Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daily Oklahoman Video

Thanks to David Zizzo of the Daily Oklahoman and is photographer, Steve Guch for making this video from the dust of my convoluted words!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Keeping track...

If you would like to follow Team USA and the others through South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland, BMW tells us that information will be posted on these two websites. There should be photos, updates and hopefully videos as well. We are also told that you can vote on your favorite picture.

Your comments on my blog are appreciated. Thanks for watching as we take off on our big adventure!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Meet Team USA

Left: Bill Dragoo...Middle: Shannon Markle...Right: Iain Glynn

Meet Team USA

Team USA leaves for Africa Thursday and I find myself in good company. I have met my teammates only  a few times, but our friendship has come along fast and furious, as things do when a timeline forces the usual inhibitions aside. Iain Glynn, 26, from Seattle, Washington is a master bike handler, large or small. He says it is because his legs are too short to reach the ground, hence he never touches a foot unless he’s ready to get off.  He is a pleasure to follow through the rough, picking good lines and managing clutch, throttle and brake like he was born with a bike beneath him. His calm, calculating mannerism belies his ability to think fast and make good decisions. And he’s a pretty good wrench.
Shannon Markle, 37 from Laramie, Wyoming is our insurance policy. If Iain or I hesitate a moment to head into a tough trail section, up a ravine or take that last foray into a dark single track at the end of a long day, Shannon disappears into the woods bringing all discussion to a rapid halt. And he has the chutzpah to get us to the other side. What Shannon sets his hand and mind to gets done. I have seen him peel a partially loaded F800GS from the side of a 500’ sand dune like he was picking up a bicycle. Shannon reminds me of Chuck Norris, only with a BMW instead of a round house to the jaw.
To date, we have trained together twice as a team. Shannon and I also enjoyed a week long ride together up the OBDR, (Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route), a trail from California to Washington. It was there that I learned of Shannon’s stoic decision making when he swore the trail went where I couldn’t imagine a loaded R1200GS Adventure could possibly go. He pointed the way by slicing a good sized deadfall out of our path with is Stihl folding saw and aiming his machine up the steep, silt covered mountain. An hour and perhaps 300 yards later we smashed our way onto a roadbed that appeared not to have been used in twenty years or more.
Our first ride as three was another week spent on the Mojave Desert, led by Jonathan Beck of Cycle World fame and one of the embedded journalists with the 2008 Trophy team in Tunisia. Jon was our tour guide from the Rawhyde Adventure Ranch north of LA to the perimeter of Death Valley, Prim, Nevada and Big Bear, criss-crossing the desert on power line roads, through Dumont Dunes and chasing one another through twisty mountain passes like squirrels around an oak tree. BMW graciously, if not wisely loaned us new F800’s and a couple of R1200’s to “test,” and test them we did. The 2008 team, Brad Hendry, Jim Stoddard and Jason Adams joined us for the first three days and we simply had a blast finding out what these awesome machines could do.
Our final meeting was last month when Shannon and I flew to Seattle and spent three days on the Olympic Peninsula and in the Cascades up north, riding “skinny bikes,” Huskies and a BMW G450X provided by South Sound BMW. Staying injury free was the theme of the ride and rain made the rocks, roots and ruts of the northwest a fine test of our absorption abilities.
My personal training has consisted of mixed days of running bleachers at Owen Stadium, hitting the gym several  times a week and if you have seen a man dwarfed by the massive motorcycle he is pushing in laps around his yard…that would be me.
I hope you will visit my blog often and read on down…click on the links, videos and peruse the photos. There is much to tell and competing in the BMW GS World Trophy Championship is an opportunity few will ever experience. Keep us  in your prayers as we set off on this big adventure!
Grab a cup of coffee, enjoy this slideshow, then scroll on down.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Rider Profiles...revisited!/album.php?aid=250476&id=262447113466
This is a good place to see who we will be riding with in Africa...our new friends from across the world! Check it out and please feel free to offer comments as you see fit. Looks like a great bunch of guys.

Fashion Faux Pas or a new standard for style?

Team USA has a conundrum. Helmet color...
Our Rally 3 Pro riding suits are the fairly uncommon  black and yellow. What to wear with it? One would think we had bigger fish to fry...and we do, but here's the rub. We weren't sure which suits we would end up with, red, blue and grey or black and yellow. Consequently, we wound up with red, white and blue helmets. Cool helmets for sure, but a bit loud, don't you think? Or not...we may mix and match a bit between us...does it really matter? We leave Thursday for Africa!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Who's Who at the African Zoo!!/album.php?aid=250476&id=262447113466

This is a link to our rider profiles. Take a few minutes to see who our competition is and to read our own rider profiles. Great stuff!


Where's Iain now???

Oh boy, here we go again. We just got word  from Iain that his gear is stuck in customs! We really don't have time for this foolishness. Customs reminds me too much of TSA, of which I am NOT a fan since they stole my little 8" Crescent wrench. Seriously, they wouldn't let me board the airplane with it on my return flight from Seattle! But they DID let me board with two tire irons...longer than the wrench and likely much more lethal. I suppose I could have unbolted a wing or perhaps kicked out a window and tossed it through an can never be to careful, can they? But I digress.

Iain is not only without his gear, but he has an ear infection! That boy can cause more stress than a set of three year old triplets in a Waterford store!

In case you have't seen it before, here's a little piece on our previous hunt for Iain. Where's Iain?