We were excited to get the invite from Bear at Motorcycle Sherpa last year for a trip to Nepal with other motorcycle industry nerds. Some of ‘em were already friends and the rest quickly became new ones. Our buddy Tim Statt of http://www.gigacyclegarage.com was the common denominator who helped bring this gaggle together.
My schedule was already packed with too many excursions to make it happen but I was glad to share with a few of our most adventurous riders at Biltwell instead of going myself. Geoff Kowalchuk is our intrepid photographer, a great rider, and a hardy traveller so he was an easy pick. Plus, he could document the trip in his patented photographic style. Rouser Rob works part time as a Biltwell’s in-house mechanic, among other tasks (anything but paint!) and spends the rest of his time surfing in Central America. Again, an easy choice since he’s ridden many a mile in far-off lands. From Cambodia to Nicaragua, Rob’s pretty much seen it all one way or another. Patrick was a wild card since we hadn’t done any big trips with him before. But, he was passionately interested in international moto travel, rides to work religiously and hadn’t been on any of the other really big trips we’ve done. We got clearance from his boss Gary, the warehouse manager at Biltwell and signed him up!
We got our first taste of riding through suspension bridges and yielding while full packs of goats and yaks took over the road. We got to see some temples, tons of monkeys, and an open air cremation. We visited more temples and ate at Yac Donalds where we were served “Happy Meals” which consisted of a yak burger, fries, and juice. About mid-trip, we got a “free day” where there was no riding and we all got to do everything at our own leisure. We went to a spa, got tattoos, and shopped a bunch. -Geoff
Since I’d been on one India excursion a couple years ago, I gave the dudes as much pre-trip advice as I could. Most of which turned out to be total bullshit. My trip was in the southern Himlayas and briefly into Myanmar. You can see that old story here. The Nepal trip turned out to be much more challenging that anything I had encountered, so their stories are much better too!
The group of riders assembled turned out to be a congenial band of misfits who ended up enjoying the kind of camaraderie that only comes from shared hardship. While everyone had their own opinions of the trip, they all agreed on a few key points: the scenery was unimaginable, ever-changing terrain was challenging, and the ancient culture was enlightening. This was possible only because of the tight logistics and planning provided by Bear, Buddhi and the guides from Motorcycle Sherpa. Thankfully our boys survived, and came back worn out, but stoked from a true adventure. -Bill
Standing out there a mile up on a narrow suspension bridge trying to take a group photo, I hear “excuses me, excuse me”. Before I knew what was going on, a group of locals were pushing by us with a stretcher saying, “excuse me, excuse me”. The person on the stretcher brushed my shoulder. That person was dead. It was a little trippy, but it made sense, it was the only way to get him out of the village on the other side of the gorge. We saw them put him in a taxi, kinda reminded me of the movie “Weekend at Bernie’s”-Rouser
The guides were great. Bear and his team have a solid system so no one gets lost and you can ride at your pace and not feel rushed. They picked some great routes for seeing the country and experiencing how they live. I always felt safe, it may have helped that we were all big bad tattooed biker guys (lol) so no one ever gave us trouble. The Nepalese are some of the nicest people I have ever met. Our group was rad, everyone got along great! Many were friends prior, and if they weren’t, they definitely all were after. -Patrick