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Africa Adventure 2007 Live!Journal
Helge reporting on location from the Fish River Canyon, Namibia, Africa

GlobeRiders Africa Adventure 2007 Live!Journal Chapters Menu

The Bikes & Biographies Chapter

"If I had my life to live over I'd like to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I

would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream

and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual trouble, but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. You see, I'm one of those people who live

sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact,

I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those

persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would

travel lighter than I have. If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go

to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds, I would pick more daisies." - Nadine Stairs riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold." - Archibald MacLeish (1892 - 1982)

"I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it." - Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 - 1969)

Welcome to the Bikes and Bios Chapter of the Africa Adventure 2007 Live!Journal.  Here, you can meet the participants of this 6,700 mile (10,720 kilometer), 37-day through the countries of South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia.

As webmeister, I've asked each participant to tell us a little about themselves, and to also submit a few of their favorite pictures with their biography. In order to preserve their story, only minor edits for punctuation and formatting were made. As is true in every Chapter of the Live!Journal, the stories are their own. Unless otherwise noted, all images on this page were submitted by the respective autobiographers, and are used with their permission. Images may have been formatted to fit the page.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the riders and participants of the GlobeRiders Africa Adventure 2007!

Best Regards, Your WebMeister,

Mike M. Paull - Partner, Guide, Webmeister

Where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, Cape Agulhas, southernmost point on the Africa continent.

My BMW G650GS.

Participant: Christian, Debbie
From: Washington, USA
Motorcycle: 2005 BMW F650GS
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2005
Africa Adventure 2007

About Debbie . . .

We are Harrison and Debbie Christian. We live in Morton, Washington, USA.

Our motos are two BMW F650 GS's.

We own several small businesses and love to ride and travel. This is our second journey to South Africa with GlobeRiders

Prepare to be amazed!!!


Participant: Christian, Harrison
From: Washington, USA
Motorcycle: 2006 BMW F650GS
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2005
Africa Adventure 2007

About Harrison . . .

(Waiting for bio)

Where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet, Cape Agulhas, southernmost point on the Africa continent.

At the Eastern end of the Great Wall of China.

Roaring through Siberia, near Ulan Ude, with fellow GlobeRider Eef Peerdeman in tow.

Participant: Hutt, Joe
From: Nevada, USA
Motorcycle: 2006 BMW R1200GS Adventure
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2005
World Tour 2006
Africa Adventure 2007

About Joe . . .

My name is Joe Hutt and I’ll be along with my wife Marlene. I’ll let her talk about her past trips

This is my second trip to Africa - maybe I’ll get this one right. Anyway a little about me and the Biologist (Marlene).

I’ve been riding bikes longer then I can remember. I have nine children who live all over the US. They are still the main reason, along with my partner, that I get up each day.

I love traveling with Mike and Helge, they have the best tours and are the best prepared of any of the tours I’ve seen

My main reason for going on this trip again is to ride the Kalahari desert route through the Rhino Reserve in Namibia. Helge and I did it last time and it’s one of the best rides in one of the most remote places I’ve ever done. That includes the middle of Siberia, which may be second

Any way you will all meet my wife, she’s a Ph. D Biologist, and will be studying rocks, amongst other things, on the travel through Africa, so any questions that Marius can’t answer, she can. We are in Stellenbosch at the time I write this, and will see you all in Cape Town.

Joe Hutt

Participant: Hutt, Marlene
From: Nevada, USA
Motorcycle: Chase Vehicle
GlobeRiders Tours:
Africa Adventure 2005
Africa Adventure 2007

About Marlene . . .

Joe and I currently live in Reno, Nevada, with nine kids scattered all over the US. I have been retired from IBM for 5 years; since then, in addition to going back to my biological roots, I have been remodeling houses and selling them to keep myself entertained and out of trouble.

Having worked with my head all my life, I find that working with my hands is an interesting challenge.

Although motorcycles are not my thing, the spectacular biology of this trip sure is! We did this same trip in 2005 and I was delighted to find that Marius, the driver of our chase vehicle (where I mostly rode) is a naturalist. We had such a good time, and accumulated such a list of species that we encountered, that I thought we should do it again. This time, though, we are starting with good field guides earlier in the trip, and adding some geology to the mix.

When the dust settles Marius and I will be publishing a complete list of all the plants and animals we saw...and I think we will all be a bit in awe at the list!


Joe and I, after a hard day's ride on the Africa Adventure in 2005.

Participant: Ivy, Jerry
From: Washington, USA
Motorcycle: 2007 BMW R1200GS
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2007

About Jerry . . .

(Waiting for bio)

Participant: Kamps, Bill
From: Texas, USA
Motorcycle: 2007 Kawasaki KLR650
GlobeRiders Tours: World Tour 2006
Africa Adventure 2007

About Bill . . .

I was 13 years old when somebody let me ride his Vespa in the backyard. I was hooked!

I’m 60 now and I remember it like it was yesterday. No, like it was this morning. But living in New York City would mean that poor Billy (that would be me) would have to wait until he was 17 years old before he could get a learner’s permit. And on top of that, a licensed guardian would have to be on the back. My mom was (and still is) a brave lady. Imagine riding on the back of a scooter in N.Y.C. with a beginner up front!

As soon as I was 18 I never looked back.

Took my first trip south to Florida and Alabama (saw my first and last chain gang complete with striped suits) and most of the south. My only restriction was to call home every night. I made that trip on a 250cc Yamaha. I sat on one just last year. At 6’1”, my knees felt like they were up to my chin. Kinda’ like in the movie Dumb and Dumber.

I enjoy touring in Mexico and this March I rode my new BMW R1200GS Adventure to the bottom of Copper Canyon. I’ve ridden to Alaska twice and also to most of the states.

I bought an Ultra Classic in 2000 and quickly put 140,000 miles on it. It’s gone now, to make room for the R1200GS Adventure.

How I found out about GlobeRiders and the World Tour 2006 was on a trip to Tierra del Fuego. Dave “Wild Man” Wilde had on a T-shirt with all 66 cities of the World Tour listed on the back. Yikes, I thought. I gotta do that. So I did.

That experience showed me that GlobeRiders is so far above and beyond the other adventure tour companies that I signed-up for the Africa Adventure.

Looking forward to meeting and riding with all of you.

Bill Kamps,
South Padre Island, Texas

The dreaded Penguin Stampede in South America.

The end of the road - Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

Mother Russia at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, on the GlobeRiders World Tour 2006.

On the way to the bottom of the Barranco del Cobre (Copper Canyon), Mexico, my R1200GS Adventure wanted to "rest" every hour or so.

The family.

Enjoying a "tall cold one" after coming down The Grade into Bello Coola, British Columbia, Canada.

My BMW R1150GS Adventure at Puntzi Lake, British Columbia, with a hitch-hiker!

Participant: Leonard, Frank
From: Washington, USA
Motorcycle: 2004 BMW R1150GS Adventure
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2007

About Frank . . .

"Ek verstaan nie" Hi Family and Friends! This phrase is Afrikaans for "I don't understand". It may be one I use often on this trip to South Africa.

I have wanted to visit this area of the world ever since my freshman year in college. One of my professors traveled to Africa every year and had taken beautiful photos, which were plastered on his office walls, and he shared many adventurous stories with me about his visits.

So, after meeting Mike Paull at the local BMW dealership in Seattle one rainy (surprise?) afternoon and finding out he and Helge Pedersen had a company that gave riders the opportunity to actually ride their own bikes in Africa, I began thinking I would finally make my dream a reality.

Of course I had not been riding since my early thirties. With the recommendation of Roman at RideWest and the enthusiastic endorsement of Mike, I bought my GS and proceeded to take a trip with two good friends to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, last summer.

It was fabulous and brought back the comfort and thrill of being on two wheels again. Mary, my wife, was extremely supportive and did not hesitate to say, "Go!" when I broached the subject at the beginning of this year. I am looking forward to seeing the sights and meeting the people of the "Cradle of Mankind".

As far as my own history is concerned, I am a 52 year-old mechanical contractor. I came to Seattle in 1979 with Mary right after we married, to do graduate work in geography at the University of Washington. After obtaining my degree, I started working at Key Mechanical in 1981 and have been there ever since. We specialize in commercial air conditioning and refrigeration and do work all along the west coast and Alaska.

We have two great boys, Rob and Matt, who are attending college and becoming their own people.....! Other than riding motorcycles, I enjoy golf and swimming competitively with a Masters Swim team in Seattle called the North End Otters. I feel lucky to have a wife that wants me to do this trip and a lot of great teammates at work that can hold down the fort during my absence.

Frank W. Leonard

Participant: McCaulley, Mac
From: New Jersey, USA
Motorcycle: 2007 BMW R1200GS
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2007

Mac’s Motorcycle Bio. . .

I have owned, I think, a total of 18 motorcycles, from Japanese to British to German. I have been riding from age 17. Currently own a BMW K75 and an R1200 GS. Favorite long trips have been England, the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast and more recently, Morocco....

I love to travel for both work and play.

Have traveled extensively in North America and Europe. In recent years have been to Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Spain and Morocco. The travel bug has definitely bitten me for South Africa. I am sure my expectations of visiting many different and beautiful places, and seeing many new peoples will be met on this trip Especially on a motorcycle!!! The adventurer of the unknown is ready to go....

In real life, I own a sales agency (manufacturer’s representative agency) and sell for ten different companies. These companies are all manufacturers of stainless steel and alloy tubing and pipe (five) plus several metal stamping companies. I sell into the medical, marine, electronics, food equipment, aircraft and heat exchanger industries.

Too many other hobbies! Past restorations have been my old Chris Craft boat, a Cobra kit car project; enjoy the outdoors (hiking and skiing) and indoors (serious squash player).

Personally I am happily divorced and have a lovely maturing 22 year-old daughter, Daron; a recent college graduate who is finding her way into the job market. An exciting time....

Mac McCaulley
Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey

My daughter Daron and I.

My BMW K75 touring machine.

Participant: Mclaughlin, Dan
From: Washington, USA
Motorcycle: 2007 KTM 990 Adventure
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2007

About Dan . . .

(Waiting for bio)

Participant: Mclaughlin, Dustin
From: Washington, USA
Motorcycle: 2007 KTM 990 Adventure
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2007

About Dustin . . .

(Waiting for bio)


With my wife, Aillene.
Samarkand, Uzbekistan, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, and major nexus of the Silk Road. [Image courtesy of Helge Pedersen]
Western end of the Great Wall of China. [Image courtesy of Helge Pedersen]
Sometimes, non-fuel injected, non-ABS, non-CANbus, all-steel, low-tech is like chicken soup (or in this case, borscht) for the rider's soul. . . .
[Image courtesy of Ramey "Coach" Stroud]

Participant: Paull, Mike
From: Washington, USA
Motorcycle: 2005 BMW R1200GS/EZS Sidecar
GlobeRiders Tours: GlobeRiders Guide
World Tour 2002
Africa Pre-Run 2002
Africa Adventure 2003
World Tour 2004
World Tour 2006
Silk Road Adventure 2007
Africa Adventure 2007

About Mike . . .

My first experience with a motorized two-wheeled vehicle was a Sears and Roebuck mini-bike, equipped with a 3-1/2 horsepower Briggs and Stratton, pull-cord start, single-cylinder engine with a centrifugal clutch. This was back in 8th grade, and getting our knuckles wrapped by the dreaded Sister Dorothea for riding it around the school auditorium early one Sunday did nothing to dissuade me from what has become a life-long passion for motorcycling.

I road enduro back in the mid-seventies, then did some 6-hour endurance races in Open Production Class. I went through the café racer phase, then the sport phase, a sport touring phase, and finally found an obsession I didn't even know I had with the purchase of a 1993 BMW R100GSPD.

Since then, I’ve never wavered, and have sequentially owned a 2000 BMW R1150GS, a 2002 BMW F650GS Dakar, a 2003 and BMW R1150GS Adventure.

An accident in 2004 while touring in Russia resulted in a left-below-the-knee amputation (L BKA), so I decided to switch from two wheels to three. I commissioned a "global touring capable" 2005 BMW R1200GS/EZS Rally "L" sidecar combination from Pete Larsen of Liberty Motors in Seattle, WA, on which I completed the World Tour 2006.  While the "UberHack" was being built, I also acquired a Russian-built Ural Gear-Up from Jim Pettiti of Raceway Services in Salem, OR, and that rig has taken me to places I'd be hesitant ride the Beemer into!

I am blessed to have the love and support of an amazing partner, my wife, and love of my life, Aillene, and two amazing children, Matt and Naomi. Although my being away is hard for Aillene, she gives me my freedom, and doesn't begrudge my passion for adventuring. She allows me to ride guilt-free, and enjoys touring with me when her frantic schedule as a nurse allows.

I’ve had the honor of working with Helge and GlobeRiders since 2002. All in all, it has been an amazing experience, and it allows me to fully engage myself in the world of global adventure touring. The planning and preparation is fascinating. I have the joy and pleasure of meeting many amazing client/riders on our adventures, and have made lasting friendships in the course of our tours.

What more could anyone ask from life?

The motorcycle is the perfect vehicle for exploring our world. It allows one to travel far in a fuel-efficient manner. It immerses you in the environment – the sounds, the smells, the very air (and rain!) you travel through. Most importantly, unlike the isolation imposed by a car, truck or bus, a rider is exposed and vulnerable, and thus, approachable. The motorcycle is a catalyst for conversation and friendship.

Once again, it looks like we have another amazing group of riders on this year’s tour. I look forward to an new and rewarding adventure. I can’t wait to get underway!

Best Regards and Safe Journeys, Wherever They May Take You!

"The world is a book and those that do not travel, read only a page." - St. Augustine

Participant: Robertson, Stuart
From: Auckland, New Zealand
Motorcycle: 2004 BMW F650GS Dakar
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2007

About Stuart . . .

Stuart Robertson

Born in New Zealand of a farming background and worked as a shepherd as a young man complete with sheep dogs and a horse.

Travelled to Europe to “see the world” and returned to take a career in commerce, but switched to Public Accounting. Worked as a sole practitioner for 20 years before moving into corporate and personal insolvency work following the 1989 crash. That kept me busy until I “retired”, partly due to the decline in business morals, a man’s word is no longer his bond sadly, but because I still had good health and felt delaying life was no longer an option.

I had ridden bikes more for transport than pleasure for a number of years before I was married, but stopped to accommodate my ex-wife’s wishes. I have been riding again for 15 years so still have a lot of experience to gain.

My first trip was a ride through Chile, Argentina Bolivia and Peru. Great ride and most enjoyable. I followed that with a sort of circumnavigation of the USA, about 18,000 miles in two months. Again a great experience and a good introduction to a country I want to ride in again.

My mate and mechanic organised a group of six of us to ride to Panama from San Antonio, Texas, early this year. Another fascinating trip!

I then flew the bike to Germany in July and rode to Vienna, Austria, to ride with a group to Istanbul, Turkey, via Hungary Romania and Bulgaria. That was fun, so I carried on down through Turkey and then back up the Adriatic Coast to visit many ancient ruins, including one of my favourites, Troy, then into Greece for more ancient sites, and then to Italy and on up through Switzerland ,France, to the South of England, where I left the bike for a return visit next summer.

My goal is to ride a substantial part of all the continents, and I am well on the way achieving that,but find that there are so many places I want to re-visit that this journey may take longer than planned.

Lets hope so.


My customized Harley.

Participant: Vahlsing, Fred
From: New Jersey, USA
Motorcycle: 2007 BMW R1200GS Adventure
GlobeRiders Tours: Africa Adventure 2007

About Fred . . .

My adventure on wheels began at the age of ten.

Having moved on from mopeds and go-karts I later began building and racing drag cars as a teen.

Since money was a problem at that point, I switched to the more economical sport of moto-cross racing.
My interest in moto-cross, and the need to keep my own bike in good condition, evolved into building
my own custom bikes and a love of on-road motorcycle riding.

My customized Harley, built back in the early 1970's, was a labor of love. It now resides in my home on display.
In addition to the BMW I will be riding for this trip, most of my riding time over the past 30 years has been
on Harleys and my customized Wild West chopper.

My business, which is now 30 years-old, is excavating and designing job-specific soils.

I am currently married with two grown daughters.

I look forward to a great trip and a new adventure !

Fred Vahlsing ,
Princeton, New Jersey

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