While I was stuck there and attempting to ride out,the snow that was falling wasn't really hard heavy snowfall,just consistent,so after half an hour of snowfall it began to get packed tighter,and slicker.Balancing on two wheels now became treacherous,stopping just wasn't going to happen safely.I knew that if I had a sidecar,NONE of these issues would be an issue at all,especially if it were a 2 Wheel Drive outfit.
And so the search began in ernest to transform this.....
...into something like this:
...or even this:
....in order to be able to do things like this:
The funding for the sidecar conversion will come from the sale of what's left in my house in Florida that is or will be foreclosed upon in the next 3-6 months.Losing,or at least thinking that I lost everything I had due to my alcoholism and continued drinking actually turned out not to be the case,just the opposite in fact.I didn't really lose anything at all,I just got rid of a lot of "stuff" that I didn't really need,and that demanded a lot of physical and emotional maintenance from me.
I still have my FJ 40 up for sale(the pic link is in the sidebar) which I will let go for a ridiculously low price to the first person that comes along with a reasonable offer in order to fund the sidecar.I will also be trying to raise money from the sale of prints available on my SmugMug account.
As the New year of 2012 approaches I will be officially homeless,but I will also be as free and unencumbered as I have been since my teenage years,where I had not a care in the world,when the world was mine to explore at my leisure,and I thought I had forever to explore it too.
This will be my last year in the U.S. for quite a number of years,as i'll be shipping my bike to Rotterdam in the Netherlands in March,immediately following my photoshoot of the TeamRWB Event in Austin TX,Feb 18th to the 20th.
From Austin I ride back to Miami and put the bike in the Schumacher Transport warehouse,where it will wait to be loaded onto a container for Holland.
Once in the EU and after the sidecar conversion is complete,there are a number of winter sidecar rallies I plan to attend,including the famous and longest running UK bike event,The Dragon Rally,held annually in North Wales in February since 1962.
The roots of The Dragon Rally go back to the early sixties when the British motorcycle press carried reports of another famous rally held each winter in Germany,the Elefantreffen or Elephant Rally,famed for the hardships involved in attending.The November 1961 issue of the British magazine "The Motor Cycle" carried an article by George Wilson who asked,"Can such a dream be realized in this country-a rally for super enthusiasts only,and so organized that by it's very nature,only super enthusiasts would want to join in?...but above all it must be held in the dead of winter when only the men who are men would be interested and the softies would stay away".
Well,the article brought a flood of replies and soon another journalist,John Ebrell,was sent to North Wales to seek a camping site,with a view to publishing an article that would draw out potential organizers.As luck would have it,as he was scouting around North Wales,a letter arrived at the magazine from Lawrence Irving of the Conwy Club,offering to organize the rally.The Conwy and District Motorcycle Club has run the rally ever since.
It is usually grouped with the German Elefantreffen and the Norwegian Krystall Rally,both of which I plan to attend.
From Wales in Feb of 2012 i'll head over to Ireland,The Ould Sod where I lived until I was 18,and I still have cousins there and have not been back since 1990,when I returned to bury my father.
From Ireland it's back east to Europe and by which route as yet I do not know,but a Round the World motorcycle sidecar journey has been calling to me for quite some time now,and while I can do it I will.How I am going to fund it,as yet I also don't know,but as has been the theme and spirit of my journey and adventure so far,i'll figure it out as I go along.An odd job here or there to put gas in the tank,some photography print sales and even a published article or two,more than enough to keep me going for a few months.
Thats it for now.I hope that those of you who follow along will continue to do so,and also recommend this place to friends,as it's your support that helps propel me to keep doing what i'm doing.I always appreciate your thoughts either in the comments section of this blog,or jump over to my FaceBook page and leave me a note over there.