Monday, May 4, 2009

Good Times Saturday at Hermy's, Lois Pryce at RevZilla, and only 17 days till departure !!



Hermy's Cycle Spring Open House

When the veil was pulled back on Saturday what came into view was a dreary, dark, and rainy morning. Nonetheless Saturday was the day of the Hermy's Cycles Spring Open House so there was no choice but to saddle up and ride out. Hey, if 55 degrees and rain puts me off, then getting to Alaska on the bike is gonna be kind of a problem, no? Decked out in rain gear and with the BMW cases packed with promotional material for the Austin Hatcher Foundation (www.hatcherfoundation.org) I headed down the road at about 7 AM. The good news is that as I rode, following a pretty good drenching early on, the rain gradually abated. By the time I arrived at Hermy's it had pretty much ended and (good news!) the rest of the day, while threatening, was dry. I spent the entire business day at Hermys with a little display and promotional materials to talk up both my charity ride to Alaska and the Austin Hatcher Foundation. And talk I did. It was a great oportunity to meet about my upcoming trip with a wide variety of motorcycling enthusiasts - including one who had made virtually the same Alaska trip previously and several who want to do it. Lots of chatter too about necessary preparation of my BMW F650GS for the long ride. New friends, new information, the same old penchant for adventure. Oh yeah, I collected nearly another $100 in donations for the Austin Hatcher Foundation. When the Open House ended at 2 PM I hopped right back on the bike to head out to yet another event and the chance to meet one of my "role model" motorcycle adventurers/authors.

Meeting Lois Pryce at RevZilla in Philly

A quick (OK, not so quick) 75 mile ride to downtown Philadelphia delivered me to Philly's new destination for motorcycle riding gear and accessories RevZilla (www.revzilla.com). The attraction of RevZilla, aside from their huge selection of first class riding apparel (drool, drool!) was the chance to meet global motorcycle adventurer and fascinating Brit Lois Pryce. This wee slip of a woman, fully 5 feet nothing tall and maybe 100 lbs soaking wet, has, in the past 6 years made motorcycle trips from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego and later the full length of the continent of Africa, SOLO! On bikes of no greater than 250cc! Kinda makes my trip to Alaska sound about as adventurous as riding the interstates to Cleveland. Lois is on a US tour to promote her two books Lois on the Loose which documents the 2003 North American trip and Red Tape and White Knuckles which captures the trans African adventure. Lois, who chucked her cubicle bound job at the BBC in 2003 to ride the world, is an engaging and humorous speaker. She is clearly afflicted with an acute case of adventure gene and is, even now, scheming a trans Asian ride in the not too distant future. I've read both her books and I can tell you they are a quick and fascinating read (www.loisontheloose) and I would heartily recommended each.

17 days till launch!

May 21st is coming quickly. The plan is still to depart home on Thursday morning and cover the approx 600 miles to the Detroit area that day. Friday the 22nd will be a "visit with friends" day in Michigan and then the real business of covering big miles will re-commence on Saturday the 23rd. The support that my truly generous friends have provided for the Austin Hatcher Foundation (www.hatcherfoundation.org) is truly heart warming. Over $1600 has been donated so far and the my goal of $2500 is still possible. THANK YOU ALL! Gotta go get some work done, more later. Jack

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