The 50¢ philospher

Welcome to my first attempt at creating a diary of a motorcycle trip. Although I have undertaken several trips over the past 3 years since I “retired”, this one is by far the longest, and will probably turn out to be the most arduous.

And so, the 50₵ philosopher…. A bike trip is like life itself, not so much about destination as journey. And just as one hopes to be remembered not for the manner in which one shrugs off one’s mortal coil, but more for the people one has met, the places one has visited and the things one has accomplished during one’s life, so it is with a bike trip, where reaching the destination is in many ways an anticlimax and its only purpose is to serve as the justification for the journey….just like life itself in fact.

The high points of previous journeys have been about people and places. The trip through Europe to the northernmost point in Norway will be remembered for the camp fire camaraderie in midnight sun in northern Finland after days of riding in the rain. The highlight of the trip to the high Himalayas was not just the awesome scenery, unlike anything on a European scale, but sitting down with a peasant couple and their English-speaking daughter to pick peas in the family smallholding in a remote valley not far
from the Tibet border.

I have wanted to ride the Pan American Highway since I first knew such a thing existed. I have ridden thousands of miles in the US during periods of living there, but have not
ridden in Central or South America, and nothing on the scale of the trip on
which I am about to embark. The Motorcycle Diaries following Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s epic bike ride, Ted Simon’s “Jupiters Travels”, and Geoff Hill’s “The road to Gobblers Knob” make the task impossible to resist.

After 2 years in the planning I invite you to join me and if I can share some of the passion, excitement and, dare I say, trepidation which I feel now, and expect to feel during the trip, then I will have succeeded in my literary quest.