Sonntag, 28. September 2008

Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September 2008: Into the Streets of QUEER San Francisco

YAP ! We've done the loop -2600 miles when we return Petras finerunning Honda Shadow to DubbeljuWolfgang in San Francisco. What a trip for a newbie on the bike - and how well she did it ! Crossing Golden Gate into Yosemite, King's Canyon to Sequoia National Park, east on Route 66 to fly the helicopter in Grand Canyon, via Route 66 back to Las Vegas, in an out boiling hot Death Valley, crisscrossing the mountains over Sherman Pass to run up Highway 1 back into Frisco - guess some longtime bikers at home might ask themselves now, why they haven't done it yet. Time to do it NOW, folks ;-)
Returning back the bike on Saturday morning we hit the streets of San Francisco to see some more of the town , do some shopping and have a decent dinner in one of the seafood places along Fishermans Wharf. Not without another funny story.
While the pretty stressed and even more obese waitress tries to explain to us, that I cannot sit the way I sit on the table next to Petra, I friendly ask her why not. There is quite an empty restaurant and ways enough space to even fit 3 of her enourmous oversize. Having no real argument against me she decides to call the"manager" of the place. He than starts the ususal liabilitynonsense and explains me , I was blocking a firerescueway !!!!
We just can't believe it anymore and burst out laughing - and while I ask him, if there's already some smoke to be seen anywhere - we just get up and leave that scene to find ourselves a nicer place for our last dinner.

The next early morning I take my sweetheart to the airport for a sad and happy goodbye.
Sad because we have to leave each othernow, but very happy for the wonderful time we shared, letting Petra become part of this unique trip - and even more happy as we know :
It will not be for very much longer so.

I keep walking through the streets of San Francisco for the rest of Sunday - and by chance hit one of the most different events you can come across here: The Folsom Street Fair.
Being pretty much a part of gay pride San Farancisco it turns out to be the meeting place of the most tolerant as well as some of the weirdest characters I have seen so far.
Not all what you see there is suitable for the blog - get some (pretty tamed) impressions - and believe me there is tougher pictures available.

The fair rages on inside and outside the various clubs and bars along Folsom Street - hard to believe this will be a back to business street in just a few hours - the police watching scenes that would most likely bring you up with a decent sexual offence record any other day.
Yet this is what makes San Francisco so special in the US -its tolerance .Well worth thinking about one's own limits towards others.

I have seen enough and decide to return home, when I meet Joe Smith.
He is one o the guys you frequently see in town, collecting alloycans and plastics from the garbagebins in town.
When I ak him about his life and why he is doing what he is doing- i get one of these shattering stories only life itsef can create. His mother and his wife dying in his arms within just 6 months and the real estate crisis shaking his life like an earthquake he is out on the street now - with a highschool degree in mechanics and still too proud to steel or beg he tries to make it back into life he honest way. Collecting two pounds of plalstic earns him 92 cent, the same in alloy makes 1 $ 57 cents . We talk for a longtime and it is a warm and hugging goodbye to this great person - we both learned a lot on this.
Hey Joe - you will make it back -
remember your brave and big heart
when you read through this !

Baba (a bit sad for Petra having left, but onward bound to head east now from tomorrow)

Freitag, 26. September 2008

Friday 26th September 2008: Highway 1 back to San Francisco- close the loop

One more legend to go we head north from Cambria onHighway 1 - the famous coastal higway along the Pacific. We wind us all along the coastline, facing sealions as well as pelicans along the beaches - and typical for the late summer - quitesome fog moving in and out the coastline, getting more and more dense towards Monterey. Not only is it blocking your sight and takes all the visibiity down to a minimum - worse even it gets icycold with the fog creeping in almost anywhere , unlike rain that peels off at he surface when you hit it.
So we take a break in Montrey to warm up with some seafood and some hot drinks on the waterfront.
As tasty as the food is - the desert is a bitter parking ticket from an useless monterey parkwarden on Petras bike. Standing in line with 10 other bikesand blocking nobody it is just one of the useless moneyraising Citycouncil tickets to support local townfunds- the same crap all over the place !!
The wellknown 17 miledrive off Monterey is as foggy as anywherte- so we decide to leave it for this time and take on our trip up the coast towards Frisco. Petra is not only a good but just as much a prettyt tough rider - I guess a lot of guys would have complained about some pretty long, windy and foggy ride like this- she is simply taking it - yet we decide to give us a break just 60 miles before Frisco runing too far into the night and get back only in the morning rather than pushing it too far.

Tired but happy

Highway 1 impressions

Out of the fog....

Mittwoch, 24. September 2008

Tuesday 24th and Thursday 25th September 2008: Burning hot in Death Valley and Sunrise at Zabriskie point

Out of Vegas that never really got us it is back into Death Valleys nature - pretty much more what we enjoy . Via Pahrump and Shoshone we get to one of the most stunning and extreme spots of the United States again.
Boiling hot a rocky desert, yet sooooooooooo beautiful once the sun lowers and the colours return into this dramatic scenery. It is easily understood why the early settlers trailing through this endless hot desert named it Death Valley. The Valley being 85 m below sealevel we have to close our visors for the heat getting unbearable otherwise - and it is September now. The only hotter place on this trip was Kasachstan in June - and we do not wnat to know how this here would have felt in high summer.
Nothing much you need to sleep at nite , so hot it stays . And thus it's quite easy to get up really early in the morning again the next day to catch the sunrise at Zabriskie Point.
Having our little cooker for getting us some coffee next to us and listening to Pink Floyds "Shine on you crazy Diamond" this is one of theose moments you will remember forever ....

For more details see Death Valley Nationalpark or in German see here

But this morning should still take us to another bikers' heaven .
Out of Death Valley we are heading south Highway 95, taking a right turn into a hardly visible road on the map -the 9 mile canyonroad. We surely would have missed the takeoff if we had not asked some locals where to go- and guess what we got up there.
An endless winding road with no traffic crossing east to west right below the southern part of the Sequoia Nationalpark .It 's hours of highly concentrated riding with gusty winds , a lot of riding technique to learn for Petra (and for me too), passing repeatedly sandy and rocky patches on the road - and it is some wonderful scenery with all that again - and there were definitely no more Harleys up here :-)On the western side of the pass we are slowly running out of gas while we ride down the Kern river gorge with its clear river meandering down this awsome valley - if it had been an warmer we definitely would have jumped in for a swim.
What a riding day again - and this little newbie in my rearview mirror is doing so incredibly well on the bike ! We carry on still winding and scenic on our way to the westcoast, riding into the sunset to end up in Cambria- to get back on the road tomorrow again - expecting another bikers dream : Higway 1 up the westcoast to San Francisco !

Ride it with a smile ...

Baba (still psyched by these sunrisecolours)

Dienstag, 23. September 2008

Monday 23rd September: Out of Grand Canyon into Las Vegas

What a sunrise in Grand Canyon - and how sad we must leave again.
It's back along Route 66 to Kingmen and further southwest to Topock and Needles - enjoying the most scenic part of Route 66. Destination Las Vegas keeps us going for the day. But though we keep riding all day long we have to fight our way through some pretty gusty headwinds ( Petra is mastering all these difficult windy and gusty situations like she had never done anything else in her life . Picking up my riding advices really quickly she is doing so welll with some really difficult to handle crosswinds.
Yet we only get into Las Vegs pretty late at 10 pm . But it is not only the time and being pretty fatigue from the long ride - we both feel this change from Grand Canyons natural beauty into the fully artificial showtime and gambling worlds of Las Vegas being ways to extreme , as so we could enjoy Las Vegas by any means.
So we just take a strawl through this weird mixture of tourists and addicted gamblers loosing their money to the countless casinos.
We decide to call it a nite soon - and we look forward to the deserted and again natural beauty of Death Valley tomorrow.

Good nite from Gamblin' Town Las Vegas

Baba ( who won 26 German marks as a kid and has stopped gambling ever since - be a winner )

Sonntag, 21. September 2008

Sunday 21st to Monday 23rd October: GRAAAAAAAAAAND CANYON !!!

It's the mother of all Canyons on this world , the reference to compare if you ever do that - and it is a heritage to mankind - not less than that .

It is the Grand Canyon !
Petras dream as much as mine for ages to step at he canyonridge for the first time - is just hard to find adaequate words to describe the unique mixture of changing colours during sunrise and sunset inside this monument built by nature's power over about 6 million years....If breathtakong as an expression ever fits - this is where.
So the Grand Canyon is a pretty touristy spot to hit ( and yes of course , we also are part of it - while watching the sunrise early in the morning you can simply dive into this stunning beauty and let your mind fly into a time, when this was a lonesome and deserted place . Imagine you were the first man to put a foot into here - what a wild imgination .
Both of us soaked with all these intense impressions we cannot stand the temptation to see the place from a birds view - so we jump on a helicopter flight ( its an Eurocopter by the way ) to et some of the most stunning views ever (while you should not ever think how much these guys charge you - yet its worth it.)
If you intend to do it yourself by any chance go for the first morning or the last afternoon sunset flight - anything else is loosing out for the light getting too hard).
Our lifetimeexperience gets completed watching the Grand Canyon Imax movie just outside the South entrance - an absolute must see movie ( no not at home as dvd, but in the Imax theatre) this movie shows the 1923 Powell expedition to explore the Canyon at full length for the first time rafting all the rapids and unknown dangers. You will have the most stunning movie experience from that - and we still wonder how these guys survived producing this movie.
Pics to follow soon as this connection is ways to slow to upload any now - so I know how little ofthe whole beauty a picture can be .
Another dream has come true - life is just a wonderful thing to happen !

Baba ( still flying,rafting, swimming, biking Grand Canyon.....)

I will not bother you to much with details about length and depth of the site - as interesting as this actually is - for those interested in all that please have a look here Grand Canyon National Park oh here in German

Samstag, 20. September 2008

Saturday 20th September 2008: Go get your kicks, on Route 66 !

It took me 26 years of riding motorcycles to finally do what Petra does on her first biketrip - hit Route 66 !
From Barstow east parallel with the Interstate 40 the historic Route 66 stretches out - at least the imagination of its glorious past does. Those kicks Nat King Cole was singing about in 1946 today straight hit your spine in some stretches east of Barstow to Ludlow - its actually rather suitabe to ride it on the Dakar than on Petras Shadow - reminding me at stages of some roads in western Kasachstan :-) - we keep on riding the 66 all through the hot and dry Mojave desert. It is quite easy to imagine where areas like "Devil's Playground "and thelike got their names from.
Crossing the Colorado at Topock takes us from California into Arizona. Besides its the only really scenic part of Route 66 up to Kingman. Well worth the ride muchmore than trying to do the whole thing up to or from Chicago.
In Kingman we just run into an American Dragster Race - quartermile races with incredible noise and tireburnouts all over the place . Like it or not - its one of many American ways to express a lifestyle - and it is a positively mad atmosphere.surrounding the racetrack - that's for sure.
All along the 66 we follow the traces of Marilyn Monroe and James Dean - ending the day in Seligmen with a sunset at its best before we ride further up into Grand Canyon tomorrow .

Baba ( still counting the endless kicks of Route 66 in his back)

SKYPE the Ride-of-Change-2008

Just a short note and some nice and good news from the media center !

You can SKYPE us under the following username :


So please feel free to call or contact anytime you like :-)

Good nite from Baba ( now member of the skype community)

Freitag, 19. September 2008

Friday 19th September : Kings Canyon California

Camping the night in Kings Canyon we get up early in the morning to catch the sunlight in the Canyon - often missed we feel Kings Canyon to be a very peaceful and far less crowded place to visit than many others - and well worth the visit .
Getting out through Giant Seqouia National Park with its unique giant trees takes us down to the US Road 245 heading southwest in neverending , sometimes pretty tricky curves through Pinewood, Badger, Auckland to Woodland and Visalia. Biking at its best again !
Where does this idea come from, that it is all straight roads in the States ? That is your very own fault and choice to miss roads like these.
From Visalia its down bypassing Bakersfield and heading east towards Barston- falling fast asleep after a long day riding some of the most scenic routes a biker can get on.

This is just some of the impressions we had of many more - not many words but the pictures instead.

Enjoy - Baba ( sttill dreaming of these endless curves on 245 )

Donnerstag, 18. September 2008

Thursday 18th September 2008: Oakhurst to KingsCanyon - Backroads folks , that is where the fun is !

Out of Oakhurst we just cannot imagine to leave these wonderful and curvy mountain roads of Yosemite towards a freeway - meaning we take off for some really lonesome backcountry roads along the mountains foot, leading us all along "worldfamous"little villages and cities such as North Fork, Friant, Bass Lake, Tollhouse and Squaw Valley towards the eastbound route to Kings Canyon. Hardly ever meeting any traffic there is just as few roadsigns as people on the streets to ask for the way. and these everwinding curvy roads ending up in nonsigned t-junctions in the fields leave you pretty much alone with orientation . But what a ride is that - teaching as mad for a newbie on the bike and yet scenic through golden yellowish cornfields winding slowly up into Kings Canyon.
Whilst getting to the Canyon itself is a pleasure - so is Kings Canyon . Often let out by many viistors for not being right on their way it would have been such a miss not to go there.
We both enjoy the ride as much as the scenery in a rather deserted National Park compared to many others - do not miss it when you come close.

...that's where the fun starts !
How small we are....walking INSIDE a
Giant Seqouia tree !

Bikers Sunset at Kings Canyon

Dienstag, 16. September 2008

Tuesday 16th to Wednesday 17th of September : Into Yosemite Nationalpark

Bright and sunny is the day that takes into Yosemite Park along Highway 4 and 120 = and I am so positively surprised about Petras riding the Honda Shadow.

I almost cannot believe I litteraly pushed her over the yard in Germany just 5 months ago onmy Dakar, S smooth and well she is riding with the roads beyond Stockton towards Yosemite getting more and more curvy, finally taking us into Yosemite for the afternoon - Thanks also verymuch to her driving teachers at the Fahrschule Graf in Augsburg/Germany - especially for training and taking her along after having passed her drivingexam - you have done a great job!
Getting out of the park along Highway 41 Soth we spend the night in Oakhurst on our way to Kings Canyon and Seqouia Nationalpark.
2 splendid days in Yosemite pass by quickly- leaving us with impressions neither words nor picures can really catch - yet enjoy some of yosemites beauty and grace on the pictures - well respecting it cannot ever really be shown by fotos ...

Highway 120 into Yosemite
Entering YosemiteFalling Rocks can be hazardous Against the windSit back, relax, enjoy !Peace and tranquiliy
Seqouia TreesOur home is our Castle
Camping in Yosemite

Baba (who is really proud of the new biker behind him )

Montag, 15. September 2008

Monday 15th September - Easy Riding out of Frisco

Monday is mainly for preparing Petras loop in the US with me - we got to prepare some stuff and get some gear for camping - but most of all we go to DUBBElJU Motorcycle Rental in Bryant Street to collect her bike.
Wolfgang from Germany running Dubbeljus is a very nice and reliable biker and partner renting out bikes of all kinds at fair rates - and very important too : You really get the bike you were asking for and not like in some bigger companies some excuses and a totally different bike. by the end. So from Choppers to GS BMWs Dubbelju in San Francisco is a highly recommended place to rend a bike.
All the bikes are very well mantained and serviced - and just as good are Sherrys and Wolfgangs recommendations where to go and what roads to take.
On top of that Wolfgang is offering all of our friends who come through the site and rent a bike for at least 10 days a 10% discount on all rentals. So whenever you feel like touring round California, Utah, Arizona , Nevada, Colorado and maybe further ( and believe me - there is plenty of good reasons to do so ) tell Wolfgang you come through the Ride-of-Change and enjoy the ride from San Francisco to some of the most superior sites on earth ! And please do not forget to give our warmest regards to Wolfgang and Sherry.

So for Petra as a bikernewbie is pretty excited to get out of Wolfgangs shop and into the streets of San Francisco - but guess how much more exciting it was for all of us to cross Golden Gate Bridge leaving Frisco into the Sunset - pretty close to Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper at Easy Rider we cross the bay side by side big you think a grin in your faace can get :-)))))))))))))))))))
Just enough we end the day after riding a hundred miles riding , adapting her to the speed and the traffic while we heading east towards Yosemite Nationalpark.

Good nite from Concord California

Petra and Baba

Sonntag, 14. September 2008

Sunday 14th September 2008 - San Francisco calling !

What a reunion this is to meet Petra again after so much travelling - her flight being delayed in Chicago she arrives late t night on the 13th - right in time to celebrate her birthday -
and just early enough to get my little roseflower, that i took for her birthday when we travelled through Kasachstan. If that is too much romantics fo you guys - that is what you feel after travelling through all the hassles onthe way while your prtner is sitting at home alone with all her worries about you - nd it is quite a bit that we demand from the people we love going on trips like this one, be it your family , your close friends oryour partner.

So with Petra joining into the ride-of-change for her birthday on the 13th something really special and wonderful comes true. While we were off riding through the world she decided to go for a moorcycle driving license- and she did it !
So for her birthdday there is a vey special present waiting for her - it's a Honda 600 Shadow chopper to get round the western states as far up to her personal dream - the Grand Canyon.
What a wonderful experience it is to get her into the trip - on her own bike.
Having arrived lete oa night on Saturday we take it as an easy day , strawling all over SanFrancisco with its unique and tolerant sites from Chinatown to Castro, Soma up to Fishermens wharf, back thru the Mission, passing the Opera House as well as resting in the shades of Golden Gate Park, catching many impressions of its people and soaking in the atmosphere of one of the most special cities in this world.

(Happy) Baba :-)

The Ride of Change rages on !

Ride-of-Change's main target is done - reaching the american westcoast down to California.

But the Ride ain't over yet !

For a large variety of reasons Hombre and me decide to split the tour from now on with different headings . Having reached our principle goal - making ends meet from the Panamerican Highway south with the loops end coming down from Alaska - what a wonderful experience in a mans life this was !
Hombre will now mainly travel the wild west of the States while I will try my way across the states towards having a shakehands with Miss Liberty in New York.
Beyond words this trip will always be an everlasting part of our lifetime histories - one thing we can never loose again - no matter how good, how bad and how extreme some of the things may have been , that we both went through . When you take it to the extremes you learn so much about youself as you hardly will in a regular setup - and believe us it ain't all that easy.
Yet we will not make it look as hard as some well known British actors have done it and keep doing it in their "whatever wayround" dvds. Nothing wrong with what those guys did and keep doing - but maybe we know too much of what really is on these roads . Our message is far more : You do not have to be the supertough guy to do it - if it is part of your personal dream: Go for it !
Be decided and ready to give parts of your personal security- and you will be rewarded as much as maybe never before in your life.
Our personal hero we encountered while travelling is a 76 year old German - Max from Munich. Travelling ever since 1954 in all sorts of microbuses with his wife and ever since she passed away with his little dog, we met Max in Zarubinoin Russian Far East. He had travelled the terrific Amur "Highway" in his 1989 Fiat Ducato RV in just the same time as we did iton our dirtbikes - a 2000 km mixed stretch of all bad "roads" you can get on this earth- exactly that part that some famous British acting tough guys shipped their bikes around by train ! ;-)
So there is no more excuses about age not to go for your dream - being part of what we did, just a short trip to wherever you feel is best or doing the whole thing does not matter - as long as it is part of what you dream about to do in your lifespan. and the privilege t have done this on a motorcycle is a specail one - adding to all what happened so far you will understand reading on the blog for what happened ever since we said goodbye.

We are riding on - please understand that from now on you will get Babas blog on the way to New York - just as much tkong Hombre with me as we took some of your dreams and kept them well on our backseats.

For those who stay tuned I will happily update the Blog as often as possible and say sorry for nit having been online ways too long - but trips like this one sometimes have their own itineries that keep you from updating as often as you would like to - and as you deserve it.
Thank you all for your patience and your support !


Samstag, 13. September 2008

Saturday 13th September 2008 If you are going to San Francisco

Be sure to wear some flowers for your sweetheart in your hand !!!

Happy Birthday to you, the most wonderful and warmhearted woman in my world ,

This is your blog again after more than 4 months of longing and patiently waiting what happens – you will be in San Francisco for your birthday – and there is a major surprise ahead for you !

Du wunderbare Frau in meinem Leben !

Nach ueber 4 Monaten liebevoller Sehnsucht und Geduld wirst Du heute

in San Francisco sein - und an Deinem Geburtstag wartet eine wunderbare Ueberraschung auf Dich -

mehr wird hier jetzt noch nicht verraten !

Freitag, 12. September 2008

Thursday 11th and Friday 12th September 2008 - 101 South to Frisco via Redwood Nationalpark

Its 101 ! It's a myth, it's a legend.
It's where almost any American biker told us to ride along.
And its reality is : Cold, foggy and - wonderful !!!

Despite the icycold foggy clouds covering most of the scenic rugged pacific coastline, only allowing a glimpse of the rocky beaches in sprse moments, it is a unique atmosphere resulting of right these fog sneaking into the coastal forests, thus feeding the Giant Sequoia trees to unseen size and a majesty of its own.
You quickly get out of the cloud and back into the sun once the road turns only few hundred meters inland - and with the the sunlight some tremendous scenerey unfolds when taking a short hike into the forests to see these more than 1000 year old giant trees - which thank god are protected in the meantime from the logging business.
In Gold Beach an interesting encounter at the public library with Lesley feeds a lot of interesting information on America and its society - only coming to you,when you allow to take time off the mileagecollecting and sit down to meet the people- isn't that what travelling finally is all about?!

Highway 101 finally comes up with another big emotional moment of this unique and incredible journey . It's crossing Golden Gate Bridge on your own bike - man, what a feeling !!!!!

It is exactly this moment that makes you feel the trip is done - ends from the Panamerican tour and ends from the Ride-of-change-2008 have finally met to close the Pacific loop.
It is done but not yet over - and with the sun setting in the west it is now :

Going to San Francisco :-)

Flowerpowerhippiegreetings from Queercity !

Golden Gate Bridge at sunset

Giant Seqouia Trees
at Redwood Nationalpark

Foggy CoastalHighway 101

Small bike meets Big Tree

101 Impressions

Oregon Coast at 101

101 Bridgescene

Morningmood on 101

Mittwoch, 10. September 2008

Wednesday10th September 2008 - PACIFIC TIME IN OREGON !

Sunny but pretty chilly in the morning, the ride goes thru Hghw. 20, 126 and 242 straight west for more than 600 kms from Juturna to Florence over Burns into Bend - and a long and strenous problem finally gets a better solution - hopefully not just replacing the old by a new problem. Finally Baba finds the longsearched but never available little Asus EEC Travelmate PC - just 16 GB of Flashmemory, no more harddrive, a wireless connector and a real if somewhat small keyboard - the end of typing textmessagelike on the mobilephone for hours - adding some really small dimensions, 1 GB RAM and a 900 Mhz Intel Celeron this seems to be the ultimate travelcompanion for a dirtbike ! Good enough there is no salestax in Oregon and a strong Euro travelling with us these days . Its a real bargainbuy.

As if this was not yet good enough for to make the day - Mc Kenzie Pass is next ! Being an extremly scenic pass up and down both sides the real surprise shows up , when you hit the topsummit - running into a rugged and wild volcanic landscape and the first redwood trees descending to the west, put into scene most awsome by the setting sun and following Sisulaw River down to the sea.
This day is a gracious one, leading the route to getting to Kirbys and Gerties RV Park in Florence- fr those who might pass there this is the adress : Hansen Kirby, Siuslaw Marina At Cushman Suislaw Rv & Marina 6516 Highway 126Florence Phone: (541) 997-3254 or 97439-9221
Kirby and his wife are just some more wonderful Americans . Asking for a tentsite only its ending up with a dinner invitation, wonderful icecream and an offer to sleep in their guests Caravan rather than putting up the tent in the cold and wet misty night , which sneaks slowly across the campsite - ah, bythe way - that is not just any mist - its the Pacific again .
How wonderful people keep treating you with open arms and hearts all over !if only you approach them in an open manner yourself.

Sleeping with the pacific waves its good nite for now !

From Bend to Burns


Up Mc Kenzie Pass

Sunset down Mc Kenzie
to Florence