in my last post, i was rambling on and on about the next phase of my life, the next phase of this motorcycle obsession that has become such a huge part of me. since then, two major events have happened to affirm that direction, and make the dreams a bit more of a reality.

the first week of september saw me on my first big adventure road trip, four days of riding and camping all the way from the bay area to oregon. the trip was a culmination of weeks of planning, months of just itching to get out on the road and be free for a few days. right after we got back, dan and i spend a few days processing the beauty of it all, and posting our first ride report on ADVrider. i won't belabor the journey with a second write up here, but i will share some of my favorite pictures from the trip. (where some = quite a few)

sorry for so many, but hopefully it was worth it. these are only a few out of over 200 (trimmed down from 500+ from the camera), but if you want to see more... each photo is clickable, and the full album is here. in the SmugMug album, the photos are interspersed between dan and i, the ones he took tagged with 'danmechanical'.

the whole ride home, i spent alot of time just zoning out to the music on my headphones, contemplating the ride. i had tons of fun, but the highlights of the trip for both of were the short jaunts on the dirt, except for the fact that i was on a sport bike, and couldn't really enjoy it the way dan had. at some point i had made up my mind that i would sell the sv650, and get a dual sport bike. first to get started on was selling the SV650, which went from post-to-sale in under a week. the new owner is supposedly loving it up in san francisco.

to fund the new bike, i made the hard decision to sell my Canon 20D & Lenses. the camera had gotten me through a lot, and performed beautifully (as well as taking beautiful photos). but i was finding that i wasn't using it as much as i probably wanted to; on the trip i only took about 200 photos with it, while i took over 500 with the point and shoot. so, i dealt with the hell that is craigslist (i got over a dozen scam emails, three of which wanted me to send the camera to south africa! lol!), and eventually got it sold. the lens went to a real person off of craigslist, and the body went to someone from ADV. i was sad to see it go, but in some way it made me feel good to be able to start fresh.

shortly after i sold the SV, i had to travel to boston to attend a few family events. i brought along moto-gear to possibly test-ride a few bikes in the area... but everything felll through. all turned out in well in the end, as i ended up spending a few days with my younger brother and sister that i'll remember for a long time. the trip was one of those family trips when you're about family-ed out by the end of it, and was happy to get back to california.

back in cali, i was now bike-less, and itching to ride. i began searching in earnest, looking at the for-sale ads on ADV constantly, and even writing my own little tool to search multiple craigslist sites for multiple keywords, to make the search that tiny bit easier. it ended up helping quite a bit, when i was at a friend's party, refreshing my search when i found just the bike i was looking for, at a price that was almost too good to believe. i contacted the seller right then and there, begging for a test-ride the next day.

the next day rolls around, and i receive an email from the seller at about 8:30 in the morning, only to find out that someone had already scheduled to go see the bike in the morning, and that i was next in line. he said he'd call me after 12 if the first buyer fell through. i was on pins-and-needles all morning, cringing at every time my phone rang, or email that came in, hoping and praying that it wouldn't be bad news. noon rolls around, with no word, and i'm just about going crazy with anticipation. he calls @ 12:15 to let me know the first buyer never showed up, and that if i wanted it, i could come up and see it. i left right away, speeding most of the way there.

the bike was (is) perfect. so clean that it looked like it came off of a showroom floor. the engine purrs when running, and was a blast to ride, and it's never been off-road! i put down a deposit, and promised the rest as soon as i could get to a bank after the holiday weekend. as i'm pulling into my driveway (2 hours away from the bike that was soon to be mine) he calls me, offering to deliver it to san jose, the very next day. sweet!

the dakar is currently set up with a street rear tire, and no crash-protection... but that can be remedied. the seat & shocks are set up for the previous owner who was a bit shorter than me, and a good 80lbs lighter, but that can be adjusted. little details aside, the bike is awesome, and tons of fun to ride, on and off-road.

yes... it only took me two days to pop the bike's off-road cherry, taking it out on the only dirt road that i know of in the area.

these photos are very fitting for this post. the bike is there, on the dirt road, and the all the way to the horizon are more dirt roads and mountains that are just begging to be explored...

now i have the just the tool to do it.

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