A Year In Review!

September 29th 2011

It’s 5 am in Hong Kong and I am arriving via Cathay Pacific airways from SFO on my way to my destination for this leg, Beijing! I left Western China a year ago. After entering through Laos into China, West and North into Tibet, Nepal and into India.If you were following along, I left my bike in Calcutta with a shipping agent. The remaining Singapore Mafia had arranged to ship their bikes back to Singapore, using tried and true, Danny Limm freight forwarder. But I wasn’t sure what my next move was. I still had two month’s left on my India travel visa and wanted to keep my options open. As you may recall I was a little disenchanted with India. I thought that what I should really do was go back and spend more time trying to experience and understand it’s cultures better but in the end it just didn’t happen.When I returned from the China expedition last September, I was only back in the states ten days before heading to Central and South America with the Wheelchair Foundation. Two weeks and five countries of flying in Ken Behring’s private McDonald-Douglas MD-80 ! I was invited along with my friend Don and his son Josh. Josh has CP and is in a wheelchair. The three of us over the past 6 years have been on over 16 wheelchair distributions in 9 different countries. But there is nothing like traveling private with David Behring and his mother Pat in the the “Big Jet”. It was another over the top trip! Basically on this particular trip, a bunch of the nicest “rich people” you ever met donate 25 grand a couple and they get to go on the trip and participate in wheelchair distributions. The entire trip has been organized with all of the chairs being shipped ahead. On this trip we distributed over 400 chairs, primarily in Peru, Chile and Argentina. Traveling with this crowd is a big deal. Everywhere we go we are hosted by presidents and dignitaries. The distributions are life changing. If you’re not familiar with the foundation please click on the link on the front page on muchobill.com and please make a difference!  A $150 donation purchases a wheelchair and changes someone’s life!

November 2010
Annual motorbike trip to Hollister California with the family.

Basically a bunch off friends and their families meet up with their motorcycles and motorhomes, camp, party and ride for Thanksgiving week.We have been doing this for over ten years and a fun time is had by all. Stop by and see us sometime!

December 2010
Baja California, El Oasis
Christmas for the orphanage.

As many of you know we have helped sponsor an orphanage in Baja for about ten years. Each year I work with the orphanage and choose a worthy project. I then go back to my Rotary club and friends and hustle them out of their money for the projects. Many of them also come with me to do the project, help out and play with the kids. Some past years projects include a soccer field, complete computer lab, a solar well, game room and complete A/V room. We also do major Christmas shopping in Tijuana for all the kids to make sure they have something to open on Christmas Day. Each child is shopped for individually, we have their age, size and interest.  We also do a major Costco run for consumables.  Of course we always head up to Mike’s Sky Ranch for an annual Christmas beer!

January 2011
Ten days of R and R in Puerto Vallarta.
Stayed at the Intercontinental and had a blast!

February 2011
Back to Guadelarra with my friends Don and Josh to distribute 300 wheelchairs. While we were there we couldn’t miss the city of Tequila!  It was a great distribution with the local Rotary club.  And always great to travel with Don And Josh.

March 2011
Ten days in Baja with Malcolm Smith Adventures.

This is also an annual event I have been doing for over 11 years.  It’s the major fundraiser for the El Oasis Orphanage.  Malcolm is responsible for stumbling across this place while pre-running for one of his the many Baja 1000 races.  It’s another big group of riders who get together every year and ride from Tecate or Ensenada all the way down the peninsula to Cabo San Lucas. We crisscross from the Pacific to the Sea of Cortez.  All in total ends up being about 1400 miles of the best off-road riding in the world with a bunch of generous nice guys who have a great time and manage to raise upwards of 100 grand each year for the orphanage.

April 2011
Wheelchairs for El Salvador!

This time my Daughter Jessica joined Don, Josh and a family friend.  We had an exciting host who showed up at the airport with two guards toting automatic weapons and all of them in bullet proof cars! He jumps out of the blacked out SUV and says Welcome to El Salvador! This was my second trip to El Salvador. My first time was back in 07′ when I had just started my RTW (round the world) trip. I came through there solo after entering from Guatemala.  It’s a beautiful country with amazing, caring, passionate people. This trip was particularly special for me because my daughter was there to help. This was Jessica’s 5th distribution. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful daughter who has a big Heart and enjoys giving as much as I do.  It was also special because we delivered our 5000th wheelchair!

April again 2011

Baja One more time!

For the past few years I have been bringing my pre-runner, Ford f250 for Malcolm’s ride. It started out that I built the truck for a racer friend of mine who became paralyzed after a minor accident. We had spent a lot of time together in Baja and he just really wanted to get back there. So I built a special truck for him with basically a Hoyer lift to raise his 6’5 270 lb quadriplegic ass into the truck. Then we strap him into the six point harness and chase the bikes to Cabo. Check out the video on YouTube. After the long trip down I usually leave the truck at the Finestera Hotel in Cabo for a month then drive back up the peninsula at a leisurely pace and enjoy the best of Baja.

July 2011
Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Ok! Finally back to where we left off in India. Between my Visa expiring, my genuine dislike of riding India and the fact that my 2002 BMW 1150 GS adventure was feeling a little bit neglected after 40,000 hard miles, half of which have been off-road, she needed a little TLC. In April I shipped her Back to Singapore to the BMW dealer there, Performance Motors. These guys know the GS. You wouldn’t think that an Island in South east Asia with hardly any open dirt would be the capitol Of Big Bmer GS’S, but there has to be more GS’s than any where in the world. It’s also the head quarters for the Storm Riders! AKA, The Singapore Mafia, My riding buddies I met last year for China to India. So for the 4th of July I flew to Singapore to check on the progress on my bike. While I was taking care of my bike, I knocked off a couple of extra stamps in my passport. Progressing my goal of tagging 60 countries before I hit the ripe age of 60 years old. Now 51, I gotta get cooking! So I traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia and the Philippines renting scooters and seeing the sights. Back to Singapore to prepare the bike for shipping to Ullan Bataar, Mongolia. This will be another adventure with my friends from Singapore. I will hook up with them on this trip in Beijing, China and we will travel together to receive the bikes in Mongolia and travel to Russia and Siberia.

July, 2011
The Colorado 600

Back from South east Asia just 8 days and it’s off to Denver with one of my best friends Chris Carter from Motion Pro. This ride is organized by Don Riggles, a legend and open lands activist to riders in Colorado. The concept of the Colorado 600 is an invitation only ride to bring together riders and professionals from the motorcycle industry. It’s a 501c3 and a large portion of the entrance fee goes directly to keep Colorado trails open for the enthusiast to enjoy. It’s also set up to educate and invites open discussions on how all riders should be involved in keeping the trails open. Each morning starts off with open discussion and a presentation from organizers, forestry officials, and AMA (American Motorcycle Association) and is MC’d by Stan Simpson, past president of the AMA. Over 70 grand was raised, all of it going to keep the trails open. 5 days of some of the best and most challenging single track Colorado has to offer. In attendance were many past and current ISDA, Dakar, and professional racers. the riding was both challenging and exhilarating! There is something for everybody and many new friends were made.

August 29th 2011
Arrive Beijing, China from San Francisco.

Spending a couple of days acclimating from the 22 hour trek across the international date line before meeting up with Singapore Storm Riders/Border Crossers. Doing some regular tourist type stuff. Tiananmen Square, Forbidden Palace, etc.

September 1st 2011

After battling with Beijing traffic I arrive at Beijing International airport. I meet up with my friends from Singapore! Guess what the first thing we do is? Go for Chinese food for lunch! We board the plane for Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia. The View from the plane is spectacular! What a remote and beautiful country! Everyone is excited and anxious to start our adventure! We are still missing our favorite navigator, Chris. He will be joining us tonight.

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