Epilogue to Adventure

Looking at Vancouver on the map when we were in China, it seemed so close to home. The reality of riding a thousand miles in the rain at near freezing temperatures made it feel a whole lot further away. Continue Reading →

Tales Untold

We rode as fast as our 48cc’s could muster through the south of Thailand, with fleeting appreciation for the landscape as it passed. Continue Reading →

Out of Step on the Vagabond Trail

Everything changed in Laos. Gone were the perfect tarmac roads, regularly spaced villages, and petrol stations. Continue Reading →

Good Morning Vietnam

We were delayed heading south from China by rain that came down in sheets as we hopped from one covered spot to the next. Continue Reading →

Manufacturing Stoke in the South China Sea

We rode south towards the Nan Mountains and as the temperature rose, the cornfields that had been a constant element of the scenery slowly transformed to rice, cotton, and sugarcane. Continue Reading →

Kung Fu Riding in the Middle Kingdom

Between daily servings of diesel dust we’ve found some places in China worth the work to get there. But with the regular visits of the local police to our door, truck backups, and an endless supply of cities, it isn’t exactly the overland adventurer’s dream destination.

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The Slow Road through China

China wins no points in the moto-fun department, refusing to let us enter with our beloved motorbike Continue Reading →

Siberia, Interrupted

Siberia is vast. We had a whole lot of its bigness to get across. Continue Reading →

Making Tracks across Mongolia

Looking at the map, it seems that we’re about as far from an ocean as we could possibly be anywhere on the planet, about 500 miles northeast of the Mongolian border. Continue Reading →

Edges of Africa – Part II

After rounding the bottom of Africa, we continued the journey up the east coast.  We found barren deserts, wonders of the earth, a bit of trouble, and some waves to ride in strange places along the way.

The Stans Without a Plan – Part III

Dyna Rae was sputtering and coughing as we climbed into the stratosphere of Tajikistan and despite our efforts, the Tenere still wouldn’t start. Our fading hope was that the blue beast was just suffering her own bout of altitude sickness.

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The Stans Without a Plan – Part II

Jamie and I woke up from our lakeside campsite, high in Tajikistan’s Fann Mountains, washed the dust from our faces, and headed for Dushanbe. We were due to meet up with Mike and Rebecca there, but hadn’t heard a word as to the fate of our companions. Continue Reading →

The Stans Without a Plan – Part I

We really had very little idea about where we were headed after leaving the Caucuses. The extent of our information was something like this: Kazakhstan is enormous, it’s really hot in Uzbekistan, there is an awesome road called the Pamir Highway. First though, we had to get ourselves across the Caspian Sea.

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Georgia on my Mind

As usual, we were slow to get moving the day we rode out of Bucharest. Continue Reading →

Reunion of the Fellowship

I love Finland. I don’t really have a good reason for loving Finland other than when I woke up in the morning the sun was shining. Continue Reading →

Viking Shore

The next moto hobo initiative is a trek to the other coastline of Eurasia, but before heading east, I aimed north. While cooking in the hot hot heat of Africa, images of tubing waves in front of snowcapped mountains at the mouths of gaping fjords had captured my imagination. Continue Reading →

Edges of Africa – Part 1

A year and eight months tracing the coastlines of Africa in search of waves to ride. We found more adventure than we bargained for, kindness from wonderful people, a few wonders of the earth, and of course some epic waves.  This is how it all went down.

Full Circle

The journey’s end lacked any sort of dramatic flourish that we might have imagined along the way. Continue Reading →

Castles, Caves, and River Waves

With only a few countries in Europe still ahead, completion of the trip felt so close, but with the Alps still ahead and a road weary bike beneath us, the finish line began to recede from grasp.

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Barreling through the Balkans

Turkey had been a fantastic place, but after weeks of riding through snowy mountain passes we were ready to move on. You might say that we were ready to quit cold Turkey.

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Black Sea Riders

We’d bided our time in the south of Turkey as rainstorms came and went every other day. If we’d know how high we would have to climb to get through the interior to the Black Sea, and how much we’d suffer for the cold, we may not have left the Mediterranean at all.

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Turkish Delight

As we sped across the narrow channel separating the Greek Island of Chios from Turkey, I thought surf hunting was finished for a while, but I was getting used to being wrong.

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Get ’em to the Greeks

We rolled off the ship in Athens with rain stinging our faces, which set us immediately wondering why in the world we’d landed ourselves in Europe in February.

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We’re on a Boat

Perched at the edge of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula we’d run out of Africa to ride. With Syria off-limits, if we wanted to keep our wheels rolling, we would have to find a way across the Mediterranean. Continue Reading →

Meet the Nshongi Group

With some down time on Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Jamie put together a movie of our time with our fellow primates in Uganda.

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Holy Waters

Having been landlocked since leaving the Kenyan coast, we set off for the Middle East in the hopes of some waves to ride in the Mediterranean Sea and found ourselves tripping over one archeological marvel after another along the way.

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Temples, Tombs and Subterfuge

Upon arrival in Wadi Halfa, we sought out a fixer named Mazar Mahir who had helped some of the other travelers we’d met along the way. Continue Reading →

Sudan on the Sly

After two days at Lake Tana, fuel finally arrived in Gonder at one of the half-dozen petrol stations that we stopped at. There are plenty of petrol stations in Ethiopia, but not much petrol. Continue Reading →

Riders of the Lost Ark

As expected, arrival in Ethiopia’s capital city of Addis Ababa was a chaotic affair. Continue Reading →

Hunting the Wolves of Bale in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian wolf is the rarest canid in the world, with less than 500 individuals left, most of which live in the country’s southern Bale Mountains. We hoped to glimpse this uncommon beast in its home environment but before we got there, Ethiopia had some trials lined up for us. Continue Reading →

Mzungus in the Mist

Before we left Kigali, Jamie and I spied a large, bright green snake slithering about just beneath a highway overpass while walking to the market. Continue Reading →

Surfing the Wild West

For ten months I combed the darkest corners of west Africa with my surfboard strapped to a motorbike.  I found countless empty waves, striking landscapes, and generous people.  I hope these scenes provide a flavor for the journey.

Skirting the Serengeti and Seeking the Source of the Nile

We left Nairobi with a plan to circle Lake Victoria, which meant crossing into Tanzania for a third time since we entered east Africa. Continue Reading →

Motosurf Gear Review 2014

Plenty of dudes have an unhealthy preoccupation with gear of one kind or another and I’m no different. Shiny new things provide fleeting distraction from bits of day-to-day suffering, and preparation for a long journey provides an excellent excuse to fill your garage with stuff. Continue Reading →

Out of Nairobi

Hey folks – Jamie has taken up the notebook and put together our latest update – enjoy!

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Suitcase Surfers of Kenya

Jamie and I saddled up and rode west from the N’gorongoro crater, headed for the coast and hoping to find a wave to ride somewhere in Kenya.   Continue Reading →

The Highs and Lows of Kilimanjaro

I’ve underestimated the difficulty of wilderness situations before and suffered for it, but even with that experience to draw from I still can’t seem to stifle my overconfidence in how far, high, and long I can go when I get moving. Continue Reading →

The North Shore of Mozambique

On our return to Dar Es Salaam, still stoked on getting some surf on Zanzibar, I motored out to have a look at a beach just outside the city center which reportedly had some decent waves once in awhile. Continue Reading →

Sliding Zanzibar

The Chinese Dream had seen better days than the one we rode out of Baobab Valley headed for the Tanzanian coast. Continue Reading →

A Rift in the Heart of Africa

As we approached Victoria Falls, we could see a massive white plume of water vapor rising up in the distance that resulted from the explosion of millions of gallons of water hitting the pools at the bottom of the falls all at once.  Continue Reading →

Kalahari Beauty

Some of the most unique situations I’ve found myself in while traveling probably never would have happened if I weren’t wandering around on my own.   Continue Reading →

The Mozambique Sandbox

Traversing the Kwazulu-Natal Coast of South Africa we didn’t know whether or not Mozambique would let us into the country. Continue Reading →

Cycles South

We reached Cape Agulhas at the leading edge of a storm and turned north to begin the journey back to the top of Africa along the east Coast of the continent.  Continue Reading →

The Bottom of Africa

Sitting in a comfy Cape Town backpacker hostel where I’d pitched my tent for the week, I began to feel nostalgic for places now many miles in the rear view mirror. Continue Reading →

Rhinos in the Bush, Skeletons on the Coast

I rode away from the Angola desert with my brain still full of memories of racing down watery walls above desert sandbars. Continue Reading →

Chasing Down Rumors in Angola

During the last few years, there have been murmurs of endless barreling lefthanders somewhere in Angola. Two weeks before I’d left California in September 2013, some video footage surfaced on the internet that would seem put to rest any doubt that there are world class waves to be found somewhere out there in the desert. Continue Reading →

Get Moving

Suffering a bout of bromantic nostalgia after some time on the road..

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Shelter in the Congo

I took a wrong turn getting back to the main road in Gabon and ended up riding in seven hours to cover what should have taken five by inadvertently back-tracking north.

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Surfing Hippos and Other Equatorial Legends

In 2004 National Geographic ran a story about a national park in Gabon with what they called ‘surfing hippos’ that make their way right into the surf zone from the adjacent estuary.  I’m not sure there’s a better way to enliven the imagination of an adventurer in Africa. Continue Reading →

Help Appears in Cameroon

I crossed the border into Cameroon at dark after 11 hours ride from Abuja and collapsed in an oven-like flea infested room.  Continue Reading →

Spending It All in Abuja

As I sat at the Nigerian police station I wondered how in the world I’d managed to land myself in such a tight spot and when I would finally be able to go to sleep. Continue Reading →

Straight Up Togo

Arrival in Lome, Togo landed me back into a maelstrom of motorbikes on the road. Continue Reading →

The Gold Coast of Ghana

After I’d finished sliding around in the mud near the Ghana border, I looked up to see oddly familiar wires overhead running parallel to the roadway. Continue Reading →

Holding Steady on the Ivory Coast

One of the great sources of trepidation I’d had since setting off on this trip now loomed 200 feet ahead of me on the highway.  There wasn’t a lot of time to think about what to do, so I set my gaze dead ahead, slowly opened the throttle, and hoped for the best.
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Going Left in Liberia

After more than a month, I finally managed to extricate myself from the Freetown peninsula.  The welcoming nature of the surfers, my beautiful camp spot on Bureh beach, the buzz of new beginnings in Freetown, and the ever-present hopeful spirit of the people made it a good place to get stuck.  Sometimes a long journey just feels looking for one place after another to get stuck. Places that fill in the gaps for a while that widen with every mile on the road. Continue Reading →

Some Kids in Sierra Leone Need Our Help

In a remote mountain village called Kakonso, I got a bit caught up in the moment and promised some really cute kids that I would have a well built for the school in their village, where they currently have no access to clean water.

Update as of 6/9/2014 : Kakonso Village now has clean water to drink
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Schools for Sweet Salone

While surfing at Bureh Beach on the south end of the Freetown Peninsula  I met a Spaniard named Coco who is building schools in the remote Wara Wara mountains of Sierra Leone. Continue Reading →

Freetown Sliders

Some of the most stoked surfers I’ve ever met are here at Bureh beach at the south end of Sierra Leone’s Freetown peninsula. They have the bare minimum needed to surf, yet their enthusiasm for sliding on waves is undaunted and they are in the water anytime a ridable wave presents itself.  Continue Reading →

Back to the Beach

Upon arrival in Sierra Leone we found a tiny little island paradise owned by a London expat named Jason who generously allowed me to pitch my tent on the sand for a few days free of charge. Continue Reading →

Guinea Two Times

Riding across the Guineas served up a bit more than I had anticipated. Continue Reading →

Escape from Dakar

It’s a strange feeling when a foreign capital like Dakar begins to offer the comfort of familiarity. Continue Reading →

Myth of the Lonely Wanderer

When people ask me the standard round of questions of where I’ve been and where I’m going and whether I’m alone, I always have a hard time saying yes to the last question. Continue Reading →

The Call of Senegal

If I laid on my back and turned my foot just so, I could get enough light from the nearby fluorescent lamp to dig the biggest urchin spines out of the ball of my left foot.   Continue Reading →

No Man’s Land

The stretch of terrain designated as ‘no man’s land’ began to seem a bit more ominous as shadows grew long in the late afternoon.  Continue Reading →

Into the Sahara

The further south we rode, the greater power the desert seemed to have to undo what had been done to hold it at bay.  Continue Reading →

Sahara Sessions

As I hummed along northward on the highway with the sun overhead just like I had many days before, a glance downward and to the left instantly sent a shot of panic through me. Continue Reading →

Familiar Waters

The last time  I stood staring at the waves spilling over reefs below me was in December of 2001 when we made our camp here for two weeks. Continue Reading →

A Score at Safi

As a traveling surfer you’re always at the mercy of the ocean’s rhythms for the success of your mission.  Continue Reading →

Ride the Kasbah

The temperature climbed steadily as we motored downward into the town of Ouarzazate, which serves as a gateway for expeditions to the Sahara desert. Crossing the Atlas Mountains had taken far longer than either Jonathan or I had anticipated and we were now tired from two long days of riding. Continue Reading →

Atlas Red

My newly acquired riding partner, Jonathan, was talking to a stately looking man that had flagged us down on a dusty moonlit mountain road and I was still sitting on my bike and beginning to get annoyed. Continue Reading →

The Casablanca Company

The first rule of riding in Africa is that you don’t ride at night. Dead animals on the road, live animals on the road, gigantic pot holes, and invisible people walking along the side all become substantially more hazardous after dark. These were the things I thought about as we hurtled through the darkness from Tangier towards Rabat. Continue Reading →

Spanish Salvation

When you’re a novice motorcycle mechanic there is this subdued feeling of mild panic that happens when you push the magic button and your bike won’t fire up. Continue Reading →

A Bumpy Start

A few eyes turn your way when sprinting at top speed through an airport. The effect is compounded when the terminal track star is wearing giant motorcycle boots and a white power-ranger-esque armored jacket. Continue Reading →

“I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. Continue Reading →

Dyna Rae All Dressed Up

In 4 days I fly to London, collect my motorbike, and point her south towards Africa. During the month before I loaded her onto the boat, I fussed neurotically about every mechanical detail, piece of gear, tool, and spare bolt that I might send her off with. Continue Reading →

Circle the West

Good friends I’d grown up with had all finally gotten dual sport bikes and everyone was going to be in California this summer, so it was time for a big ride. Continue Reading →

Taming Tubby Thumpers

My baja excursion helped me learn how little I knew about how to ride a motorcycle in the dirt. Some practice was in order before heading off into a remote desert again on my own and the Central California OHV parks provided an excellent place to work on climbing hills, railing turns, and getting our tubby thumpers off the ground a bit.

Rolling in the Baja Mud

Sitting in the middle of what was essentially a giant mud puddle halfway down the Baja peninsula I was utterly exhausted, and now quite muddy. This was my second day riding in Baja and my crash course in off-road riding was beginning to take a toll on my morale. Every time I’d crashed this day I’d cursed myself for not being more careful. I was in the middle of the desert, I hadn’t seen a soul in a day and a half, and I had never ridden a motorcycle in the dirt, let alone one fully loaded down with gear, tools, water, and extra gas. Continue Reading →

Baja Bound

Funny how some things you just don’t think all the way through until enthusiasm pushes you to a place where it’s tough to turn back. I was in my driveway, trying to figure out how I might lash 4 days worth of water to my bike with everything else that I’ve got attached. In a week I would be riding into the baja desert alone and I only just then started thinking about such basic practicalities. Continue Reading →

Big Sur from the Top

Big Sur is one of the most picturesque stretches of the California coast with rugged craggy points flanked by the Santa Lucia Mountains that jump straight up from the coast to a height of over 5000 feet only 3 miles from the ocean. Continue Reading →

Finding the Lost Coast

In the fall of 2009, I walked with a group of friends along California’s Lost Coast with boards strapped to our backpacks that were full of food and gear to sustain us for 4 days.  As usual, things didn’t go according the plan. Continue Reading →

A Silly Idea

Buy a motorcycle, strap a surfboard to it, ride across a continent looking for waves.  Sounds a bit nuts, I know.  It gets bugs on my board.

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