Monday, December 06, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
My last guest rider Willie on the PacNorWest adventure
It’s official! I’m officially retiring as a full time globetrotting Peace Pedaler. In fact, I just rolled the last miles of the ride from Seattle to Eugene and will now be making my way south with my son little Luca on as many of the miles as possible in this little trailer.
I'm on my way to my best friend Rich's wedding where I'll be changing out my stinky riding clothes for a stylin' a tux as his groomsman on this special day. Go Rich! Lots of changes in my life and the lives of most of my peeps--very excited about it all! Luca and Cris arrive the 20th or so and we'll roll the Bay Area adventures together and head to San Diego on the Peace Ride. Feel free to join us. More info on that here.
Live Big, Give Big, Love Big :)
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I chillin’ in the 5-star Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino after a glorious first week in Canada. I could not have asked for a better start to my last international country Peace Pedaling. Country 81 started off with a perfect reuniting of FOUR Canadian Peace Pedalers I met on FOUR different continents! Yep, I lucked out to be hosted first night in Canada by Vanessa I met in USA in 2003 and her boyfriend Rob on their waterfront crib. Vanessa and I rode together in Africa in 2006.Then had a super chill Sunday brunch with the 2nd partner in crime Kellie I met in Korea who came over for Sunday Brunch on the water followed by dinner with the 3rd Peace Pedaler met in Africa named Natalie. What a weekend!
Natalie hosted me up I Whistler where I reconnected with my childhood troublemaker Dave Marion and family. Natalie could not resist when I told her I was cycling up the Sunshine Coast and worked some magic in her schedule to do a 2-day ride up to see the 4th Canadian Peace Pedaler Eilish who I met on my European tour in Wales. Eilish’s parents hosted Natalie and I and I stayed hunkered down there waiting for a storm to pass three nights until pedaling two days to Tofino where I just happened to meet the managers of Tofino’s finest hotel and they agreed to host me here while I soak up some surf, salt air and delicious mother nature. Eilish will be riding with me down the coast to Victoria later in the week.
Honestly, I’ve stayed in 5-star hotels before but NEVER like this. This is MY KIND of 5-star since I stare at the best breaks in Canada out my huge window and listen to the surf pound all night long! I can even take a bath and hear and see the waves! If you ever come to Tofino and want to treat yourself to a taste of luxury perfectly balanced with nature this is it. A few days of this and I’ll pedaling out like a cannon ball.
Yes, that's the surf break just outside the window!
The Canadians are just as friendly in the country as they are out on the road. I have to say I’ve met the most gracious, kind, outgoing and genuine folks here than my whole trip (a few countries in Europe are close runner ups ;)). Everywhere I go I am stopped, greeted with a smile and people are just so eager to make sure I’m okay and, of course, curious what this bike is all about.
I’m loaded to the brim with gratitude and peace. Looking forward to seeing my crew soon in the States!
Big ups from paradise!
Monday, August 16, 2010
It's official. I'm a father. And I'm loving every moment. The wait was, well, long. Cris and I spent a month together playing with lil Luca in the belly until 10 days past his due date he finally came to the other side with a 12+ hour adventure ending in a 3.16AM c-section. It was rough, but perfect.
I'm not in much of a mood to write the details, but some pics are at http://bit.ly/luca1 . I can just say I'm on top of the world and this is the best day of my life. I would have never imagined the end of my global adventure leading to such a epic finale...wow.
If all goes as planed, Luca will be on the last section of the world tour at the California Peace Ride. Hope some of you can come meet him. He's a special soul, this is for sure!
Off to cuddle Luca!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
My last ride in Latin America. A solo meditative ride of Lake Aticlan, Guatemala
I have to pinch myself to remind me that I'm not dreaming here. Yep, the ride is almost over! The 80th country of Peace Pedalers was just completed and I'm now here in Spain with past guest rider from Argentina Cristina awaiting our first baby boy Luca. He's due any day now. Since landing we've been styled out in every way. This is just too much:
1) Spain wins the World Cup the day I arrive for the first time in history. Spirits are high.
2) Cris and I are totally hooked up with a free mack daddy pad in the mountain town of San Llorenç, with rivers, mountains and fresh cool air out of the hot city.
3) The baby and Cristina are totally healthy and all is looking golden for our baby boy Luca's birth.
4) The locals from the Bike Tolra Shop and local club have loaned me both a road and mountain bike with full kit to enjoy world class road and mountain biking right out my back yard.
5) Mamacita is due in a few days to join the fun and celebrations with Cris' amazing family who somehow totally love and accept me and our totally non-traditional relationship.
6) The logging and rough cutting of over 700 hours of footage is on schedule for our TV and film work
7) Sponsors are all still showing excellent support to the finish line
8) The water project Operation Agua in Bolivia is building the water holding unit for the community and will likely receive funding from a Japanese NGO to finish the project!
9) Good Hope School has nearly 200 students and will be graduating their 2nd class this winter
10) The list goes on...blessings abound.
So that's the latest. I also have put a photo album of the last 80 countries of Peace Pedaling for your enjoyment. I smile every time I watch this. Hope you do to :)
Saturday, July 10, 2010
My latest motto: "The Flow Knows". Signs in my life were loud and clear that it was time to wrap up my Latin adventures and head east to Spain to be with Cristina and little Luca, now 8+ months in the cooker. It all started with a big rainy storm at the end of my El Salvador trip the carried on into Guatemala. This put my "schedule" way off track and made many of the back roads I was hoping to ride pretty messy. From there it was bike issues signals, Angels like Manuel telling me to turn back to avoid robberies and it ended with a final guest rider who summed up my 8-year, 80+ country trip: "We're all human". More later...I'm all good, on the way to Spain. Big ups from San Diego.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Smilin' Good Times in El Salvador with Esfrain
Over n out from Guatemala!
Saturday, June 19, 2010
My family in Ometepe, Nicaragua
I just posted a journal with photos on my website. Check it out at www.peacepedalers.com/nicaragua-nl.html. Plenty of good stuff to read and epic pics.
Over n out from El Salvador!
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
The perfect day--3 surf sessions, new & old friends, sunset and a wild party!
I just wrote up a 7 page detailed journal on my adventures in Costa Rica so if you want to take an epic armchair adventure and see some sweet pics, check out www.peacepedalers.com/costarica-nl.html and enjoy the ride!
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Costa Rica has been all over the board. Up with a positive first guest rider Amethyst, down with a dead camera from the endless rain, up with a local rider Jesus then down with warnings of violence outside of Quepos and a broken bike pump. Then back up with a 2-day rider Mauricio but quickly back down when he stole my Ipod and Camera. Back up meeting a lovely family in Santa Cruz the Avilas for a 3-day stay and into Guanacaste to unite with my good buddy Dave after 5 years. But then back down when I lost my waterproof camera in the waves that never really came. Finally, back up when a local boy found my camera on the beach and returned it, after another man Eric found it on the beach and stashed it so it would be found! So my faith in humanity is restored and I'm healing from the robbery down south. I've got a few days left in Playa Grande where I'm being hosted by Dave, his wife Annie and daughter Maggie at their Inn the Rip Jack. Few more days of surfing and local riding before heading to Nicaragua.
Over n out from Costa Rica!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Over n out!
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Testin' the new Go Pro cameras w/ Fibu n Aaron in SF
Here's a few pics of my last days of fun, family, friends and work. See ya in the fall!
Monday, April 05, 2010
Back at Basecamp! Finally! Mom's kitchen table in San Diego is where it's goin' down!
It all started at 5.30AM on Wednesday morning the in Warsaw, Poland. I woke up with the cold sensation of the cold floor on my butt through the deflated air mattress of my Couchsurfing.com host Emilia. I caught my illegal cab from downtown at 6 and in 11 minutes of wild racecar fashion I was at the airport for about 3 bucks. So far so good.
I have a 7.30AM from Warsaw to Frankfurt, Germany as the first part of my long day of flying. I glanced up on the departure board to find my gate. But my flight was not there. Uh, heloooo? At 6.15AM only the Polish airlines LOT is open and they inform me that there is no 7.30AM Lufthansa flight, only a 7.30PM flight. Doh! I booked a PM flight! This is not good. I was proud to find such a cheap 100 dollar flight last minute and now I know why it was so cheap. After 2 hours of phone calls, online searches and begging for understanding of my mistake the verdict finally came in. I had to pay $560 for a 1.5 hour flight to Frankfurt or risk getting stuck in Europe for a week due to tight flights from Easter Week. Ouch, an expensive mistake!
I catch my flight to Frankfurt and all seems well. That is, until I head to the American Airlines desk. I was flying stand-by, space available, from Frankfurt to Chicago, then onward to Canada to meet my executive producer Les Stroud. Here they inform me that my flight is now very oversold and, to make matters worse, a United Airlines flight was sending over dozens of their stranded passengers. The agent told me my chances were almost zero to get on the flight, but we gave it a go. Now I’m in the airport totally freaking out using the 12 dollar/hour WIFI connection to search for my Plan B—and it was ugly. Every flight to anywhere in the USA was no less than $1,200 one way. All standby flights were horribly overbooked. If I got stranded this day, I would be in Europe for at least 5 days or pay dearly. All I could do was pray for a miracle.
I head to the gate and sit in the long line of other standby passengers, some American Airlines employees, some friends & family, and many from United Airlines. It did not look good. But I kept my faith that it would all go well, and befriended a professional ballet dancer name John who was as cool as they come. He was standing by like me, but with a lower priority and for coach seats that were far more oversold than Business Class. But my famous Travel Angels were obviously watching down on me because they began passing out boarding cards to the standby passengers and guess who got the very last seat on the plane? Me. And in Business Class. Nice!
I prayed John would get on but his destiny was clearly to roam about Europe as a ballet dancer, singer, musician & overall great guy to have an adventure he’ll likely never forget.
For me, I sat down and toasted with a glass of champagne with a super cool entrepreneur named Roland from Monterey, Mexico. Like me, he was flying standby and we both got styled with the last two seats in business class. We made it! Next stop, Chicago then Toronto! So we thought. Just as we are taxiing down the runway the flight attendant comes on the horn with a panicked voice, “Is there a doctor on board? We have a man with serious chest pains who needs medical attention”. Over the next 90 minutes the efficient German medical team and logistics folks got the guy off alive and sent us to the runway to take off. Finally, we’re on the way! So we think…
We are just about over Amsterdam and ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean when the pilot comes on the PA saying that our icing system in the left engine is not working right. We will have to return to Frankfurt to assess the situation. Now, all hopes of catching my connecting flight to Toronto are clearly gone and, even worst, I begin to fear missing my meeting with Les. Les is as busy of man as they come and nailing down a date with him was not easy. And I needed this meeting to sort through all the options with the TV series and contracts. So again I put my faith in my Travel Angels and watched movies as we made our way back to Frankfurt and let the German technical team wrench on our left jet engine. Another 90 minutes later the engine is fixed and we are flying once again!
After almost 20 hours of travel we hit Chicago and American Airlines sets me and Roland up with some discount vouchers at Radisson Inn, and we decide to share a room with two posh beds for only $35 bucks each so could be worse. After about 3 hours of sleep I’m up again at 4.30AM to get to the airport for my 6.30AM flight to Toronto, then rent a car and drive 3 hours to Huntsville, Ontario in Canada, have a meeting Les, then driving back to meet my next Couchsurfing.org host Dan for the evening stay and, if the Travel Angels stick with me, I’ll be back in warm, sunny California in time for the weekend. Phew…
Take a break and enjoy the pics...Pictures are worth a thousand words...so enjoy this sideshow of the adventure! Then read on ;)
Well, I was to tired that night in Toronto I set my alarm for 4.30PM and not AM…ANOTHER costly mistake! I need an assistant! So I took a later flight that ended up being the curse of death for a standby passenger—flying during the busy Easter holiday. Not smart. I ended up stuck in Chicago but, as my Travel Angels never REALLY let me down, I ended up scoring a great weekend. Found a $70/night rate at the Palmer House Hilton, normally like $300-400/night, and a free massage to boot! Met up with a great buddy Nick who I have not seen for 4 years and gave myself some needed downtime before the mad rush. And it’s on…really on!
So I landed in San Diego last Sunday night and, after a nice 2-day adventure mountain biking with my best buddy Garryck, have officially moved myself into the classic Binks work mode—planning an expedition to Cuba, Jamaica , Central America and Mexico is just one task on the list. Add to this a professional budget for my investor, sponsorship proposals, production equipment, expedition equipment, fixing up my truck & camper to be ready for my mom, Cristina and my new baby, organizing the true grand finale open invitation Peace Ride from San Francisco to San Diego and much more. Yikes! I’m tired just writing this! But the rush of adrenaline is just what the doctor ordered to kickstart my butt into action.
April 22 is our 8 year anniversary—my how time flies when you’re flyin!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
8:22AM, March 9, 2010
The smoke is so thick in this Spanish cafe you could cut it and spread it with a knife. Stranded passengers of buses, planes and trains trudge their heavy lugguage through the snow and ice. I'm grateful I've got my backpack and not roller case as it is useless today. Girona, Spain is shut down. If I was just a few hours earlier yesterday I could have beat the storm out but it pumbled the city with more snow that it's seen in decades.
I've got a meeting at 9AM tomorrow in Switzerland and somehow I need to make my way to Milan then Southern Switzerland. I'm not really all that worried, all I can do is my best. Worse comes to worst we'll meet later in the week. But I'm going to take on the challgene to keep the all day meeting with the management so the goal is to get back to Barcelona Airport to get whatever flight I can to Milan. I think I can succeed by later tonight. Gonna keep the faith.
---4:02PM, later same day
The Travel Angles. They never let me down. I'm sitting in the cafe, admiring a lovely northern European family, also stranded. The toddler captures everyones attention as he innocently stumbles from table to table involking smiles from frustrated, stranded travelers. The grandfather approaches me out of nowwhere, wondering if I speak Spanish as they desperately look for a cab to make thier way to Barcelona. We are on the same mission, but I have the goods.
We call various cab companies with no success but miraculously we are able to find two minivan cabs to take us from Girona to Barcelona Airport. The price: $300 Euros. Yikes. I'm invited to come along for 25 Euros which, after a wild ride with much needed interviention on my part, the family decides to waive with a smile. I make it to the airport in a few hours for free.
From there I find a wireless connection and in minutes have booked a new flight on Vueling leaving in 90 minutes to Milan for only 120 Euros. I'm now on the airport bus into town where my favorite Italian in the world Anna will be picking me up and whisking me away to eat lovely food before carrying on to Switzerland later this evening. Mission almost accomplished. I'm running on a peaceful, surrendered adrenline buzz watching the mystery of life unfold.
So just like that, I'm in Italy. I love Europe for the quick teleportation to new lands, languages, foods, architecture, fashion and landscapes. I feel at home in Northern Italy for some reason, perhaps it's my roots from here and Switzerland. Sometimes I think that's why I seem to connect so well with Assos, my favorite sponsor by far, being a Swiss-Italian company at heart. That's me, with a mix of Slovak to mix things up.
Phase one of my escapades in Europe are now complete. I'm amazed by the warmth of Cristina's family, now my family. What I feared might be shunned as a mistake, having a child out of wedlock with a Spanish woman, was rather embraced and celebrated. I now have nephews, a new sister and brother, Papa and a rockin’ Spanish Mamacita. Below are a few pics from part one of my stay in Barcelona. My next visit on the 21-24 March will include a trip to the doctor to watch our little gift swim and check out his or her private parts so we can stop saying his or hers and come up with a cool name :). The family is praying for a girl since they have 4 grandsons now, all nephews…bring on the nieces n granddaughters. For Cris and I, just a healthy child is all we’re after. So far so good!
I’ll be in Milan in a few minutes and I’ll try to send this sucker out from Switzerland. Assos styled me out with a lakeside room on the southern tip of Lake Lugano to rest up before our meetings tomorrow. Some exciting projects in the works, top secret cool stuff.
March 11, 2010...
Ahhh, fresh Swiss air! Clean water from the tap. Organization.
I hit Milan and my good friend Anna met me at the train station. From there it was off to my favorite European family--Anna's folks. A huge Italian feast of fresh pumpkin soup, meats, salads, wine, homemade breads...I LOVE ITALY!
The meetings the next day in Switzerland with my sponsor Assos went great and I found a great Couchsurfing.org host Aida in Lugano until the weekend. Life is good!
Over n out from Lugano!
Live Big. Give Big. Love Big.
Monday, February 22, 2010
February 22, 2010
My God Child Kaya (top) and sister Abree, brother Torey
Being away from the ones I love for over 9 months made me appreciate them so much. Every trip back it's the same desire--to reconnect and play! So here's a few pics of the latest tour in Half Moon Bay and Napa Valley. Enjoy!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
After my 9-month, 9-country adventure in South America there is NOTHING better than quality time with friends and family. Pictures are worth a thousand words--so enjoy the two albums to date of the Sierras in Mammoth/Tahoe and Santa Cruz adventures. Blissful good times!
Heading to Europe for business and to see our baby in the belly in Barcelona...stay tuned...
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Winter Blog from
Reconnected with my best bros Garryck n Rich after a year apart!
It’s been just about a month since landing here in USA and I am finally experiencing winter. The rainy, cold weather has been the blessing in disguise to get me inside working consistently on various exciting projects (it’s hard to concentrate with summer weather and winter waves…). Since landing it’s been all about family and friends—something that, quite frankly, I grew to miss dearly the last few months of last South American expedition.
My first order of business after my initial family/friend burst of love was getting my 4x4 adventure machine lined up. Since my life will soon be making a drastic change in 2010 and beyond, it was time to make a similar change to my normal set of wheels. After several weeks of hunting, fixing and finagling I have a truly bad-ass machine—a 2001 4x4 Cummins Diesel Dodge truck lugging my transitional home—a buffed out 10 foot Lance camper with indoor/outdoor hot shower, bathroom, room for 5, big fridge, stove, oven, awning with hammock/bbq/chairs/outdoor chill area and more. I’ll do my best to run biodiesel whenever possible to minimize the ole carbon footprint and eventually install a waste vegetable oil system when I finally return ;) I’m not in USA long enough to rent/buy a pad but certainly not short enough to be couchsurfing on family and friends’ couches so this was the happy medium.
Oh, I just uploaded a small 20-photo slideshow so check it out here:
So now I’m in Los Angeles visiting my two best friends Garryck and Richard for the week while working on several projects. I’m writing a few treatments for the first series of my TV series in Africa for various networks and doing some important proposals for my key sponsors. I have yet to really start gearing up for the final leg of Central America and beyond but in due time. Right now I’m architecting a smooth landing not only for me, but for my first child who will be born this summer. So it’s not just about me anymore, and my creative mind is now conjuring things up at a whole new level.
We’re got a fund raising party this weekend that a few of our volunteers are leading so after doing some speaking there I may be b-lining up to the mountains for a few days of deep powder skiing. We’ll see if I can get my work done first, but it’s so tempting with over 10 feet of fresh up there! Carpe Diem, baby!
If you are in SoCal, check us out this Saturday the 23rd of January at Mosaic Wine Bar in San Diego at 3422 30th Street. Event info at www.stayclassy.org/events/heart-for-africa/E220
Over n out!