Thursday, August 23, 2012

Irish Hospitality

For those of you who don't know, my KTM was stolen in Dublin on August 9th around 3:00 PM. 

I want to thank all of you who have sent me emails, called, and helped me out. In the past couple weeks I have received hundreds of emails and messages from all over the world offering support. My family was very worried and I am not sure how I will ever express our gratitude to all of you who have helped me, a total stranger.

A special thank you to:

Peter Bookey of Aaron Rider Training
Peter and his family gave me a place to stay, food, many pints of Guinness and a KTM 640 ADV to use for a couple days in Ireland. Peter took time off work to show me around the Emerald Island and I am very great full for our time together. It was great craic! Peter even gave me a ride to the UK on the back of his BMW.
Peter and (part) of the Bookey Family

Paul Rawlins of Celtic Rider Cycle Rental and Tours
After searching for days to try to get insurance figured out on Peter's 640, Paul was able to insure me under his policy. This is the ONLY motorcycle rental company in Ireland. They are nice people and they have great machines.

Greg McGarry of
Greg has given me a GPS tracker to be fitted to the next motorcycle. Please take a look at the new trackers 
available. They are not just for motorcycles. They have a 2 month battery life!

Jim O’Regan and Family of Ceol Na Mara
Jim and his family have a very nice Bed and Breakfast located in the town of Enniscrone on the Atlantic coast north of Balina. The rooms were clean and comfortable, the view was increadible and the traditional Irish breakfast was just what a traveler needs in the morning. I will never forget watching the surfers while the sun set over this beautiful town.
Jim and Family
The view from the dining room!
Jackie and Brian Morgan of the Atlantic Villa
Jackie and Brian bought the Atlantic Villa in Knightstown Valentia Island about 4 years ago. Since then they have been renovating it while keeping the history and charm alive. The Atlantic Villa used to be house of the “Cable Master” for the Trans-Atlantic telegraph line that was Valentia Island (most western inhabited point in Europe) to Heart's Content Newfoundland ( the most eastern point in North America). The views of the surrounding garden, town and island are incredible. Be sure to share a pint with Jackie and Brian at Boston's Pub a short walk from the Atlantic Villa. The muscles there are great. They also serve the traditional Irish breakfast and do a fine job of it!
Brian, Jackie and I in front of the Atlantic Villa
The John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1
Not once but twice John Murray had Peter and I call into his show. Within an hour I received over 30 emails from people offering Bed and Breakfast, and any other help you can think of. They even put a picture of my KTM that was stolen on their web page. Thanks again John.

Paul (and community) from UKGSer
Paul set up a fund raising thread on UKGSer to scrape together some money to help me out. Paul and Lucy met up with Peter and I on our way into the UK. Paul handed me an envelope with £700 in it. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up. Thank you all.

John Mitchinson of Rally-Raid Products UK
John called me when he heard of my misfortune and said he had a KTM 690 with a Michigan plate on it sitting in his shop. I was able to contact the owner Luke Swab and work out a deal with him. John has helped me with a shop, tools, parts, food, a place to stay and some great stories!

There are countless people who have helped to try to get my bike back. I am not sure if I will ever see her again but I am forever great full of you who have helped. You know who you are.

I know I am going to miss something but there were countless other people on the Internet who shared my story on Facebook (Waterford Harley posted my email and it was shared 280 times),,,,, even the Irish times.

My first night in Ireland I felt alone and helpless. I was considering going home and quitting my trip all together. In the past few weeks I have learned just how much support, love and hospitality that Ireland has to offer. My one regret is that I was not able to stay longer. I will return to see the people and places I missed and the new friends whom I might not have met.

Thank you.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Grand Marais MN to Toronto Ontario

Northern Minnesota is like a time machine. You get there end of June and before you know it.. It is August and you have a few days to make it to Toronto. I am glad to say I AM BACK ON THE ROAD!

While I was in Grand Marais and Tofte, I did a lot of this:
Fishing (getting skunked) with Dad and Craig

Craig getting the cars ready in Proctor. He didn't do well that weekend. I think it was all the pressure of little brother being there. 

Craig's station wagon. Carrying on the Horak Tradition. 

Easton blowing a corner..
Craig and Easton getting ready for the green flag
Craig blowing a corner..
Caught this northern lights display!

New/changed/improved moto parts:
New Regulator Rectifier 


Spare sprockets and new bash guard w/ extra 2L tank.. for fuel or oil.. or vodka. What ever is most important.  

Removed the Fuel Filter from inside the tank and installed it outside. For easy access. 

Added temp gauge (ambient) top left, Voltage gauge top right and a power outlet. 

Rebuilt the front fork with new bushings, seals and full length gators. I also took apart, cleaned and greased the all the moving parts and pivot points in the rear suspension. 

New luggage from Giant Loop and a stainless spare parts can. The spare parts are in stacked in discs of foam with holes cut in them. 

I left Grand Marais MN the morning of the August 1 and headed north around the lake. It took me until Sunday evening to make it to Toronto. Thursday I had Rain and 50 degrees in the morning. Saturday I had 98 degrees until 7 at night. I didn't take very many pictures for some reason. Maybe I am not back in travel mode after sitting for a month.

Brother Craig and I just before leaving. This picture is shocking.

The North Shore.. up by Thunder Bay ON.

The East shore of lake Superior

The East shore of lake Superior
New travel fly rod! Its shorter then my tent poles!

A guy at the shipping depot signed Onterio. I didn't realize until now.. I think its spelled Ontario. He said I couldn't take a picture of him because of security reasons.
 So now I am in Toronto. I left Katy M with the shipping company today. We will be re-united in Dublin on the morning of the 9th after flying through the night. She gets to ride on the same plane as me! Oh, also please click on the links tab to see all the people who have helped me at the top of the page. If The Tire and Auto Lodge in Grand Marais, MN had a website.. I would put that on there also.