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Silk Road Adventure 2011

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Welcome to the Bike's & Bio's Page of the GlobeRiders Silk Road Adventure 2011 Live!Journal!


This is the "up close" and personal Chapter of the Silk Road Adventure 2011 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 Bios. You may not be with them in the flesh, but at least you can learn a bit more about them virtually.

It's my privilege to introduce the members of the GlobeRiders Silk Road Adventure 2011.



Best Regards,





Dan Townsley - Partner/Guide



Bikes & Bio's



Len Adams - Toronto, ON, Canada

2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure

What started as a mid life crisis has turned into a lifelong obsession. Like many others I started on a Harley and am still active with a great circle of friends in the York Region Harley Owners Group. The highlights of my Harley career has been a cross country trip with my Daughter Samantha and most recently a tour of the Southwest USA with my wife Debbie of 32 years. 


Rider training has always been a priority for me. Safety courses quickly turned  into over 100 trackdays riding a variety of superbikes. On the track I met my good friend Jeff who is also with us on the Silk Road Adventure.  Jeff (#32) and I (#3)  have traveled and raced on many of the best tracks in North America including several visits to Freddie Spencer and the California Superbike School. 


In late 2009 Jeff and I decided to retire from trackdays and embarked on GS riding.  I purchased a  R1200 GSA named Lucy. Lucy is an incredible machine who has accompanied me all over North America to attend rallies, Iron Butt events, and superbike races. The passion for GS Riding quickly leads to all things Globeriders.  The images on the Silk Road DVD as well as Helge's book 10 Years on Two Wheels were inspiring and has rekindled my interest in photography.   


Last summer I attended the Off-road Academy (RawHyde) course at the BMW Rally in Redmond. At the rally I was fortunate to meet Helge and a few Globeriders alumni.  I  look forward to this incredible learning experience and meeting the other members of our group from around the world.


Jeff and I have decided to extend the journey to a global adventure by flying to London and traveling overland to Istanbul.  Once the bikes return to Seattle in the summer we will ride across North America to Halifax for Lobster supper before returning home to Toronto.








Pawel Chrobok - Munich, Germany

2003 BMW R1150GS Adventure

I have always loved camping and traveling. In 2001 I was living in Seattle and decided to go camping in the Giford Pinchot National Forest.  For those that don't know the Giford Pinchot National Forest there are hundreds of miles of forest service roads that are in varying conditions from appropriate for a normal car to 4x4 required. At that time I was driving a VW GTI and by the time I got to my campsite I was sure that there would be oil pouring out of the engine and various other parts hanging off of the bottom of my poor little car.  Shortly after checking the underside of my car a guy on a GS rode by.  I watched him stand up and ride through a large puddle that I had just carefully navigated my way around. Man that looked like fun.  His bike was fully loaded with camping gear and I knew that he was probably heading to the campground at the end of the road.  (There was no way my little car would have made it to that campground.)


I wanted to be able to go to that campground but I knew that my car would never make it.  I started thinking about getting a vehicle that could take me to those hard to reach places. Then I thought, I'm not a pickup truck, SUV or jeep kind of guy and I have alway been interested in motorcycles.  The following week I went to the local BMW dealership and met my now good friend Wayne.  The first thing that Wayne did was enroll me in a motorcycle safety class.  Once the class was completed Wayne took me out on a short test ride and I was hooked. I bought a bright red F650GS.


In 2003 I was working at T-Mobile as an International Roaming Expert.  My job was to setup the systems that would enable our customers to travel with their phones and to enable foreigners to use there phones in the US. I spent most of the day talking to people all over the world.  My colleagues used to tease me because whenever I called another technician in some corner of the earth that I had not yet visited I always had lots of questions for the technicians. What is the weather like? What was your last national holiday? What was the holiday a celebration of? And then after I had asked my fifty questions we would get down to the bits and bytes of setting up a roaming agreement.


In 2004 I had had enough of just talking to people all over the world and I figured it was time to get out and see the world.  I quit my job and planned to ride around the world.  I did not know anything about such an undertaking so I signed up for the GlobeRiders trip from Shanhai, China to Munich, Germany.  I figured that in this time I could learn from some of the best travelers/riders Helge Pedersen and Mike Paull.  After that the plan was to head south into Africa and back to Seattle via South America. Unfortunately, I never made it to Munich due to an out of control car that ended the trip for Mike Paull, Dennis Bishop and myself.


I moved to Munich Germany in 2008 after negotiating a contract with 63 consecutive days off knowing that I wanted to ride the Silk Road with GlobeRiders.

The bike is ready and I am ready. 







Jeff Garant - Orillia, ON, Canada

2008 BMW R1200GS


Well, where to start? I guess it was on my grand father’s farm when I first threw a leg over a 2 wheeled machine a Honda 50 that was over 35 years ago.

Bought my first motorcycle while in High School a used Yamaha 550 Vision it required 3 jobs to pay for all the incidental expenses but it transported me back and forth while in University and College. During that time I discovered that in order to make the motorcycle practicable and prove to my mother it was, I rode it 12 months of the year and in southern Ontario that was a challenge.

Over the years I’ve had several motorcycles, traveled all through the United States and Canada visiting many wonderful places and discovered that the destination is just a by-product of the journey.

In 2004 I decided to try something new and bought a Kawasaki ZX7R, signed up for Level 1 and 2 of the FAST Riding School owed by a famous Canadian racer Michele Mercier that was the start of track days.

It was in 2005 at Shannonville Race Track where I first met my good friend Len Adams, when he saw that I was the only rider doing laps in the rain on a Kawasaki ZX10R equipped with street tires. Len decided to take me under his wing and share some riding techniques before I crashed. This led to Len talking me into buying a dedicated track bike, so naturally I bought a used Yamaha R1 race bike and to quote Len “ why don’t you just pour gas on yourself and light a match “. What followed were several race school classes and many safe and wonderful track days until selling the track bikes in late 2009 and buying my present ride Betty.

Now that I had a BMW built to go around the world Len and I decided to buy camping gear and in late September 2009 ventured off to the back woods of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio for a fall ride. That led to more rides in 2010, including 3 Iron Butt’s, the World Super Bike Races in Utah and culminated with the BMW Rally in Redmond Oregon and the beginning of the planning for the Silk Road Adventure 2011.

So for Len and I the adventure begins in London at the Ace Café and with any luck ending with a lobster dinner on the east coast of Canada.






Nick Gudewill - Victoria, BC, Canada

2010 BMW R1200GS Adventure


Although a ‘newbie’ on one of Helge’s trips I feel like the forum over the past few months has provided a huge amount of insight into the many details of planning, organizing, packing and preparing for all aspects of a pretty good sized adventure. I have been very fortunate to enjoy many varied travel experiences all over the world but I must say that the adrenaline rush of going on the Silk Road with a man of Helge’s experience and knowledge has to be a real treat for me. 
I was a keen rider in younger days and a small claim to fame was to ride a Honda 250 9,000 miles through 13 European countries in 1972. Marriage, business and raising a family did not lend itself to riding especially when my lifelong passion has been boating and fishing here on the westcoast of British Columbia which has some of the most pristine cruising waters in the world (next to my kids being born, catching a 67 lb salmon which took nearly 4 hours to land in 1992 has to be a highlight). At 62 and with two great sons 24 and 22 having graduated with commerce degrees from the University of Calgary it is time for Nick to branch out so to speak! As a result I have been riding actively for the past three years and look forward to many more hopefully with Helge in the lead as well.
In terms of business I no longer have to meet a payroll. In an earlier life I was a commercial helicopter pilot flying mostly in Newfoundland and Labradour on the east coast of Canada. Following that it was 12 years in the family Coca-Cola business on Vancouver Island and Northern British Columbia before starting up four coin operated vending machine businesses in the same areas. With three younger brothers who are best pals, we have pooled our resources and invested in commercial real estate in Western Canada with some success.
I love being active and play a keen game of squash, get around the golf course okay and work out lots especially in preparation for this trip.  I am sure that the memories, new friendships and sheer exhilaration of riding the Silk Road will make this the trip of a lifetime!






Nicolas Jacquand - Tourouvre, France

2007 BMW R1200GS


I am 60, father of 5 grown up children (4 girls and 1 son) and delighted grand father of 3. I am married to a beautiful franco/german lady Bèatrice who will join me in Istanbul until departure day.  I live in Normandy about 125 km from Paris.

After spending15 years in South East Asia I came back home and baught a company producing lighting fixtures. That business went pretty well so I sold it 6 years ago. Ever since I have been involved in voluntary community work.


I am also a keen hunter and that  brought me to many countries mostly in Africa. I also have had a wonderful time with my 1200 GS Adv in particular last year for the trans Australia west to east run. Unforgettable experience.

After this trip to China I have many bike adventure projects.






Mac McCaulley - Andover, NJ, USA

2007 BMW R1200GS


I have owned , I think, a total of 18 motorcycles, from Japanese to British to German.  I have been riding from age 17. Currently own a BMW K75 and a R1200GS.  Favorite long trips have been England, The Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, New England, Morocco, South Africa, Japan and  Vietnam/Cambodia.


I love to travel for both work and play.


Have also traveled extensively in North America and Europe.  In recent years have been to Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Spain, Finland and Sweden.  The travel bug has definately bitten !!  Looking forward to the many cultures, languages  and history of the Silk Road.  I am sure my expectations of visiting many different and beautiful places, and seeing many new peoples will be met on this trip. Especially on a motorcycle !!  The adventurer of the unknown is ready to go.


In real life I own a sales agency (manufacturer's representative agency) and sell for several companies.  They are mostly manufacturers of stainless steel and alloy tubing and pipe plus a couple of stamping companies and a tube fabricator.  I sell into the medical, marine, electronics, food equipment, aircraft and heat exchanger industries... Travel 11 states of the Northeast.


Too many hobbies and not enough time. I have restored an old Chris Craft,  built a Cobra kit car project, and enjoy hiking, skiing and am a regular squash player.  Even riding a motorcycle!!  "So many roads and so little time."


Personally I am happily divorced and have a maturing 25 year old daughter, Daron, recent college graduate, who is finding her way into the job market.  Hopefully something in the Geography Information Science field. An exciting time.  


Off to Istanbul and points East.






Randy McClanahan - Huston, TX, USA

2008 BMW R1200GS Adventure

I live in Houston, Texas (generally in the cool months) and Santa Fe, N.M. (generally in the hot months). When I'm not riding, I am a lawyer. I usually represent small businesses and entrepreneurs against larger companies in business litigation. I like to call them "David v. Goliath" cases.


I started riding on a Harley in 2006. I quickly fell in love with offroad adventure riding, however, and will be riding my 2008 BMW 1200 GS Adventure on this trip. She lives in Santa Fe, along with her little brothers, a 2009 BMW G450X and a 2010 BMW 800GS. (The Harley is for sale, and will someday be replaced by a BMW 1600GTL. I have owned, and sold, Kawasaki and KTM. What can I say -- I am a BMW guy!) My 1200 GSA took good care of me on the 2010 GlobeRiders Africa Adventure.


I learned to ride in the dirt the hard way. My first "tour" was on a KTM 450 EXC in Mammoth Lakes, Ca. No one told me you lean the other way in the dirt! Our two "guides" were both Paris/Dakar finishers, and one was a Baja winner. There were seven participants -- 5 bestfriends from Columbia (they said they were "ranchers") who had ridden together for 35 years, an Austrian who owned every bike KTM made, and me, who was still trying to find the shifter! I ended up with a broken hip, surgery in the Mammoth Lakes 14 bed hospital, and several months on crutches! So, I did the only thing I could -- I signed up for a trip from Anchorage to Prudhoe Bay from my hospital bed! To prepare for that trip, I attended the RawHyde school twice and the BMW GS school in South Carolina. After that, I took a trip from El Paso to Copper Canyon. Having seen the top of the world (Prudhoe Bay), I next wanted to see the bottom, so I took a trip through Patagonia from Santiago to Ushuaia. Yes, I can personally tell you about riding a big bike in the wind and gravel on Ruta 40! Then I rode down the Continental Divide from Helena to Albuquerque, and followed the 2011 Dakar Rally in Argentina and Chile.


I have been a huge fan of Helge's since I first watched the Silk Road Adventure, and I have acquired every DVD he has made, watching them all several times. I have also tried to read as many books written by world motorcycle adventurers as possible. My "bucket list" dream is to see the world by motorcycle, taking at least one major trip each year for as long as I am able to pull in the clutch. The problem is, I've discovered that once a year is not enough! This is my second trip with Globeriders in less than twelve months. While my bike was on the ship returning from Africa, I realized that I didn't need to return it to Santa Fe. I could simply send it on to Istanbul and knock out Globeriders' trip number two, so that is what I did. New shocks, tires and a service, and put her back in the container for Turkey! See you on the Silk Road!






Dan McLaughlin - Issaquah, WA, USA

2010 KTM 990 Adventure


The adventure continues. . .


Twenty years of mountain climbing, forty years of dirt biking, a few misguided years riding Harleys, and now dual sport riding.


An understanding wife has helped along the way. Kathie sometimes joins me (28 countries last year) but not this trip.


Being in denial about how old I'm getting (67), I still go to work in the family collision repair business (35 years).


Looking forward to meeting new people in new counties.




Mike McNulty - Villa Park, CA, USA

2010 BMW R1200GS


I'm Mike McNulty. In a previous life I like to Adventure Travel via hiking and Trekking. I finally came to my senses and now I sit or stand and twist the throttle instead of my ankle! I'm 64 years old and live in Southern California, USA, with Marilyn, my wife of 42 years. We have two children, to two grandchildren and a heard of hunting dogs. This bring me to two interests: Bird hunting and Flying.

I have owned a Semi-Truck Trailer Sales and Leasing business for 32 years - having a son and son-in-law in the business makes it possible to take plenty of time off.

My motorcycle interests mainly revolve around Adventure Travel: several Dual Sport trips to Mexico and a South America and Morocco trip with another tour operator. I have dreamed of taking the Silk Road Adventure since I discovered Helge's website three years ago. A "high-five" to an understanding wife for supporting not only an eight week trip but also a new bike to ride: a red 2010 BMW R1200 GS.

I look forward to meeting all of the other Silk Road riders and having a great ride.







John Oates - Yardly, PA, USA

2010 BMW R1200GS Adventure


I grew up and still live in the Philly area.  Bought my first bike on new years eve 1999.  Spent the last 10 or so years in pharmaceutical research and decided it was time for a break.  I realized years ago, too much of my travel was resort oriented and I would comeback knowing very little about the culture of the people in the country I was visiting.  Bought my first GS in 2004 and ever since have been dreaming of seeing the world close up - preferably by bike.  


Took a Rawhyde Adventures camp on a rental 2010 GSA in November, and ordered one the week I got home.  The bike's arrival in mid December gave me the unique joy of breaking in a new MC in sub 30 degree weather- I considered it part of the hardening process for adventure travel.  To thaw out, I spent a month in Thailand (no bike) but did build a house!


Some dreams take a long time to come true.  As I write this looking out on the Croatian coastline with my bike parked for the night- I realize this is no longer just a dream.







Chris Wood - Wellington, New Zeland

2009 BMW F800


I am a 58 year old New Zealander living in Wellington with wife Karen and two sons. I work as an independent contractor, working on finance-oriented projects for a range of clients.

I first started riding bikes when I was 16, but gave it away many years ago when I got married to a pathologist who has done too many post mortems on young motorcyclists! She now considers I am older (certainly true) and wiser (not so sure about that), and she knows how much doing a trip like this means to me, so she has relented and fully supports me on this ride.







Helge Pedersen (Tour Leader) - Shoreline, WA, USA

2009 BMW R1200GS Adventure

Born and raised in Norway, I got my education as a technical photographer. At 27 I headed out into the world to explore, take pictures, and write stories, all while riding my BMW R80G/S motorcycle.

It was a life-changing journey that set me on a new path.  I knew that after this journey, it would be very difficult to go back to an ordinary job. That was when I started GlobeRiders, LLC, and here we are, ready to do another journey on the Silk Road.

I live in Seattle, USA, with my wife Karen Ofsthus, whom I met on my world tour in 1988. 

Besides motorcycle adventure travel, I very much love taking pictures wherever I travel.  Lately I have become more interested in video and will explore this further on this journey.  Even though this is my fourth journey to this region, I am very excited to go back and discover new ways to photograph and document this journey.

Enough said, let’s go for a Ride!

Helge P.






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