Finishing Up

by Zach

After re-entering the EU from Morocco, the final few days of the trip were relatively uneventful.  From Algeciras in southern Spain, I made my way to Amsterdam via Madrid, Geneva, and Paris.  In Amsterdam, Mozes hopped back on the bike for the final leg.  We drove southwest to the Channel Tunnel and got on the…



Morocco

by Zach

Departing from Barcelona without a passenger for the first time in three weeks felt odd–somewhat liberating, but also somewhat lonelier.  I’d gotten accustomed to the constant conversation that Mozes provided.  Regardless, as a solo rider, I could cover more distance, riding nearly 1300km in a day down to Almeria in the south of Spain.  There,…



The Mediterranean

by Zach

The ride from Vienna to Venice proved uneventful, and obviously, Venice is a tourist destination for a reason.  Even I’m not immune to some cliches. Two days of almost strictly generic tourism was enough, so our next destination was Ischia–a small island off the coast of Naples.  Getting there as two non-italian speakers on a…



Eastern Europe

by Zach

The days following our departure from Istanbul was a whirlwind.  The first day, we rode to Bucharest (Romania), the next, to Thessaloniki (Greece), and on the third day to Montenegro. Each Balkan country has its own customs procedures, and none of them seemed to accept my standard green card insurance, making the border crossings somewhat tiresome.…



Onward to Turkey

by Zach

After the previous day’s incredibly hard ride, I fell right to sleep after arriving in Tbilisi. Mozes met me the next morning and we spent the day outside of Gori (Lenin’s Birthplace) in an ancient cave town. All in all, our 150km test ride was successful, and we resolved to leave Tbilisi the following day…



The Caucasus

by Zach

Immediately after hearing that the Georgian border would be closed for a significant period of time, I researched alternative options and ultimately concluded that Azerbaijan was the best way to proceed. I applied for the visa through a travel agency, and received a prompt response–yes, it was possible to obtain the visa quickly, but given…



Russia

by Zach

After writing my last post from the hotel in Omsk, I packed up my stuff and prepared to depart for Chelyabinsk.  My plans took a drastic turn when I saw two guys wearing Harley Davidson vests in the lobby.  We looked at each other silently for a minute before they approached.  “Are you the biker…



Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan

by Zach

On June 6th, it was time to leave China.  Along with my guide (a legal requirement for foreigners operating motor vehicles in the border region), I headed to the Kashgar Customs office to pick up my customs report.  After the obscenely large packet of papers had been stamped, checked, and checked again, we headed off…



Kashgar and The Karakoram

by Zach

From Aksu, Little Deng and I made our way to Kashgar. In comparison to Aksu, which wholly embodies the generic Chinese city, Kashgar still hasn’t entirely succumbed to the Han Chinese methods of urban planning. I felt instantly relieved–Kasghar is possibly the most laid back city in China, and it has its own extremely rich…



The Road to Kashgar

by Zach

It was really shaping up to be a rather uneventful week–nothing particularly of note occurred on the road, but the last three days changed everything. Hours after my previous post, the hotel security guard woke me up. “It’s raining outside. Will you still ride?” I assured him that a little rain didn’t affect much at…



Central China

by Zach

11 months ago, I pulled up to an intersection north of Nanjing and met a man riding a motorcycle as large as mine. We started talking, and I ultimately rode from Nanjing to Dunhuang with him and his friend. Along the way, we became extremely good friends and kept in touch. Obviously, my first stop…



Two Days to Nanjing

by Zach

Because the bike is brand new, it requires a “break-in” period.  Basically, for the first 1,000km, you can’t ride too quickly and the bike requires a maintenance stop somewhere before it can really be ridden long distance.  China has only four or five certified BMW Motorrad shops–all of them in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Nanjing.…



The Bike

by Zach

Even with the right contacts, buying a motorcycle in China is no easy task.  On my previous trip across the country, it took a week to find a store that actually sold the right kind of bike, let alone one that was willing to sell to a foreigner.  I ultimately found a store called “5号机车”…