Tau, Sylvia and myself took a great Sunday ride out into the Outeniqua Mountains yesterday and over the Montague Pass. It's always amazing how many people stop you to take photos along the way...
Below are a few quotes that I personally hold dear... some of them are fun to read and thought provoking... others from authors like Richard Bach (Jonathon Livingston Seagull, A Bridge Across Forever & Illusions), Eckart Tolle (The Power of Now & A New Earth), Henry David Thoreau (Walden), Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist), Joseph Campbell (The Hero with Thousand Faces), Robert Bly (Iron John), among many others.... have literally shaped my life.
Everyone needs a good mentor, these books and the personalities behind them became mine... all that was left for me to do was to go out into the world, take a few risks and make as many mistakes as I needed to learn their lessons. These are lessons I continue to learn today...
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions." - Dalai Lama
"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." - Carl Jung
"On any given day, in any given moment, something could happen that opens up for you an entirely new path. Be still, be alert, be ready..." - Marianne Williamson
“Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it.” - Hardy D Jackson
"I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive." - Joseph Campbell
"We all have two choices: We can make a living or we can design a life." - Jim Rohn
"No matter how qualified or deserving we are, we will never reach a better life until we can imagine it for ourselves and allow ourselves to have it."- Richard Bach
"If you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be." - Joseph Campbell
"I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a
velvet cushion." - Henry David Thoreau
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein
“What's the world's greatest lie?... It's this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what's happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.” - Paulo
"Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: If you´re alive... it isn't." - Richard Bach
"It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living." - Eckhart
"I may not agree with you, but I will defend to the death your right to make an ass of yourself." - Oscar Wilde
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."- Henry David Thoreau
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” - May Sarton
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive... and
then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman
"When you set yourself on fire, people love to come and see you burn.” - John Wesley
Sylvia, Tau and myself went out for a few rides this week and this is our first video... Enjoy! :-)
I'm a safari guide by chosen trade, not an engineer or welder or craftsman. I thought to myself, "I know there is nobody manufacturing sidecars in South Africa and I know how expensive it is to import one from overseas... but really... can it be that difficult to manufacture one locally for our conditions and is the exorbitant price they charge for one imported from overseas really justified?" With this in mind I took myself off to the local hardware store to buy some wood and screws and started to build the template in my garage for what would be, for me, the perfect camping/dualsport sidecar body.
Once I had my template I headed off into the nearest 'big' town of Knysna where I drove around until I found a local boat builder to make me the basic shape in aluminium. When I had this I then began the fun bit of adding all the cool fittings, racks and accessories I had envisaged... after spending 2 months on the road with Sylvia and Tau I had a pretty good idea of what it was I wanted.
With my prototype body completed, then began the really difficult (and expensive) part of finding the right engineering outfit to help me design all the mounts, fittings, chassis and suspension to fit my sidecar to a new BMW 1200 GS Adventure I had just bought. I found an engineering firm based in Knysna to help me with the mounts I had envisaged and after much test riding and changes... at last... she is now ready! After months of intensive designing, engineering and test riding I eventually have my dream sidecar parked in my garage, I am still improving the ride all the time with small changes but I am now able to produce these for sale. I must say I am extremely proud of the fact that this dualsport sidecar is 100% locally manufactured.
This sidecar rides beautifully on my new bike, the BMW 1200 GS has SO much more power than I had on my old 1150 and the suspension is incredible! My new rig will fit on any model of BMW 1200 GS from 2006 - 2012 and because they are still so popular and affordable these days, by request I will also be making up the mounts to fit the older BMW 1150 GS models. Tau really loves all the space she now has. :-)
Sad day yesterday... I sold Rafiki.
For a long time now I have been seriously toying with the idea of fitting my new offroad/dualsport sidecar onto the BMW 1200 GS Adventure and eventually I've decided to do it! The most popular dualsport touring bike in the world, wherever we travelled I'm continually asked if one can fit one of these sidecars to this bike and now... in a few weeks the answer is YES.
Newer, a bit more power, a bit stronger suspension but other than this I cannot really see this bike being vastly superior to the BMW 1150 GSA, but I'm really looking forward to testing it out. Over 10 000km of rough dirt road riding fully loaded with camping equipment, Sylvia, Tau and myself, Rafiki handled everything I put him through and not one problem....he certainly will be a hard act to follow.
The movie below is short collection of video clips and photo we have gathered of our adventures together over the past year... I'm sure Rafiki will give his new owner as much joy and pleasure as he gave us.
Well I'd been meaning to do this for a while... I took the plunge and bought a new GoPro Hero 3 action camera. I get many people asking me what it feels like to ride a sidecar and also how Tau enjoys it so I thought this was really the best way to show this. It's a lot of fun filming while we're riding and the mind boggles with creative ideas for future rides.
The film below is our first project, Tau and I took an afternoon ride and put this together. Enjoy!
The day I arrived back from Victoria Falls and Chobe I met Sylvia at George airport, she handed over Tau... and jetted off to Austria to work in a lodge in the Alps for 4 months, a decision we both made together but both Tau and I sorely miss her, but she'll be back in the summer...
Riding solo up to the Kalahari and into the mountains here is a fantastic experience, I get to fly around corners and really open Rafiki up and push him to his limits... Fun as this is though, it is really not comparible to riding with Tau and Sylvia.
"Happiness is only real when shared" wrote McCandless in his last days in 'Into the Wild' and I think he was right, after all... this is why I built and learned to ride a sidecar, I wanted to share the joy of riding with those closest to me.
Just returned from another tour with University of Georgia USA... this time for two nights in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe followed my another two nights in magical Chobe National Park in Botswana. Always one of my favourite short safari tours, a real 'injection' of Africa, the professors and their wives have become good friends over the years and the young groups of 20 or more students are always fun to work with.
After 8000km trouble free riding I decided to take 'Rafiki' off the road today to do some maintenance... we decided to take a last 100km afternoon ride exploring the backroads of Sedgefield where we live. Such a beautiful place!
Beautiful day here in Sedgefield so decided to go for a ride out into the mountains and forests once again. The trails and tracks and wilderness forestry roads are endless...