Being without a running motor cycle creates a big problem. Repairs to mine are taking longer than expected. Thankfully I have a friend at American Biker in Charleston South Carolina. Actually I have several friends there including Rich, the owner. I went to talk to them about maybe buying a new Indian. Wasn't sure if I wanted to go in debt for a new one though. Still I needed transportation to get back to Louisville so Rich said for me to take one and see what I thought. He was sure that after I rode it for awhile, I would be back in his dealership to buy one. My only dilemma now is which one? Check out their website here- americanbiker.biz
It has become more and more evident that a second bike would make a lot of things easier. First of all, if I ever need to let my chopper get needed maintenance, I wouldn't have to rush it as I usually have a rally to do ever weekend. Another reason is international travel. Three times already I had to pas on free transportation to Europe and other countries because I would be without my bike for so long. If I had another, I could stick it on a boat and forget about it till it was time to fly over and then ride it.
This is the dilemma. My question is to you-
A- Do I just keep going on my one bike and make due the best I can?
B- Get an older Evo for a reliable and dependable ride?
As Joe Sparrow and I begin our next adventure which is Winter time in Cuba, we had to fly to Nassau, Bahamas to catch our flight to Cuba since there still is no public flights to Cuba from the United States. We left Fort Lauderdale on New Years Eve in a rush to get this adventure started. Arriving in Nassau, we discovered that every room on the island was booked. This wasn't suppose to matter as we were planning on immediately jumping on another flight out to Cuba. Cuban flights only happen twice a week so we were going to be in one spot for awhile. I found a room online however after booking a room and taking a taxi to it, I discovered Hotels.com changed the date and we were 3 days early. El Greco Hotel was very accommodating however and even though they were completely filled, they put 2 roll away beds in the lobby and let us sleep there. This may sound like no fun but the other thing we didn't know about was Junkanoo. It is a festival that begins at midnight and continues until noon. We took a short nap and was back out in the middle of the parade. Yes, only 18 hours into this adventure and we are in the middle of a parade much like Peter Fonda and Denis Hopper in Easyrider.
The music was outrageous!
The floats weren't motor driven so they were pushed ......
and pulled with barely enough room to squeeze through the narrow streets
And some floats were actually worn and one person would "carry" them the entire parade route
I was able to get right in the middle of the parade and photograph ( and dance )
getting shots front and center
Of course Joe was busy doing the same
The crowd participated also. Even the youngest brought their instruments to play along.
There was dancing in the streets
and floats in every shape and size
Some floats had "mini floats" to compliment them
What a great way to start the first 12 hours of our journey just to get where we want to be for our Great Cuban adventure- stay tuned for more!!!!!
With less than 2 weeks from my departure date ( July 18th) for my Guinness World Record attempt on my mini bike, I still have my hands full with rebuilding the motor, waiting on one of a kind parts being shipped from England and organizing a support team. Already helping out is Berry Wardlaw of Accurate Engineering and Bobby Seeger JR of Indian Larry.
Still the biggest cost is the actual time line for this en devour. It will take about 10 traveling slowly across the country and I will have a volunteer team following, documenting and photographing. I need to at least buy them a Happy Meal once a day. To help offset some of these costs, I am going to be selling my Team Bean're patches made by Iron Thread. They are 10 dollars payable to my paypal
Patch will be mailed out before I leave but I will also have some special mini bike record attempt stickers made that I will send out to supporters as soon as I get them back from the printer. Thanks again for all your support!!!!
I bought this 100cc Honda Win in Vietnam and was allowed by the government to ride it all over Vietnam. They even allowed me to leave the country and enter Laos, a privilege that many have been denied. The problem is that with the Vietnamese license plate and registration, this purple motorcycle was denied entry in to Cambodia, Thailand and now, Myanmar. The time has came to cut the strings and get rid of the bike so that I can journey on to the next level of this adventure. I have some exciting options that I will be taking and sharing with Team Bean're and everyone in my social network but first I have to get rid of the bike.
When I set out on this adventure, I had planned an option of donating the bike but that was going to be when I was finished and at the airport ready to fly home. Now I still have a month or more left and the new plan is to travel across Thailand and Myanmar on public transportation (boats, trains and buses) until I get to India where I will buy yet another motorcycle. Since India is the home of the originally English built Royal Enfield, this would be my new mode of transport. Money is still tight though and I have to plan on a 1000 dollar return plane trip from where ever I end up when I call it quits. I debated this and came up with doing the right thing. The money to buy it was donated from my friends so it only seemed right to pass it on.
I did some research on Google and found that the town I was in, Luang Prabang, was the home of not one but 2 large orphanages. The largest is Deak Kum Pa Orphanage. It is home to over 500 children and show signs of growing rather then decreasing in numbers. The Orphanage has a school on premises and gives all children here an education, something that not all children in Laos have the opportunity to get. The government helps out running this orphanage. However, Laos is a very poor country-they only pay for the teachers salaries but none of the school supplies and only 2 meals a day. Every thing else clothes, health and comfort (like soap, tooth brushes and toothpaste), books and a third meal are subsidized by private donations. This seemed like the perfect new home for my motorcycle.
Arriving unannounced probably wasn't the best plan. I wondered why the kids weren't in school and I realized that it was Saturday. It took awhile to find some one that spoke English but when I did, they thought the purple motorcycle would be a perfect vehicle to transport children for hospital appointments and other off site needs. I thought that sounded perfect but truthfully, even if they turned right around and sold it, I knew that this would be to raise money to buy other more important things. They asked how I would get back to town. I said I would get myself a tuk tuk (small 3 wheel motorcycle taxi). The reality of the donation then set in. They graciously thanked me and immediately hauled it inside where it would be tucked away and safe.
These kids were some of the most well behaved kids I have ever met in my life. They have very little super vision and they all help with all the chores including meals and gardening. Every child does his or her own laundry! The teen age children were even polite without the slightest bit of rebelliousness.
The children here have no toys. I did see one teenager with a small acoustic guitar. Here the kids must entertain themselves and boys being boys, well just because the swimming pond has gone dry with us being at the end of dry season, they played in the mud. They were just as happy as any child with a game boy and a cell phone.
I want to personally thank all Team Bean're supporters for helping out with this trip because this donation of this motorcycle would NEVER have been possible without all of your support. I have exchanged email addresses with this orphanage and I plan on doing some more to help them out. I will keep everyone posted.
Patuxai is Vientiane's Arc de Triomphe replica that I saw when I first rode through Vientainne, the capital of Laos.
It can't be missed sitting in the commercial district around Th Lan Xang. Officially called
'Victory Monument' and commemorating the Lao who died in
prerevolutionary wars, it was built in 1969 with cement donated by the
USA intended for the construction of a new airport. Many expats ( foreign visa holders from all other countries but living abroad) refer
to it as 'the vertical runway'.
The garden surrounding it has a big fountain and is always busy with tourists. for only 5000 KIP ( about .75 cents) you cant tour the inside and go all the way to the top providing an excellent view of the city.