A Surprise Birthday blog for Greg!
Written with love, from your wife!
It’s been almost a year since our trip of a lifetime ended. We went through quite a bit just to make it happen let alone all we dealt with on the trip. But through it all, Greg, the absolute love of my life, worked to make this dream a reality and he definitely succeeded.
For those of you who have been following the blog, (which is probably the few that are actually reading this) Greg was the mastermind behind it all. He started out with the written blog but soon realized he wanted to add more pictures and videos and so the video blogs were formed. From the beginning I was a horrible video blog partner. I sucked at filming while we were riding (mostly because the video camera was heavy on my helmet and it was just another thing I had to worry about!) and taking videos in the places we visited (I was too exhausted to film by the time we got around to sightseeing). And when we were filming the narrative for the videos, I had to sit there and try to remember what happened 2 or 3 weeks ago, with was a task in itself with my horrible memory. I was not comfortable on camera and cringed every time I saw myself on playback. But Greg had a plan for these video blogs and in the end I’m so glad we have them!
And now for his 34th birthday, I decided it was time that I blog about us, our motorcycle adventure and what it was all like from my perspective. So please bear with me and Love, I hope you enjoy this!
Our adventure really started with Greg teaching me how to ride in Liberia. And let me just say, I was not the best student. At first, I loved the IDEA of riding but when it was time to actually sit on the bike and muscle it off the kickstand, my nerves started to get the better of me. I remember how huge and daunting Ghostrider (the name for my little 160cc) felt to me. I had to use all I had to get that thing upright and keep it there when I stopped. Greg was a pretty good teacher, a little bit of a tyrant (he wouldn’t let me get away with only 30 minutes of practice, it had to be AT LEAST an hour), but he did manage to get me going! I progressed from our parking lot to a side street and through it all, of course I complained. There were too many parked cars, there was loose gravel, my hand hurt from gripping the clutch and the classic, “I’m too hot!” The moment I felt a droplet fall from the sky I told him it was going to pour and we needed to leave RIGHT AWAY! But that didn’t work because he made me practice until it was actually pouring and then had to ride home in the rain. Slowly I got better, with Greg’s favorite story of him getting upset with me for not making it out onto a faster moving and more populated side street. He started to walk home, shaming me into following him. And that was how I made it onto my first proper street!
Once we got back to LA and were planning for the trip, I was again a bit of a nightmare. With my new 650cc bike and fast moving freeways, I felt like I was back to the beginning. Greg needed to take it slow with me and let me get used to everything, in my own time. His idea of letting me get used to it was throw me on Topanga Canyon Boulevard, a fast moving, crowded, windy road. After the first handful of turns I pulled to the shoulder and told him this wasn’t going to happen! I think that scare stopped me from getting back on the bike to practice for a few days and Greg’s frustration with my slow progress was becoming more obvious. And I really felt for Greg because here he was, getting ready to do the trip he dreamed of and I can barely make it through the canyons.
We did a few practice trips to the national forests in California and I think I did okay, not excellent but I made it. Sometimes I was just so glad to get off the bike when we finally took a break. The stress of watching the road, handling the bike around the turns and making sure that I didn’t hit anything was enough to keep my heart beating like crazy. But slowly I got more comfortable on Moxie (great name, huh?) and was able to enjoy the places we were riding to. Unfortunately I never felt as though I had the energy to do it all, the riding and the sightseeing. Part of it was the stress of riding and the other challenge was that I probably wasn’t physically fit enough. But I got better as we started to head up to Canada. We traveled through some truly beautiful places and I remember when we were sitting in a diner in a small town in British Columbia talking about moving to one of these places in the future (it’s still a thought - as is our motorcycle tour business!).
So you all know that after we came back from Canada we headed South, through Mexico, Central America, flew the bikes to Columbia and ended in Santiago, Chile. And if you want to know more, watch our videos! But I just wanted to tell you a little bit about my lovely husband.
Greg was an amazing partner on the trip. He would carry my huge 90L duffel to and from the hotel rooms and hoist it up to the back of my bike every day. He always made sure that I was comfortable on the roads that we chose - like in Baja when he said I could put my bike in the back of a truck if I was finished trying to make my way on the dirt road after numerous falls. He helped me practice my Spanish, when I let him. He always undid the knots in my fishing line when I inevitably got it all tangled. He celebrated every time I was able to do something I wasn't able to do before (like riding twisties faster, overtaking big trucks, handling dirt roads). And he really was my biggest fan throughout it all.
I am so lucky to be Greg's partner. He has shown me so many new things and continues to amaze me with his insight, his patience and his love for me. I am so proud to be his wife and I look forward to all that is left to come!
I love you very much.
Happy Birthday Love.