Tomorrow. Mexico.

I know we’ve already been putting in significant miles and I’ve seen parts of this country  I’ve never seen before but can we all agree traveling into Mexico is different?  It’s more exciting and frankly, I’m a little juiced to add the first stamp to my new passport. This is the first time I’ve crossed the Mexico border on land. It seems silly to say but I’m looking forward to seeing this border experience first hand. It may be great. It may be a struggle but it doesn’t really matter. Some would say we are defined by the hardships we endure more so than the happiness we enjoy. I believe there is certainly some truth to that notion but ultimately I’m just looking to collect stories. I want to know because I’ve seen it, felt it and tasted it. I want to know the visceral qualities that can only be gleaned from a walk along the path.

I recognize my ability to keep everyone updated may be greatly diminished as I travel beyond our ever present cell coverage but I’ll do my best to cobble together some means of disseminating info. Please keep track of our progress and feel free to send messages of encouragement or questions as we make our way down to Honduras.

Thank you for everyone wishing us well and all those checking out the website and blogs.

The Night Before

I am sitting here with just a few hours before we leave and I am about 90% done with all my packing.  Much of what is left is just toiletries and electronics that are still charging.  I am excited and feeling just a teensy bit anxious with the hope I haven’t forgotten anything too important.  Luckily, I will have a couple of days travel in the States if I need to purchase anything else.

I was really hoping to get videos out to you with my tool kit and other essentials I have packed.  Maybe they would make good on the road segments.  Tomorrow we will be shoving off at about 10am with a long day ahead of us.  My folks will be here along with my wife and son to wish us well.  We had a last dinner tonight before the big trip and I thought about how tough it is going to be missing 5 weeks of his little life when he is only a hair past one year old.  It feels like he will be interviewing for jobs and asking for the car keys when I get back.  It is terrifying to think about how quickly he is growing up and I am going to miss a sizable portion of it.

This idea was always a hard one to rationalize but when I was discussing these types of trips in the early days, we thought about why it felt so important to do.  I really want to be able to tell my son that when an idea enters my head, I find a way to get to “yes”.  There are a billion easy ways to say no to things that seem difficult.  People do it every day in thousand of little ways and it slowly chips away at who they are (or at least who they could be).  I want to show him how starting with yes and following the path of positivity can lead to some amazing places.  We can all start with little steps and after a while when you look back, you realize just how far you’ve come.  I need to be that model and the sacrifices I am making now will pay off when those lessons are learned.  I look forward to continuing on this path and serving as an inspiration to my son to never accept no as the final answer.  Always continue to push forward and like the waters that cut through mighty mountains, find a way.

Essentials: Tool Kit

Every trip is different, every bike is different and every rider is different but everyone should have some sort of tool kit while they are riding.  Tool kits are a tricky thing because you want to be prepared but you don’t want to get ridiculous with the items you are bringing along when space is such a premium.  Some riders have condensed their tool kits down to just what can fit in the space beneath the seat while others have pounds worth of spares weighing down their rides.  It all comes down to what you think you need, what you are comfortable doing, how far off the beaten path you will be going and how much space and weight you have to spare.

Hopefully I will be adding a short video of my tool kit for this trip but in the meantime I have compiled a few resources I used to get a handle on what makes sense to take when bombing around on an adventure bike.  Pick and choose what works best for you and then get out there and test it.

First we have a great thread on about a well stocked tool kit from hilslamer here.

I also really enjoyed watching videos of people walking through their kit because most of the time they also include the reasons why they did or did not bring certain items.

Rocky Mountain ADV put together a solid, well used kit here.

Wandering Beast has a video about tools specifically for the KLR but it is a great reference for getting ideas.

Once you get through all that you will have a solid start at building your own kit.  You can continue watching videos or just start and figure it out.  Ultimately, it isn’t an adventure if everything goes perfectly so have some fun and expect to be flexible.

Couple of things

We are less than a week away from our leaving date for the big Honduran trip and time is flying.  My hope is to get a few videos out over the next couple of days to show you all the packing and prep we have done for this trip.  It takes quite a bit to travel by bike anywhere let alone across borders.  We also have a new logo for BGFG and we are going to show it off here first.

Without further ado, here is the new logo.  We used a site called Logo Design Guru to get more than 100 different designs from freelance artists all vying for our grand prize.  It is an amazing way to work with artists and I would suggest you use them if ever you need a logo created.  Let us know what you think.

We have planned our route but with the recent storms and flooding in Texas we might have to revise a little bit on the fly.  We are excited to announce our first stop will likely be somewhere in southern Alabama.  Our goal is Mobile with a fallback of Montgomery.  If you are in the area and have a place for us to stay please send us a message.  We will bring the beer.  From there we are shooting for Austin on the second night so we can have a clean shot at the border for our third day.  The weather and damage in Texas may force us to reroute but our hope is we will be able to keep the schedule pretty tight.  If everything goes well, we will be leaving the US before noon on the third day.  We will have our GPS updating the website all along the way if you would like to follow along or even send us a message.  We will answer anything we can during our stops.