Monday, May 22, 2023


The book, BACK ON THE ROAD (ORTA VEZ in Spanish), hooked Dr. G after his pit stop while looking for America in 2022. Authored by Ernesto "Che" Guevea (1928-1967), it was published in 2000. 
He left his cold home in Montana in April, 2023, with camping gear and several other books for road reading, heading to Mexico on his 2009 KLR650.
One of the books he carried was ON THE ROAD (1957), written by Jack Kerouac (1922-1969). Frazier had read the book in the 1970s and again in 2012 before starting across America on the Clancy Centenary Ride:

To add to his rolling library he carried "THE ORIGINAL SCROLL," the original version of ON THE ROAD. Kerouac had pounded it out in three weeks (1951) on a continuous reel of 120 feet of tracing paper that he had cut and pasted together. The words were not style spaced, there were no margins or chapter and paragraph breaks and far exceeded what was eventually published in 1957. In 2007 the "Scroll" was digitalized and Dr. G was able to read the continuous 416 pages on a Kindle tablet.
Kerouac's books (original scroll and print published) were reflections of his and his pal's road trips across America, as he said later,  "To FIND that America and to FIND the inherent goodness in American man."
In Mexico Dr. G met two other motorcycle adventurers. They were on Harley-Davidson motorcycles from Kansas.
Remembering the numerous times had told Richard C. Livermore he wasn't "in Kansas anymore, Toto" as they rode through South America and Africa, he asked one of the two riders if they knew they were no longer in America? 

One replied, "Oh yeah, and we left Toto back in Kansas," and all three laughed. They then exchanged road tales of of what they had found on the road crossing America to Mexico.
Far from his home in Montana, Dr. G found another Montana adventurer on the side of the road. #9 had seen him from across a freeway and turned around thinking the motorcyclist had a flat tire as the motorcycle was on the center stand and luggage was on the road around it. Instead, what he found was a stressed and distressed rider strapping on the back of his motorcycle a smashed, expensive, right pannier. It had come off at speed and two cars following hit it. Lucky for all, the pannier was not filled and did not fly through a windshield. It was a reminder for Dr. G to check the tightness of his own pannier mounting bolts.
Entering another nation in Arizona, the Hualapai Nation, Dr. G took a side road to explore his well being, outside of America, at Frazier Well.
He said, "I knew I was well away from America. While there was no formal border crossing upon entering the reservation, it was Indian Country, complete with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office. We Natives sometimes laugh and say the BIA stands for Boss Indians Around."
If one is looking for America, a true reflection can be found in Las Vegas, Nevada, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year. Dr. G stopped at the local Harley-Davidson dealership, located on The Strip in Las Vegas and pondered the busy business they were doing in Sin City on God's Day (Sunday).
Frazier had covered 3,300 miles in nine days in April, "looking for America." Upon entering Utah he decided he had researched enough and decided to make an extended pit stop near Salt Lake City. 
It had been a long strange road trip with Jack Kerouac's books along. The Looking For America Adventure was not over. Frazier looked at the horizons north and westward, thinking he might re-connect with the route taken by Carl Stearns Clancy in 1913 between Idaho and Portland, Oregon on his 1912 Henderson motorcycle or possibly that of the Slim Williams and John Logan between Seattle, Washington and Fairbanks, Alaska on their BSA motorcycles in 1939. Or maybe he would continue with the loose plan for another long and different adventurous road trip around the world, his seventh global circumnavigation, joining others in the global rally.
Frazier laughed into the winds in Salt Lake City when thinking about the hook of the books BACK ON THE ROAD and ON THE ROAD he had studied over the last weeks. He laughed because he remembered he had written his own road book, published in 2008 by the Motorcycle Riders Club of America, titled by them...... ON THE ROAD. That "road" book was actually a re-publication of an earlier works, bought by the Motorcycle Riders Club of America - they had changed the cover and the title from the earlier book that was very successfully published as  MOTORCYCLE TOURING: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW, by Motorbooks. 


[Saul Bishop researched and authored from Frazier's Road Notes and posted the above in May, 2023.  It was not created by Artificial Intelligence, and therefore can be explained any errors and omissions.]


Sunday, May 21, 2023


 Border and water crossings across Asia were the biggest barriers Dr. G saw when he made a pit stop after leaving Duluth, Minnesota to arrive at his home in Montana.  His plan to cross Asia at some point if he were to circle the globe again was going to be expensive and burdensome. He entered a "boots on the ground" research mode, having learned not to believe internet information.

His first test of crossing borders with his own motorcycle was out of Thailand and into Laos. The photo below shows his adventure ready Kawasaki Versys 650 in Thailand with the Mekong River and Laos in background.

Sending a motorcycle from the USA (Los Angeles or Seattle) to Thailand was possible by air freight or shipping across the Pacific, but he found it was going to be 3-4 times more expensive than before Covid. Exiting Thailand and entering Laos from Thailand was given a "go" at the at an international border with the only requirement being the purchase of third party insurance for both countries. 

From Laos into Cambodia by land was also possible, but would require a bit more trickery and some money for a handler/fixer. From his hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia he looked down on the mayhem of traffic and was reminded of his five previous visits.  He had used his own motorcycle but had found it was far easier and less expensive to rent a local motorcycle. 

From Cambodia or Laos into Vietnam on his own motorcycle was possible, but the fluidity of the changing rules suggested the use of a Carnet de Passage, a bond to insure he did not sell his motorcycle in either country, would ease entry requirements. He found that the "smart money" would again be to rent a motorcycle inside Vietnam as he had four times before.  $25.00 USD per day for an adequate motorcycle for Vietnam roads and speeds was easily done with cash and his International Driving Permit and USA Driving License.
Coming back into Thailand to fly over Myanmar or onward to Africa was easiest with a Thai rented motorcycle in Thailand.
#9 had been to all four countries during the winter of 2022. Another possible route across Asia was through China. In January he met with China's most well known motorcycle adventurer, Franki Yang.
Yang and Dr. G spent some hours exploring options for #9 to pass through Asia. When Yang said to avoid Jakarta, Indonesia Dr. G asked, "Why?" He'd been to Java on a motorcycle some years before but turned around before arriving in Java due to time limitations.

Yang said, "Jakarta has the worst traffic in the world." 

Dr. G had been around the world six times before, and opined that Jakarta traffic could not be worse than Cairo, Egypt, or Mexico City, Mexico, Delhi, India or even his most disliked traffic, the I-5 from Los Angeles, to Irvine, California in the USA.

The two global motorcycle road warriors then spent an hour comparing bad traffic and roads they had experience on their travels around the world. In the end Dr. G said, "# 9 is not going to experience Jakarta traffic.  If Franki Yang says it's the world's worst I'll bow to his experience." 

As Yang left he gave a thumbs up to Dr. G's latest book, ADVENTURE MOTORCYCLIST: FRAZIER SHRUGGED, saying he was going to take in on his upcoming motorcycle adventure in China, saying,"This book is rich with adventure. I'll be the only motorcyclist in China with a copy, it's priceless."

Frazier replied, "When I see you later this year I'll have finished the Revised Edition of my 1996 book MOTORCYCLE SEX of FREUD WOULD NEVER UNDERSTAND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ME AND MY MOTORCYCLE. It's been my work over the last months of expedition motorcycling in South East Asia, an adventure motorcycle sexpedition." 


[Saul Bishop posted, May, 2023