Chapter 20
While back home
Bright is a Fraud

Bright is a Fraud

Have been thinking:


1.) It’s official: I am a fraud. Having failed to drive the last 200 miles beyond the 'Arctic Circle' sign to Prudhoe Bay, I will never be able to truthfully say I have driven around the world. Apparently (according to some dodgy bloke who must remain nameless) you have to drive as far as the road takes you from the furthest north to the furthest south twice on the same bike in one uninterrupted journey. i.e. a full circumference. Driving all the way from New York doesn't count for sh*t. My living lie is compounded by the fact that on my Africa jolly, I only rode to Cape Point, near Cape Town. The southern most point in Africa is Cape Agulhas: I did go there by car, but this probably doesn't count. It also stinks of rotting seaweed.

Haven't been to the North Cape in Norway either, but I'm sure I'll make it there at some point. I wonder how many other 'frauds' there are out there, who drive in selected countries of the world and miss out the bits in between, but still claim to have done the RTW thing? :-)

A bemused outsider

2.) People seem to have difficulty relating to you when you reappear from a long (fraudulent) round the world bike trip. Then again, maybe I have the problem relating to them. The first couple of weeks were particularly 'bad'. You just seem to observe the world as a bemused outsider. All these robots scurrying around shouting into mobile phones with stupid ringing tones, hyper-stressed, watching naff TV programs like 'Big Brother' and 'Survivor'. If this reality TV is the 'reality' of this 21st Century, then 'buenos noches'. I have been regularly tuning into the 'Jerry Springer Show': Pure genius. A friend who has spent a fair bit of time in Manhattan says he's getting tired of it. He voiced the desire to be able to drink whiskey on and fire guns from the back porch of his house. I know where he's coming from...

3.) A few of my correspondents have said that previous global reports have left them geographically challenged. Here is a map of my journey. Click here or on the map to view a close-up. Apart from a brief spell (?) in Yurop and a some months in the Land of the Free and Brave, mostly I was, (and will continue) dodging dragons and cannibals (Shame I wasn't as successful avoiding sheep and drunks!) and fraternising with commies.

4.) Here is also a pic of my new 'exwife'. Very similar to the old goat, don't you think? The German bird's bits were a tad more horizontal though... Anybody wanting to be removed from my mailing list please let me know!

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Penalty-winning, Lederhose-wearing bint

5.) Should the Silver Vixen not be up to it, I'll have to continue on the old scratched up Penalty-winning, Lederhose-wearing bint. Now there's an idea.... The bike is still in Chile and I'll be returning in a little while to begin the 'No-Pressure-Tour'. The plan for the first half is to search out every dirt road between Bolivia and Colombia.


Sane people might attempt this on a light weight dirt bike. Me: I'm going on a fully loaded 300kg (nearer 400kg if you include some fat Pommie bloke and a full tank of gas) airhead GS. I'll also be carrying a spare shock absorber and driveshaft.... The strategy for dubious terrain: If in doubt, accelerate!

After reaching Cartagena, we (Bright, Ex and Norman MkII) will hang a right and head through Venezuela to Brazil, before flying out of Buenos Aires in time for Christmas at home in Yurop. After that, it will be time to hang up the bike keys and get a new career.

6.) On the trip so far, the bike wasn't so much unreliable, but more prone to major component failures, namely.... Where do I start? Basically everything except the engine and clutch. I sincerely hope this is not to continue. The other weakness was the rider. His wishes for the future include: not to collide with sheep/drunks/dragons or drive straight ahead in a left curves/get served up as 'Pollo con Brightsalad'.


7.) 'Who is Norman MkII', you ask? Or maybe you don't give a monkey's... Please see his image here. Norman MkI was a little African good luck devil, called locally 'Togolosh'. He was abducted at a x police x road x block in x Mexico. Don't know whether you've ever noticed, but armed uniformed types the world over are card-carrying x. (x = f, get it?) Anybody would think I'm bitter... I'm not bitter.

A superb South African chap, Kevin van Blerk, went way beyond the call to organise a new Togolosh from Malawi. After failing to locate one in Cape Town, he spammed the entire Malawian email register and one chap who could help, responded. The new Norman went by courier from Malawi to South Africa and then by post to Argentina, where he was picked up from Post Restante, Ushuaia in time to visit the End of the World. This sort of story made my trip worthwhile. Thanks again Kevin and that man in Malawi!!!

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8.) If I am expressing thanks, then a few of the many who made this jaunt happen as well as enjoyable, deserve a mention: My parents Rene and Inge for their unquestioning love and support (my dad knows nearly as much as I do about my BMW, which is not bad, considering he has never ridden it), (Tante) Tini and Dan (for bringing a chocolate motorcycle and a shock-absorber to Chile, as well as the many other acts of kindness), Ben and all the hospitable people in the BMW bike clubs in South Africa and Costa Rica, in addition to the kind members of the BMWMOA. A special mention also goes to Ricardo in Ecuador for being my 'hermano' and all the bike mechanics (there were quite as few.... and none tried to rip me off) who learnt more about BMWs (particularly the 1989 R100GS paralever model) through me.

9.) Grant Johnson of HorizonsUnlimitedDotCom for bringing the family of bike travellers together and trying to give me good advice (unfortunately, I ignored most of it!) and Neale Bayly of Motorcycle Journal dot net (the website seems to be down... for his support and belief in my project, as well as a superb pair of bike pants to replace the crash destroyed ones) should also have my gratitude expressed to them.

It may seem strange to an outsider, but virtually without exception, everybody I met 'on the road' or who had something to do with motorcycles was kind, helpful and friendly. In my opinion, this trait is not prevalent in society (particularly the Western version) in general.


10.) I can't say how much news you'll receive from me when I'm back in South America. I won't be carrying my laptop (space is needed for such random items as shocks and driveshafts and weight must be saved...) and I have an intense desire to spend less time and money in internet cafes and rather more productively: reading, up a mountain or 2, hanging out in coffee-serving-cafes, together with sampling the sights, sounds and culture of this beautiful continent.

See you on the Road.

Loosely Hang and Safely Ride,


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