Friday, 12 April 2013

Look who I met today on his way to Alaska

I put two and two together and made four. Things don’t often work out as easy as this.

I knew that Dom Chang was riding his Ural rig from Denver to Alaska and I just happened to be in Seattle. I had been reading on his blog, Redleg’s Rides, about his trip planning and his first days on the road. Wondering if our paths might cross, I contacted Dom and yes, we would be in the same place at the same time.

We met for lunch today and Dom told me about his trip, his plans, his motorcycle and it was great to spend just a couple of hours together chatting about, well, motorcycling mainly, with a touch of male life-change thrown in.

I met Dom a couple of years ago when on my own long ride in the USA and he and his lovely wife Martha put me up in their home near Denver. Apparently, my own ride sparked something in Dom, and when the time came for a change in his job, Dom decided to do a long motorcycle trip, fully supported (and maybe even suggested) by Martha.

Now ten days into his trip, Dom has relaxed and started to “look at the scenery”. From my own experience, I know that during the first few days of such a trip, your mind is buzzing with routes, plans, calculations, concerns and all sorts of other stuff that clogs the mind. Dom confirmed this was the same with him but now the fog was beginning to disperse and he was able to really start to enjoy the ride. I guess a few mechanical problems with his Russian-built Ural hadn’t helped. Those issues are now all sorted and Dom has the remainder of circa 16,000 miles to look forward to.

I like Dom. I wish I was going with him.

Have a great trip my friend. I will read your blog and follow your journey.


WooleyBugger said...

maybe he'll head this way to North Carolina and we can have a visit.

Martha said...

It is indeed yet another sign that the timing for this adventure is right now! Oh no need to be humble, Mr. France, your adventure was indeed a major factor in creating that initial spark of taking the long distance adventure and I too will take credit for being a big nagging, pushy wife and encouraging him take on this challenge and step away from the routine of his life. I know he was pretty excited to have his path cross yours yet again. Now lets just hope he doesn't become bear bait!

VStar Lady said...

Martha, please tell him to keep singing ... they told me the bears didn't like being surprised so if you sang, they'd hear you coming and avoid you (if he sings like me, it'll work) and for God's sake, tell him not to use the bacon after shave!

And Gary, I'm impressed by Dom as well. What fun to have crossed paths.

bob skoot said...


I think it's great that you were along Dom's route and you managed to get together. One thing I have found about blogging is the people you meet along the way, and also the others whom you wished you could meet "one day".

Often our time is finite and there is not the time (nor funds) to really do what we dream about, and so mostly dreams become unfulfilled.

I have experienced two bear encounters and as Karen said, "Sing". I actually started talking to myself really loud so I could scare the bears away. If they know you are there they will go the other way. Clapping your hands works too. As you get farther North you can buy Bear Bells

Martha's a keeper for encouraging Dom to take this trip

Riding the Wet Coast

Charlie6 said...

Gary, it was such a pleasure and happy happenstance for our paths to cross as they did! It was indeed a great time today....

I want you to consider, if you run out tomorrow, and buy an F800GS, you could easily catch up with me in a couple of days....I'm just saying.



Trobairitz said...

Hooray - more bloggers meeting up. Always a good thing.

You've inspired Dom's trip, but will this in turn inspire you to do another epic adventure?

mq01 said...

yay! its truly been fantastic to watch and share all the fabulous changes happening (is it really mid life crisis? or just a change in direction to be happy?). all we have to do is listen to our heart... and then act on it... yay!

SonjaM said...

Who wouldn't want to tag along on a journey like this... Great, you guys could meet up.

Gary France said...

Wooley – I rather think his route is pretty close to north – south.

Martha – You are a darling. Most riders would love to have a wife who encourages them to go long-distance riding. No chance of Dom becoming bear bait, as the color of his bike will scare them away.

VStar Lady – Bacon aftershave? Really? It was great fun that our paths crossed, a coincidence that we discovered just a day or so before it happened.

Bob – I suspect clapping your hands together is not a good idea, while riding! Meeting up with other bloggers is terrific fun.

Gary France said...

Dom – That is very tempting……

Trobairitz – I have to say, I am thinking more and more about another long ride….

mq01 – I suspect it a little of each. It is good to take stock every now and then to see if your life is heading in the right direction. I found myself doing it in earlier years, so I am not sure it is just a mid-life thing. I have found that listening to your heart is for short-term decisions. Longer-term stuff comes from my head. Or is that just a difference between mars and venus?

Sonja – I’d love to tag along. I hope you got to see Dom, as he must have been passing close by you.

SonjaM said...

Gary, mission accomplished. Got to meet with Dom ;-)

Tina Walker said...

Sounds like an awesome ride. I know my hubs Steve rode to Alaska from So. Cal. (Gary you met Steve in So. Cal. and rode the Ortega's with him.) It was that trip he took that inspired us to take our Road Pickle Trip we're on now. 6 months around America, no destinations, no schedule, no plan, just ride. We're in Tucson, AZ now. Don't know where we're going next. But one day, I want to ride to Alaska!!

Gary France said...

Sonja – So pleased you met up with Dom on his way to Alaska.

Tina – I am following your Road Pickle trip and it seems the two of your are having quite an experience!