Saturday, 23 January 2016

Phase 3 - The American Dream?

Tomorrow I will be crossing the border from Mexico and entering California! This feels like Phase 3 of my journey. Phase one was 25,000 miles and 1 year through Europe, Asia and Australia. Phase 2 was 25,000 miles and another year through Latin America and of course Antarctica. Now Phase 3 takes me into North America where I will spend the next 9 months (perhaps!) riding up to Alaska and across Canada before shipping to the 7th continent - Africa.



Latin America has been full of ups and downs, twists and turns and I will be sad to say goodbye. I have no favourite countries but I did love the Salt Flats of Bolivia, the Amazonian Jungle in Peru and the beautiful wildlife in Costa Rica. I hated the winds in Patagonia and some of the long gravel stretches that were like riding on marbles. Sometimes it felt isolating and other times I was overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers, particularly in the rural areas. Mexico has been a blast too. Meeting the Cartel face to face in Copper Canyon, riding the Devils Backbone and Christmas on the beach in Baja. So many memories that I hope I never forget.

Now though Rhonda and I face a culture shock as we head into the US of A. Costs will rise and rules become stricter (I must remember that!)! However, it seems that the kindness continues as I have already been offered places to stay by many fellow bikers or followers of this blog. I couldn't do this without them as you can't camp everywhere and hotels are out of my league now! Thank you to those who have gone out of their way to offer their support!!! I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.

How am I holding out I hear you ask? Well financially I am not doing great but I never was. This was always going to be a big part of the challenge. However, I do have a few presentations set up as I move forward and I think I can make it to Alaska with the money I make from that. From there, well it's a case of blind faith and stubbornness. One thing that you may notice going forward is the lack of punkt updates. Sadly, much as I have enjoyed doing these, they cost money and so the software has to go. The team at Punkt have been brilliantly supportive but after 2 years of working with them, I just can't pay my way and I feel they have put up with me enough! Sorry about this if you enjoyed them. However, I will do my best with Youtube and the map will remain online if you care to reminisce!


Physically, I must admit that my body is not holding out as well as the bike. I have one shoulder injury and the other shoulder is starting to show similar signs. I guess this is purely down to wear and tear! I'm not sure we were designed to ride a 250cc for 50,000 miles! However, mentally I feel good and I'm pretty sure that with a little common sense I can finish this in one piece. I guess I have another 15,000 miles to go in the last 9 months. It's a long way and a lot further than I had planned or budgeted for but if the bike can do it, then so can I! I am as driven as I was before I started - to ride this bike to all 7 continents.

Rhonda the Honda is doing amazingly well. I cannot praise this bike enough. She is now showing signs of wear though, so costs here could potentially become a much bigger factor than before. The first thing to go is the exhaust. It is in desperate need of replacing. The header pipe is cracked and could go any minute and the rest is badly rusted. I'm not sure how many miles it has left. Otherwise she is still as strong as ever, as far as I can see. So far she has had 1 subframe repair, 2 new fork seals, 7 sets of tyres,1 new spark plug, 1 new battery, 6 chain and sprockets and around 10 oil changes. I don't think I could have asked for more from her.

So here we go again! Goodbye Latin America - Hello California! Time to embrace country No. 39!

Bring it on!
PS - WE JUST REACHED HALF A MILLION VIEWS ON THE BLOG!! If you have a business and feel we could mutually benefit from your involvement in phase 3 then please do get in touch via email stephjeavons@gmail.com. Of course if you just enjoy the blog.....well all random donations, large, small or anything in between are greatly received (see donate a tank of fuel button)! If you are potentially on my route and have a bed and a garage I'd love to hear from you. If you have a group and would like to arrange a presentation....you guessed it - Get in touch! Of course it is by no means compulsory! Either way I will keep writing if you keep enjoying! Your support and words of kindness may just see us through! Thanks for following! :)










22 comments:

  1. Wish I lived in the USA and had standard crf exhaust in my shed I'd definately send it to you!

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  2. Just went to take a pee at Rider's Corner in Chiang Mai and what's this on the loo door... A StephMoto sticker! Hello woman! Mail me if you're going thru the Vail Colorado area for a free room and meals. Travel safe.

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    1. Ah ha ha brilliant! Thanks Bob. xx

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    2. Vail is a stones throw from Dillon, colorado but riding around here wont start untill mid April at the earliest!

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    3. Where can i get a "A StephMoto sticker" - i would like to buy one for a trubute price, but where ?

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  3. Thanks for the update! I have a brand new exhaust system for you. I replaced "Thumper's" exhaust in the first week I owned him. It's yours free if you can make it to Kelowna with the old one and a free installation too by Honda.

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    1. Dennis that is brilliant news! You are a legend. Thank you so much! It's not too many miles so with a little luck we can make it. xxx

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    2. Cool, Looking forward if you can make it.

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  4. My wife and I have a place for you to stay in N. California we are 2 hours Noth of San Francisco.

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    1. FYI if your looking on the map we are up in Lakeport 20 min. Off Hwy 101 we are 2 hours North of San Francisco

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    3. Hi Frank. Thank you. I'll message you x

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  5. Hey Steph. When you are thru the Okanagan let us know. Maybe a little get together to see some pictures and tall tales could add some $ to the kitty? All the best with the adventure! Vic

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  6. Only 10 oil changes? Seems very low for the mileage you've done. I'd have thought twice that, at least.

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    1. Hard to do an oil change in the middle of a jungle

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  7. I emailed you
    I have a stock exhaust for you

    Ducky Dog from TT

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  8. Nice one Steph' ... thanks for the posting m'dear. Again a good update and some nice piccy's. Loved the one of you doing a hand-stand on what looks like a salt-lake! And will await your thoughts on the U.S. A place I used to fancy visiting when I was younger, but with age has come cynisism about their capitalist culture that often celebrates all the wrong things ... One of my friends who kept on travelling after I stopped in Australia, didn't hang around in that country. After an intense border-crossing and brief encounter was less than dazzled by aspects the United States, so fast-tracked his journey up to Alaska to continue on from there ... (see http://www.panomoto.com/index.html)

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    1. Hey, Lenz, sorry you feel that way. I certainly hear you (I'm an American [in Virginia] but I often shake my head at some of our antics, especially during election season!). Anyway, although *I* haven't traveled the world as Steph has, I think there are many like me who would say 'don't believe everything you read in the media'. There are great people and great places all over, and we have both of those in abundance here. Happy adventuring!

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    2. Hey, Lenz, sorry you feel that way. I certainly hear you (I'm an American [in Virginia] but I often shake my head at some of our antics, especially during election season!). Anyway, although *I* haven't traveled the world as Steph has, I think there are many like me who would say 'don't believe everything you read in the media'. There are great people and great places all over, and we have both of those in abundance here. Happy adventuring!

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  9. An inspirational read over Sunday porridge. Loving Rhonda's performance, what a girl! She has a tank of fuel gifted with best wishes for happy travels x

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  10. the Aerican DREAM IS ALIVE!and i know that many people want to live it, and russian women https://kovla.com/blog/a-real-answer-why-russian-women-want-to-leave-russia/ would love to move to America!read it in my article

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