Posted by SCG on December 21st, 2012
by Alexander Tolchinsky
I conceived of a journey around the world on a motorcycle after waking up one morning and realizing I was approaching the age of family and the settling into a career. Three weeks later I had what was left after selling what I owned strapped onto my 1999 Honda Magna.
The next two months I spent riding 9500 miles over the North American continent. I was armed with little more than a leather jacket, open face helmet, sunglasses, and an inextinguishable desire to make it alive to my mother’s house in Minnesota. It was a testing ground for the rest of my journey.
I discovered that proper riding gear is essential, and that if I wanted to really see everything I would need a different bike. More importantly I discovered the power that meeting the right people can have on a journey. From the very first house in which I stayed, my mission began to alter – slowly becoming less selfish. I now realize the potential impact that such a journey can have on others. I will take the opportunity to explain this, as well as other observations, in later posts.
Click any photo for a larger image
Before continuing for another 1500 miles in the states and crossing the border into Mexico, I traded in my Magna for a 2005 Kawasaki KLR 650. Happy-Trail stepped up to ensure that I would not be riding bare-backed, and helped me outfit the bike with many necessary mechanical improvements as well as the all-important panniers [Alexander is running 9" Tetons]. I also put on the IMS 10 gallon tank after doing a little research on some of the distances between gas stations in South America. The most important addition, however, was a full face helmet, riding jacket and pants. 10 years of riding did not prepare me to bring this initially, but almost freezing to death trying to cross the Rockies did.
I am now in Mexico, and though I will be posting about my trip going forward, I will include some stories from the great North American adventure as well.
Couchsurfing Kindness – Nevada USA
[Editor note... the large image of this is worth the click-through]
A little about me:
Before selling everything and packing my life onto the back of a bike, I was an English teacher in a NYC high school, which is funny considering that I am an immigrant from Russia. Before that I was a photographer and entrepreneur for many years.
The part of my family that did not stay in Russia or move to Israel, came to Minnesota, by way of Austria and Italy, in 1989. In this winter wonderland I began my writing and photography, and was first hooked into riding a steel horse. But Minnesota turned out to be too small (with not enough curvy roads), so after completing my bachelors in psychology I decided to move to New York, where I received my Masters in English and discovered my love for teaching. And though the following 7 years were nothing shy of amazing, it is the lack of an open road, the constant grid lock that curbed all possibility of hopping on my steed for that all too necessary release, which prompted me to leave behind the magic city.
I left 16 months ago, and haven’t looked back since.
I hope you will enjoy reading about my journey, and that you will be inspired to go on your own.
Trail Dust is a publication of happy-trail.com