There is a big gap between where I am and where I need to be to complete the goals for Be Gone For Good. I have big dreams but I am here with my feet on the ground trying to battle with the reality of my current situation. The only way I can get better is to put in the work.
This is the thought too easily lost on most. Lofty ideas and promises of future glory are simple to conjure up. We do it all the time and with some of the most outlandish imaginary worlds. It is only when the path to those riches is marked and we see the trials necessary to make our goals happen, do people back off. When the realization hits them that success follows dedication and work long after the excitement has died.
Luckily, I am still very much in the beginning stages now so every moment on the bike is exhilarating and new. I am breaking fresh ground with every minute under power. I am learning at an amazing clip and I hope to continue doing so for many more weeks and months.
There will however come a time when it is just about grinding out the miles. It will be about getting my body hardened for the long literal road ahead. It is these moments where grit becomes vital. I am no different from you. You have this same grit. You have this same resolve. You just need to use it in an effort to bring your dreams to life.
Make the first steps in a bold way and follow the excitement in order to have the momentum to carry you through the muddy passes ahead. You will find your passion increases as you put forth the work to achieve. Start your own ride.
I don’t know why Christmas always seems like a time of reflection but as It’s a Wonderful Life plays behind me, I find myself drifting to thoughts reserved only for quiet nights near the fireplace. Each year provides wholly new considerations of the year before and the coming days. This Christmas is no different.
It wasn’t long ago I was struck with the idea of getting a motorbike and traveling with great friends of mine in order to see more of my world and meeting more of her inhabitants. I started talking about these travels and one of the first things we discussed was just how we could be a benefit to the people we met along the way. We all recognized just how lucky we have been in our lives and figured anything we could do for those less fortunate would not only be important but practically our duty.
We put our plan into action and started the ball rolling. I knew one of the first things I would need to do is get a bike so I could learn how to ride before setting out for our many destinations. The first step was accomplished last week and we are headed quickly towards each of the other goals.
There are a few things that give me an incredible amount of pride in this venture and the first is simply following a big dream. For years I have thought about the “what ifs” and “maybes”. Today, I am driving towards a goal with very real, deliberate steps and it makes me utterly satisfied. In the new year I will be bringing you more stories of progression towards our ideals of meeting people who are less fortunate than ourselves while we travel and assisting them in any and every way we can.
If you can take one thing from my story this Christmas, it should be that passionate thoughts and bold actions will lead you to places where you can achieve what seemed impossible just weeks, months and years before. You just have to believe.
The bike came home yesterday like a long remembered dream materializing directly in front of my eyes. The excitement I felt manifested itself in a vibration in the joints of my fingers and a hand reaching through my belly button to squeeze and release my stomach like an Olympian’s grip strength exercise.
The mixture of elation and anxiety swirled in my head with each one threatening to overtake the other moment to moment. My first ride began with a slow, deliberate dressing process as I donned more gear than would seem necessary for someone scared to go beyond 20mph. I threw my leg over the bike the way every hero does in the cool biker movies and just like I had practiced in my mind a thousand times. Once I was on the bike, I tried thinking about all the steps I need to get started and on the road. It didn’t take long for me to familiarize myself with the bike. Maybe it had something to do with the hundreds of videos detailing every inch of the bike I watched over the last two weeks.
My first ride felt like I was flying. Moving, even at that speed, it is easy to lose the front wheel and the handlebars altogether and imagine, like Superman, you are driven by your own power. It was exhilarating.
For about two months now I have been planning for incredible trips and researching every angle I could find. The one thing I was missing was the all important transport. I know which bike I wanted but I hadn’t figured out how to bring it home. Unfortunately, I can’t operate it myself because I don’t know how to ride a motorcycle and I don’t have a license. On Saturday, it all changes.
The weather is going to break just long enough to bring the bike home. I have a buddy that is willing to drive the bike back. The insurance is already purchased and I have the VIN number on file. I can’t help but feel like I am moving from the theoretical to the reality portion of this idea.
There will be plenty of video evidence to chronicle the event.
I saw this video and drew a great deal of inspiration from it. I considered the WHY of Be Gone For Good and it definitely galvanized my purpose. I am definitely excited about the prospect of riding around America and Internationally with my friends but there has to be a greater point.
My why is to gain understanding and help people along my path. It will be incredible to see children at each of our stops and I want them to understand the boundlessness of their own possibility. It took me a long time to believe in my own capability and if I can help others to follow their own inspiration, I will consider it a win.
If you are interested in adventure riding at all and would like to find out more about it, check out Adventure Motorcycling Handbook by Chris Scott.
This book is the bible for all adventure bikers. Scott details maintenance, travel, packing, planning and all other elements necessary for a good trip. It doesn’t matter if you are planning a solid weekend camping ride or a trip around the world, there is something to be gained from Scott. The book is really well made and could put up with the rigors of travel while also carrying hundreds of gorgeous and informative pictures.
Amazon link below to the latest edition if you would like to check it out. My suggestion would be to get the paperback over the Kindle because of all the pictures and diagrams which don’t translate as well from the Kindle.
The idea came easily enough. We were already booked for a week long dive trip to Roatan, Honduras in September 2017. My wife and I were really excited to finally have a chance to get back in the water for diving and especially when it looks like paradise from the pictures. We like to travel with friends and quite of few of them are already divers. Luckily, one of them is also a rider and has experience making adventure-type trips before. I floated the idea of making the trip down to Roatan on our bikes and letting the wives meet us down there on their respective flights. He laughed a little bit and I figured we would probably go no further.
Little did I know, he spent all of ten seconds deliberating while I had already forgotten the suggestion and answered, “I would be open to doing that…” I was floored but immediately my head started swimming with exactly what I would need to do to start planning for a trip like this. I had to map it out to see if this was even a possibility. I wasn’t sure exactly what port would be our final destination before hitching a ride to the island of Roatan but a quick Google search got me the answer, La Ceiba. La Ceiba sounds beautiful and once I knew there was a port which regularly made trips to Roatan I was certain we could make this trip happen.
I don’t know exactly how to describe the feeling I get when an idea goes from just a brainstorming, non-commitment type of thought to a bonafide, legitimate option. It is like all those bank robbery movies where the two buddies look at each other and say something like, “So, are we talking about this or are we really TALKING about this?” Then they both smile and the super cool music starts playing while we see a montage of the preparation. The feeling isn’t quite that spectacular but I have to say I am having a ton of fun figuring this trip out and getting an idea of what our real logistical issues might be for this trip.
Again, I don’t even have the bike yet so this could easily be me putting a fair amount of cart before the horse but I have always believed when you see a passionate path, take it. Don’t worry about the reasons it’s stupid or impossible or too expensive. Just get your feet moving in the right direction and the rest will take care of itself.
There have been some advancements which I will highlight in future blog posts but first I am really looking forward to bringing home my bike and learning how to ride. This Roatan trip is the third in a line trips I have planned for a bike I don’t have. I am going to go from not being a rider at all to cutting up asphalt in less than a year. I better get to work.
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The winner after much deliberation is the Honda CB500X. There are a few reasons for this choice which I will get into here but for a moment can we just enjoy the beauty of my first ever motorcycle? Thank you. We can now proceed.
I can breakdown the factors I used to choose this bike into three categories: Price, Reliability and Capability.
With all that information it wasn’t a hard choice to settle on the Honda. I found one at a dealer about 60 miles away from my home and a buddy of mine is going to go pick it up with me. The deposit is down and within a fairly short amount of time I will have the bike. Subscribe to this blog to get more updates as I outfit this bike and start my adventure riding.
It all started because I watched the documentary Long Way Round and thought it would be cool to ride with my friends to exotic places.
That is it. It wasn’t a grand thought. It didn’t take a long time to come up with. It just appeared and I let the seed embed itself in my mind.
The following day I got in touch with my good friend Nault to talk to him about this idea. I pretty much assumed he would laugh and dismiss any notion of continuing this farce. He didn’t. Instead, he started to get as excited as I was about the prospect of doing something spectacular.
We tossed out a few destinations and potential trip ideas before finally coming up with Alaska to Panama. Now this still seemed way out of reach. I mean, I didn’t even have a bike. It didn’t matter. We were on our way to taking care of the first part of a trip like this…cultivating a passion. If you allow yourself to get excited about an idea and follow it, great things can happen for you. What we see from so many people is the initial idea and then a thousand reasons why they shouldn’t or couldn’t do it. The alternative we should be embracing is to have the idea and enjoy it for a bit. Let it settle in without any interference to see how it works to engage your soul. If it inspires you, then you can start moving forward with all the reasons to say yes instead of any of the reasons to say no.
Saying no is a simple and weak act. It does not allow you to grow. It does not make you stronger. It only limits you and drains your motivation. Find a way to say yes when your passionate about an idea even if it seems completely insane initially. It is through this beginning courageous act you will become someone living instead of someone living vicariously. Own your own life.
Knowing all of this, I could not sit out this idea. I had to do something and I wanted to start right away. Detailed in this blog will be the steps I take to make this specific dream a stone cold reality. It will be tangible and vivid and revolutionary. You will be able to see it all right here if you subscribe.
Now please understand, I am no different than you. I have a job I enjoy. I have a wife and a young son who need me. My family thinks me a little mad for considering this. My friends discount my goal as pie in the sky dreams. I am sure they may even be some readers here that consider me a fool for pursuing a big hairy audacious goal like this. The good news is I can still choose to move forward against all other opinions and so can you.
Find your goal. Seek out that dream. Pursue your passion. Once you have it, do not under any circumstances let anyone back you off of it. Today seems like a good day to start.