Monday, October 22, 2012

Motorcycle Diaries: Stamford to Cleveland, Ohio


Saturday, August 18th.  Connecticut, ground zero. Tire pressure checked, camel pack loaded, GPS on target. It’s about 10am and I am about to take the long way home. I had planned to have a smooth morning, an easy start around 8am. Well, it just happened that the Gamelatron (beyond words, but if you happen to have the chance to see it, do it! It is awesome!) was on display the night before and I just could use some inspirational vibes before my road trip. It just also happened that the display was all the way deep in Brooklyn and I wound up back home around 3am (thanks for that ride, sis!). Not a lot of rest right before a 8-hr motorcycle ride, but yet I was deeply peaceful and excited about the trip.

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I remember the feeling of being extremely sleepy and tired in the morning, but delaying the trip was not an option: it briefly occurred to me that I could easily head back home, sleep and take off early Sunday - assuming I wouldn’t be tempted to head to Barcelona, eat some delicious chicken and have 1-1/2 glass of wine (my legal limit)- but that was not how I wanted it to start. There could be some (energy) damage if I had chosen to break my mental agreement.

After slowly crossing NY/NJ (and being stuck on some traffic) I was finally in Pennsylvania. The goal was to hit Cleveland before the end of the day, so I’d have a nice ride the next day to Chicago. In the past road trips we made Stamford-Chicago in one shot arriving late evening, but that was driving  Catalina, the Goddess and a couple of people alternating the steering. This time I wanted to pace down a bit so I planned on stopping half way thru, around Cleveland.

Cleveland was looking harder and harder to achieve by each gas stop I  made. The delayed start and the heavy traffic in NYC had set me back more than 4 hours and I needed to decide if I want to speed up and make to Cleveland late night or just stop somewhere along the way and rest. At first I decided to speed up (perfect excuse to use that VTwin power), only stop for gas and make to Cleveland around 8pm. Perfect plan until the moment I really needed to take a leak and I still had about 45 mins to ride left on the gas tank. There was no way I could hold it for that long, so I was pathologically forced to stop and lose momentum – once again! 

Meet Pocono’s Streetfighter
So I pull over to take a leak and a rider shows up out of nowhere, in what I originally thought was a rider making sure I didn’t need any help (somewhat common among riders). It actually happened that this guy also had a TL1000S Streetfightered, which was a big coincidence considering how old and rare these bikes are, so he had pulled over to chat a bit. We talked about our bikes (we happened to be members in the same TLForums) then he asked me if I wanted to join him through some winding backroads in the Pocono Mountains. Hmmm… so here were my options: continue on the (straight-line boring) interstate and speed up even more to make to Cleveland late night OR relax, take some backroads, hit some turns with another rider and rest somewhere along the way after dusk?

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Not quite the conundrum for this rider here: this was the first out of many chances that I had (and chose) to make the long way home even longer. And the longer the better, as long as there were a nice tight turn on it. This is what this whole thing was about: riding the turns, talking to people and taking my photos. It was never about getting to that infamous point B. Where the hell would that be anyways? All stops, couches and even gas stations were points Bs in this journey.

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I followed him through the mountains not knowing exactly where we were headed to and also hoping that his route would not take me too much back east! I am glad I did, the ride was awesome: we started at some abandoned-like backroads with lots of nice turns and lose rocks and gravels, a bikers nightmare!  Then we headed to the mountains, in what seemed like those old car racing video-games where the road is an infinite straight line but with lots of ups and downs. Add the mountains to the background and that was the ride of the day.

So after indulging a bit at the Poconos, Cleveland was out of the plan and Clarion was the target for the night. I was able to find a nicely reviewed Bed&Breakfast, which was awesome because it was getting darker faster and I was trying to avoid a lot of night riding. This was my very first stay at a Bed&Breakfast after actually understanding its cultural importance in America. Very interesting experience and I was very lucky with the choice, The Clarion House Bed & Breakfast.

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August 20_09-47-09

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Astral Weeks

From the far side of the ocean
If I put the wheels in motion
And I stand with my arms behind me
And I'm pushin' on the door
In another time

Got a home on high

Ain't nothing but a stranger in this world
I'm nothing but a stranger in this world
I got a home on high
In another land
In another land
In another land

Remember the astral weeks...

Sent from my Nokia phone

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Photo Updates

Some photo updates:

- Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, California;
- Pacific Grove, California.

Sent from my Nokia phone

The Pacific Waters

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies"

Not completely sure where exactly this goes, but i believe it somehow ties the room together!

I am back to sea level. Quite interesting going thru the elevation changes: left CT at sea level... Went thru the mountains, well around 10,000 feet elevation if not more, and today i rest at Pacific Grove, back again at sea level.

Rollercoaster, anyone? Thinking about it, it has been a rollercoaster in so many different ways. Life is one, so why wouldnt a roadtrip, heh?

Yesterday i was back to the mountains after a week at Burning Man: Lake Tahoe, Emerald Bay. Not sure about statistics, but i'd say it is a modest mountain when compared to Utah/Colorado, but what a wonderful experience! What a surprise! I had never heard of the Emeral Bay area so i was quite thrilled by the ride. I had also a chance to relax by the Tahoe lake, even get minimally wet (IOW, wet feet!) in addition to playing some poker at Harveys!

Although fully rested, i had a late start. Originally i was hoping to make to San Luis Obispo (spell?) by the end of the day but had to (happilly) make a rest stop at Pacific Grove. I am glad to see the Pacific Ocean. It is fog and relatively cold, but it is perfect: i am officially across the continent. I made all the way to California, piling up issues behind and tackling new obstacles. A rollercoaster, as it should me. Actually i need to also mention Livermore, where i stopped for lunch. Lovely little town between Sacramento and San Jose. Hope to stop by again.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Alive & kicking in Nevada... Tires almost melted down while ripping thru I-80...

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3,200 Miles and more to come!

3,200 miles
13 states
2 crashes
1 speeding ticket
Lots of people and faces
Mountains & Canyons
I-80 & Backroads

And here I am, at the Biggest Small City in America. Heading to Black Rock City later on today. What a journey!

Sent from my Nokia phone

The Power

I guess there is power in watching. There is definitely power in dreaming. Then we have power in talking as well as power in understanding.

But i think i am realizing that nothing compares to the power of action, the power of doing it. Doing whatever it is that you previously dreamt, talked or imagined. Doing whatever it is that will move you. Doing it not fully knowing the outcome, even thru fear.

And here is something interesting about the power of action: the more you do, the more powerful you are and the more things you want to do.

Whats next for me? I have no idea, but some new dream will pop out of the blue and i'll be ready for it. The power of action.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Colorado Experience

2,100 miles and counting. What a day yesterday. Colorado is everything i was looking for and a lot more than i expected.

The day started a Boulder and heading to Estes Park. Well, within 3 miles of the hotel i pull over to take a picture of the mountains and first crash of the day. Someone pulls over and help me get the bike up.. I check it around and only seems to have suffered cosmetic damages. Back on the road we are.

After Estes Park, i ride thru the mountains, heading towards Idaho Springs. Well, i was looking for an exciting ride, and Colorado provided that, for sure. What a ride, really nice ride and beatiful views. Maybe too beautiful, because i pull over once again to take some pictures and the gravel throws me again on the ground. Second time in the day, very similar crashes. This time the bike stops few feet off the cliff. FML! Someone pulls over and help me get the bike back on the road. More damages and i do feel like my day is going down the drain. What else could happen?

Well, my GPS happened: it basically takes me to CR-279, an off-road that i need to go thru for about 3 miles. And to spicy things up, it is fucking rainy!

WTF! Whats going on? I am riding on a dirt road, under the rain and already pissed off i crashed twice in the day. 3 miles later i am back on the asphalt and everything seems to be fine, until the asphalt magically becomes gravel. Again. For another 3 miles. And this time down the mountain, single lane, pouring rain. I could not believe what was happening. No guard rail, no asphalt, no nothing, just the edge of the road and the mountain down below. And i am soaking wet!

I magically made to Idaho Springs alive - it seems like the same Gods playing the tricks are also on your side - and i decide to skip the Colorado experience and take I-70 west for a bit. Still raining but better than the mountains. What else could possibly go wrong, right?

Well, this time the bike went wrong. After passing the tunnel, i pulled over - this time not falling down - to add another layer since i was all wet, and suddenly the bike shuts down. Whats next is 2 hours trying to figure out what to do and getting a tow truck to take it to a bike shope in Silverthorne. What a day!

Yesterday was the Colorado experience. Today i made to Steamboat and heading to SLC. And please, no more surprises!

Sent from my Nokia phone

1,965 Miles

First crash happened today, actually right now! Something was missing, now it is a complete journey! I am fine (sore foot and hip) and bike took a small beat, but now we enter the Colorado mountains! I am too excited to even check if anything major actually happened to my foot or bike!

Estes Park here i come!

Sent from my Nokia phone

Monday, August 20, 2012

The City of Blinding Lights

Okay, almost 900 miles and here i am, Chicago. Today was a very interesting day, from french toast breakfast at a cozy Bed&Breakfast in Clarion, PA (more on that another day), to finding out my bike is actually not registered. And meeting another bike in the day, couch surfing in Chicago and hanging out at house party, all in between. Oh, how could i forget the fact that i got clocked doing 91 mph and got a nice piece of paper with my name on it and a return envelope?

Good to know i am gaining a hour a day, definetely need those hours of sleep!

Sent from my Nokia phone

1,000 Miles...

... And counting! Actually i am around 1,100 miles and cruising thru Iowa!

So far so good.. Behaving my best to avoid the Laws!

Note to self: despite issues with the Laws in the past, Iowa is actually a beautiful state, but stinks cow shit!

Sent from my Nokia phone

Sunday, August 19, 2012

O Miles

And the journey starts... Late, hungry, but it starts.

Sent from my Nokia phone

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Couch Surfers, Unite!


Here is a call to all couchsurfers, adventurers, comrades or travelers out there! My traveling schedule is finally completed and now I need to arrange for some couches out there!

Please let me know if you have any friends on the cities listed below (or nearby) that I could contact if needed or possibly host me!




Here is my projected schedule:

Cleveland: Saturday evening, August 18th
Chicago: Sunday evening, August 19th
Omaha: Monday evening, August 20th
Denver/Boulder: Tuesday & Wednesday, August 21st & 22nd
Salt Lake City: Thursday  & Friday, August 23rd & 24th
Reno, Saturday evening, August 25th.


Road trip Map

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It’s all burning again…


The burn starts deep inside, way before the burn actually starts. Different beings, different milestones, different starts, but it starts deep inside, way before the burn actually starts. For some, it may start when that narrow ticket arrives in the mail. For others, maybe it is when you book that flight to Reno.

Though I’ve had the ticket for a few weeks now, my burn started today when I realized it is all happening again.

I’ve gone through this before, and it is an awesome feeling: the worries, the planning, the headaches, the expectations and then the road. The magical road. The undeniably magical road.  Miles after miles, towards the fire. Towards Black Rock City, where creativity faces no barriers and we experiment the mystical, the spiritual and freedom.




09 - BM - 14009 - BM - 253

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Life Manifesto in a Digital World


Motorcycle Diaries_Map

Tomorrow’s just an excuse

The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences

I want a ticket to anywhere

The Journey is the Reward

Anyplace is better, starting from zero got nothing to lose

Absolute freedom. And the road has always led west

We leave tonight or live and die this way

Baby we were born to run


06 - Laconia - 027



Comfort Zone