I was reminded recently, its been 10 years when I picked up that KLR “685” off Craigslist. What a decade! So much has happened since!
It all started just before my last USAF deployment to Kyrgyzstan July-December ‘09. I went to see Simon and Lisa Thomas from 2Ride the World before I left to see their presentation about their life on the road, then once I deployed, watching videos of Charlie and Ewan ride their motorcycles around the world sealed the deal. Charlie and Ewan fanned the flames of an entire segment of motorcycle design and style of riding. Adventure motorcycling was unheard in most circles before their Long Way Around and Long Way Around TV series.
My Adventure training started pretty quickly after picking up the KLR when I got back from my deployment , attending the PSSOR Adventure camp Bret Tkacts and his crew did a great job of covering the basics. I even returned a few more times to PSSOR for more training over the years.
That KLR was a great start and took me to some really cool places. Places I couldn’t get to on my Harley, it definitely opened my eyes to what’s possible. After 30,000ish miles on that KLR the lack of power was evident then what I had with the Harley. By that time it was 2011 and was retiring from the Air Force, there was a new bike about to hit the market and this video popped up.
It’s Nick Sanders returning to England after his Incredible Ride doing 3 laps back to back from Argentina to Alaska, pretty much non stop. For a motorcycle to hold up like that without issues was the strongest selling point I could think of. Much better then Charlie and Ewan’s BMW’s for sure 😉 I sat on the Yamaha Super Tenere first at the IMS show in Seattle and knew that was my next bike.
It wasn’t too long after I sold the Harley and KLR to get a 2012 Super Tenere from Jeff at Sportland Yamaha in Cle Elum. From there things really took off when all I asked was to ride with others that had a Super Tenere. It didn’t take long to build the PNWSTOG from the ground up. What a great group of guys, friendships that remain to this day. Oh and the places we have traveled together!
A few years back I was asked by Jeremy from AltRider to lead a 3 day ride through the Cascades as a conclusion to their international distributors meeting. It was a huge honor to show riders from all over the world our neck of the woods.
Going to a Horizons Unlimited meet up (Training clinic from Jimmy and Heather Lewis) and hosting various world travelers really had me calling for the open road. That was evident when the Tenere Across The USA trip started to formulate in my head.
The Tenere Across the USA trip was life changing in many ways, it gave me the self confidence to change my situation and do what I want, on my own terms. It’s a great place to live! These last 10 years really have been amazing! I wouldn’t have thought my life could be this great. I’m also very thankful for all the friends I’ve made this last decade. Y’all have really made a difference! THANK YOU ALL!!