding in the wind blows. Dinner in Yorkton, SK. (cute waitress BTW) Then found a campsite near Theodore. I thought all of this flat open country would be boring, but I guess after living in the hills so much, it makes for an interesting perspective. I think we're a little ahead of schedule, so we may [end some time touring the Rockies when we get there. Well got to go feed the meter.

posted by matt; | 2:54 PM


Off we head

Well it is Saturday morning. I did not leave yesterday for a number of reasons:

1 being an aching mouth from the dentist,
2 being the drugs I had to take for #1
3 Had a lot of packing to do!

I am in Starbucks now as my internet at home is now disabled and this is the only way to post from now on (thank god for starbucks!) All that is left is for me to fedex a couple of boxes to a safe place then I hit the road! I wish I could describe my emotions in detail at the moment (apart from being zonked out on these drugs) but it is so difficult as they are range through so many degrees. From elation as to what lies ahead to nervous in hoping nothing major is going to go wrong (like a stolen bike!) to sadness for leaving many a good friend behind . . .for the time being anyway.

Last night I shaved my head in a little ritual I haven't done since I left Hong Kong. Cleansing of the soul sort of thing. Also means that I don't get helmet hair! ;-) Well I'm outta here, will post from the next starbucks I come across.

joi gin ngo pang yao.

posted by Shaun; | 9:23 AM

Thursday, May 29, 2003  

Position Report Added

So everybody can see where we have been and where our last position was, I have added the Position Report Page to the right menu.

You will see that both groups are now of about equal distance from the meeting point in Prince George. It will be interesting to see if the time predictions will be accurate to ensure both parties reach this point at the same time.

posted by Shaun; | 9:47 PM


Busted flat in Winnipeg (with apologies to Janis Joplin)

Finally had a chance to slow down and update the blog. So the itinerary so far:

We've gone about 1800 miles and are in Winnipeg. We left from Winooski Friday afternoon (May 23) and managed to make it past Ottowa by nightfall. Henning's friends, Colin and Brandon have been accompanying us in Colin's car which was a big help as not everything fit in the bags on the first try. We camped out in the Gatineau park that night and it turned out that my old boy scout tent no longer has all of its poles. Oh well, it was a beautiful night and I'm not made of sugar.

It started to rain just after we left, so a cold and wet ride for a few hours until we got ahead of the front. Made it into the Reserve Faunique in western Quebec, and set up our tents with a couple of hours to spare before the front caught up to us. Discovered a major problem at that time, namely no beer. So off Colin went to find some. About three hours later, we were starting to wonder whether he decided to abandon us. Henning and I were just about to mount up in search of him when he finally arrived. Turns out we were in the middle of nowhere. We had a chance to meet some of the other campers, and they brought us some freshly caught Pike that they had fried up. Mmmm, fried fish. It was still raining a bit when we got up, so we decided to get a hotel and only went about 150 miles to Rouyn-Noranda. I managed to get a new tent at Canadian Tire, and a few other odds and ends. We also stumbled upon a Karaoke place, so I had to perform a few favorites for my fans. No Chef (South Park) unfortunately.

Monday was a good riding day, we did about 475 miles. Near Cochrane, ON we were flagged down by a telephone worker who pointed out a large black bear hanging out in a field on the side of the road. As soon as I find a place with the right drivers to upload the pics, I'll share them with you. We made it to LongLac, ON and found a municipal campsite for Monday night. We saw a spectacular northern light show that night. We we're literallly right underneath it. amazing to see the curtain directly above and sometimes even a little to the south.

On Tues. we took a dirt road from Route 11 to Terrace Bay on Lake Superior, about 80 miles. Then through Thunder Bay and on to Ignace, where it started to rain again. If anyone is interested in Moose hunting, I strongly recommend that stretch of road. We saw a good half dozen, the bulls are starting to grow their antlers again and one bull in particular already has an impressive rack. I had worried that the Trans-Canada was going to be a boring superhighway, but it's actually mostly a two lane road that winds through all the towns. Not that there are too many of them. By Ignace I was starting to worry about my tires which have been wearing much faster than I had hoped. Must be all the gear. So a quick call to Winnipeg BMW and they orderedm a new set. Couldn't get the TKC-80s that I wanted, and will have to settle for a more street oriented tire until we get to Anchorage. As it turned out, Henning discovered a gash in his tire, good thing these have tubes. So he's got get a new set as well.

Which brings us to today (Thursday). Hope to have the tires on by this afternoon, and we'll spend tonight in Winnipeg again, and hit the road in the morning.

I know many of you won't believe this, but I've actually been getting up around 8-9 a.m. on a regular basis on this trip. I know its unhealthy to get up that early, but its a risk I have to take. We'll try to update more often. We've met some nice folks along the way, and we're starting to get our patter down regarding the bikes and the trip. I'm thinking we should pre-print a FAQ sheet to hand out when we're in a hurry. Pumping gas etc. seems to take twice as long, but that's cool, now that we're international motorcycle travellers. Hey Canada counts as a foreign country.

posted by matt; | 12:09 PM



Henning and Matt called me yesterday whilst I was running some errands. They are both in Winnipeg and holing up for the night. We chatted some and discussed logistics - it seems as they are going to be there for a touch to enable to make some repairs on their bikes. Not to sure as to what the repairs are but apparently there is a chunk out of hennings rear tire and matt's front tire is 'shredded'. Not entirely sure as to what extent this is, but certainly does not sound like good news at all.

Looks like they are about halfway to our meeting point in Prince George, CA on the 5th

I visited the dentist and GP for a final checkup before I leave tomorrow to make sure everything is in working order before it breaks someplace where it can't be fixed. Both Dr's were of professional caliber with the GP giving me excellent advise on the health problems we may come across whilst on the trip and how to best be prepared with drugs to take. Very worth while trip. Apart from the dentist seeing a wisdom tooth that was easier to pull than fix a cavity. This makes me somewhat squeamish as I have never had such a procedure done and still have to nightmares as an adult - one is losing a tooth and the other is going to the playboy mansion with the cast of baywatch - oh wait that's the other dream ;-)

Matt and Henning will attempt to find an internet cafe today to update everybody with tales of chivalry and daring as well as photos.

1 more day before I leave. .

posted by Shaun; | 10:55 AM

Tuesday, May 27, 2003  


First contact with Henning and Matt in over a week and some speculation. They are in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Here is audio (ok this is getting anal but I have nothing else interesting to do at 11pm)

That's all I know for now - oh and the fact I leave in two days!!! groan - if ever ;-)

posted by Shaun; | 11:11 PM


The Big Blue

Watched a DVD on Sat with my flatmates called The Big Blue which is one of my favs since Hong Kong. Once again I was blown away by the cinematography of the movie, but this time around watching the movie I sensed a bit touch of excitement from the locations that were involved.

The movie is primarily shot in the Med and whilst watching it, I started to imagine the places that we are going to be visiting within the next so many months - maybe and hopefully many of them like the scenes from the movie which show barren landscapes surrounded by deep blue seas. Something remarkable about that image to me. It's amazing that we sometimes get so caught up in our daily lives that we forget that there are places out there like that.

Here's some pictures that Juliet has sent me - a friend of Hennings and now I friend of mine.

posted by Shaun; | 10:43 AM



Too tired to say much but much to say. Will leave to tomorrow mostly. Flew to Oceano today -with good friend Sean. Taught him some basic flying skills and he picked it all up amazingly well. Once there we rented some ATV on the dunes (non-blue) and slowly learnt how to best dispose of ourselves in interesting ways. I have also attached photos of our death valley trip not too long ago which least to say, was an experience in itself.

posted by Shaun; | 12:44 AM

Monday, May 26, 2003  

Position Report - From Hennings Dad

Heike called Matt's mother this morning to see if she had heard
anything from the missing duo + two beer haulers in an auto.

She said Matt had called to get some phone numbers last night.
Thus, she and we now know they are alive, wet and cold (GOOD
on all counts!).

So wet and cold that they had to put up in a Comfort Inn to dry out
and warm up!! (Tough living!)

Position Report: They are in the far western part of Northern Quebec.

Will keep you posted, and please do the same for us!

Northern folks and dawg

posted by Shaun; | 8:31 AM

Saturday, May 24, 2003  

cat's out of the bag . . . .

wasn't planning on telling family and friends about this trip till I left. My brother in japan has found out about it from google but he's not going to tell anybody is he . . .

he sent me this photo which I thought was hilarious . . . .

Only in thailand - this ones for you M. Gallyer.

posted by Shaun; | 12:39 AM

Friday, May 23, 2003  

7 Days till departure

Friday the 23rd it be. It's a beautiful day here in LA but the sun shines not within the office. Received a proposal today at around 2pm which has to be finished by Tuesday next. This being a holiday weekend means that attention will need to be paid to a word document instead of the final things LA will have to offer.

I have this minds picture of a racehorse bursting out of a gate . . .

Henning and Matt should have left today with their entourage close behind them from vermont up to and across canada. I haven't heard from them in a couple of days and no answer has been received from numerous attempts to contact them. No doubt they have all been busy preparing (read getting drunk in the pub). I tried Matt's home phone this morning and received a disconnected signal. Another sure sign that this is all happening and not a mirage of a cubicle infested mind.

I guess the next I'll be in touch with them will be in Prince George (BC) on the 5th of June. Oh how to idle away the time until then . . . . .

posted by Shaun; | 3:46 PM

Thursday, May 22, 2003  

Iceland and Art

To break up the monotony of motorcycle trivia I have added some pictures of my iceland trip and some personal artwork to the photos page.

posted by Shaun; | 6:57 PM


Fedex from visa company

Got back into the office today and there was a fedex awaiting on my desk. I dared not hope, so delicately like a little child opening a present where they wanted to keep the wrapping paper, I opened the package.

Inside was the passport and a letter. It felt like seeing whether I was accepted to a University - was I accepted or was I not? Reading the letter it told me that I had to register my Kasahk visa on arrival at a firm in Almaty.

Well - this meant my visa had been approved for Kasakhstan - but what about Russia (the important one) and Kyrgyz Republic? Had there been a miscommunication? had I just received one visa? Gingerly I took out the Passport and flipped through the empty pages of the new document.

Sure enough - all the visa's were there! Thank flying gophers - they were all there in their highly ornomented glory. I was starting to believe in the saying that whatever can go wrong will - and the visa process would be just another victim of Murphy.

The visa's were all about $1000 - we still have to get plenty more for the other countries we have to go through, but these are the main ones and will get us well on the road. They were done through which is based in Atlanta and turned out to be a thorough and professional service. I would highly recommend them.

Now - to tell the others the good news and hope that they too get their visas. I can't think what would happen if I get approved and they don't. The decision then would be to go on by myself or throw away that 1k and head down to Sth America with them.

posted by Shaun; | 9:51 AM

Wednesday, May 21, 2003  

Bike Stickers

Finally got these back from Kinkos. I was originally looking at getting them printed on waterproof plastic stickers which was 25 USD / sq foot. For this amount the cost was going to be 75. Went down today to look at proofs they had done and the quality was awful - looked like a dot matrix printer from the 80's.

I got to talking with the operator and he suggested printing out on their laser printer which is 600 dpi and then laminating it with some sticker lamination they have. Gave it a go and it looked great.

Check out the photos

posted by Shaun; | 10:31 PM


Message Board!

I have added a Message Board to this site so people can leave comments and thoughts - give it a go and add your thoughts. We have received tons of advice and tips etc and hungary for more!

Link has also been added to the menu on the right.

posted by Shaun; | 8:23 PM


Said my goodbyes

Well - I am back in LA. 5 days in Atlanta and Miami saying my farewells to some of my good friends. Special kudo's to Steve to putting my up in his house for the past 3 days and literally giving me the shirt of his back - thanks steve!

Picked up my stickers from Kinkos today and put some of them on the bike tonight. The look good and adding some color to the bike - maybe a little too much! I'll take some pictures and add them tonight or tomorrow. Also need to finish the bikes page detailing what is going into the machines of the trip.

Dang I'm tired. Still worrying about money.

posted by Shaun; | 8:20 PM

Tuesday, May 20, 2003  

Down and out in Fort Lauderdale

or at least it is feeling that way. In fort lauderdale with my good friend Steve Weissenborn (YZ ) staying at his house here. Just came back from a sad game of pool. Guess I have a lot of things on my mind at the moment.

So far received a great response from people reading the website and received some very charming emails from some very interesting people - keep it up! I'm sharing what I receive with the other guys when appropriate (don't worry Shelly I kept your letter to myself) So keep it up! we love to hear the feedback.

Two items of note today, are that we must pay cash or money order for the flight from anchorage to magadan. this is about 2k USD which can be difficult to get done especially from a retail bank in chicago - but it does have to be done. The other news is that my company is actually wanting money back from me when I leave, for a relocation allowance I got back some time ago. This is no small sum and I will have to look at my options here. This leads me to look at toning up some more and see if we can turn the tables and charge ;-)

Noting henning's post title from yesterday (ON ON) this is one of his annoying sayings that he uses to get everybody moving. I'm getting the feeling y'all gonna hear more about it.

12.04 time to hit the sack got a flight to dallas tomorrow and then back to LA.

ps. shelly - send some more pictures please

posted by Shaun; | 9:10 PM


Call from the grandmother land

My 86 year old Grandmother just called from Germany. She found out about the trip through a neighbor - the trip was supposed to be a secret as I did not want to upset her. Guess I underestimated her, she took the entire thing quite well (better than my mother) and thought it was holding with the family tradition (all her siblings left Germany and ended up in the US). She also promised to knit all of us some fresh socks, worried about how we would take all our stuff on the bike and asked about what we would like for food when we get to the house.

posted by Henning; | 4:54 AM



Left the City yesterday and headed to VT. Needless to say, had to stop at the Campmore store in NJ to buy everything I forgot as well as some odds and ends I still needed. Will load the bike up today and head North tomorrow. Was bummed that my broken leg story did not send Shaun into orbit - guess I am loosing my touch. Two NYC friends, Brandon and Colin will be going with Matt and me on the Canada portion of the trip. They have taken two weeks vacation and will pack into a Subaru WRX . . . . guess we now have a mobile beer cooler/rescue team as well as some good company.

posted by Henning; | 4:32 AM

Monday, May 19, 2003  

11 days till departure

I am in Miami today, It seems like both Henning and Matt are up to speed in posting articles now (horray) so for all, this should lead to a richer experience in what is posted.

Henning rang me this morning playing a joke on me that he had broken his leg last night while drunk - I think he was expecting me to be all concerned and worried about how this would effect the trip. What he got back however was me laughing and I just could not stop. I guess now, whatever happens happens and it is just part of the adventure. Surely enough good and bad things will be part of this trip and it is just a matter of taking it as it is.

On that note, both henning and matt have had to put down that they were/are in the US army as officers on their visa applications. We shall see if that that has an effect on whether they are approved or not. If not, I guess we will have to re-evaluate our route.

posted by Shaun; | 2:03 PM

Sunday, May 18, 2003  

Saying Goodbye to the loved ones . . .

Well, we're getting down to the wire, still feels a little surreal. I had to say goodbye to the Harley on friday, a friend will be looking after the old girl while I'm gone. I feel kind of like I've been cheating on it by riding the BMW so much and not giving it the care it deserves.


Busy day tomorrow, still have to pack up the apartment, get a metric socket set (just realized all of mine are standard), cancel the utilities, etc.

posted by matt; | 7:43 PM

Saturday, May 17, 2003  

Giving Notice

I resigned yesterday. Obviously it had to be done to accommodate this trip with the given two weeks . . well - given. I feel strangely liberated . . a huge weight off my shoulders. It has certainly been some good times with this company and some even better friends I have come across in my time here.

But now, another chapter draws to the end and with the anticipation of a lost traveller in the desert looking for water, so to do I have a dry thirst for what is yet to become.

I am in Atlanta now, having flown in on a red-eye and am typing now with heavy lidded eyes. My purpose over the next 5 days is to clean up some loose ends as well as to fare well some of my closest friends I have met here. I will be flying down to Miami tomorrow to do the same there.

It is not with a sad heart that I leave though, like when I left Hong Kong. I know now with the abundance of electronic mediums it will still be easy to keep in touch with those who care to, even from some of the furthermost corners of the planet albeit sporadically. It will also be liberating to be able to freely look for a job again and travel without restrictions and not live under many other dampening downs of the freedoms of a foreigner in this land.

I do have my regrets though. Which seem to pain more as one gets older. Tis' the folly of experience I guess.

On another note, the world does seem to becoming a more dangerous place to travel in - a bomb in Casablanca yesterday has claimed 41. Unlike the middle east Morocco is directly in my route.

Taken with a grain of salt. Without putting too much emphasis on it, they say that we haven't lived until we have lived with the fear of death. Should make for some interesting stories.

posted by Shaun; | 10:13 AM

Friday, May 16, 2003  

Sweating the little things

Hmmm, the "To Do" list and available time before the trip no longer match. I suspect I am freaking a bit at the moment. Actually lost sleep over the fact that I have not packed a valve stem tool. Then remembered that I can buy one on the road. Stupid. Oh well guess I will have to get over it. As for the visas, not sure I like having to count on getting them in Alaska. What if they don't arrive on time or a denied......go south and ride South America I suspect. Oh well nothing to be done about that one so, I should not worry.

posted by Henning; | 12:57 PM

Thursday, May 15, 2003  

How to plan for beuracracy - you can't

News today of the visa's - apparently they are 'still in process'. Not too much later than expected, but it does get a little nerve racking when these are the last items in a long line of planning and in some ways the most important.

Henning and Matt may have to get their visas and passports delivered to them in Alaska. I, on the other hand, as a non-US citizen must get my passport back before I leave the country and head into Canada and on to Alaska.

A potential fatal flaw in the plan stan . . .

posted by Shaun; | 11:09 PM


Note to the wise

BMW USA leaves much to be desired. I went to my BMW dealer, Berkshire Motorworks in Schenectady NY for a tune-up....was told "we can not fit you in until early July"...hmmm not good. Well, spoke and pleaded with them an they said "bring in the bike and we will work on it". So, brought the bike in and left it there for over a week, went down to pick it up...... nothing was done....they did not have time. Well, being that I am taking a little trip I needed some parts as well. So, when I dropped off the bike I ordered some spare bits and pieces (break and clutch lever, fuel filter, water pump rebuilt kit etc.). Here we are three weeks later and most of the parts are still not here....found out BMW USA also has no parts tracking so they do not even know if the remaining parts have been shipped. Lesson learned: Do not buy anything that makes you depend on BMW USA for service or parts.

and a picture of the woods . . .

posted by Henning; | 7:28 AM

Sunday, May 11, 2003  

Electronics and bikes do not mix

Well, it just had to be done didn't it. I bought a brand new digital camera for the trip and was filming some offroad action in the mountains up behind the valley when the camera fell off the bike. So, one brand new $500 camera is now not so brand new. Luck to be not too much damage apart from the lense protector or whatever it is now doesn't close. The worst thing though is having something new and cool which now looks like I have had it for four years.

oh well - check out the video here and enjoy the end ;-)

posted by Shaun; | 5:23 PM


Pre Trip Shakeup

Matt and Henning went on a ride during a weekend,and took some pictures I'm posting it for them as they are both off congratulating alexander bell on his new invention and haven't got round to learning computers yet.

posted by Shaun; | 4:37 PM

Thursday, May 08, 2003  

Bumper Stickers

Added some Bumper Stickers of potential. All the same kind, but just formatted differently

posted by Shaun; | 5:26 PM


At home on the 101 - dodging LA Traffic

Look for the big crash in this Video of me coming home tonight - added to the video's section

posted by Shaun; | 3:49 AM


The Quiet one has been added . . .

This guy really does have a way with words. Introducing the man who knows how to spell per se . . .

posted by Shaun; | 2:24 AM

Wednesday, May 07, 2003  

Don't have to think about this soon

Is anybody surprised?
Halliburton, the company formerly run by US vice-president Dick Cheney, has been granted a far broader role in Iraq than previously disclosed . . . .

posted by Shaun; | 8:05 PM


added some of my favorite quotes to the right

posted by Shaun; | 8:01 PM

Monday, May 05, 2003  

Added the route to the right

posted by Shaun; | 11:02 PM

Sunday, May 04, 2003  

Check out how video will be displayed on the site

posted by Shaun; | 9:17 PM


Shaun and Hennings Bio's

Added Henning's and Shaun's Biography's. Check them out in the Bios section on the right hand column

posted by Shaun; | 9:13 PM


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