June 2017
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Month June 2017

prep

We’re immersed in procedure. Simply getting going again on this ride is time-sensitive and paperwork intensive.

From a rider’s p.o.v. things have changed. The world is often becoming a dangerous, difficult or impossible place, mostly because of the expansion of Islam, sometimes in unexpected places. In SE Asia, China’s cross-border expanding economic infrastructure, rail, factories, has made border-to-border land travel more difficult as neighbour countries become defensive. For example, by land, Thailand has gone from an open country to a closed one without a government approved guide and huge paperwork and approvals.

But on the rider’s flip side, still better than before the Soviet Union dissolved in ’91. I’ll be riding through 5 previously Soviet states, so that’s good.

There’s another continent rapidly changing for the rider: Africa. But we don’t have to worry about that for a year or so.

Anyway, headed back to SE Asia and paperwork. It’s a pleasure to be reacquainted with its charm. I need an Asian shipper, guide/permit, receiver to fly to Myanmar with a bike and ride to India. Myanmar is a semi-closed country by land. More later.

The three ladies and their companies, wonderful names:

Ms. Venus.  Speedy Logistics.

Ms. Min Min.   Burma Senses (mandatory government approved escort service from arrival to departure, also a land tour company. Tourism is good, until you close it off because things have got sufficiently dark you want no witnesses. Thankfully, Myanmar is slowly opening, while neighbours are going the other way.)

Ms. Swe Swe.  Legendary Logistics.

It’ll be so good to be jumping back into this mess again soon. It always starts with interesting stuff. I’ve seriously missed it.

p.s. This rider’s political perspective could be miles away from another person’s view. Disclaimer, lol

3 races today

5:00 a.m.

Woke up with the alarm and watched the MotoGP race from Catalunya, Spain.

(Pay-per-view on my iPad. I don’t own a TV, a decision I only regret on election days here and in the US, when you need a massive screen to really get into the drama of such a big event)

Anyway, Jorge, for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, jumped to the front quickly, then fell back, finishing 4th. But now I think everyone agrees the podium is close in the future for my favourite rider and his troublesome Ducati. The many Jorge haters wish it weren’t so

10:15 a.m.

Had coffee and toast, then watched Emirates Team New Zealand eliminate Artimas Racing from the America’s Cup. Pay-per-view again.

Just amazing racing. The finals against Oracle (USA) start Saturday. I’ll be blogging it

1:50 p.m.

Miss G and I are at the Races at Hastings Park. We have a system worked out for prioritizing our time surrounding each race. We value the time inspecting the horses. G knows much more than I do about this, being a competitive rider, but we make independent judgements, talking out loud about them as we make notes in our book, then do a final consult and discuss our bets. It eats up 80% of the time and we’re slightly pressed to make our bets and settle into our place near the finish line. We make 2 bets each per race. G had a good day, ending up about $40, the same amount as I ended up down.

This is Coulterberry coming in by a nose in race 3

So racing from 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today. Just fantastic!

ride pt. 2 planning, 2

There’s a problem with my route with no obvious answers. Well, except one obvious answer, stay in India for 9 months longer than planned.

Here’s a very simplified map I found for this story

The thing to look at above is the window for Leh. This is as close to a must-do in India as it gets because of the altitude.

The problem is, after India, the route forward is through via Lahore, Pakistan then north to the Karakoram Highway to China. The latest this can be done is September 1, with the big problem of wintering in the ‘stans if crossed this late.

Missing Jammu, Kashmir and Punjab is a big loose. I had dinner with a couple of good friends a few night ago, both of them had spent years each in India. For them there’s no problem, spend the additional 9 months and do them both. Whoa.

All the rest of the planning looks vaguely OK.

rtw on a KTM

Another one…

track girls 2

I’m up in Kelowna working on the bike and beginning to buy replacement gear as needed. The clock is ticking.

As you know, the last place to find decent gear is Vancouver. Kelowna is better.

Here’s Jay from Bentley Motorrad up here. BMW/Triumph/Ducati. I’ve dealt with her for a while. She’s self-described as having a need for speed

Jay was co-founder of the Roadcraft School of Motorcycling in Notttinghamshire, England. Here she’s on her Ducati 959 Panigale

One of the 1 in 500.