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The Motorcycle Community Is Awesome. But Can We Do Better?

Yesterday, I went shopping for bike tools in Arequipa. I was told there was a large market someplace around Avenida Venezuela, so that’s where I headed. It’s a large, busy street, and Lucy the Bike is my only worldly possession, so I felt a tad antsy leaving it parked there, exposed and unlocked. Luckily, there was a cheerful elderly man washing car windows there, and we struck a deal – he’d watch Lucy for a few soles. Unfortunately, the market, while huge, colorful and all sorts of entertaining, had no bike tools, and I needed to think of something else. As I walked back to the bike and stood there googling Arequipa’s tool options on my phone, I noticed a guy on a KTM rolling by. I smiled and nodded. KTM guy hit the brakes. “What’s up?”, - he asked, stopping and removing his helmet. “I...

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I Am Going to Chase the Dakar

Seriously? Chase the Dakar? Me? Yes, seriously. Me. I first heard about the Dakar when I was making my way to Bolivia from Chile in 2014. I was following the Bolivian Lagunas Route, which is a desolate dirt track running across an otherworldly Andean high desert. I had lost the axle nut on my little motorcycle, but luckily, a tour jeep stopped to help. While the driver was rummaging through his toolbox to find a nut that would fit, three Polish tourists that were traveling to San Pedro de Atacama jumped out and peered curiously at Blinkin, my motorcycle. Blinkin didn’t look like a rally machine – heavily laden with a horrendous plastic top box and a pile of stuff strapped on it, covered in dust and road grime, my loyal steed appeared much like any other local Boliv...

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What Riding Around the World On a Motorcycle Is Teaching Me

A long, long time ago– merely five years, but it feels like a lifetime! – I had this idea about round-the-world travel. It was a very particular idea: I knew I needed to travel by motorcycle, and no other means. The journey had to be continuous:certainly, by going home briefly I would break some magic spell, and all this weighty, important meaning of it all would seep out through the cracks while I jetted to Vilnius and back. And finally, I had to travel solo, for only the lone wolves experienced the true existential melancholy behind faraway horizons.  I was twenty-seven, and it all made perfect sense. I had just learned to ride a motorcycle, I was in the Andes, and this was, clearly, my destiny and my quest: to roam the world and find it. I didn’t quite know what it was, but that was...

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