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Bike's & Bio's South of the Equator 2022 Adventure

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Welcome to the Bike's & Bio's Page of the GlobeRiders South of the Equator Live!Journal!


This is the "up close and personal" Chapter of our Live!Journal.  I've asked each of our riders to share a little about themselves, and also provide a couple of favorite photos to go along with their Bio's. You may not be with them in the flesh, but at least you can learn a bit more about them virtually.


This is going to be a fascinating adventure. Not only do our participants get to experience the wonders of Africa from South Africa to Kenya, on their own bike's, but they also get to meet local people off the beaten track, taste the cuisine and immerse themselves in this amazing continent.

It's my privilege to introduce the members of the GlobeRiders South of the Equator 2022 Adventure.



Best Regards,

Helge Pedersen



Bike's & Bio's



Aaron Beckord - Tacoma, WA, USA


2022 BMW R1250GS Adventure


I grew up in Seattle and currently live in Tacoma, Washington where I work as a real estate investor. I went on the GlobeRiders Cape to Cairo Adventure in 2017, Himalayan Adventure in 2018 and Africa Adventure in 2019 as well as the Moto discovery Ruta 40 Expedition thru Patagonia in early 2022. I am 52 years old and will be riding a brand new R1250GSA.





Tom Botz, Los Angeles, CA, USA


2019 BMW R1250GS Adventure

I am a real estate guy living in Los Angeles. I grew up in Germany, lived in Vancouver, B.C. for 10 years and then moved to California over 30 years ago.

I enjoy the outdoors and traveling. I like being on the bike on a road I’ve never been on, seeing new landscapes, meeting new people, and learning about their lives, culture and history. I’ve ridden Alaska to Argentina; done a fair amount of dirt biking in Baja and California; ridden the Alps a few times; and ridden with Helge the length of Africa, around the Himalayas and the Silk Road.

Looking forward to being back on the bike, it’s been too long.




Erik Dahl, Las Vegas, NV, USA


2022 BMW R1250GS Adventure


Hi Everyone, I just wanted to take a minute and introduce myself to the group. My name is Erik Dahl. I’m an American, born and raised in what was a rural town in New Hampshire where I started riding dirt bikes at the age of six. I didn’t ride much after high school because I left town to join the Army. Other than living in Chicago for eight years, I have pretty much lived in Germany and the UK most of my adult life. The pandemic kind of uprooted me and my family and we ended up landing in Las Vegas in March 2020. Now that the world is opening up I’m not sure where I would call home since I’m splitting my time between Las Vegas, New Hampshire, Munich and London, and I guess you could say Africa soon. I’ve always travelled an insane amount for both work and pleasure, so I’m not really used to staying in any one place too long.

I had gotten back into riding about 7 years ago in Munich, so in Las Vegas I took the opportunity to buy a bike and get out into the desert. Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time in LA and skiing in the Rockies but very little in the Southwest US and have really been fortunate to get to immerse myself for the last two years and couldn’t imagine any way to experience it like on a motorcycle. My passion for riding, especially Offroad adventure riding, has become all consuming. Riding with Helge and GlobeRiders has been on my bucket list, and this is the kind of adventure that got me back into riding in the first place.

I’ve worked as a corporate attorney for the last 27 years and I have four kids who are all now living in the US. Negotiating a hall pass for this trip wasn’t easy.

This is going to be my first trip riding a motorcycle outside of Europe or the US. I just officially committed to this trip a few weeks ago, so I'm playing a bit of catch up. I look forward to meeting and getting to know all of you as much as the trip itself.

I’ve attached a couple pix below. First one is me with my TW200 which I’m loving right now. It’s a rounding error compared to the GSA I just bought for this trip in terms of weight, engine displacement, price, you name it. But fun as hell. I am standing with my bike and my brothers T7 on the top of Mt Washington after riding the NH portion of the NEBDR. Second, pic is on the California Backcountry Discovery Route (CABDR) with my regular steed. Third, is my new GSA getting some miles in the Alps so I could get it serviced before putting it on the plane to Cape Town. Fourth, is a pic of tacos just because I love tacos, and these might have been some of the best I’ve ever had. There is a story behind them! Look forward to creating some great stories with you guys!

Best regards, Erik





Christer Garbis, Kirkland, WA, USA

Zoe Garbis, London, UK


2022 BMW R1250GS Adventure


I grew up in Sweden but have called Seattle and the US Pacific Northwest my home for over 17 years. When I am not managing user experience teams at a big tech company in the region or am spending time with my family and our poodle, I enjoy traveling the world on two wheels, discovering new places and experiencing the local culture and people.

This Africa tour is my third long haul ride that I am doing together with my daughter Zoe who will be riding pillion with me. Together, we completed the Pan-American highway in 2015, and drove the Silk Road in 2018 with Helge and several other members of this Africa tour. I am looking forward to riding through Africa in what is my first proper post-pandemic adventure tour, making new friends, reconnecting with old ones, and experiencing all the amazing things that the continent has to offer.

I often feel that it is a true privilege to be able to see other parts of the planet together with like-minded adventure riders and consider it a privilege of a lifetime. If you are ever in doubt, I would highly recommend that you don't overthink it and just get out there on two wheels to discover the planet with a motorcycle.






Carol Johnston, Tumwater, WA, USA


2011 BMW R1200GS


I grew up in a little town in Oregon and have lived in the Pacific NW all of my life except for a while in Colorado. Loved it there, lived way up on a mesa with no running water or electricity. I was a lot younger than, I now really like hot water and lights.

I spent five years beating on rocks with a hammer at great expense that then allowed me to spend the next 10 years doing fun things like working on drilling rigs, on nuclear reservations, and in the wood. For the next 30+ years i worked as a contaminant cleanup hydrogeologist. It had its moments but I still pulled pulled out a lot of hair. I was also a bicycle commuter for way over 20 years and paid quite well, both in saving wear and tear on the pickup snd from occasionally being hit by cars. It was also good exercise. I retired 2 years ago but recently got dragged kicking and screaming into the world of consulting. I have to admit it's been fun.

As for recreation, past adventures have included leaving my (at the time) husband gasping for breath at 18,700 feet on a mountain in South America while I continued on to the summit. I did retrieve him on the way back down. I've volunteered year after year to throw myself into the ocean as a crash test dummy. In the Yukon, 100 miles from pavement, my bike doubled as a tow truck and then as a taxi. I raced sailboats for years, resulting in lots of bruises and stories. I also cruised, which was a whole lot more relaxing and less painful than racing. On the home front, my only 4 wheeled vehicle is a 4x4 Toyota pickup I bought new in 1987. It's low mileage because of the bicycles and motorcycles. It lives in the garage which has saved me lots of money by leaving only half the space for bikes. I collect sewing machines and have.....many. I live with 2 kitties. I am their servant.

A chance remark by a friend got me into motorcycling only about 20 years ago, but what an adventure it's been!

For years my dream was going on one of Helge's tours. And now here I am! I am very much looking forward to the people I'll meet in both the tour group and on the the road, the cultures different from what I grew up with, the scenert, and seeing lots of animals. I'm riding my 2011 R12GS, the oldest and dirtiest bike on the tour.

And the myth that I was raised by wild poodles is just that - a myth. Maybe.






Frank Leonard, Shoreline, WA, USA


2021 Harley Davidson 1250 Pan America

I'm looking forward to riding my new bike in Africa. Being on the only Harley in this group of BMW riders may prove interesting. Having done a number of Helge's prior tours, I am anticipating plenty of opportunities for unique and special moments to experience on this one; sharing them with the other riders is always rewarding.

I've been employed as a mechanical contractor for 41 years and the superb people I work with give me the ability to be gone for two months with few worries. I'm fortunate that my wife of 43 years, Mary, allows me to pursue this passion for exploring on two wheels. She's an absolute gem for giving me the green light. Our two sons, Rob and Matt are quite jealous and would like to be on the ride but they are staying behind and operating the business so I can enjoy this trip. Besides the fact that I'm not sure their significant others, Melody and Katia would let Rob and Matt go without them!





Arpad Soo, San Luis Obispo, CA, USA


2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure

Hello to new friends and adventurers!

I am new to GlobeRiders, but I heard so much good stuff from Bill Whitacre that I was not going to miss this opportunity to ride with Helge before he retires.

I am a Hungarian from Romania and I have been attracted to motorcycles since my childhood, got my early training on a 50cc two stroke riding 340 miles every weekend to see my girlfriend. I escaped communist Romania in 1985 and by miracle I ended up in the US and ever since I enjoyed the welcome of this most generous nation and my freedom.

I am 67 and live in San Luis Obispo, California. My formal training as a minister did not fit upon my arrival here without speaking the language so I got into plumbing, became a contractor, then a builder/developer. Currently build and operate multiple assisted living facilities for the elderly.

I am happily married to Adela, my Romanian wife I met here and have 3 grown up boys and enjoy being a papa to 3 wonderful grandchildren. I've been part of many adventure rides, many with my sons and those memories are priceless and now I am looking for more.

Can't wait for this ride to start.

Arpad Karoly Soo



--Picture at the Arctic Circle lighthouse in Iceland--


Jill Drllevich, Ravensdale, WA, USA

Dan Townsley, Ravensdale, WA, USA


2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure DMC/LBS Sidecar rig

We live in Ravensdale, WA, and this will be our first long-haul adventure tour together. We have been waiting for this "first" for four years now. But not to be to sedate over the past four years, we have made several short, 3-4K mile, trips to different locations around the USA.

Dan: I celebrated my 73rd birthday just a couple of weeks before our arrival in Cape Town. I started riding motorized-two-wheelers at the age of 12 in Idaho on a Tote-Goat. Since then, I've had British, Italian, Japanese and German motorcycles. Sometimes a lot of them at the same time. After six years in the US Navy, I finished University for the first time and had a short carrier as a Wildlife Biologist. After, the Arizona Game & Fish, I had a 35yr carrier in the tech industry as an Electrical and Mechanical Engineer and software developer. I've been working with Helge at GlobeRiders since 2008 and have a great passion for long road trips. Our current bike is a 2014 R1200GSA with a sidecar conversion. Jill has a much better view of the world in the sidecar. We are also in the process of having another sidecar rig made by MOBEC in Germany which we will take delivery of at the conclusion of the Muscat to Munich 2023 tour. Looking forward to the ride and friendships on the road in Africa.

Hi, Jill here, I am a retired educator and full-time artist. Unlike my 73-year-old partner, I am a young 72 year old. I have 5 children and 10 grandchildren ranging in age from 23 years to 15 months. I have done my fair share of traveling but never on a motorcycle (or in my case, more recently in a sidecar). We live on a quiet private lake on a piece of property that once was a thriving commercial resort. It came with a 50 x 20 ft dance hall (that I believe is the last of its kind) and a cabin that used to be rented by the hour. I was born in Brooklyn, New York and lived on Long Island until 1983. During my time in New York, I opened a health food store with a small cafe inside and was a "chef" in several vegetarian restaurants. I then managed a nursery and landscape business on Fire Island until I relocated to Washington and started my teaching career.





Bill Whitacre, Eagle, ID, USA


2020 BMW R1250GS Adventure

I am an unreliable narrator of my own life. If we had a chance to visit and you asked the right questions, this is a bit of what you would hear.

Missouri was my birthplace and my home until about 22 years ago when I headed west to satisfy my curiosity about western agriculture, mountains, streams and even deserts. I fell in love with the west but have never forgotten my origins.

My career and much of my passion has been in agriculture since I was very young.

Motorcycles have been a hobby passion for me off and on for over fifty years. It just so happened that I became enamored with ADV motorcycling when I met two Canadians circumnavigating North America and did, I ever interrogate them! This happened about the same time that the iconic series came out with Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman, Long Way Around. I was hooked, immediately added a new KTM 950 Adventurer, and began riding in the back country of the Pacific Northwest by myself.

Since I have been doing this for close to 20 years, I have noticed how much I have transformed from just loving being on the motorcycle to my commitment to gain perspective on the world through motorcycling through the world. It has become very important to me.

With five continents, forty countries and who knows how many miles, I am taking my curiosities about the world to a new level, and it is fantastic. I became “chronically unemployed”, retired, so I could do this. It has been fantastic and personally very gratifying.

My friend, David Concannon, Explorers Club, told me one time that “an adventurer goes from here to there, comes back and says: This is what I have done. An explorer goes from here to there, comes back and says: This is what I learned.” There’s an important difference. I am learning a lot about the world.

All of this comes together, and I share it on my personal website, I try to share my learnings and experiences here but it’s more important to support my speaking engagements to not-for-profits, high schools, colleges, and podcasts. Nothing about this is commercial, I just like to share my learnings.





Sean Underwood, Portland, OR, USA


2019 BMW F850GS

I grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and now live in Portland, Oregon. Now my two kids are grown up, I have a lot more free time and that has allowed me to focus on my passions - travel, photography and adventure. I took up motorcycling 3 years ago and really enjoy the experience. Riding a motorcycle is a more engaged and connected way to travel than driving in a car. It's also a great way to meet people - other motorcyclists and people who just like to check out your bike. I'm very excited to join this tour of Africa, experience new places, meet new people and take lots of photographs!





Lisa Fanning, Hansville, WA, USA

Helge Pedersen, Hansville, WA, USA


2014 BMW R1200GS Adventure


Greetings Everyone!

Here goes: until recently, I was a self-employed massage therapist. Now, I teach yoga a few days a week and do things that just make poor Helge shake his head and say, “Lisa, Lisa, Lisa”. While I have done quite a bit of solo travel, it’s lovely travelling with Helge—he is the consummate guide, mechanic, statesman, ice breaker, etc. You name it, he can do it! I truly enjoy the diversity inherent in travel--whether in the form of culture, wildlife, flora, geography or . . . food. Uh, especially food.

This will be the first time I get to accompany Helge (and all of you) for the entire tour. I’ll try to assist him in simple ways on this tour, so don’t be surprised to hear me say, “Your attention, please: The Boss says . . .”!


Yes, you are right my dear.



Ride Far – Ride Safe!


Helge Pedersen





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