Links

ICIC (International Community in China) sponsored my Internet connection while I was traveling through the country. They are China Business Weekly (CBW), and they provide a comprehensive guide to doing business and having fun in China. For the serious entrepreneur, the traveler planning a trip, and the armchair enthusiast, this site is a great source for all kinds of info on China. Each major section contains links to hundreds of more sources of information.

CityBike Magazine has been published in San Francisco since 1984 and has consistently been one of the U.S.'s most entertaining and informative motorcycle magazines. It's geared to the enthusiast, with feature articles on places to go and things to do, as well as bike tests on the latest sport and touring bikes. The focus? Articles for intelligent people who think motorcycles should go around corners fast. And lately, more and more travel stuff!

  Sidecar.com is the online source for sidecar motorcycle information. American, Russian, German, Chinese, Japanese... they don't discriminate. And check out sidecar racing. Whew! A real team sport.

 

Pamela Logan's website describes many of her adventures, she has traveled over a good bit of the People's Republic: by plane, train, ferry, bus, truck, horse, bicycle, yak-hide coracle and on foot. In 1996 the Scientific Exploration Society of Great Britain named her Woman Explorer of the Year. In 1997 she was elected a Fellow of the Explorer's Club. Pam is the director of the China Exploration & Research Society and Kham Aid Foundation project for conservation of Tibetan art and architecture, where she leads teams of foreign experts to the eastern Tibetan plateau to travel by bus and horseback to visit Baiya and Palpung Monasteries. Her book, "Among Warriors: A Martial Artist in Tibet," was chosen by the New York Times Book Review as among the best travel books of the year. In 1997 she founded the Kham Aid Foundation, a California non-profit corporation dedicated to cultural and ecological preservation in the eastern Tibetan plateau, and increased economic opportunity for Tibetans. In partnership with the China Exploration & Research Society, and the newly-created Eurasian Origins Foundation, she is analyzing synthetic aperture radar images of the southern Taklamakan desert in search of undiscovered Silk Road cities (yeah, yeah, she's also a rocket scientist). For 20 years she has been training directly under Tsutomu Ohshima within Shotokan Karate of America. In 1995 she joined a team of Russian archeologists sponsored by the Golden Griffin Foundation in excavating a Scythian burial mound in a region called Mongun Taiga, located in western Tuva, autonomous republic of the Russian Federation. Right now she's helping restore Tibetan monasteries. Her name in China is Luo Bailian, which means White Lotus.

  Ted Simon is probably the world's best known motorcycle traveler, famous for covering 78,000 miles and touching 45 countries. He writes beautifully about travel, one experiences his joyous exuberance and the pain of tragedy, as he journeys the globe. Jupiter's Travels is a beautifully told story that almost ends too soon. No matter... there's a sequel, it's called Riding High, and it's the "deeper" story. Ted travels a lot now, promoting the book, giving slide shows and talks. Check his site for schedules.

  Jim Rogers wrote a book about traveling around the world on a motorcycle, with then-girlfriend Tabitha Estabrook in tow. By the way, she was in charge of the motorcycle maintenance, Jim was in charge of figuring out whether or not he might invest in the country. His observations are not those you can usually depend upon a travel writer to relate, but no less revealing for this perspective. Kind of like an even more adventurous version of The Economist (one of my favorite travel magazines). "I really liked China," he told me recently, before a speaking engagement in Vancouver, B.C. "They are opening up so quickly... people in the Western world ought to be teaching their children Chinese as a second language instead of Spanish or French."

Joe Valencic is a professor of marine biology at Saddleback College in Southern California, a member of the Explorers Club, an inventor, tinkerer, and scuba diver extrordinaire. He has my vote for best use of the Internet anywhere, he sends field reports via satellite from places like Palau and Australia and Alaska. He talks from under water... yes, UNDER water, to his classes back in California using a special diving mask and netcasting technology. Start with Lost Atolls of the South Pacific and then take a look at the Digital Diver site. Joe's next venture is to dive with prehistoric sharks.

  Lyn Bishop, a SF Bay Area digital artist, gathered media during her travels through China (at about the same time I was there), published them on the web during her trip, and came home and digitally painted using the raw media. There's also some great QuickTime video to be seen here.

Meet Chuck Allanson, a teacher from Midwestern America who has taken a job as a teacher of English in Suzhou, China's "Venice of the East." A continuing saga of Chinese lessons, travelogues, a fresh and humorous perspective on life as a foreigner constantly thrown into in baffling situations. Updated constantly, with greater and greater insight. A real benefit for those preparing to visit China for pleasure or business, and a great read, too.

Benka celebrated her 30th birthday in Ptuj, Slovenia by starting a two-year ride around the world. Now she is in Antartica, the first to motorcycle 7 continents, she says. Here's part of her farewell from Colombia: "Colombia! It was an experience! I am telling you, guys BMW is an smart bike! Including its parts. My battery died right time on the right place and gave me troubles for 4 hours. On the road again I realized there were troubles with guerrilla. Thanks battery. It could be that you solve my life... " [sic]

Helge Pederson is author of “10 Years on 2 Wheels" A photographer’s journey around the world, chronicling his motorcycle journey of 250,000 miles through 77 countries.

Sam Correro has passionately pursued his goal of charting a coast-to-coast, off-pavement Trans-America motorcycle trail. He helped build a trail, and served as a guide, and created this website, a helpful resource for planning a cross-country trip, including detailed roll charts and supporting maps. Using different paths and different sections of the trail, he can plan a trip based on individual need, or act as guide, arranging lodging and truck support, and great guidance. The fees are low and meant to cover costs associated with making and updating the maps andor running the trip.

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Is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance a book about motorcycles? Most would agree that it is not, really. Decide for yourself.

Here are some books I read to prepare for my journey. You can buy them at amazon.com.

Angus McDonald's The Five Foot Road
Simon Winchester's The River at the Center of the World
Mary Morris' Wall to Wall

  China Books is THE publisher to look to for all kinds of books about China, culture, history, lifestyle, art, etc.

Okay okay already. If you really want to read about bikers, so go to Whitehorse Press, a publisher dedicated to fact and fiction and products and all kinds of blah de da blah about bikers, by bikers, for bikers. Keep the shiney side up, the rubber side down, and all that. The best book I've read is Melissa Holbrook Pierson's The Perfect Vehicle: What it is about motorcycles. If you don't already know what it is, you will by the time you've finished. The perfect gift for a bike-resisting partner. Even if they don't take it up themselves, they'll better understand your passion.

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The Guggenheim's motorcycle retrospective is a must for enthusiasts of all ilk. Their "catalog" is a georgous coffee table book called The Art of the Motorcycle, with history and essays by the likes of Hunter Thompson and Melissa Holbrook Pierson. There are many many glossy photos of bikes from the first motorized bicycle to the latest glamor bike, the MV Agusta F4 (leave it to the Italians!). One of my favorites is a centerfold spread of the Vincent Black Shadow.

The Guggenheim's China 5000 years retrospective is the result of a collaboration between the Guggenheim Museum and the Ministry of Culture and the National Administration for Cultural Heritage of the People's Republic of China. About 500 works of art were borrowed from over fifty institutional lenders in seventeen provinces and regions in China. These include many major recent archaeological discoveries and range in date from the Neolithic period to the present. The show is over, but you can visit it online.

American Borders, in case you missed it, is the archive of my 1995 trip around the United States on a Ural, a Russian sidecar motorcycle similar to the Chang Jiang I rode in China.

Italian Lessons is a journey through Italy in 2001, on a brand new Moto Guzzi that roared down the autostradas.

Indian Sunset is my trip on an Enfield Bullet to explore southern Indian temples, mountains, and beaches.

See the links below for these and other adventures.


 

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