photo by me, myself, and I

#0 — Almost back to the bike

I am 5-days away from paradise.

5-days away from hell.

Five days away from nothing and everything.

Previously, in California…

A few weeks ago I sat in front of my motorcycle in a cramped parking lot next to my friend’s apartment complex thinking about my life, my stubborn tendency to push myself into stupid situations, or, rather, situations stupidly above my capacity and competency.

After a half-hour of numbness in my chest, I pulled out my iPhone and searched Google Maps for “motorcycle shop.” After talking with a few shops and briefly explaining my predicament with a broken bike, some unknown issues as well as known, lots of basic maintenance to be done, as well as carburetor work (many bike shops won’t work on carbs anymore since most bikes have switched to fuel injection systems), I found the Garage of Silicon Valley nearby. They said they were technically closed for the holidays, but if I came in within the next two hours I could drop the bike off with them.

I spent the next hour reassembling the bike in order to drive it (limping and vibrating) the 2-miles to the Garage.

Andrei and John greeted me and seemed unphased by my discouraged demeanor as I walked them through each known problem with the bike as well as the symptoms of some unknown engine issues…

I gave them the keys, my hope, and the promise of the contents of my wallet to come.

Coming up, in California…

With a chunk of change sent via the internet having paid off the work done on my bike, a plane ticket purchased through accrued and never used miles, and a friend garaging my motorcycle in San Jose, California until I arrive… I now have roughly 5-days until lift off.

5-days until I see my bike again.

Five days until I begin a journey that feels, somehow, months-long, when, in reality, I have spent a total of 2-weeks actually traveling by motorcycle so far.

I will land in San Jose at night, somehow find my bike, a place to stay for the night, and the courage to set off toward the horizon once again by motorcycle.

Put me back in coach…

This time will be different. I swear.

Whereas last time I hopped on my self-fixed motorcycle and immediately set out on the first 2,000 miles of this 20,0000-mile journey, this time I will take 2-days to ride the bike a few hundred miles just north and east of the Bay Area in order to put the bike to the test while remaining within a reasonable distance of 1) civilization and 2) the shop that claims to have fully fixed my bike (I don’t doubt them, I only doubt life’s ability to resist throwing a wild card in the mix just when you have the rest of the Uno game all figured out…).

If anything goes wrong, I will take the bike back to the shop, see what’s up, and find a place to crash while the work is done; troubles to deal with when the time comes.

Back in the game…

Take me back to Highway One.

Wow! If you ride, if you love to ride, you must, you really must go ride Highway One on a weekday (fewer people) in the morning (perfect weather and unfailing light).

Once I have tested the bike with those initial few hundred miles of NorCal travel, I will head south by southwest until I hit Highway One along the Pacific Coast and ride this to the Los Angeles Area.

I went to school in Los Angeles. So, I have people to see and hugs to give (not many because this is the story of a lonely, loner boy but still…). Once done in LA, I will head south to San diego, stay in my first hostel of the trip near the border in order to cross the Mexico/US border in the morning.

Baja bound…

Through the border… down into Baja California Sur.

From here, I really don’t have much of a plan beyond continuing on southward. I plan to ride Baja, cross the slip of ocean from La Paz to Meziatlan or whatever the name is that I can never seem to remember, ride further south toward Puerto Vallerta and from there…

I have no idea.

All I know…

…is that I want to take my time, meander, backtrack, be free to wait out the bad days (weather, mood, health, whatever), and seek out stories worth telling.

My idle daydream while thinking about this trip and the content I want to create, is to seek out and discover interesting stories all along the way highlighting lives, livelihoods, means of surviving, and means of thriving of Central and South Americans.

One lens, one interviewer, one tripod, one limited moment at a time capturing and sharing stories from lives most people would never otherwise know a thing about.

Taking something obscure and capturing and displaying it in a way that turns it into something meaningful.

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