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Bike's & Bio's Silk Road Adventure 2019

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Welcome to the Bike's & Bio's Page of the GlobeRiders Silk Road Adventure 2019 Live!Journal!


This is the "up close" and personal Chapter of the Silk Road Adventure 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 the Silk Road countries on their own bike's, but they also get to meet local people off the beaten track, taste the cuisine and immerse themselves in the amazing history of this historic part of the world.

It's my privilege to introduce the members of the GlobeRiders Silk Road Adventure 2019.



Best Regards,

Helge Pedersen



Bike's & Bio's



Frank Leonard - Seattle, WA, USA


BMW 2014 R1200GS Adventure


I’m Frank. Hail from Seattle, Washington.


Presently still gainfully employed in the mechanical contracting industry. My wife, Mary, and I are empty nesters except for my youngest son’s dog, Benny, who seems to live with us more than with him. Although Benny was questioning me going away for two months to ride this adventure, Mary was actually positive about it.


I bought a new camera for this ride and am geared up to taking lots of photos. Looking forward to meeting the others on this journey and experiencing the people and cultures along the way.






Tom Botz - Los Angeles, CA, USA




I am an apartment manager 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, traveling, and being with family and friends.  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 from Alaska to the tip of Argentina, mostly solo; done a fair amount of dirt biking in Baja, the Mojave and around Mammoth Lakes with friends and my kids; ridden the Alps a few times; and ridden with Helge the length of Africa and around the Himalayas.  I very much appreciate a set-up where Helge does the work (route planning, hotels, visas, shipping etc.) and all I need to do is enjoy the ride.


Looking forward to the Silk Road and making new friends.






Pablo Vadillo - Miami, FL, USA


2017 BMW R1200GS Adventure


I was born and raised in San Juan, Argentina, and then I moved to the city of Mendoza where I met my beautiful wife – Monica Fiat Vadillo – and my life finally had meaning. She was my peer in University and she has taught me everything that I know about anything. I followed her to Miami, Florida where she founded and became the CEO of Imagik Int’l Corp., a company that specializes in designing and manufacturing In-Flight Entertainment Systems for Commercial & Military Aircraft.


I have happily been an employee at her company for the past 30 years and I could not ask for a better boss! I have a wonderful 17-year-old daughter named Nicole Vadillo, who is as smart as her mother and pretty like me. She is also incredibly skilled in writing my bios. My passion and hobbies are spending quality time with my wife and daughter when they have time for me. When they are busy, I usually ride motorcycle and wait for them to want to hang out again. I am totally excited and looking forward to this once in a lifetime riding adventure because I don’t think my wife and daughter will let me go again anytime soon.






Neil Reynolds - Woodland Hill, CA, USA


2016 BWM R1200GS


Perhaps one time when you were riding your motorcycle in traffic you happened to notice a child in a nearby car with his nose pressed to the window as he admired your motorcycle - that was me!  And now here I am about to embark on the Silk Road.





Gordon Zans - Ottawa, ON, CAN


2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure


My name is Gordon Zans. I am 60 year old, retired Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot who, after 34 years of service has been seeking adventure and the adrenalin surge through other means, including motorcycling.


I started riding at a very early age accompanying my father to his motorcycle races in Canada and the US where he ultimately won the 1969 North American sidecar championship.


After many years of being stationed outside of Canada and travelling internationally while in uniform, I continue to enjoy the opportunity to travel the world. Recent bike trips have included the Can/US East Coast, South East Asia, Patagonia, Southern Africa, the UK, and the Alps.


I very much look forward to the the Silk Road adventure and meeting new friends, and will be riding my 2015 R1200 GSA. 





Bill Whitacre - Eagle, ID, USA


2019 BMW R1200GS Adventure


About fifteen years ago, I engaged with ADV motorcycle riding.  I experienced the movie “The Long Way Around”, met two Canadians that were circumnavigating North America and bought a new KTM 950 S.  It didn’t take long for the dirt bikes to get dusty and the Harley to be sold.  I was riding the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Mexico camping and exploring......I loved it.


From these initial years, I connected with other riders, Backcountry Discovery Routes and some international tours.  I have ridden in most of North America, South America, Mongolia and a lot of Australia.  My curiosity with the world via motorcycles can only be satisfied by riding the world.


My wife, Joan, has a similar appetite for adventure through high mountain trekking and climbing.  We share a mutual passion for mountain biking, border collies and the backcountry. 


I am officially retired from the food and agriculture industry after forty years.  The word “retired” is somewhat uncomfortable because I am far from this state.  My passion is experiencing my curiosity about the world and I am actively pursuing this.


Helge Pederson/Globeriders is an opportunity to do this through the MIddle East and China.  I couldn’t be more excited to do this with Helge.  He has been a hero of mine for many years.





Christer Garbis - Kirkland, WA, USA


2011 BMW R1200GS Adventure


For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by other cultures and countries. As a teenager, my curiosity turned into a passion for travelling to other parts of our planet. Together with my wife Kicki we have been backpacking around the world, experiencing everything from vibrant market places in Morocco and street food in Vietnam, to remote deserts in Peru and amazing hiking trails in Nepal. 15 years ago we moved from Sweden to Seattle in the Pacific Northwest US. That’s also when I made one of the best decisions ever, trading my backpack for a motorcycle so that I could experience the world on two wheels through adventure motorcycle tours.

Leaving the comforts of the home for a nomadic life on an motorcycle has provided me with a lifetime of stories, allowed me to see some amazing places, and most importantly, it has taught me that people all over the world are generally very welcoming and hospitable no matter where you go.

This year’s Silk road motorcycle tour is the second long haul motorcycle adventure ride I am doing together with our daughter Zoe after we completed the Panamerican highway a few years ago. I am super excited to ride the Silk road together with such a great group of experienced, funny and interesting people. We could not have wished for a better tour organizer than Helge, as he always provides us with a ton of valuable guidance, has amazing stories to share, and perhaps most importantly he helps us keep it all real!








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


2015 BMW R1200GS Adventure


I was made in Norway, left to see the world on a BMW motorcycle and now live outside Seattle, USA. It has been an incredible journey and I have been very fortunate to have the lifestyle that I have had since the day I left Norway in 1982.

After 10 years of riding the world I settled in Seattle where GlobeRiders were created. We have done long distance tours all over the world since the year 2000. From the early start, I have decided not to make GlobeRiders a large company, but rather a small business that have the time and energy to get to know every one of our riders that travel with us.

I love the full process of building a team from start to the end. It is a long process, but worth it in the end when we all return home from our ride with memories for life.

Besides motorcycle touring, photography is a big part of my life and what a great combination it has been, riding the world and taking photographs. Yes, I have an addiction and that is that I carry way too much camera equipment with me on my bike.

Looking forward to ride with this group from the high mountains of the Himalayas to the lakes of Myanmar.

My biggest burden being the leader of this pack is to make sure that everyone is safe and have a wonderful ride, I will do my very best.


Ride Far – Ride Safe!


Helge Pedersen






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