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I left Paris at lunch time for the 360 miles to go to Geneva. It rained during 250 miles and i had a little snow toward the end. With my full face helmet, my boots and well dressed, i felt like being in a car!!!
I arrived in Geneva at 7:00 pm. GIorgio was waiting for me with La Gunter and Hassan. Today is Giorgio 60's birthday. We had a family dinner with Nana, Laetitia, Sabrina, Louis and BA at the Cercle Italian.
It feels good to be reunited with GIorgio and his family and friends.




There were no problem when I pickup the sidecar at Lucie's house. It started at the first request. Driving the 60 miles to Paris were so weird. I was re-learning everyting. I had to look at all my doing with my hands and with my feet!
The french retirement is done and I have a good news and a bad news:
- the bad news is that it is slightly less than i was expected $420/month
- the good news is that there I have a small private retirement plan that I did not really know about. I have open the request and have an appointment on January 28 to finilise my case. I will let you know how much it will be.
But I think that my total retirement (USA + France) so far with the amount of $1354/month is outsanding.
The visit to the doctor was funny, after I explain him my case he ask me "What do you do in life" "I explain him briefly my Sidecar-ing the world" amazingly, he jump out of his chair saying "I know you, I saw an article in a Motorcycle magasine!!!". It was really funny. He think I have a gastric problem causing my throught discomfort. I have pills to take for 2 months.
Went to the Automobile Club de France for the "Carnet de Passage de Douane" custom document. It is confirmed that I don't need it to go to Mongolia.
Tomorrow, I go to Giorgio's at Geneva to do a little mechanic.




I came to New York City wednesday with Lorraine. We went to Gallager (best Steak house in New York), went to see the Brodway show Gipsy with the extraordinary Patti Lupone. We went to see the great movie "Gran Torino" with Cleant Eastwood (not his best but a good movie). I met Jean Louis and we went to the airport together. It reminded me when I took him to the airport in 2000 when he was going to South America with his Harley Davidson sidecar for 6 mounths. We will ride again together, it's just a matter of time.
I flew to Paris this afternoon. I went directly to my daughter's house Lucie (1 hour away from Paris), Nono is adorable. I bring back all my spare winter clothes from New York. It feels good to see my sidecar.
I am spending the weekend with Lucie, Pascal and Nono. Monday I have a meeting with Adelaide to sign the final agreement for my French retirement and a doctor appointment for my glottis that is still bothering me since my cold last month.




My resolutions for 2009:

- Keep "Sidecar-ing the wolrld"
- Ride the Gobi desert in Mongolia
- Not be stressed, when the bike is runnnig great, about what could break next
- Not eat 8 eggs if I have a dozen with me, but eat the 12 of them!
- Work better my complex camera
- Publish more video on my web site
- Not visit the "Russian Gulag" as a client
- Answer all my emails.




Happy New Year everybody
I am looking forward to meeting with you
somwhere on the road one of these days of 2009!




We sure had a lovely Christmas with a lot of fun in New York. You can see some of it on the video (her first) that Jessica put together tonight with the new camera that Santa Claus gave her.




So the bike is almost ready, my Russian visa on it's way, I should be ready to go soon. But don't be mistaken, it's not like if I know what I'm doing. I still have not decided yet if I go by Urkraine, Turkey or Lithuania. I have no idea how much time it will take to get anywhere, and this is what i like. No route, no schedule, no commitment. A friend of mine sent me a quote from Seneca, a philosopher i never heard of "There is no favorable wind for the one who does not know where he is going!". For me what ever wind is blowing is my favorite!"




My good friend David from New York wrote me "You better get moving or you may be fined for loitering!" That may be true but I told him that my "Ten Years on the Road!" is morphing to "Sidecar-ing the World Horizontally & Vertically!". In that motto, there is no more time limitation and after all I am on "The Timeless Ride"




I did pretty good at updating my web site since I arrived in New York but that's all I did and I still have to do one more story as well as a recap on the Ural preparation.
Starting today I will:
- Answer 30 emails a day starting on september 1
- Learn Russian one hour per day
- Work one topic per day on my Nikon camera
It snowed again, a perfect weather for relaxing at home.

Also, yesterday, I received in Paris the original document of the
Formal Invitation for 1 year in Russia. Shalimar is going to the
Russian Ambassy to get the visa on my French passeport.




Here is mty daily routine:
1 - I take care of my sour throught
2 - I do a story in English and French that I put online.
3 - I relax.




It snowed yesterday. Everything is white and the temperature was 12ºF this morning, we are getting there.
After sleeping most of the first 48hours, i am resurfacing slowly. As i commited to, I will have my first story online before I go to sleep tonight.




8:00pm: I slept 16 of the last 24 hours. It feels good, I am ready for a good night sleep!




After one night in Manhattan that I spend with Jean Louis, I took the train to Rochester where i just arrived. Milou jumped all ove the place when she saw me but she prefer Kobi the neighborhood dog, they are spectacular the way they play together. Lorraine gave me a lentil soup in bed and I took an other theraflu. I am going to sleep.



My carb problem is following me!

As I was riding, I could feel that the motor was not running smoothly.
It was making weird breathing noise. I could feel that there were not enough air coming on the left carb, and consequently, there were too much gaz, the carburator was drawning. I stopped at a gaz station to pee and as I went back on the road, it was running well again... for a few miles only. I could envision the air wave in the gerberit tube too much distance between the air filter and the carb. I stopped again, blew in the carb and get some king of grease silicone on my paper towel. As I lean in the curves it seems to be helping but for a brief moment only. What was that noise flapping, would it be the membrane that I did not put back correctly? It is running too rich, not enough air. What would Giorgio or Daniel do if they were there?
I wake up sweating in the airplane taking me from Paris to New York. I realize that in my nightmare, i transposed the flue I have since a couple of days to the carb of the sidecar. My noise was running, the air not going thrhough, the flap flap was me snoring...
This problem is easy to fix, all I need is a Theraflu, we are landing at JFK in an hour.




Basically I am waiting for my Russian visa. I received the formal invitaiton (1 year multiple entry) by email but I need the original to apply for my visa. I have the HIV test (negatif) and the international insurance. So being so close from christmas, i decided that while my visa is in process, I will go to New York spend the holidays with my beloved Lorraine, and Jessica will came to visit us for a week. As I am at CDG airport waiting for my plane, I have a great program while Lorraine will write her curriculum:
- Update my web site
- Answer my emails since sept 1
- Learn Russian one hour per day
- Read the 2 books i bought about movie editing
- Go back for one more round on my Nikon book.




Yesterday afternoon, we went on a sidecar ride with Lucie and Nono. It was cold, I lost my gloves (to nono) but we had fun. We stopped on a parking lot to practice some wheelies to nono's satisfaction. This morning, I took the train early for my appointment at the French retirement office. It is a succes, I will receive about $400 in addition to the $883 that i am already receiving from the USA. A total of $1300/month, OUTSTANDING!!!  



The doctor gave me a shot in the hand. We have to wait 2 to 3 weeks to see if it works, if not I will need a small surgery. Visit at the social security's office, I am in order. Then French retirement, I was still missing a couple of paper that I have now with me, my next appointment with them is wednesday at 9:30am. I received an email with the formal invitation for the Russian visa (1 year multiple entry). As soon as I will have the original by mail, i will be able to apply for the visa. I am at Lucie's house. We went for a sidecar ride with Nono and Lucie, it went well, nono likes it.  



Yesterday at the first day of my Ural mechanic trainig, we found out that the head gasket was reversed closing the hole for the return of the oil coming from the head. That could have create problem and was easely fix. Today we are going to look at my carburator problem.
11h30pm: Daniel finess my carb problem all day long and after half a dozen test road, by 5 pm he told me "Hubert, this is as good as it is going to be!"
I left Clermont Ferrand at 6pm to ride the 275 miles to go to paris. The motor found his rythme at 60/65 mph. I made 2 quick stop for gaz, it rained half of the time, my equipement bring me dry at my sister house in paris by 10:30pm. It was pure pleasure. I love my Ural, the riding position is exceptionel, the windshield extremely efficient...
Tomorrow morning I go visit the doctor for my finger which need a little surgery.



I left geneve by 1 pm after posting the rims for philippe (you will have them tuesday (la poste # 99.00.120026.04544744). Very quickly, I was unhappy with my carbs until the carbs become unhappy with me!!! I stopped may be 10 times before clermont ferrant. I put back the 2 whasher on the needle, the rubber shoe was not holding, and the rubber holding the carb on the cylinder broke. I was at the camping by 9 or 10 pm.... they werer all there having dinner. Dan told me the solution for my carb problem "Mikuni" unlike Dellorto, they have on perfect for the Ural. Direct action, no menbrane, simple.




1:00am: At 10pm last night, we completed all the work that we schedule to do for the last 3 months. I was an extraordinary experience for me, sharing plenty of quality time with Giorgio going with him at his work as a small plumbing company, visiting his friends, many of the since the 70's when he started motorcycling by picking up old motorcycle at the dumpster and fixing them, then started his life as a sidecar man. The skill of these people is amazing to me, they are true artisan in the noble sense of the term and for tGIorgio, nothing scare him, everything is possible if we think that we need it.
in a few hours, i will hit the road to Clermont Ferrant. I will go slowly and stop many times to check the sidecar, we did not test ride it enough, so i expect some surprises showing up.
Thank you so much Giorgio (that I know since 1981 in a sidecar cross race in France) all his friends who are so close to each other and to Marcel Pagnol for excellent time I had the last 3 months.
I stil have to pack before leaving in the morning but I feel extremely happy!!!




A lot is done but i am still inside giorgio's shop putting the sidecar back together. It means that I did not ride enought to debug it. Anyway, i like a lot what we did overall for the choice of use and the quality of the making. Monday I told Giorgio no dinner outside this week because we have to finish the sidecar "OK, but tomorrow we have a dinner at with Dan and Nadia (Dan was his first monkey in sidecar cross in the 70's). Yesterday Giorgio was embarrassed and told me "tonight we have the fondu that Claude promise us since the last 4 years, we cannot refuse!". It was great but I did not prepare my packing and that is always stressful and complicated and tonight we have a BBQ at the shop with "Pagnol's friends"!!!




6:45am: Yesterday was a success for my electrical work, after procrastinating for a few weeks, I did it by myself and I think that the quality of that work should stay for long. Giorgio is finishing the shoe protection under the motor and the grid proctection in front of the high/low beam. The air filter is painted, 1 gas cable is done, i need a spare and 2 others to go to the split.




This is my list to do before i leave for Clermont Ferrand Friday morning:
- Redo gas cable with spare
- Fix shoe protection under the motor.
- Weld and fix higlight protection
- Connect voltmeter, high/low beam sidecar, heated grip, license light.
- Paint air filter
I feel a little on the edge!!!




Very constructive day. I removed the 2 washer on the needle of the carb and installed the 130 jets. The road test shows that it was excellent, smooth, no hole no problem. We fixed a few loose hands here and there and i started the electric because Dan could not came. We made progress and i know for sure that the sidecar will be ready enough for friday to go to Clermont Ferrand.




It rained the whole day. I went for Giorgio this morning then I collected a few loose items - 130 jets that Daniel send to Pierrot for me (in france) - we had lunch with Carlos and he will paint the air filter white - I found the rubber plug and whasher - the 90º tube in silicone to pick up fresh air on my desert style air filter - the 4x21W blinker relay that I will use for warning when stopped - the 4 attached to fix the allumium shoe under the motor and I completed the fixation of the tool box.
I am at the corner of the fork, next friday, I go to Daniel's mechanic 2 days training near clermont ferrant. Sunday night, i will drive to Paris overnight to see a doctor for my right annulaire that need a little surgery...




I did not ride the bike today, I went this morning with Giorgio visit his clients and workers and this afternoon, I installed my "Pellican" waterproof toolbox on the rear fender. Tonight is dinner at Claude's house.




The road test was positive, we are on the right track. I could not test without the air filter to compare because of the rain but we are progressing quite well.
At the end of the day, I was able to road test without the air filter. There is no difference, the engine sucks greedily with or without the air filter.




My Apple MacBook had a little crack on the keyboard and the charging wire was giving up! I took an appointment at the "Apple Genius Bar of Geneva" this morning at 10:20am. I just pick it up with a new keyboard and a new charger... no charge. I love Apple.
On the Ural side, it was a big day also. Kekes came at lunch time, he listen to the motor and say you have a carburator problem. In fact because i change the exaust (for a R100GS) and remove the cataliser, I am running too poor. I need bigger jet. Daniel from Clermont Ferant is sending them to me. Louis put a couple of washer to elevate the needle and be richer. We also synchronise the carb and it runs much better.
Tomorrow morning, i will do an other road test.




We test ride the sidecar this morning. Until we have a stroboscopic lamp, there is not way to know why this motor run so bad!!! We tried with and without our desert style air filter, it was the same problem. It still felt good to be on the road... even for 1 mile.




Yesterday, I get the rear shaft and the wheels with the new aluminium rims. The bike is complete, we were able to start it last night, great feeling. We have a lot of finishing to do all over, but it's all there. We had a dinner many friends who helped us one way or the other on my project. It was quite unanimous "your air filter is not going to work!". We are finishing it as we design it and will do extensive testing before we take a decision.




The motor is in with the gearbox. Kekes still has the rear drive. We started the electric with Daniel on Saturday but we are far from being finished. It's going slow but it's going well.




Kekes just finished the gearbox. I bring it back at Giorgio's shop. From now on I put back together the sidecar, no more dismounting.




I found the correct rims in Switzerland. The "Morad" rims are alluminium fit for sidecar cross. Kekes has been busy but he is back working on the gearbox and the final drive. Daniel will came this saturday to do the electrical work with me. The air filter (desert style) is in place and fit quite well.




Kekes opened the gearbox and the rear drive; We are searching for all the bearing and shaft seals needed to replace them with good quality conponent. The rims that Daniel gave me did not mount because the orientation of the spoke were reversed. I am looking for an alternative solution. I like the way the preparation is going on my sidecar. I am surprised by the number of people who are telling me "Why change something if it did not brake?". The better the preparation, the better I will do on the road. I spend all my days with GIorgio having a lot of fun...
My one year visa for Russia is in progress, thanks to Marina and Madina from Ural who gave me the required Russian invitation.




Damien had just the time to put back the engine together before he went for his 2 weeks vacations in Maroco. Kekes will do the gearbox and the final drive. We found how to fix the new rear blinker (oversized for security purpose when used as warning). We used a piece of Gerberit that is used usually to connect the rest room and it works percfectly. We received the flexible hose to connect the air filter that we are going to do today.




The rims I bring back had the wrong orientation. I send them back yesterday and I am waiting to receive the corrected rims.
During that time, Damien (Louis' mecano) took apart the motor. Gilbert installed the 10/14mm insterts for the studs on the cankcase. Kekes checked the crankshaft and yesterday, Damien started to put the motor back together with new bearing.
Madina from Ural is following up on my 1 year visa for Russia.
i am doing pretty good.




The ride to Clermont Ferant and back to Geneva was in fact 550 miles. I left at 8:30 am yesterday morning and I was back in Geneva at 9pm, just on time to eat a pizza with Giorgio, Nana and Louis. I spend a few hours with Daniel, selecting more parts to improve the reliability of the sidecar. Daniel is a character but he also has a huge heart, thank you for your generosity and support. I was impressed also by the set up of his shop, it's great to see him doing well. Giorgio goldwind sidecar cruised at 75 mph. On my way back the position light fuse blew at Lyon at 7pm. I pulled the brake light switch to stay on the road. I bring back the rims to replace here with at Louis' shop.




Tomorrow, I go to Clermont Ferrant, (250 mies) France to bring my 4 wheels to Daniel. He will replace the rim to have a re-inforce wheel. I will be back to Geneva tomorrow night.




Full speed work on the sidecar. By lunch time, the motor was out of the frame of the motorcycle and by the end of the day, Damien (Louis mecano) already tear it apart to change the bearings.




I go back to Geneva this afternoon to continue the preparation of my sidecar. I start to have a good idear on how to proceed for the visa in Mongolia, but I am still missing the solution for Russia. Finally, I had an answer from Madina at Ural and may be we will get somewhere?
There are many people that I did not saw yet in Paris that I hope to see on my next visit hopefully with the sidecar.




I made good progress on my french administrative work. My French retiremetn is taking form slowly, my American quarters will credit my French quaters from before i left France, I will know withing 2 or 3 month the outcome. I am still working on the best solution for my visa for Russia and Mongolia... and it might takes some time to have it done right! Between 1, 3 or 6 months visa and single or multiple entry plus the invitation needed from each countries, I still have work to do on all that.
I have lunch or dinner everyday with different people, and I still have a long list in front of me.
Yesterday, I spend the day "avenue de la grande armée" where most of the motoryclces shops are. I bought a motorcycle jacket, winter gloves, hand-cover, dialectric grease, magnetic gaz tank bag very small for the camera, I still need a pair of pants and boots. Later as i was walking in a street antic faire a guy named Francis stopped me all excited "I can't beleive that you are here, I follow your web site, i am riding a Guzzi California..." we talked for an hour while his wife Annie kept the booth in front of us. Very nice people.
Paris is still a very beautiful city to visit, but people are still very negative over all!




I had a fantastic week with my daughter Eve and Peter in their house in Jersey, UK. I am back in Paris at Bernard and Marie France. I had dinner at my other sister Isabelle. Inoui, Greta with Victoria, Paul with Florence, Vincent and Hugo (so called les cousins) came to join us. I did not saw some ot them for close to 10 years.
This week is administrative work. I have to take care of my doctor, my French retirement and the most important my Russian and Mongolian visa.
In addition, i made a list of people that I want to see.




Today is my 62nd birthday. We arrived last night in Jersey, UK at Eve and Peter's loft. Jersey is a very small British island less than 10 miles from France. It feels like a quite village life. Today was a day off for me but tomorrow, I start working on my web site!!!




Lucie and Pascal are married, it was a beautiful sunny day. Today, I fly with Eve to Jersey UK to spend a week with her and her Peter. As Eve and Peter works during the week, I will have plenty of opportunity to update my website!!!




At the funeral of my ant Annette today, i realised that I have to harry up to keep doing what I am doing, because there are no second chance!!!




My ant Annette died in paris yesterday. I will be at her funeral Thursday.
Saturday, I will be with my daughter Lucie who is getting married where she lives, an hour East of Paris (it is a small comitty ceremony, the full family event wiill be next year at Morzine, France). Tuesday, I will fly to Jersey, UK to spend a week with my other daughter Eve. I will then return to Geneva to Giorgio's house to complete the preparation of the sidecar.




I have been working on preparing my sidecar the best I can with GIorgio in Geneva. It is hard to fing all the littles parts needed to complete the preparation but everyday i progress everyday.

The French post wrote me that my suitcase with all my winter closing has been stolen. Goodby "Goretex", i will have to be happy with "Yak clothing"!!!




I totally failed on my plan to be up to date on my web site by tonight. I have been very tired since my return to giorgio's house. We went to france this weekend to visit Pierick and Vincent from the Maroco raid from last year with giorgio. I has a stomack flue today. I did only 1/2 of the Arcachon story!!!




Yesterday, i stopped by Pascal parents (lucie's inlaw) at Morzine. I arrived at Giorgio's house late at night. The ride to Linz with, Philippe, Michel, Jean Pierre, Daniel, Jean Philippe et Jeannot was a real pleasure. We had a lot of fun and as for all groups of motorcycle, the riding was all but efficient.
Today, i am trying to answer all my late emails, and then work on my stories. My goal is to be up to date before the end of the weekend.




I left Giorgio's house Tuesday sept 2 to meet Philippe close to Lausanne and ride with a group of his friends to the "1st European Ural Rally at Linz, Austria. Riding in a group is not my cup of tea, but I had a lot of fun with them. The rally was great, I meet a lot of people, learned a lot of things regarding my new outfit Ural. I experiment for the first time the 2WD and i am impressed of the efficiency of that thing. I met Hari who is the Ural European Importer at Linz and I was able to load (lightly) myself with a bunch of spare parts that may be useful in the futur. We are on our way back to Switzerland. I stopped at Zell am Ziller where Peter ask Eve to marry her last month. When I get back with Giorgio in a day or 2, I will have more preparation work to do on the bike. I have so many stories late on my web site. Arcachon, Geneva, Les Pieds Nickeles are going to Linz, The 1st European Ural Rally... I have not been able to connect once on internet since i left Giorgio's house.




It official, the suitcase with all my winter clothe that I shipped from Isabelle house to Giorgio is LOST.
I have all my winter clothe from the Arctic Circle that I need to go in Siberia and Mongolia this winter. I have also my Hein Geirick motorcycle jacket and pants as well as my brand new Sidi boots!
My tracking number give me only the right to make an official complain but the hope to find it should stay very low.




Wednesday 5pm, i arrived at Giorgio's house, 15 minutes later, I started to dismount the sidecar to paint it... white.
Thursday by noon, i went to Carlos with all the parts and did the sanding by hand the whole afternoon.
Friday early am, I found a nice guy to the powder coated of all the parts that were originally chromed. By 5pm, all the parts were painted and back at Giorgio's garage.
Saturday early am, with Giorgio, we started to put back the sidecar together. By 7pm, it was done.
I am very happy with the final look, it was worth it!




I arrived at 5pm at in Geneva at Giorgio's house and started to dismount the sidecar to give it to the painter tomrrow. We stopped at 7pm to go eat a paella at a friends houses. I am looking good...




I left Arcachon monday morning and slept at Pelonie where I help a little bit at the end of the day to empty the las couple of tractor of tabac. This morning, i l left early and took a coffee with Frank and Christine on my way to Marie France where I arrived during the afternoon. We eat snails that Bernard pick up last week it was divine. Tomorrow, direction Geneve to see Giorgio. The Ural is cruising at 50/55 mph... very nice.




A week of work (emptying Denis' garage), Sidecar preparation (new sidecar cover weather proof, and lettering on the sidecar), and too much food (everynight, it's friends dinner until late!). Sunday, we go on a boat family picknic... It is very nice spending time with Denis et Brigitte.




I went to Dordogne at the new speed of 50mph... Riding france diagonally on country road and at such low speed is beautifull, I enjoy it a lot. I am glad to see that am on the correct rythm for my Ten Years on the Road. The speed is not necesary at all. The Ural sidecar very light to drive, very pleasant. I was very happy to visit Frank and Christine in Dordogne and Frank (Eve and Lucie's mom). Then I went to Pelonie, the farm that is like my second family, it was tabac pick up time... I love this lifestyle of all the generations living under the same roof and all the other farmers and friends who get together for a few days to do field work together. I left quicly to came on time to see Brigitte and Denis at Arcachon. We had dinner tonight with all their friends that I know for decades... It feels like we were there together last week!!! I will stay here a few days to help Denis clean his garage a make a new cover for the sidecar.




After getting the sidecar last friday, we spend the weekend at bull races and White Camarguais horses working the bulls. Yesterday we went on the sidecar to Uzes. It was pouring rain all the way back home. I send a big bag with my winter clothe to Giorgio in Geneve and I am leaving tomorrow for my sister Marie France in Massif Central or Dordogne.




The travel to france was without any problem. I arrived at Isabelle's house (m sister) Wednesday. She lives next to Nimes in the South of France. The cultural shock between the USA and France is huge. Spending time at the cafe's terrace immerged me immediatly in a new lifestyle that is very attractive. The registration of my new sidecar is a problem, we were there 3 times between Wednesday and Thursday but the computer is creating an incompatibility between the category and the body of the sidecar. Sarah, the owner of the Classic bike in St Remy de Provence is coming tomorrow to try to resolve this administrative glitch!!!




This morning, I winter the Sidecar in Lorraine's storage. It is very nice to think that it is like new, I did all my maintenance like if I was going with it tomorrow morning. I packed my 2 X 50lb bags that Air India allow me to carry on my flight to Paris next Monday. Direction Mongolia; It feels weird, a new adventure is going to start!


USA, New York
#512 (don't write me there, I will be in Mongolia!)



Je suis allé avec Milou a Providence Rhodes Island chez Isadora (ma niece), Anton, leurs enfants et Agnes (sa maman). Jessica et Andrew sont venu nous y retrouver de Boston (et sont reparti pour la semaine avec Milou). C'etait tres agreable de se retrouver tous ensemble une nouvelle fois.
J'ai fait un crochet par Manhattan pour aller a B&H (La Mecque des photographes a en faire palir la FNAC) parceque le miens a lacher definitivement la semaine derniere. Au retour je me suis arrete de bon matin chez Didier (airhead rally) et avec Joe'n, on a change les roulements du pont arriere et d'autres bricoles pendant que Didier et son copain David (1150GS/Ural) m'ont change 2 pneus usés. J'etais de retour le soir a Rochester juste au moment ou Lorraine venait de finir ses répétitions.
D'un seul coup, je sens que je suis a la montre avant mon depart pour le continent le 4 aout prochain.




it's official, starting on November 12 2008, i will be a "Retiree" when I will start to have $883/month transfered directly to my checking account from the American Social Security.
Not only that, but every years, I will have a raise of about 3% - not a promotion, just a raise at keeping doing nothing!!!
Still, there is one major condition that Eline (the SS employee who manage my file) told me I will have to respect "From now on, do not show up at work any morning, do you think that you can do that?"
Humberto "YES!!!"




My 2 daughters, Eve and Lucie, called me this week to tell me that Pascal and Peter proposed them. They are both going to get married next summer. I am very proud and happy for them.
I took my plane ticket for France for August 4.
From there, I will go to Siberia and mongolia next winter.




I had a great time last night at the Ear Inn. A dozen of, friends, brokers, bikers and clients came and we had a lot of fun. (in Manhattan after 4 years, it feel like already skip a generation!)
Jean Louis arrived this morning from Buenos Aires with a good spirit. Tomorrow morning I go back to Rochester with Milou.




After Remus, I went to the Airhead rally and i had a lot of fun. I met there Sergio with whom I spend a week in Lima Peru last year. How weird!!!
There were Daniel (French) sidecarist from nyc who was at my departure party 3.5 years ago, Didier (French living in Hong Kong) who told me to came a the rally and has a 1150GS/Ural and Jean (French) who understand nothing about sidecar. We did not stop laughing for the 2 days.
I am now in Manhattan doing some administrative chores and visiting friends.
- Tuesday, I will be the whole evering (starting at 7pm) at the Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street (between Greenwich and Washington) Soho, Manhattan. Come visit me so I can give you a hug, I would love it.




I am at Remus' farm, it's amazing what this guy accomplished since my departure from new york. 3 years ago, he had no house, no family and no job, today, he has a farm with cows and pigs, a house 100% remodeled, a wife and a 16 month daughter and a job at the bank...
Good news, Wednesday, I will pick up Jean Louis at JFK coming back from Buenos Aires. He concluded his motorcycle trip to south america and will take care of his futur!!! (I always thought that it was pretty scary!!!)




Tomorrow, I go with Milou on a little sidecar tour.
- First, I will visit Remus in north new york. (he was my first stop when I left Manhattan for the Arctic Circle in 2005)
- Friday, I go to a Airhead rally in Milan, NY (a mile away from the Titanic Pkwy). I spoted a motorcycle shop not far where i will buy the boots Sidi Touring - on the Road Goretex. After 8 years of a fantastic service, the pair I have gave up recently.
- Sunday, Manhattan.
- Monday, I go in NJ to change the oil of my rear shock Wilber (this thing has been fantastic, with the over weight of the sidecar, it's still doing a good job after 80000 miles, it just needed a little welding in Peru)
- Tuesday, I will be the whole evering (starting at 7pm) at the Ear Inn, 326 Spring Street (between Greenwich and Washington) Soho, Manhattan. Come visit me so I can give you a hug, I would love it.
- Wednesday, i came back to Rochester.




Jessica was with us during the week. Shel left for Boston this morning and she is flying to California tomorrow for an interview at Google.
I am looking at my options worldwide and my calendar... the world is full of oportunity!




- 2:00pm: with jessica and lorraine in an italian restaurant, I open my mac to send an email to Jean Louis but it does not boot.
- 3:45pm: I try to start my mac from the bootable hard drive that I back up last week but it refuse to boot! I set up an appointment at the apple store for 4:30pm at 20 minutes from lorraine's house. (having a mac has nothing to do with luck, it works better and the service is outstanding!!!)
- 4:30pm: At the Genius bar, Brian found very quickly the faiure of the hard drive, he replace it and format it . No charge, my laptop is less than one year old.
- 5:45pm: I clone my backup hard drive to my laptop (I am very sorry for all those who do not practice the BACK UP POLICY!!!)
- 8:30pm: the clone is completed. I update all my emails since the last backup from my server and I download the last story from my web site that I put online last night and I am back to normal.
By choosing the right equipement and keeping my backup discipline what could have been a major catastrophe disrupting my life for weeks, becomes a simple incident with no consequences.




We are returning to New York. Jessica is coming back from China and will land monday night in Boston. She is coming in Rochester where we should see her Tuesday.




We arrived in Nashville Tennessee yesterday afternoon after visiting the cabin where Abraham Lincoln was born. It is "Country Music Festival" week in Nashville, an other big rich ($ & culturally) American city.




We are now in kentucky, I start to know the road from New York quite well, it's the 4th time that I ride it since last month!
We had a lovely lunch with Merril and Diane and we will be in Nashville Tennessee tomorrow.




We left new york at lunch time after droping Milou to her group therapy for one week. We are 180 away from Cincinnati on our way to Nashville. Clearly, we will have lunch tomorrow with Merril and Diane.




We are leaving tomorrow morning to Nashville Tenesse to visit a friend.
Don't miss the last video about the "France Inter" news segment (French speaking but still excellent with a lot of photos and videos).




I slept a couple of night at Merril's house. We had a great time together, I enjoyed visiting his house which is a wood workshop that would make a professional cabinetmaker jealous and a Quilt room for Diane his wife that would have satisfied Monet. The rest of the house is built around that.
I left Cincinnati yesterday after lunch and drove the 500 miles to arrive during the night in Rochester under the stars.




8:00 am: After changing a tire at Grass Roots BMW of Cape Girardeau yesterday morning, it was time to say goodbye to my good friend John. I started riding in direction of Cincinnati where I want to visit Merril at his home. The 250 miles through Illinois and Indiana was under a very pleasant sky and the sidecar is handling very well.
11:00pm: I ride 250 miles to visit Merril and his wife Diane in Cincinnati.




To realign your main frame, it's like witnessing your beloved have an open heart surgery!!! it is hard from the begining to the end, with a lot of cutting, banging, welding , oupsing etc...
Fortunatly I was in extremely friendly territory, the maestro James is venered by everybody who need welding in Kentucky, and the support team present was very reassuring for me. Gerald the mayor of Barlow (population 600) owned over 50 motorcycle and has something to say at every step of the process, Mike who owned an Indian motorcycle shop for 30 years and is a fervent participant of the Bonneville speed race was more amused by the sidecar outfit, John my guardian angel was saying i see that you are doing well so I just keep watching, Anita the owner of the Ballard Weekly came for an interview and maybe a dozewn others of their friends ride to James shop to see what the French men look like!!!
By tuesday night, the job was completed, the 50 miles ride to John's house at dusk was divine and the handling of the sidecar is friendly again.




When I arrived at the BMW rally, Merril jump on me saying "I came from Cincinnati to see, you, I have been following you since the Arctic Circle".
We spend the whole weekend together and I have a new friend for life. I will stop to his house on my way back to Rochester. I am next to John's friend where I go tomorrow morning to realign the main frame of the motorcycle.




Yesterday, it rained the whole afternoon and it was cold. No sleeping on the side of the road, I pick up a motel at the end of the day around Cleveland.
6h00: Il ne pleut pas ce matin, je prend la route.
4:30pm: I did 400 miles and only the last 100 miles were under the rain.
I am comfortably in a Motel and tomorrow morning, I will do the 150 miles to arrive at the BMW rally in Kentucky




I am on the road in direction of kentucky for the BMW European rally at Burkesville this weekend. I will sleep on the outside on my way there.




I am leaving wednesday for Kentucky to the European BMW rally for this weekend and Monday, I will meet John (my guardian angel) and his friend James to realign the frame of the motorcycle (it's going to be interesting!)
Due to a software problem on my hardrive, I reformated my hard drive and I am in the process of reinstalling all the applications one by one then I am transfering all the files that I have on my backup... I may have to leave only thursday to be able to complete the job. I know that everyday for the next couple of week, i will have to make some adjustement on the setups!@&*^%$!!!




I am preparing to go to Kentucky with John (my guardian angel) to meet a friend of him who can realigne the frame of the motorcycle. Since the welding done in Peru, the front wheel is pulling a lot to the left.




I went to Boston and spend Sunday with my daughter Jessica...
I just came back in Rochester. I am very glad that I took Lorraine's car because it rained the whole day!!!




I just learn that my friend Bernard Lion died this morning, I was always thinking of him a lot and I will never forget him. All my thought and my love are with you Christine.


Bernard had a black humor that always fascinated me.
I always had him in my favorites photos in Who is Hubert:
here he is disguised as an airline pilot... at 30000ft!!!



I arrived at Lorraine's house in New York last ight at 8pm with no problem on the bike, I'm telling you, this bike that I am bringing back is as good as new!!!
We are going to be able to go visit Jessica in Boston before she leaves for Shanghai next week.




8:00am: I had some pretty heavy rain yesterday and the good weather came back. I met John at the Grass Roots BMW dealer of Cape Girardeau, and we went to eat ribs with all his friends. I slept in a bed for the first time since I am in the state, it was very good. John is kind of weird, he is a Certified master mecanic from BMW, a professional violonist, an acomplished carpenter, a chef for party of 250 people, a real estate developer and a motorcycle tour leader taking his troup to Mexico twice a year!!!




8:00am: Last night, I went to a truck stop and took my first shower since Mexico, it felt great, then I drove 100 miles at night, i love riding at night.
I slept in my sleeping bag behind one of these mushroom town along the highway. There are hundred of restaurant, hotels and gas station and nothing else. I go to Missouri to visit John, my master mechanic angel who followed me for the last 2 years and help me a lot when I needed it.
PS: Thank you for those who wanted to help me replace jackets and glove lost at the Honduras border, but Stephane and Gaelle gave me a great jacket that I am wearing everyday, and yesterday I bought some perfect gloves goretex from a harley dealer and very cheap on top of that!




An other great night on the side of the road in my sleeping bag in Louisiana.
If you are in New York this week, don't miss the exposition of Swava Launay, she does a great work of art!




I ride the front beach from Freeport to Galveston (50 miles). It is the Hampton of Houston. There are over 100 access to the beach with your vehicule. People picknic, fish, camp and spend their weekend there. I slept on the beach also. Back on the highway, i just realise this morning that I could have go straight to Houston and visit Lucas!!! I feel stupid to have missed him. Wifi in Amereica is free and everywhere, but for clients only, you need their password to login.
I met an old woman this morning at the cashier of a gas station, she is making $7.5/hour and is a poor woman here but she is making more than a Mexican in one month! not to mention Bolivia, Perou ect...
American people are very attracted with the sidecar and admiratif of what I am doing, they look at the list of countries that I have visited and have no clue as to where it can be!



I passed the USA border to Texas yesterday at 4 pm without any problem.
Immediatly, everyting is clean and the roads are much wider. I met Francois, a Canadian coming back from 10 month in Central America on his Kawasaki KLR 650, we had dinner together at a IHOP (Internationall House of Pancake) it is as American as it can be and that's all that I wanted. After that I went to sleep in the field not far from the road. A sherif car was there within an hour doing a routine inspection and after checking on me, he wishes me good night.
10:00 am, I am 100 miles south of Houston that I am going to avoid by taking the ferry at Galveston
I am going to see RIck from Motorrad Electrik in Alabama, to resolve my charging red light still showing up after 3000 rpm (I think that the relay/cicuitbreaker is in defaut) I drive with my light off for now.




I am at less than 500 miles from the Texas border and the bike is still running good. The moquitos bite on my legs are a real problem, it itch a lot and I have a hard time handling it!!
I also bought a motorcycle insurance for the USA. (usa is not south america)
9:00pm: in fact I am in Estation Manuel located at 300 miles from the border.




I left gaelle's house yesterday morning and i stop on the side of the road in one of these cabane to change my 3 tires (that i was carrying with me). I get eaten by mosquitos and have more than 40 bites on each leg. I also fixe some lighting problem on the sidecar side.
I am now on the Golfo de Mexico going north to Texas.




I spend the day yesterday, with Gaelle, Stephane, Martin and Nina. They are a very nice family, and I was very pleased to see them in their house. I knew Gaelle as "ma petite Gaelle" and now she is a woman with her family.
I go back on the road today along the Golfo de Mexico in direction fo Texas.

You can see a sequence of the video "Yamana, back to Patagonia" that I just put online. The 80 minutes complet movie will be on the French TV on April 16 at 9:00 pm on chanel "Motors TV"




I passed the Mexican border saturday morning, it was divine, I was the only one going throug this little border post!
I went to San Cristobal de las Casas which is a beautiful touristic colonial city. I talk to Gaelle which is 5 hours away from here, i was suppose to arrive tonight to her house. In the middle, the road was closed due to an accident, I had to make a 100 miles detour. When I was 40 miles away from Villahermosa (where is Gaelle) it started to rain very hard, whitin a couple of miles, the left cylinder shot down, I kept going on one cylinder and was able to reach a gas station with hotel 10 miles further. It kept pouring, I took a bedroom which have wifi, I called Gaelle and will look at my electrical problem when it stop raining.



Friday 4/11/2008

This morning, I experimented a little inconvenientce!
Between Guatemala City and La Mesilla (the border with Mexico) it's all mountains road and I become cold above 6000ft. I stopped to get dressed and discovered that my black jacket in primaloft, my white jacket with fleece inside and my motorcycle glove have been stolen from my blue bag and nothing else apparently!!! I realised that 2 days ago, when I was at the Honduras border for 3 hours I noticed that my motorcycle boots have been moved inside the sidecar... i did not thought too much about it at that time but now i understand that someone open the tarp of the sidecar and the blue bag and help themself.
I stoped for the night at Huenhuentenango an hour before the Mexican border. I was a long day on a construction road, with dust, fog, cold, smoke and trucks.



Thursday 4/10/2008

I followed the litoral of El Salvadore... It has a touristic sense, but does not quite do it! I pushed it to pass the border of Guatemala and I am now in a luxury hotel ($30) 50 miles inland.
The motorcycle is running good but I still have the red light of the oil and charge that keep blinking when the choose to!


Wednesday 4/9/2008

From Granada, I went north by the Pacific side and slept close the Honduras border that I passed this morning. At the first major city I could not get cash from the 4 ATM that I found... It makes me decide to go by El Salvadore that I enter this afternoon. Both border of Honduras are messy and costly but I went through. El Salvadore is a weird country with major gang activity that the governement try to contain.




We changed our plan yesterday morning, I needed to stop by Luis to resolve the oil problem. After 3 years that I have been using Castrol GTX 20/50, it was decided (by Luis) that it was the bad conponnement! So we put Halvoline 20/50 and changed the oil pressure sensor. Then we went to buy a new motorcycle for Manuel, after his Guzzi Griso (that I really like for it's style, it still look like a motorycle) he is buying now a BMW R1100R and I must say that even if i prefer the guzzi, it is also a nice motorycle, it does look like a motorycle and that is nice. Then Manuel drove me out of town and i went to Nicaragua. The red light of the charge system still show up under acceleration above 3000 rpm!!! I arrive at night but it was a great day on the road, and the border was normally crowded and without event for me. I slept in Granada that is a very attractive coloniale city where Selima and Jean Marie have a house but unfortunatly, they were not there!




We went with the Moto Club Acomore this morning to have a breakfast together with Manuel, Oscar, Rodolpho, German. The same guys who ride with me 2 years ago on the Cerro del Muerto when I was leaving South.
Since yesterday that I completed my maintenance program and that I felt I was riding a new motorcycle, the red light of the oil pressure is showing up below 1500 rpm when hot, the red light of the charging system showed up a few time at 4000 rpm, the front brake is still far from the start with the new pad and is very slow to take it's normal range, and this afternoon, we were parked inside Manuel's patio to have a drink all together and the right carb overfow a 1 square foot of gas on the ground!!!
And here we go with my new motorcyle, the dream did not last too long!
We are still leaving tomorrow morning but we decided to leave at 5:30 before the traffic.




I arrived at Manuel's farm wednesday night. I worked on the maintenance of my motorcycle the last couple of days with Luis & Luis, they are excellent mecanic who know this motorcycle perfectly. The list was exaustive but we went throught and I should be in good shape for the next 10000 miles! (don't I say that everytime!). Tomorrow, i will go on a ride with the moto club Acomore and monday at 8:10 am I take the road going north with Manuel and a little group in direction of Nicaragua.




The carabean sea in panama is so different from what I knew of panama... Indian live there quite happy apparently. I had a great ride, very hot and slept on a platform on the water, it was splendid. I am now in Costa Rica and just arrived at Manuel's farm in Cartago. I think that tonight is the meeting of the moto club Acamore.




My valplast is in place and feel better that I would have thought. I did my oil change on the motorcycle, and I am hitting the road to Costa Rica tomorrow. I will ride along the Caraibes Sea up to Limon and then down to Cartago to visit my friend Manuel from La Lima and all the others from the moto club Acomore. I wonder about the "women's club" on how they are doing (goup of a dozen mother who met 15 years ago at the school of their children) , and Chino, and German ect...
Willie Forrester that I intevieved here in Panama on March 3rd arrived home last week in Virginia.




The solution for my bridge problem is "Valplast" and please don't send me email telling me that it is not the best, because, it is the lesser of the evils for me!!! I did the imprint this afternoon and it will be done monday... then i go to Costa Rica.




Still working on cleaning up my web site english and french version. I saw 2 dentistes and see 2 more tonight and tomorrow... i'm not sure of the solution to my bridge problem. Started to work on the motorcycle maitenance but i need to schedule a full day somewhere to change oil and fix a few loose hand.




I am answering my emails, fixing the bugs of my rewamped web site English and French version. I have to do some maintenance on the sidecar. Juan from Colombia was wrong, my bridge bottom right did not hold it, i have to find a new solution. I need to strait up a lot of loose hands from banks... and i will hit the road!




We are back in Panama city from our week vacation in Banana Island. It was perfect for us, we had a fantastic week in a little house on the water. Lorraine is taking her plane back to New York tomorrow and I will stay a couple of days to finish to update my web site.




I am done on the revamp of my web site for the English version only!
Out of the 5000+ pages of my web site for the english version only, I restructure 3500 of them! it is a slow process and i have been working everydays and most of the nights, because I did not built all the pages the same was as I have been learning on the road how to make it.
I am happy with the result and i wll do the french version soon.
Big weekend for F1 in Australia...
Lorraine arrive tomorrow and we will go to Banana Island in the Carraibe sea for the week... don't try to call us!!!




I have been working everyday on my new menu system for the web site, it is very complicated to set it up, but it's happening.
Sunday I ride with the APM moto club of Panama, we did 70 miles, 3 restaurants and 2 cafes!




Relaxing in Panama waiting for Lorraine who is coming next week to spend her school break with me. I found a perfect house on the Caraibes sea.
I experimented (the last 20 hours) the horizontal menu on the page "Where is Hubert". It was tediious but I really like the simplicity, it gives a great access with little real estate, I am going to develop it further.




I am visiting all my friends from Panama that I met 2 years ago on my way South and today, i met this amazing guy Willie Forrester at the BMW dealer, don't miss his video.




unbelievable, it took me only 5 hours and cost me virtually nothing, just a couple of tips to 2 guys who helped me and $11 for stamps!




5:00 pm: I just arrived at the Montreal hotel in Panama. From Cartagena we could not land in Bogota because of heavy fog, we went to Medellin, waited a couple of hours and flew to Bogota. I missed my connection to Panama but I was able to go on the next plane and I had my "Blue bag" at the carroussel. I took a bus to downtown, and walked a few block to retreive my favorite hotel where i stayed a couple of month 2 years ago when i was going south looking for a boat to go to south america. I go to "Viva el Pan" to hang out with all my friends from the APM moto club of Panama
Tomorrow, I go to Colon get my sidecar and it might not be as easy as today!




7:30 am : I had my last dentist appoitment, It is done and very good for me.
9:30 am : After that the sidecar was loaded on the cargo boat "Nordborg RB801" during the night, I get my Bill of Lading so I can get my sidecar at it's arrival in Panama tomorrow.
11:30 am : I bought my plane ticket to go to Panama tomorrow morning at 6am
I loved Colombia, it is a great country to travel and the people are very nice and helpful.
Tomorrow I will see my friends from the APM moto club of Panama that I met 2 years ago.




I went to pay juan the $4200 I own him for my new teeth. The first credit card that I gave him said that it was a stolen credit card and the second was declined.
Today, I have not much $ but I have enough for my lifestyle and I don't own anything anymore, so I should not have worry to pay Juan, but I have been so many time in that situation when I was paying without having the money just hoping that it would go throught that I was shaking! I called the bank and everything went fine very quickly. I go back tonignt to what is supposed to be my last visit with Juan.




As usual, when I have mechanical problem, I started to panick deeply inside me. Sunday, I was with Lorraine on the phone for her to find the spare starter that I have in the storage and send it to me by DHL monday. Monday, DHL told her that it would cost $281 to ship it to Cartagena!!! She decided to write me an email and wait for the answer. During that time, monday morning, I made a tool to undo the difficult nut and took the starter with me to get it fixed. It took the Bosh shop 2 hours to dismount it completely and remount it with a new solenoid switch (made in brasil) that was all burned and it cost me only $50. I am back in business.




It happened again this morning!
The positive cable connecting the starter (bosh) went in contact with cover and by the time that I realised that there were a problem, smoke was coming out of the cover, the shrot cut burned the contact on the starter bakelite melted!
What really pissed me off is that it first happened at the Libertadores pass between Santiago and Mendoza in Argentina on September 10 after Gabriel put back the motor together following a major maintenance program. Obviously the fix made at that time was not good at all!
I was with Lorraine on the phone in New York and she found my spare starter (Valeo) that she is going to DHL me tomorrow. I am not yet sure that the charging system was not damaged.
I do have a problem with the first nut and bolt that i cannot remove, does somebody knows if there is a special BMW tool for this one or I just need to adjust my tools to fit the small space. (I don't want to remove the gear box which would allow me a clear access). Thank you to let me know of your suggestion.
My teeth are going very well, it should be completed this week.


The bolt that does not want to give-up, any suggestions?



This morning is the 3rd aniversary of my departure from New York City for my "Ten Years on the Road". I never managed correctly my professional life, always running after my own tail. I remember beeing concerned that I was 4 minutes late from my original schedule that was set at 6:00am, after all, I had 3 months to prepare myself after I took the decision to sell everything that I had and to hit the road for 10 years.
Today, I do better about these 4 minutes, I am more relax and I love and enjoy my life on the road. I always miss the people that I love the most, Lorraine and my 3 daughters Eve, Lucie and Jessica but that is part of deal.
I expect my teeth renovation to be completed next week and to go to Panama, my best bet so far is a cargo boat leaving from Cartagena the following week.




I am looking for a boat to go from Cartagena to Panama... and I just saw that there are riots in Panama with dead people!
This evening Juan is going to try my new teeth for the 1st time.




This is my second week at the dentist and so far so good, the most unpleasant is behind me. I am relaxing in this beach resort style part of Cartagena.




At this session with the dentist, he tried the metallique caps on all my teeth. I did not even new what it was before but after he put them on, I understood that these teeth are going to be a big transformation for me. It's like when i have a mechanical problem on the sidecar, when i am able to fix it or when i think that i am fixing it, i feel that i have a new motorcycle. Same here, i feel that my noise is not crooked anymore, that the muscle of my bottom left lips cut during my cancer surgery is working again, that my shoulder are finally levelled (not that it is matter now that I wear only Tshirt and that I don't have to buy a suit anymore), my colar bone that was removed after my cancer is trianguling again, and the missing phalange of my left hand reappeared.
It's going to be just great
These new teeth are going to change my life!




My teeth program is going pretty well. I choose plan B that allow me to pick the color of my new teeth but i need to repalce 18 teeth unstead of 13.
Monday night was the session that I aprrehended the most, when Juan removed 11 existing crowns and shaved 7 natural teeth. I took 3 hours and there were nothing pleasant during that time execpt that I left with a temporary set of teeth which is pretty exciting for me.
I spend my days in a vacation mood between going to the windy beach and swim in the caribes and in preparation to my futur travels, i am reading a book on the life of Genghis Khan. He is the Mongol leader who in the 12th century was the first knowned man who connected Europe to Asia and conquered most of these countries.


Je ne peux plus marcher tranquille dans la rue, toutes les femmes se retournent sur moi!!!



When Jessica left last monday, I was feeling very weird, missing Lorraine and my daughters... at the same time, I started shoping for a dentist, I have a lot of maintenance to be done and it has been bothering me for a long time. I consulted 4 of them and started this morning with Juan. His office is very professional, clean and his team is very caring and supportive. Don't bother with the details, just know that I have to do 6 root canal and 13 crowns but then watch out the horse sandwich included the bones! (clac clac clac) not to mention the hollywood smile!
I moved my hotel near the dentist office in Bocagrande. It is a luxury tourist area with beaches all along and i am one block away from the sea the average temperature is 70ºF and sunny everyday ....
So I am going to be here for 2 to 3 weeks taking care of this little problem.
I have 2 or 3 movies to put together and already 2 photos stories waiting.




Jessica is leaving tomorrow morning to Boston. We drove from Bogota to Cartagena stopping in villages on the way. I loved every minutes of it. It gave me a great feeling to be able to share my daughter the reality of my lifestyle. It feel weird to think that I will be alone next week.




My plane to Bogota was diverted to Cali, I get back to meet my daughter Jessica who arrived one day earlier the next day (i am sure that you get my point!). I get my sidecar from BMW on my way back to the airport and we took the road that afternoon in direction of Medellin. We arrived there next day at night! This morning we had a problem with a police officer who was just nasty with us telling us that the sidecar has to be inpound for an insurance problem. It took us 3 hours to get out of it and we are now on the road again going north to Cartagena. Jean Louis left Medellin this morning also and we are looking for him on the road, life is good, it's nice to be here in colombia with my daughter sharing with her my lifestyle.
PS: I just put the new cover on the web site but not yet the story.


I will be back in Colombia in January after the holiday!



Today, I washed my pair of pants, 3 Tshirt, 2 panties and 2 pairs of socks, I am ready to take my plane for Bogota tomorrow. Jessica is coming with me for one week during her semester break of her MBA in Boston. After I left my 2 other dauhgters in Paris, I went to see "Yamana" in a private projection. It is a 75 minutes movie made by Fabrice Marquat for the television about people who experienced patagonia in an interesting way. I was astonished by his work and I will soon be able to put on my web site the interview he made of me.
I feel very excited to go back on the road.




Today, I am going to Paris to see my 2 daughters Eve and Lucie with their families




Milou is a "needle eater!". When we wake up this morning, she was not acting normally and refused to walk! By lunch time, we took her to the hospital, the doctor found a needle stack in her colon 4" before exit and fortunatly, he was able to remove it without surgery. Milou is recuperating and so are we!!!
Happy New Year everybody, there are a lot of trails to be ridden in 2008, I will see you there!




Today is the motorcycle show at the Jacob Javitz in New York City, so we all came there for the occasion. Lorraine is going to dance with Luigi, Jessica disappeared with her friends and I go to the motorcycle show!


Milou at Times Squares "but where are the squirrels?



Merry Christmas everybody, it is snowy today in Rochester New York and Santa Claus is coming... tonight!




In Rochester New York, everything is white, that give me a great christmas feeling and it is so different of South America, I love the contrast.
I spend a lot of time at Banes and Nobles while Lorraine finish her dance classes. I bought a couple of books to learn Russian!!! it's not easy at all, but i am giving it a shot for my futur travelling in Siberia (in winter preferably!).
Milou grows her fur and is adorable, she beleive that she is a strong hunter, she is very patient and intense.




I just spend one day in Manhattan. The first thing I did was to buy a new pair of shoes so I don't look like a homeless person, then I walked to all the classics, from Gourmet Garage to Dean del Luca, Fairway, Citirella and Zabars (all gourmet food stores) and in between, Patagonia, EMS, Paragon and North Face, it was weird for me to just look at this abondance of food and merchandise! I felt like a spectator looking 20 years into the past!!!
I am now in Rochester with Lorraine, Jessica is coming very soon, it feels very good. I will go back to Manhattan for the motorcycle show on December 28...




Tomorrow, I will take a plane to New York to be with Lorraine and Jessica for Christamas, and in January, I will fly to Paris to see Eve and Lucie with their families before coming back to Colombia. Jean Louis will spend Christmas with his family and friends in France and also come back in January in Bogota. My friend Fernando from Santiago connected us with Camilo, the owner of Autogermana, the BMW dealer of Bogota and our motorcycles/sidecar will spend the holiday season with them in all security! Thank you so much for your hospitality and kindness!




Tomorrow, I will take a plane to New York to be with Lorraine and Jessica for Christamas, and in January, I will fly to Paris to see Eve and Lucie with their families before coming back to Colombia. Jean Louis will spend Christmas with his family and friends in France and also come back in January in Bogota. My friend Fernando from Santiago connected us with Camilo, the owner of Autogermana, the BMW dealer of Bogota and our motorcycles/sidecar will spend the holiday season with them in all security!




We arrived in Bogota yesterday afternoon. The good news is that Colombian love "asado". BBQ argentinean style and they do it very well! The road from the border to here shows a beautiful set of mountains exactly like we see it in the movies, everyting is green! Since we get on the from Buena Ventura (largest harbor on the Pacific coast) to Bogota, I never saw a mountain road with so many trucks!




It's the 4th day that we are in Colombia. Women are not more beautiful than in any other country, but they have a very sexy attitude... more than in Brasil
Tomorrow, we will be in Bogota.




We were tempted to skip the third biggest city of Colombia, Cali, but the lonely planet told us that Cali has the most beautiful woman of Colombia due to their mixt of black, white and Indian blood! We are there tonight, the city is not very attractive, but at only 1000-ft elevation, the pleasant climat makes it the most active night life with cafe terraces one next to the other!




We passed the Colombian border yesterday. Here people are extremely open, friendly and almost exhuberant like Argentinean or Italian! It is not easy to find internet cafe because people have it at home!
We have to adjust to their driving manner, it's cowboy style without scruples, so easy on the entry of the blind turns!




After our bus story from yesterday morning, I was totally drained. I saw the bus the first time when he already passed us, he was in diagonale on the sidewalk finding his way between the 2 people there, the wall and the trees. My instinct reaction was that he wanted to shortcut the red light to go faster!!!
But when he finally stoped i realised where we were coming from, i looked at jean louis and told him "he saved our lives!"
We passed the Ecuator parallel and drove 60 miles to the artisanal village of Otavalo. I was exausted, at 5pm, i lie down to rest a little and slept until 9am this morning! Tonight, we will be a the Colombian border.




It was our lucky day!
At 10:41 am, we were leaving Quito to go the the Ecuator (parallel). Jean Louis and I werer stop at the red light side by side on the right lane where you see the grey car after the crosswalk. Behind us, a city bus with 50 people on board lost his brakes and choose to jump the sidewalk to avoid hitting Jean-Louis and me!!! he find a space between the wall and the trees avoiding also a couple on the sidewalk and was able to stop his bus 200-ft after the red light. Within 30 secondes, I was in front of him still at his driver seat, I shake his hands and say "gracias par mi vida!!!" (thank you for saving my life!!!). I will remember his face all my life!




I believe that saddly, the Explorer officially sink under the water of Antarctica.
I don't believe one second that the hole was only the size of a fist but may be we will never know!
We arrived in Quito yesterday afternoon, could not find a hotel with garage in the old city and ended in the heart of the "new town" where the night life is comparabe to Miami!




My little red boat the Explorer that I took last year to visit the Antarctica is sinking as we speak!

Cruise ship MV Explorer is taking in water after having struck some object, most probably ice, in the waters near South Shetland Islands in the Antartic Ocean.
A fist sized hole has been reported in its hull.
The ship has already listed about 25° in the waters near King George Island south of Argentina. She appears to be taking in more water than what her pumps can throw out.
The ship was carrying more than 150 people on board including the passengers and crew. The captian and his first officer are reported to be still on the ship, while rest of the people have been evacuated. All the people are on life boats and are safe and accounted for.
An international rescue operation has been initiated with the US Coastguard also participating in the rescue mission alongwith the authorities from Argentina.

It proves again that in life, it's all about timing!






Banos is a hot spring resort only 100 miles away from Quito built at the bottom of an active volcano. The last time that the town was evacuated was in 2000. Today, the dozens of hostal are filled up every weekend. It is said that economically, Peru is richer than Ecuator but in the street, there is no doubt that Ecuator is much richer!!!
Tomorrow we go to Quito.




Yesterday was maintenance day for the motorcycle and we did not have big surprised! We are going North today in direction of Banos, half way to Quito.




We arrived in Ecuator yesterday by a small town of Macara. Peru was a extraodinary country for us. Amazingly enough, so far, Ecuator appear to be richer and more modern than Peru. The bike is handling very well and all the welding are holding on!
I have 2 stories late on my web site and i want to do them soon as we are on the road.




Yesterday was an other welding success, the sidecar was running like a new one (again) by lunch time. We wanted to celebrate that and Raymonde (jean-louis's mom) birthday, we went to a small fishing village on the Pacific named Huanchaco... We picked a restaurant run by a surfer and his mother, the fish soup and the grilled Corvina shellfish sauce was delcicous... Happy birthday Raymonde and long road to my sidecar!




Depuis mon depart de New York en Fevier 2005, je ne me souviens pas avoir eu besoin de faire de la soudure sur la moto ou le sidecar, mais depuis 2 semaines j'ai du faire 26 differentes soudures dont plus de la moitie sur les parties structurales. En descendant le Canyon del Pato, on a cru que l'amotisseur du sidecar avait rendu l'ame mais en fait c'est le tube avant droit du sidecar au marche pied qui etait sectionne! On fait toutes ces reparations ici a Trujillio ou on a trouve une entreprise industrielle tres a la pointe avec une TIG et les memes soudures qu'a Lima, les ER80S-D6 pour le chrome moly (Ce coup ci, j'en garde avec moi, juste au cas ou!)
On aura finin ajourdhui en milieu de journee et je suis confiant que ce coup ci, je pourrai traverser l'Equateur et la Colombie sans avoir a faire de soudure!




We went to the Lago Llanganuco at 11000-ft from there we went to the pass going to Yanama at 14500-ft, we were surrounded by 4 immaculate white mountains between 18 and 21000-ft. What can I say, it's very overwelming being there. On the way down on the dirt road, I found out that the frame of the motorcycle broke below the repair we made last week! As we cannot weld we did a temporary repair like a cast when you break a leg! So far it works. After the repair we decided to go just before the "canyon del pato". We were miss informed because there were no vilage before it, we did the 35 tunnels of the canyon by night under the rain, it was a magic moment! tomorrow, down to Trujillo along the sea.




It was rest day for us today. We started at 8:00 am doing minor welding work on the bike (the frame supporting the saddle bag, the front fork bridge and new front brake pin - I already lost 1 of the 2 new one!). The work was done by lunch time but we decided to stay for the day and relax...
Tomorrow is Cordiliera Blance!
These last few days, we did a lot of testing with the camera video while driving on the dirt roads, it's a learning experience for us, it takes time to learn what works and what does not but I have enough footage to put a video together that i will do soon.




After we left Huanuco, we could test the welding... and so far so good. We went from Huanuco to Tantamayo, La Union and to Huaraz by short cut remote mountains roads all above 14500-ft. All off-road, very wild, the people who live in these mountain never see any tourist and have a very different approach with us. we slept in peope's house and It is fascinating to see how they live today like a century ago. We went to see pre-Incas ruines which required mountain trecking. I need a few little things to be taking care of on the bike and tomorrow, we will go north thrue the Cordilera Blanca.




We went from 14500-ft to 5500-ft the little town of Huanuco, it fells like we are on the beach with a very nice spring weather.
Today, the next mountain pass will be at 14300-ft!!!




We left Lima yesterday at lunch time and went to La Oroya. The pass at 14500-ft was hard on us and we did not stay too long up there. La Oroya is the Metallurgic Capital of Peru over 10000-ft elevation, we pick up a luxury hotel (for us) with WiFi in the bedroom for $10/person. This morning, we go to Cerro de Pasco, the highest town in the world 13200-ft for it's size (70000).




It took me the whole day yesterday to put back the electric on the motorcycle. During the welding on the road, the ground was on the motor guard and even if the batterie was disconected, it was too far from the welding area and the 5 bulbs blew including the blue dashboard light of the highlight! Hard to get there and the 3W bulb was hard to find here, but all is back in order.
We are leaving Lima this morning for the mountain. The first pass is 60 miles away from here at 14500-ft.
I am late on the update of my web site, I have to get back to it quickly!




Yesterday, I was at Silvano's shop from 7:30 am to 6 pm doing the welding on the frame of my motorcycle. Jean-Louis was very helpful, he has a sense of ingeneering that I don't have. We removed all the welding and reenforcements that was made in the last few days, then Silvano made new reenforcements (with proper metal) and used the TIG welding process with the best wire that we could find here (it was numbert 3 choice on the list for Chrome Moly). At the end of the day, I asked Silvano how much I owned him for the work he did with his people (basically 3 people the full day), his answer was "buen viaje amigo" (have a nice travel my friend). You meet some amazing people when on the road!
Being optimist, I feel confident that I have a few dozen thousands miles of riding in front of me (it was my first frame problem in 85000 miles since I am riding with the sidecar on it! I will test it next week by going back in the mountain on off-road tracks with Jean-Louis. Our general direction is Norht going closer to Ecuator.




Ivan send me to his friend Silvano who had a TIG welding machine. I met the guy with Jean Louis yesterday and i like him. I will be at 7:30 am at his shop to dismount the bike and do the repair.
Yesterday, I was sick like a dog with a massive diarrhea and fever. I took my pills and I feel better this morning.




I had to leave my hotel at 5am because the sunday market was going to block the street. I started my 150 miles off road quite slowly, checkng the welding and I was quickly desapointed, It started to crack again!
By lunch time, I stoped to check my emails and I had the information I needed from John, my angel gardien, a master mechanic on BMW: "The frame is Chrome Moly tubing. It will not work to weld it with a standard arc welder. It will break. It can be welded with a torch if your welders there are good enough to know how to do this. That is what I do here. A TIG machine is best. That is like and electric torch. They have to feed the wire in just like when using a torch". I emailed this information to my friend Ivan from Lima, asking him if he knew of a TIG welding equipement in Lima. I decided to go directly to Lima, a total of 500 miles today with a pass at 14500 ft under the rain and down to Lima at see level where i arrived at 9pm. I talk to Ivan on the phone, he has a friend with such equipment where I will go tomorrow!




Yesterday, i did the 150 miles of off-road between Andahuanas and Ayacucho. The paysage was magnificient, I went from 7000ft to 12000ft, down to 6000ft, up to another 12000ft and finally down to 8000ft. the bike runed very well I thought. This morning, i checked the frame before leaving and no good, at 4 spots, the welding broke apart. My specialitst of the day told me that due to the poor quality of the material used to weld it did cristallised!!! i opened the all bike in the street, disconected all the electric and the guy openned all the welding and re-weld... It is 1:00pm, i just finished to put everything back together and i am hitting the road north. Do I feel lucky today? to be honest, i am not sure, but i will let you know, have a great weekend everybody.




I left Cusco Tuesday morning after a last dinner with Fernando (Buenos Aires) and his friends. The off-road to Ayacucho is very hard with little rocks making the front end suffer. Wednesday, all day long, I had problem with the fixation of the fron fairing and I resolved it with 2 serfex, but, when I arrived at 4:00 pm at Andahualas i felt the front end moving on my braking!!! the "T" holding the front fork to the main frame of the motorcycle is broken. 3 of the 4 tube of the chassis are cut!!!! I went immediatly to a mechanic/welder and realised that I had to disconect all the electric wires going from the front fairing to the rear!!! a lot of scary work. By dawn, i did disconect/cut all the electric and Junio could start welding. This moring, we weded re-enforced parts and then I was up to reconnect all the electric. At 4pm, I am rolling. The front end moved a little, I have more angle on the front fork but it roll. I will take the road tomorrow morining going to the Cordillera Blanca y Negra where I sould meet Jean-Louis again. He just spend a week in Lima with the KTM dealer to work on his bike.




Fernando from Buenos Aires arrived last night in Cusco with Fabian and 2 other friend on their motorcycle. We had dinner together, i enjoyed seing them again, the timing was perfect. They left for Machu Picchu and i will see them again monday before i left for Ayacucho (North in direction of Lima). I was delighted of the qualification of F1 in Brasil and will go back to the Norton Rat bar tomorrow to watch the Grand Prix.
I put online last night one story on Vitcos and the White Roch with a support video. I still have to do the story on Espiritu Pampa.


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