Here are some selected e-mails
from readers. Thanks for writing!
[sic] always applies...
Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 19:56:55 -0800
From: John Macdonald email@example.com
Glad you liked the pictures. I scanned
them from photos on my HP 5100C scanner and then
compressed them about 60% in .jpg format. You certainly
may use them if you wish. That would be a good way to
share them, as they won't see the light of day much
I have a lot more from that trip,
principally of Shekou area and our trip out to the Nan
Hai Fa Xian, which is an FPSO (floating production,
storage and offloading) vessel (coverted tanker) that
treats and stores oil produced from nearby platforms in
the south China Sea about 100 miles SE of Hong Kong.
The slogan was just outside the ferry
terminal in Shekou. The Chinese love to encourage work.
You must have seen things like this?
Next door to Splendid China was another
park called Wonders of the World. You can see a not so
miniture Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, Niagara
Falls, etc. We did not go there but it seemed very
popular with the Chinese.
The final picture is of office towers in
Shekou, with the short white one in the center holding
Chevron's offices, soon to move to the tower just to its
right. The amount of office building construction was
astounding, only matched by the freshness and freedom of
the architecture. Much more fun than California building
of the World1.jpg
of the World2.jpg
Hai Production Facilities.jpg
to Encourage Work.jpg
Guy Holding Platform.jpg
Subject: Please link to Sidecar Meetings in Japan
Date: Sun, 28 Feb 1999 03:39:22 +0900
... I live in the western part of Niigata city Japan. It snows a lot in
the northern districts of japan in winter. Niigta city is the northeast
"the Tohoku district" in japan. "Sidecar Meetings in Japan"
It is my Homepage. My hobby is traveleing on my sidecar. Watosonian GP
sports is good condition. I want to drive across America someday on my
own motorcycle. But it is a dream. Plerse look at my homepage.
Bob & Mary parsons apper in this homepage and my video reports. Please
Link to my homepage. It is Sidecar Meetings in Japan. URL English language
http://www.info-niigata.or.jp/~hada/index-E.htm Japanese language http://www.info-niigata.or.jp/~hada/index.html
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 21:42:16 +0800
Subject: Humble Commits
I have read your China Road, dispatch by dispatch. I got
a mix feeling after the reading. I appreciated your
courage to make this outstanding trip. It disappoints me,
I think as well as most others that you actually
didnt make your initial destination. The reason is
not how hard this road is. As a Chinese and a motorcycle
enthusiast. I think I am qualified to make commits on
these two critical factors which eventually affected the
I learned that there are people who have
rode their 125cc motorcycles traveling around China and
making as far as Tibet and Shinjiang. The 750 BMW clone
tricycle is not encouraged for suck kind of trip. Also,
the lack of sufficient culture and geological knowledge
also attributed to the failure. What you saw is quite
typical for the Chinese west where
the economic is far less developed than the Southeast.
Your experience vividly reflects the appearance to the
outside world though in a foreigners point of view.
From this point, the book is laudable.
I strongly recommend you learn more about
China. I believe this will be more helpful than a robust
motorcycle if someday you want to ride back. You will
realize by then that what you will know is quite
different from you have now in mind.
Thanks for the good work.
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 22:02:09 EST
Subject: American Borders
What an exciting and fulfilling read! One of the best
motorcycle journeys I've had the pleasure of reading. I
felt as if I was taking the trip myself.
Mostly I enjoyed meeting the people you
met along the way, seeing the countryside roll past like
a quick-brush watercolor painting, and delving into your
thoughts and feelings as the miles rolled underneath
those two wheels, or didn't. Your writing came from the
heart, and that's what made it so powerful for me. You
were vulnerable, yet resourceful throughout. A woman
breaking down barriers, both personal and social. An
intrepid traveler, not afraid of coming to that
figurative "fork in the road" and taking it.
I'll be "hitting the pause
button" myself shortly (May-June '99), and riding
some of those same roads on a BMW motorcycle. Your story
gave me the faith to know that even on a flat Texas road
lined with hungry vultures, inspiration can be found.
I've commended your story to friends as a
"must read" and, without exception, they too,
Great writing, Carla! And a heckofa good
read! Get it published in hardback, if you haven't done
>Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 12:45:36 -0500 (EST)
>Subject: Re: Road China
>Happened by chance, I have read your article on
Motorcycle traveling around
>U.S. boarder through Internet. Now your new adventure
in China excited me
>even more. Because as a Chinese grown up in China and
>Toronto, Canada in early 80s, your description of
rural China arouse much
>of my happy and painful memory of my early days in
there. China is
>developing fast, especially along the coast line.
Cities modernized much
>faster than rural area, so much scenic site you have
>disappear. It is also my dream to travel along these
scenic area with
>maximum freedom and without tourist guide. though the
difficult you have
>met without doubt will
>happen to any body whether he/she is Chinese or
foreigner. but that is part
>of the fun to experience all these adventures, isn't
>I don't know if you have already come back to U.S. or
not, from your travel
>log, it seems you have not finished the whole trip
yet. if not, wish you
>good luck on your adventure and hope there is nothing
bad happen to you.
>I would imagine when you travel towards south, the
chances are you have
>more and more opportunities to get trouble.
>Actually, I went back to China and stayed in there
for a year in 1995. I
>planned to travel with a light weight motorcycle such
as a 90cc or 100cc
>without success. Because there were too much
obstacles and caused too much
>panic in between my relatives and friends. Though I
am holding a Canadian
>passport, The Chinese still think I am local people,
except when I travel.
>When I travel the airplane tickets, hotel etc will
double charge me. In
>order to travel
>by motorcycle first I have to get a black plate, In
China even traffic
>regulation have double standards, blue plates for
automobile which only can
>be driven locally, one has to apply a sticker to
travel to nearby city or
>province. Black plates are for the foreighners, and
can travel over the
>whole country. But black plates are hard to get, only
foreign investor open
>business in China, and with over certain amount
dollars invested, the
>investor then have the privilege to have a free black
plates, usually the
>rich foreigner will bring their own Mercedes Benz or
Caddilac with a
>chauffeur, so black plate means power and money. you
can see many prestige
>cars with black plate driven in Beijing or other big
city like Shanghai,
>Only a few wild, wild westerners will buy a Chinese
military or police
>motorcycle then with black plates and travel over
China. Certainly I don't
>have a friend can loan me a black plate and a
motorcycle (also I can't
>write such wonderful stories as you do, that is
probably why I don't have
>Many Chinese people would think westerners are crazy
and rich. This can be
>proved by your friend's comment on many knives for
westerner and Chinese
>only have one knife for all. My guess about what does
he mean is that
>Chinese can not afford a trip like yours.
>Good luck and hope to hear from you
>From Toronto, Ontario
From: Carla King
>Many thanks for your long and thoughtful email to me
some months ago. I
>appreciate your perspective as a Chinese living in
North America, you have
>a special vantage point from which most cannot
perceive certain truths.
>People here have a difficult time imagining the
>problem... westerners are not able to easily
comprehend being so
>restricted. This is the situation that most amazes my
>Yes, it is difficult for most people to travel
through China, though there
>is no longer the 2 price system so I encourage you to
return and take
>advantage of that. I was very very lucky in getting
the loan of a
>black-plate machine... very lucky, and I hope that
because of that
>priviledge I am successfully conveying my experiences
to those who wish to
>know what things are like, from a western
perspective, that is.
>Do you know the Chinese writer Chiang Yee? He writes
travelogues in English
>for Western readers. His perspective is very
different than the western
>writer, and it is interesting and mind-expanding me
>Francisco, for example, a city which I know very
well, from a foreign
>perspective. Look at Amazon.com:
>I hope that I didn't leave the impression in China
that I was crazy and
>rich. I don't think I did, but one never knows. I
needed help from so many
>people along the way that I think they got the idea
that Americans weren't
>at all what they had imagined.
>It is very nice having your letter. I would like to
publish it on my
>website, since it is so informative. Good luck with
your travel plans, too.
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 12:45:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Road China
I am very sorry for the delay to reply your message,
because my computer
crashed for the last few months. Now I only can rely on
an obsolete 386 PC
to receive and send E-mail, this computer is too slow to
web surfing to any
web site, so I haven't been able to read Chiang Yee's
site or re-visit your
site again. But as soon as I have my computer upgraded or
repaired, (may be
it is better to upgraded instead to have it repaired) I
will revisit your
About motorcycle travelling in China, seems it is even
more difficult now
than before. It seems Chinese government adopted the
policy to restrict the
growth of privately owned motorcycles in large cities
such as Beijing,
Shanghai, Canton etc. Last August, in Canton, local
suddenly stopped issue any new motorcycle license plates,
which caused huge
problems for dealers, repair shops, and many
since people have to ride their motorcycles for longer
period before all the
motorcycles can be eliminated from the city, it causes
environmental problems, which is the official reason to
privately owned motorcycles. Honestly speaking, I don't
government can solve the pollution problem in the large
cities, whether they
eliminates privately owned motor vehicles (mostly small
motorcycles and mopeds) or not. The situation of other
cities are not much
better, Beijing never issued any privately owned
motorcycle plates and won't
issue any.(the black plate on your motorcycle is actually
for car, so
somebody paid more expensive price for a car plate and
put it on a
motorcycle). Shanghai is the most liberty city in the
country, so local
government auctions the motorcycle plates to the public.
The average price
is equivalent to $2000-3000 U.S. dollars. So you see my
dream is still a
dream. But Chinese are very patient people, I can WAIT.
(Though I think the
central government of China made an unwise decision,
since it is still an
authoritarian government, no body can do very much about
Actually, I am wondering if any people ever thought about
story into Chinese and let millions Chinese motorcyclist
readers to read
your story. May be it will push the motorcycle travelling
a bit easier...
Could you kindly let me know any of your future story
about any travel in
Europe, North America, Asia or China etc?
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 09:34:05 -0500
Subject: Happy Monday !
Please include me on your mailing list for updates on
events and the
print version of your trip to China ...I have followed
both China Road
and American Borders, hanging on every word. I want to be
when you break down. Sure wish you'd buy a Honda, ha.
By the way, the Ural folks must really dislike you. You
talked me out of buying one even though they look really
cool. I see now
they have a three year warrantee which would be helpful
too. Did you
keep yours ?
Where are you going next ? I'll look forward to the
you go !
From: Carla King <>
Subject: Re: Happy Monday !
Hey there, sorry about discouraging you from buying a Ural... mine was
a prototype model, you know, just off the rack in Irbit and not built
for American roads. Hence the road test. I understand from people who
have them now that they're a lot more reliable, though still not BMW quality,
but you get what you pay for, don't you? I can't believe the 3 year warranty!
Very good. And I think Ural actually likes me, I advertised their existance,
you know. I was just driving the Beast around Marin yesterday, it was
a fairly nice day, not raining, but cold. She hadn't been started for
a while but likes the cold weather, being from the northlands. Taught
a friend how to ride. I hope to return to China to ride from Lanzhou to
Yunnan and across the borders to Burma Thailand Laos, maybe as soon as
this fall. It'll be on the website, whatever I do. Wish me luck!
Thanks for writing,
Subject: Re: ?
Date: Sun, 14 Feb 1999 09:27:16 +0100
Don't know how I came there, but I greatly enjoyed your trip report on
China. The travel bug came creeping right out of the pc. Datong being
China's ugliest city, mmmmmmm. I should see that.
Hope to see more of this.
Travelogues on my homepage at http://www.xs4all.nl/~renevd (Ethiopia,
and very nice travelogues they
Saw your website. Now, to find your stories....
Here, a website to compare mythologies (in case you are
ever in the
Southern Andes during the austral summers):
Date: Tue, 09 Feb 1999 16:46:24 +0100
Subject: Issue China Road Dispatches
Nice site You have got!
Quite impressive all you have accomplished.
I haven't been able yet to read all your memoires, but it sure makes me
hungry to travel soon.
Every publication connected in some way with Tibet i'm interested. My
twin sister herself was for 9 years a Tibetian nun and has been to the
borders of Tibet and China back in the 80's. We Dutch seem to travel a
lot. I have a small mororfiets with witch I travel so far only in Europe,
which is somehow enough, I hope.
China has it's own mysteries, culture, adventures. Who knows... someday.
Let's say, it's good to have dreams.
I hope you will find someday some time for me to tell me if you have published
already your " China Road Dispatches ".
You are/have a remarkable personality. (sorry for my bad US-English).
No offense meant.
Subject: Re: Issue China Road Dispatches
You know I lived in Holland for 8 months, Vinkeveen. Lovely place. And
I rode with the International Women's Motorcycle Association sometimes.
I really like it there, and would like to come back someday for a visit.
Yes, I often meet Dutch people traveling. they are very adventurous. I
met a Dutch woman in Beijing, in fact. She was traveling all over the
country by herself, by train and bus.
My friend Alison Wright writes and photographs Tibet and Tibetans, her
latest book is called The Spirit of Tibet, you can look at it at http://www.alisonwright.com.
Also look at my links page on the website, and you will see the adventures
of Pamela Logan. Very interesting people.
Thanks for writing, and I have put you on my mailing list for the book
release information. And your English is good! Much better than my Dutch
(the Dutch people wouldn't let me speak it, you all speak English so well!).
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1999 10:42:47 +0100
Subject: Betreft: Re: Issue China Road Dispatches
Bedankt voor je aardige reactie. Vinkeveen will still be there whenever
you visit our small country. If not physical maybe someday in spirit.
May I ask you a personal question? Is there still enough privat life left
since you became known to so many people on this planet?
As for languages: I'm engaged to a German woman and I have difficulties
in not speaking German, so used I'm to the existence of people with less
interest for my language. She makes me proud of my Dutch identity. Someone
trying to speak a language which is not his own should be encouraged,
not be stopped. Americans speaking Dutch, how nice! Next time: insist
on it not to be helped. To let you be.
We Dutch can be very narrow minded sometimes. We're liberal but "freedom
of speak" has difficult meanings.
Keep well and healthy,
From: Carla King <>
Subject: Re: Betreft: Re: Issue China Road Dispatches
Thank you for the invitation. I no longer know anyone in Holland, my friends
were all expatriats and have moved elsewhere by now. And yes, my life
has become less private. In fact I have changed my phone number and now
I am thinking I will soon be unable to keep up with the email correspondence.
But there are many rewards.
Subject: Me Too
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 15:34:54 -0800
Super cool to find your web site as I sit idle, grinding out my last
week of gainful employment before setting out on an around the world
motorcycle trip. I fly to Germany on March 1 to rendezvous with a
German biker I met on the net, (he's lining me up with a used BMW R
100 GS for my trip). Three weeks to go and I'm out of my skin!!
I'm interested in supplementing my meager travel account by writing
free-lance along the way. I was hoping that you could pass along a
few words to get me pointed in the right direction. My original plan
was to design a web page, update it frequently with downloaded photos
from a digital camera, plenty of tales from the rotten road, and links
to any companies who had donated any gear or made contributions.
Alas...my friend with the Front Page program gathered his 'get up and
go' and 'got up and went' sailing off the coast of Belize, (I know
that I can convert a Word document into HTML, but this would result in
a real lack luster web page). Unfortunately, I'm stuck in a 'Chicken
or the Egg' scenario; I need a lap-top and digital camera to get
everything up and running, but need a top rate web page and some
documented road miles behind me before I can legitimately solicit any
sponsors. Again...any words of advise.
I'm at a bit of a disadvantage as I have really no foundation in the
travelogue industry. I do have a considerable amount of travel
experience, but no concise body of work that is free of profanity and
illicit drug references.
Enjoy the rest of your trip, perhaps our paths will cross on the
PS: What travel insurance companies do you use for medical insurance
and insurance on your bike?
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: Me Too
Wow, the best of luck and fun to you on your trip. Don't
know if I have any advice for you on the publishing
front, other than the usual suspects. If you get your own
website you get your own audience... profanity and
illicit drug references are especially popular on the web
so I spose you'll have no problem there.
I didn't have international insurance, but then I didn't
take my own bike on a trip. Wow, I'm no help whatsoever,
I'm sure a lot of pubs will take your words for free, but
it is very difficult to break into paying gigs with
travel writing, most people want to do this kind of job
so it's got a lot of competition. Same for sponsors.
Why don't you just download the html source for a site
that you like the looks of and replace the content with
your own, that way your formatting will be that of the
model, the words will be that of your own. All you need
is an ISP and a FTP program... and, of course, a
As for medical insurance and all that, there are a lot of
travel advice websites (look at yahoo!) that give you
that info. I wouldn't particularly recommend mine.
Let me know if you get a site together and I'll check in!
Date: Tue, 9 Feb 1999 02:17:35 EST
Hello Carla King,
I found your site off of the NARMA site. Will you make it
to Minnesota this
Here is a web project I have been working on since Aug.
Keep the rubber side down,
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: hello
Hi Tom, Great! An activist! Very good... and congratulations for getting
it all on a website. Don't you just have to love the web?
I hadn't thought as far as August, yet... except for vague notions of
a return trip to explore southern China in fall. But Minnesota might be
good. Thanks for the reminder,
and the shiney side up, to you....
Subject: Milk River in My Blood
I first learned about you this morning on the GS List. I am planning to
at your next open house in San Francisco on Feb 18. I have browsed through
you China Road dispatches and just started to look at your American Borders
stories, when I came across your story about Renata and then about Milk
The Milk River reference and scenes clutched at my heart, for I used to
in Calgary and I love the Foothills country of Alberta. Although I have
been in California for 11 years, Alberta still feels like home. This
additional reference to it today adds to my homesickness, which has been
festering well the past few weeks.
It all started with a trip to the BMW National Rally in Bozeman Montana
summer. I made a side trip to Calgary and visited some dear old friends,
who welcomed me into their home as if I had only been away a few months.
course little kids were involved, who got to ride on my R1100GS and learn
about the motorcycle world. When I entered Alberta at the Carway border
station and rode north across the rolling wheat fields, so many memories
the sheer joy of the open plains flooded back to me.
Then, a few weeks ago, another reminder in the form of a reference to
Tyson, an old cowboy singer from west of Calgary. I loved his work long
and so, on the spur of the moment, I searched up Amazon and ordered a
CDs. Ian's music has been infecting me again with lonesome songs of
cowboys, eloquent descriptions of Alberta, and rousing celebrations of
western lifestyle. In particular on song, Milk River Ridge, struck me
other night. It is about a man, a woman, a soon-to-be-born baby, a big
strong horse, a snow storm and a Chinook Wind. In many ways an elemental
song about life's cycle in the Foothills of Alberta.
Thus your writings on Milk River seem a fitting new piece a circle of
coincidences and references to Alberta for me.
Thanks for adding to the mystery.
San Ramon, CA
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: Milk River in My Blood
Thank you for relating your story to me. Milk River
always comes up when people ask what was my favorite
place during the Borders trip. The Canadians are
wonderfully friendly, the days there with that Canadian
family who adopted me made the stop amongst my most
cherished memories. And the place itself, historically
and geographically... what drama has been caused by that
sudden dip in the prarie!
I had so many letters from Canadians who wanted me to
have a better time in Canada. They wanted me to dump the
Ural and ride further up into the country, and I had
dozens of invitations to stay in people's homes
everywhere from BC to Quebec
Alas, I could not go, for I was exploring
"borders" on that trip, but it gives me an idea
to do a travel book on the juxtapose of the USA border
countries again, riding in Canada in Part I, and Mexico
in Part II.
I hope you do make it to the slideshow on the 18th. It
has been advertised so I hope there is room for everyone
this time, but I think it will be standing only... I MUST
get a larger place! And I gotta get these books
Please introduce yourself, it's a bit crazy at those
things so remind me that you're the misplaced Canadian.
PS: What is the GS List and where do I find it? And can
you give me the specifics on that CD with the song Milk
River Ridge? I may do some multimedia with the website,
and that would be a nice touch.
Note: I had a wonderful time at
the slideshow at Get Lost books in SF, and enjoyed
meeting Jay and others very much. I am finding that
the audience of these slideshows are adding quite a
bit to the show itself... many have been to China,
many are experienced motorcycle travelers, many are
academics and some are even Chinese! So all those
questions I can't answer get answered somehow. It has
been suggested that a realtime discussion group get
going here in the Bay Area, someone is going to
organize a real Chinese Tea Party. If you'd like to
be included please let me know via email.
Subject: g'day from Australia
Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 23:22:23 +1000
Just read some of your story, fantastic.
Rode overland from Southern India to europe in 97 myself.
Any idea if it would be possible to purchase a m/c in
China and sell it back
to the dealer?
Any idea of the price.
I am planning to quit work at the end of this year and
take off again, but
now for a few years,your story has stirred me up .
I know it is very difficult to take my own bike into
China- buying and
reselling is an alternative.
hope to hear from you
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: g'day from Australia
Ahhh, a fellow adventurer. Glad to hear from you, glad
you like the story. Probably not likely you will find a
motorcycle buy in China... you need a Chinese driver's
license, you need black expat plates, all which means you
have to live and work in China. My entire trip was
illegal but I was between the non-tourist and tourist
regimes... they have a bit of a clue, now. If you don't
have black expat plates you are limited to riding the
bike in the province in which you bought it, so it's not
an option to have a local buy one for you, either. Maybe
China will open up a bit more next year! In the meantime
there are some companies who will rent and lead bike
tours for about $100 a day or more. I'm exploring that
possibility, maybe will ride with some friends later.
Best of luck to you,
To: "Carla King"
Subject: Re: g'day from Australia
Date: Sun, 7 Feb 1999 07:52:21 +1000
Thanks for the information , maybe things are better in
I have put a link to your page on my travel home page.
Maybe you can return the favour.
Where there is no will,There is no way
Date: Sat, 6 Feb 1999 01:53:36 EST
Subject: Thanks for the nice slide show at Stanford
Hi Carla You may not remember me, I was the guy that came
up to you and was
asking you if you met a particular German with a Chang
Jiang. He has it in
Hamburg now. I go Germany every year usually with a bike.
I rented a HOG
bike and took my Dyan Wide Glide, and took an old Honda
500. I sold the Honda
there and brought back a Eisenacher with a Stoya 1 side
car, Its an old East
German bike designed by BMW. I really enjoy riding in
Germany except for the
rain. I took the Dyna through 9 countries and It rain
just about all the
time, I am now working my 1200 Sportster. I am making it
look like the
Captain America bike. I am not extending the front
though. The license plate
is: CAP USA. I plan on showing it at the largest biker
jamboree in Germany,
called Biesenthal. This will be my 5th year to go there.
My German neighbor
told me about it and we were going to go but he backed
out so I went by
myself. Now I have a lot of friends there. We are now
making a bike there
into a rat bike. Its an old Simpson AWO with a Stoya 2
side car. Its sort of
like my 350 single EMW. We named it Gentleman Jack after
the US whisky made
Anyway I thought you might find this of some interest to
you. I work for
United Airlines and I also take pictures and do articles
for an Australian
magazine called OzBike.
From: Carla King <>
Subject: Re: Thanks for the nice slide show at Stanford Shopping center.
I'm sorry we couldn't meet. It's so strange to know people online and
not their faces. I think I might remember you, but that crowd just blew
me away, you know! Bummer about your rain trip -- I am such a fair weather
rider. I remember in Brittany in France one summer it rained all the time,
the air intake sucked in all the water and the bike just sputtered along,
finally found a nice campground and parked it for three days, wandered
on the beach, clammed, drank coffee and wine...
You sound quite creative with the mechanics and body work... sounds fun,
have fun your next trip in Germany, yeah, there sure were a lot of Germans
in Beijing with those CJ's, saw them all the time on Sanlitun. So many
PS: couldn't get the pix up, crashed my computer... if you ftp it up to
the web give me the website name... thanks
Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 17:25:56 -0800 (PST)
From: E Burns
Hi, Carla--Just a few lines to thank you for your fine presentation last
Wednesday and for the great launch you gave me into the Net. That jam-packed
crowd at Phileas Fogg's was such a mix of old China hands and bikers of
every stripe, all wanting the straight skinny on China, and you delivered,
so personably and unassumingly, though your trip required extraordinary
fortitude and world travel skill. I felt so lucky to hear it from you
person. That after Renata's stories and the Net. ...
Subject: Missed the boat
Date: Thu, 4 Feb 1999 08:18:02 -0800
Thanks for the update and the hope of maybe catching the show from
the inside. Although, it looks like those of us who were busy
putting nose prints on the window last night were in good company.
So I don't miss getting to the other side of the looking glass the
next time, would you toss my helmet into the ring of those you notify
as to when and where?
#10 of the nose printers union
Subject: Next slide show...
I was one of those whose noses were pressed against the
distracting you! I did talk to, and otherwise eavesdrop
upon, two other
China travelers, so all was not lost. Please 'E' me if
and when you do
I had read the City Bike article, and was particularly
taken by the
quotation sidebars... your idea? I was inspired enough to
write each one
down and pass them along to selected loved ones. Thank
you for that
lifting experience. Paul
I was both pleased at the crowd
that showed up and terribly dismayed, because I knew
that people had ridden for more than an hour, even
two, to Phileas Fogg's. Only a handful of those 100
that didn't get in made it to the Get Lost Show. I
hope to arrange a bigger show, and will probably
include information on the American Borders trip on a
Ural, the Europe trip on a Honda, my rides in
Jamaica, and maybe even my bicycle rides in France
and West Africa.
Date: Mon, 01 Feb 1999 14:05:19 -0800
Subject: saw yours, see mine ;-)
you don't know me (I think!)
I am an Irishman living here in the Bay area since 1989 when I was
transplanted on a tekky ticket.
Anyway, I was posted in Singapore for the first 6 months of last year
and enclose the url http://www.kelt.com/hippo/jacko/ of an account of
trip up into Malaysia in May'98. Hope you have the time to read it, and
maybe enjoy it... and maybe critique if appropo.
I hope to make it to your "show" on Wed at Phinneas'
btw, I loved your accounts in CityBike, especially the kissing monk!
You describe it so well it was like being up there on the hill beside
p.s. the first foto is my monster on I395 with the eastern slopes of the
sierras in the background... down by Lone Pine, or Big Pine, or one of
them Pines! the rest of the pix are genuine Malaysian.
Subject: hello from tel aviv
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 15:39:52 +0200
hi i love traveling aii over with my bike if u come 2 town i would love
2 join u on a trip i think u will love my country bye Aloni im 33 yrs
and i have a suzuki 650 bye....
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 1999 05:35:14 EST
Subject: your dispatches
Just started reading your dispatches. Very interesting
I was a tour director to China back in the early '80s. Do
you speak Chinese? I
can't imagine trying to ride a motorcycle through China
without speaking the
Talk to you soon,
Subject: Thanks for the great article in City Bike!
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 22:09:11 -0800
I really enjoyed your article in the January '99 issue of
CityBike. I was
in China last May, and those "CJs" caught my
eyes immediately. I never saw
one without a sidecar. (Are motorcycles with that much
If you go back to China, there's a really neat island off
the coast of
Zhejiang province called Putuo Shan Island. There are no
cars on the island
except for a few construction and navy vehicles. It is
one of the few
places in coastal China where the air is clear. (That's
exaggeration.) The island is famous for its giant gold
statue of Guanyin
(?) (the goddess with a thousand hands).
I'm looking forward to seeing your presentation next
To: "Carla King"
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 22:48:43 -0800
How much Mandarin do you speak? I got the feeling from
your article that
you have a few phrases pretty well figured out. Or is
your vocabulary much
greater? Without a guide, I'd be freaking out over there!
I too was amazed at how the Chinese don't seem to
appreciate the beauty of
various places. Definitely a different mind set. But I
was impressed how
most of the people were quite friendly and usually
helpful. This was
especially true for those who were "friends of
friends". But don't you
just love the questions "Why you not married?"
"Why no children?"
Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 19:25:01 EST
Subject: Re: thrills, love, adventure....they're all
Hi Carla! The other day my wife Monica was cuddled in bed
with Jimmy and
Shane reading your China adventure for their bedtime
story. I was in the next
room listening in, and re-enjoying your tale, when the
part about your stay at
the brothel came up.
"Mom, what's a brothel?"
"It's a place where people trade sex for money"
Several moments of silence, wheels turning, gears
gnashing . . . .
"Why the HECK!!! did she stay there?"
"Because it was the only place she could find where
they had rooms to rent."
Some more moments of silence with the strong wish, but
not entirely confident
belief, for your virtue . . .
"What the heck would they need rooms at a brothel
Because I was still engaged in pondering the first HECK!
I missed the rest.
I was reading your discription of your personal
relationships, and your lovers
reactions to your solo travels, when a quote attributed
to Low-Riders (those
folks with them crazy cars) popped into my head. I think
it goes, "Soy quen
soy" - translated it's, "I am who I am". I
guess it could be mis-interpreted
as harsh or selfish but I don't see it that way. We are
who we are. Thanks
and we hope to see your talk soon!
Date: Wed, 27 Jan 1999 23:09:07 -0700
I read most of your "American Borders' series a year
or so ago and loved
'em. Now you've ridden in China. Cool! Can't wait to read
If you have time, you might enjoy my rides in India and
Sri Lanka. Cycle
World published them a few years ago. They're at:
"For the Ride" is the longest, "The Lucky
Logger" and "Peaks" are the
Still like the Ural? :)
Yep... still like the Ural, it's
sitting outside enjoying the cold weather right now.
Starts right up!
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 1999 09:54:30 -0800
Subject: Doing it the right way
I'm jealous. Sooooo jealous. I lived in China from
to December 1997, studying, traveling and attempting to
find one of
those legendary ex-pat jobs that your friends were so
lucky in landing.
I spoke with a number of Chang Jiang riders, but never
did find a place
that could sell me one.
I wondered what type of advice you got from Jim Rogers
left. Did you view his videos of riding through China and
met him at a Beemer rally in Colorado where he gave a
show. I have to say, the man is arrogant, but he's spot
on when it
comes to analyzing a country's fortunes (or lack
I'm excited to say, and find it somewhat coincidental,
Simon will be giving a presentation here in San Francisco
22. The coincidence is that I read "Jupiter's
Travels" while a student
at the Beijing Language and Culture University. Sadly, I
Pederesen's recent presentation, but I look forward to
seeing yours in
I don't know what, if any advice I could offer to you
If you have a chance to make it to Yunnan province and
Xishuangbanna and then into Burma, you won't be
disappointed. Look for
a small eatery with a sign "Cold Beer" on the
Burmese side. My British
friend while pedalling around gave them that marketing
I wish you continued success on your travels. Keep the
Date: Fri, 08 Jan 1999 18:38:37 -0800
Subject: time inside the helmet
A friend of mine found the URL of your Chinese
travel-log, and forwarded it
to me because he knew I'd be interested. I did a
contintal US motorcycle
tour in the summer of '97 and have been itching to do
internationally ever since.
I was amazed at how your writings evoked memories of my
trip that I wish I
could conjure up at will. Especially what you wrote about
it's because you spent more time on the road than I, or
because you were
riding thru a land where virtually no-one could
communicate with you, but I
found the emptiness I experienced quite enjoyable. I
refer to it as time
alone inside the helmet, a chance to explore and get very
with what's in there while being exposed to all sorts of
stuff that wasn't
in there the day (or hour) before.
A few months after I got off the road and settled down in
SF i started
noticing -- with alarm -- that the emptiness was being
filled in by the
hubbub of day-to-day life. The alarming part was that the
really have the fullness that the emptiness had.
I don't know if that makes sense to you, but it's the
only way I have of
describing it. None of my friends understand it, but
they've never done a
serious motorcycle trip. Cars are different -- radios,
passenger seats, dashboards, and all sorts of other
distractions that let
you get out of your head. On a motorcycle, it's just the
road, the machine,
and whatever's inside the helmet.
Though I can imagine that if the trip took five months
rather than five
weeks I might not have been so keen on regaining the
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for reviving some
memories that I don't
dust off often enough.
Maybe we'll bump into each other in the city.
PS Have you ever read Jim Rogers' _Investment Biker_
2859215-0044252)? It is a bit too business-oriented, but
at the time I read
it (a few months before my trip) I liked it. I suspect
the trip has made me
a good deal less business-oriented, so I might not like
it as much anymore.
But he made several cross-China trips, so it might be
worth reading just to
see if his experiences evoke any memories that you miss.
ICQ UIN: 2281445
The nice thing about having become a cynic is that I now
enjoy being wrong.
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: time inside the helmet
Thanks for your letter. It's so nice hearing from people
who really know what I'm talking about. You know I did a
US tour in '95... same sort of thing, only I could speak
the language. Not that it mattered much. It's at
I'll be doing a slide show on Feb 3 (wed) at Philias
Foggs in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, 7 or
7:30, I forget. It's about China... maybe I'll throw a
few US trip slides in there, though.
Yeah... car's just don't do it. I suppose you could get
near the same feeling doing a Kerouak back of pickup
truck hitchhiking, but I like being my own pilot.
I hope to see you at the Fogg's thing. Not many net
correspondents so nearby.
And I hope you'll get to get away again soon.
PS: Yeah, I read Jim's book, met with him in Vancouver.
Interesting guy. He's made a LOT of money. Well, some of
us have to. ITed Simon, too, his book Jupiter's Travels
(jupitalia.com) for the contemplative time you described.
Imagine, 4 years alone around the world on a Triumph!
Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 00:58:18 +0800
Subject: Hey Carla.
Thank you for putting your adventure in China on line.
I've tried hard
to find a website about China on line. I have friends
that who have
never been to China, and I want them to know what China's
website gives me this opportunity. I just want to say
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: Hey Carla.
Thanks for the note, and you're very welcome. I'm glad
you and your friends are reading China Road. There's also
another site you might find interesting, a guy from the
USA who is teaching there. It's at
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 12:31:33 +0800
To: Carla King
Subject: Re: Hey Carla.
> Thanks for the note, and you're very welcome.
It's me who should say thank you. I've been living in
China for my
whole life, but never have the guts, and the time that
you devoted into
the trip. For me, I want to know what a foreigner will do
about China, and your website is the place. For my
friends, it's very
good to let them know more about the country. I love
China, but I need
to "prove" that the country is as good as I
I learned about your website from a TV program. They
your website URL, and the only thing I know was your
first name. I'm
glad that I could still find it from Yahoo by typing just
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 11:22:15 -0500
From: Ontario Dual Sport Club - Online <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Greeting from ODSC
Nice site and remarkable trips. It is people like you who
create the future riders.
I had a question for you. I used to live in Kenya and
knew a Carla King
there. Most probably coincidence but it was a long time
ago and we were
just kids. We never had any contact and with the physical
take place, it becomes hard to recognize.
Anyway, please check out our site, it may prove
interesting to you.
Sham Kanji - Founder
ONTARIO DUAL SPORT CLUB - Online
Email only: email@example.com
Mailing list address: firstname.lastname@example.org
nope, not the same Carla, but
thanks for writing and for the site lead...great info
Date: Sat, 28 Nov 1998 08:33:23 -0600
You are an exceptional lady you've experinced what i have
of doing and at age 50 my dream probably will never be
realized . Your
writeing of your own exploits makes it seem as if i were
Subject: your tales
I find your writing wonderfully entertaining and
interesting pleasure and an informative read.
Would that all long distance riders took mandatory (and
productive) writing courses!
Thanks for the chronicling-
Date: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 00:34:59 +0000
Subject: but weren't you scared?
I just read that essay, it was so wonderful. I'm not a
scooter lady, but
did go to Europe with the same questions - who am I and
what is the
difference betweeen me and that one? The story about
French-speaking Bob made me laugh my ass off - do we not
problems with these misconceptions and assumptions, no
matter where we
are from? I do not know much about mid-west America, but
the way you
tell it, perhaps there is something to look for.
At any rate, your pages are exquisite, articulate, and
heart, and with spirit. Your pages make me proud as a
woman, a human
being, and last of all, an outlaw.
Keep up the good work. I'll be in touch soon.
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: but weren't you scared?
You made ME laugh... I had forgotten about Bob. I may
drive back up that way around Christmas, bet he's not
there though, probably doing someting fantastic in
Europe. Becoming a brain surgeon or something.
Thanks so much for your email. I get so few from women...
most of my readers are men, a lot of bikers... as if
motorcycling has anything to do with anything... just a
vehicle for me, to travel nearer to the road, to capture
the place more accurately.
Your letter is very encouraging, thanks again outlaw
girl... I'm struggling with an article about my China
trip and now I think I know where to start.
Date: Tue, 03 Nov 1998 22:14:38 +0000
To: Carla King <>
Subject: Re: but weren't you scared?
Thank you, that was a great letter. I wanted to let you
know I've got
you linked to my home page under "Hot Spots" at
That's weird that you don't get that many letters from
women; I really
don't know what to read into that. There's nothing
you - unless it's the fact that you're intelligent,
attractive, and capable of taking care of yourself. Yeah,
I can see how
that would be threatening. :)
I'll be reading more of your essays, so you will hear
from me again.
Good luck on the China story.
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 19:18:44 -0400
Subject: 50 Mile per Hour Flashbacks
Hello Carla King-
I wish I could come up with the 1000+ words it would take
thank you for sharing with me (and anyone else on the
stories of your wonderful adventures. I have been
captivated for the past
week by the 25 episodes of your American Borders tour.
Captivated! Entranced! Speechless! Transfixed!
I cried (I did!),
and I flashed heavily back on my home on the Peninsula.
and on various hitch-hiking tours through Europe.
and on the relations and elations of being a Ural owner.
My only regret is not having met you in 1996! I could
have warned you
about the gas tank problem... and many of the other
problems! I could have
read your dispatches as they came in! Ah, but back then I
connected as now. A university student has very good
access, these days.
Especially one who works in a not-so-well-frequented
computer lab on
campus. I did manage to pass my midterms Friday and
today, in spite of the
time I spent reading your accounts!
I am so glad to have accidentally found the verbum site
(late as I am...).
Soon I'll start reading about your trip through China.
Such an adventure
is a beauty to behold! I can't wait for a continuation of
descriptions of your daily trials and tribulations.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I'm dreaming of new adventures! It's such a shame that my
Ural is sitting
back in California, a victim of the tank-crack-syndrome
things). 'Recent fluctuations' in my life have led me to
Ohio to study and
the short summers at home aren't long enough to allow me
to make any
repairs on the Ural. Heck, I didn't even get to ride the
bike that _does_
run last summer, my 1967 BMW R50/2- my baby! Its
restoration while I lived
on an island along Germany's Baltic coast is another
adventure... If I had
the Ural here... I could try it out in the snow! What a
blast that would be!
Give my regards to Santa Cruz, I'll visit friends there
(from the scooter
contingent) when I return home for the holidays.
Do you still have the Ural? Or have you settled back in
with the Yamaha?
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: 50 Mile per Hour Flashbacks
It's not often I get such an articulate and complimentary
e-mail. I hope you are enjoying the China stories, the CJ
didn't have the tank crack problem... yes, I know why the
Ural had it -- they fixed it at the factory in Irbit --
rather a dangerous little defect, isn't it? But mine is
still mounted with rubber washers and a plastic tie. I do
have it up and running and am enjoying just tooling
around SF and Marin. No long trips planned... those I'll
save for a more reliable machine.
I'd go on but I've got this tech manual due this week.
Keep an eye on the Jaunt site, I'll probably be doing
some more travels, and plan to add more adventures by
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 17:10:43 -0500
To: Carla King
Subject: Re: 50 mph Internet
Yes, I've got the Jaunt site bookmarked and will watch
Meanwhile, I've been reading Sheldon Aubut's accounts,
too. He seems like
quite a nice guy. I'm thinking about joining Narma- I'd
love to get to the
meet in Minnesota next summer. Alas, I don't think the
Ural will be even
ready to leave CA before then. We'll see what happens.
More reliable bike for long trips? Yeah, there are
advantages to that...
Urals have taught me a love for sidecars, but I'd like
too. Right now, I'm dreaming about finding a cheap Honda
Hawk GT and
engineering a swing-arm front end and sidecar mounts. I
might be able to
do it as a senior project in the Welding Engineering
Department here. It
would be fast, sporty, unique, *and* reliable. Just push
a button and
go... something I've never had in a motorcycle and a
point of contention
between myself and my previous girlfriend.
"Buy something _reasonable_!" she said after
Ural #1 shat itself on the way
to a Nor-Cal BMW weekend (discover old-town Martinez via
Ural and tow truck!)
Even my current girlfriend had a hard time coping with a
'spontaneous maintenance sessions' while underway from CA
to OH in my MG.
I was pretty proud that the thing held up as well as it
did; she was
I think a vehicle like a Ural (or an MG) can teach a
person quite a bit
about independence, attitude, and perspective. For all
the 'stress relief'
(read 'fun') a Ural can bring, it certainly can
aggravate, too- a lesson in
patience like no child ever was.
Good luck with the manual.
Date: Sun, 01 Nov 1998 17:46:07 -0500
Subject: One Serious Wow
I've just finished China Road #20.
and back to...
A very serious WOW.
Your stories simply blow me away. And then I have to
think that you spent
much of your time in China being blown away yourself.
Sort of a constant
state of 'blown-ness', I guess. It seems all a bit much
to handle, and
indeed, you needed a break from it sooner than originally
Congratulations on surviving! Thank you for revealing
China to me. The
digital camera was a great idea- the photos compliment
I wonder how a male westerner would fare? Do you think
that you, as a
strange foreigner, were more easily approachable because
you are a woman,
or less so approachable? I mean (romantic aspirations of
aside), how much of your experiences with locals
(business, police, or
friendly) were affected by your gender?
Hmm, I don't know if I'm able to correctly formulate the
to communicate my thoughts...
As I read your dispatches, I couldn't help but try to put
myself in your
shoes. I wonder if anything would be different for me.
Would the cops
have acted differently? Would the evil
motorcycle--crashing mechanic have
been even more arrogant? Would people be so welcoming
I can see certain 'attention-drawing' factors which you
age of independence (my term- I can't stand the others)
I can match all but one (well, ok, my hair is red), so I
really have an
easy time relating to your writing. (Perhaps you would
with a few other terms, too, or different ones. Feel free
to add what I've
I look forward to checking in on the photo gallery as it
is expanded and
you add comments. What about number 9 and 15? Are they
I hope your thumbs are back to normal, your psyche
remains undisturbed, and
you have found peace again 'in the ivory tower'. :)
Till the next time- keep the shiny side up!
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: One Serious Wow
Well, this is the reason I write... I'm so glad you could
identify with the situation, with the
"otherness" of it, the positives and the
negatives. I have no idea how the Chinese perceived me,
whether they even considered me a woman... they didn't in
Africa when I bicycled from Dakar to Abdijan, through the
bush around Sierra Leone and Liberia where they'd never
seen a foreigner either, and I was treated as an
"honorary" man, had access to the men's world
and the women's.... I think I could have been purple with
green spots and 5 legs for all the surprise they
showed... but the Africans showed delight and they wanted
to interact. The Chinese just stared. It was difficult to
Yes, my thumbs are well back to normal, thanks, but I'm
riding the Ural a lot so I expect they'll be out of joint
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 08:21:13 EST
"The other is the perfect vehicle, the bike of the
mind. this is the
motorcycle that is lavish in its gifts and lessons.
Sometimes I fear it; often I dream about it; sometimes I
love it with the
longing as if it were already gone."
".....it's suddenly there, bobbing at the surface of
consciousness, along with
a ghost perception of the temperature and smell of the
air. This is the
perfume of the past. Future scents wait by the
Carla, thanks for giving me the suggestion...i got it
from the library and
now i might buy it....something worth keeping....almost
makes me want to go
out and buy another bike....but i think i want a sea
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 06:07:08 EST
I looked at your web page about your trip around the
country. And I couldn't
help but wonder how you liked your Ural. I have been
following Ural since
there introduction several years ago. They don't get much
press, but I drool
on their web page often. What are your thoughts after
being one of the few
folks who have had the opportunity to put a Ural through
the ringer here in
the U. S. I really like the look and design but can't
find much info
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: Your Ural?
Well, I had a lot of trouble with mine, as you saw, but
they've improved since then because the Ural people go to
Siberia to oversee the factory. I'm going to China next
month to ride a similar bike, the Chang Jiang, from
Beijing to Burma. I like the WWII BMW copies just because
they're retro, easy to fix when they break, and they do
break, and because they're social - you can carry 2
people or 3 kids - plus people like to talk to you when
you ride them. Oh. And they're cheap. Worth every penny.
The ones in Seattle are 6 or 7 K, right? But the ones in
China are $1500. Can't get them approved for American
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 19:58:13 -0600
Subject: how to cross the border at international falls
I know that this is a simple question but i am going on a
road trip to
International Falls and your homepage was the first place
I stumble on to.
I anly need to know how to cross the border. What do we
need and what
should we expect. I am sorry if this is too simple of a
queastion but I am
just starting the prosses of finding the info out. We are
leaving on WEDs
so if this does not get to you in time then that is ok. I
hope that your
travels go well and god is with you. thanks abunch.
From: Carla King <>
Subject: Re: how to cross the border at international
All you need is your drivers license or passport. And a
little patience.... there were about 20 cars in front of
me. The legality is no problem. People regularly cross
the border, grocieries are cheaper on the USA side and
liquor is cheaper on the Canadian side!
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 21:27:42 -0500
From: BOB BULLOCK <Bob@worcestershiresauce.com>
Subject: ural dealership
Learned how to use the shift key but it messes with my
concentration..being from North Carolina and all.... I
wanted to know if
there was any possibility that you may be near Columbia,
SC within the
next few months to help with the grand opening of our
dealership. I have
been turning folks on to your website and you sorta have
become a local
legend being from NC and I think you may have a fan club
in the works.
Me being one.
To: BOB BULLOCK
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: ural dealership
Gee whiz, a legend? I'm not even 40 (yet). Thanks for the
invitation and congratulations on the opening of your
dealership. If you have your computer running maybe I can
join you remotely from China for a chat session. Send me
email when the dates are firm so I can keep it in mind.
Really. If I'm in a big town it might work.
I'm going to ride a Chang Jiang sidecar bike from Beijing
to Burma. I'm leaving on April 22 and I don't know when
I'm coming back. June, maybe. Of course I'll be sending
reports from the road, to http://www.verbum.com/jaunt.
I'll be spending my 40th birthday in the mountains near
the Tibetan border, that is, if that Chang Jiang runs
well. It's got a side-valve and it's an 850... otherwise
it's a Ural.
I sure do wish I could come, though. Sounds like loads of
fun. And it would be nice to see my cousins. I just don't
get there enough. Almost forgot how to drawl.
Best to you, Bob. Thanks for the fan club. And for
learning how to use that shift key.
To: "'Carla King'"
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 13:24:43 +1000
Congratulations ! "American Borders" was a
great read. I'm looking
forward to reading more from you and joining in on your
cyber-adventure. Your stories are a considerably more
peering out this office window at the railway line and
parking lots. I
enjoy bushwalking & camping when I can get away and
can't wait to get my
old 1957 BMW on the road so I can get out and do some
You would love touring Australia. Praying you find
success in everything
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 19:36:30 -0400
I was searching the web for motorcycle routes on Long
Island for a trip I am
putting together and one of the hits returned from
Metacrawler was your
American Borders site. An aficionado of both bikes and
adventure travel, it
wasn't hard for me to get side-tracked. For the last two
weeks I have spent
all my spare time reading your adventures instead of
planning my trip. (OK,
so I don't have a lot of free time)
Thanks for the stories, I really enjoyed reading them. I
will be living
vicariously for a while as baby No. 1 is on the way
back great memories of trips my wife and I have taken.
That has helped to
scratch my adventure itch (kind of).
I recently finished a book titled "the perfect
machine." The authors name
escapes me, but if you haven't heard of it or read it
yet, I think you would
enjoy it. It is about a woman and her involvement with
don't want you to think I go around seeking out stories
on women and bikes,
the book was a gift and, well, you know how I found your
My sister is living in San Fran, I'll have her keep her
eyes out for the
Ural, there can't be too many Russian motorcycles there.
Thanks again for the trip. I had a blast...
East Haven, CT
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 00:50:07 EDT
Subject: Rio Grande
I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know I
enjoyed reading about your
adventure in the Rio Grande. I have visited all of the
places you mentioned.
My adventure was in 1976. I visited Luckenbach on a sunny
laid back June
afternoon. I remember the hippie cowboys playing their
guitars and singing
Jerry Jeff Walker and Gary P Nunn tunes. There were old
men playing dominoes
and sipping Budweiser. (funny thing I did not see any
Lonestar ) Hippie
cowgirls bbqing and their kids running around having a
great time. I am
sitting here seeing it just like it was yesterday. It
really makes me long for
the road and Texas.I also have taken the leaky boat ride
across the Rio Grande
but that is another story. Keep up the good stories of
Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 13:15:03 +0000
Subject: American Borders
Hi! Just finished reading Am.Borders. I just couldn't put
(I printed it out, thinking I would read it at my
there is no leisure when one's imagination is totally
Your adventure on the Ural certainly fired up my
imagination! I found
your website quite by accident while surfing for
about Russian Automobiles, as I am an enthusiast of East
and motorcycles. Nuff said. I am again enjoying your
adventures, and look forward to reading more of your
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: hip hip hip URAL
Pas de problem... vous avez ma permission publier les
histoires si vous aussi publier le nom de la site:
Bon chance avec votre Ural, et j'envoie l'esperance que
vous avieiez les bon temps l'avec votre machine
Issoire le 03/10/98
M. ZOTTER Philippe 23 chemin de la chaux 63500 ISSOIRE
E-mail : email@example.com
To Carla KING Sidecarla@aol.com.
Hello Carla… As motorcyclist since more of
twenty years, lover of OURAL since five years and owner
myself of a OURAL since five days ( I come just to buy
it, I it have not even again drive it…), I am
concerned by your WEB page. In France, I am member of
" friendly DNIEPR-OURAL of France "
(approximately 80 memberss…) and I try to find
on the WWW some articles that can concern members of the
club. To thissubject, I ask you the authorization to
translate and publish some parts of your article in our
newspaper, I promise you that that will not bring you
anything, if this is not a relative celebrity, but that
would be truly nice... I wait for your reply with
impatience, prudence and good road Philippe.
From: "Sheldon T. Aubut"
Subject: NARMA ListServe
Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 13:47:25 -0500
The North American Russian Motorcycle Association
(ListServe) is now up and running. This is a, mostly
correspondence mailing list for enthusiasts of
motorcycles produced in
Russia, China, India and other Eastern Block or Eurasian
At this time, you do not have to be a member of NARMA to
be a member of the
List!!! The list is operated by NARMA but is hosted by
only asked for an initial donation up front, which has
been paid by NARMA,
and the opportunity to solicit donations for operation of
the list once or
twice a year from the membership of the list, but
donation is purely
voluntary. Because we are not restricting the membership
to the list it
should open up the whole world to like minded
What will I find on the list?
The NARMA List is a sociable correspondence mailing list
for the enjoyment
of motorcycle enthusiasts around the Globe. Content may
reports, rally information, mechanical advice, and
related information. We will strive to keep discussion on
and fun nature. We are comprised of mixed races,
religions, ages, genders,
and International Cultures.
To subscribe to the list send an e-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org and in the
subscribe narma your_e-mail_address
Any of you who sign on right away will be the first ones
so please introduce
yourselves to the list and lets get this thing off the
ground. To send a
message to all subscribers you just address it to:
Any questions or problems please e-mail me. I hope I
didn't send this to
anyone who is not interested in these kinds of bikes and
if I did I am
Sheldon T. Aubut
Duluth, Minnesota USA
From: email@example.com (Chuck Sherman)
Subject: The Final Dispatch
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 20:13:17 -0400
In the few humans on this planet who are truly aware,
there comes a moment
in their life where they realize their own
limitations...It is a humbling
moment...an empty moment...a moment where crying is the
only response that
It's okay...it's normal. From this gestalt, a greater
awareness of the
world emerges. I felt it in your earlier writings...you
were a Watcher,
reporting out on what you saw/experienced, yet not
allowing it to penetrate
the paradigms which were the foundation of your psyche.
As a world traveler, I found that it easy to slip into
the "been there,
done that" mentality...it allowed me to function in
foreign places without
truly experiencing the texture of the locale. I wish I
could go back to
some of these places now, and truly "be"
there..ah, c'est la vie.
The realization of it all is a BIG THING...your mind and
the quality of
your work will expand greatly as a result. Take some time
off...let it sink
in...then write about the old man on the park bench
across from the beach,
just for yourself as an exercise. I suspect you'll have
more to say about
him than both of your series combined.
Okay, I'm off my lectern now...You may dismiss this as
yet another goof
sending you wacky E-mail...
But then again..
Chuck "URALTech" Sherman.
From: Carla King
Subject: RE: Thanks
Well, I brought the beast to Sausalito, ran her around
the Bay Area for a few weeks and then it started raining.
It stopped raining, but then it was cold. Well, not cold
like you call cold, but I'm a southern girl moved to CA
so for me it's cold. She's sitting under a cover right
next to the water and though I've gunked her up with some
spray that swears it'll keep rust off boats I havn't had
the nerve to take a look. Maybe tomorrow. Meanwhile my
Dad's up in Portland bugging my sister about her vehicles
and her kids, so at least he's distracted.
Went to the book fair, there's some interest in China
Road becoming an actual published book... maybe.
What' sup with you?
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Chuck Sherman)
To: "'Carla King'
Subject: RE: Thanks
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 08:17:31 -0500
Nie to hear from you. I had begun to think you were
amidst the life of the
int'l superstar that you are:) It's funny how we end up
larger than life to
some folks...If you've been following the Chat Site,
you'll find a whole
group of 'foil heads' (people who line their helmets with
riding their URAL) who think I'm the neatest thing since
I'm glad to hear you didn't give the Beast up for
adoption. So many times
I have given up a mechanical thing, only to regret it
later in life.
Everyone who likes 'stuff with motors' has a story like
case, the Beast actually helps define who you are.
GO CARLA! Get that book in print! WHEN you do, there
should be a backfeed
in to the American Borders piece also. People who I have
referred to the
Site have been most impressed with your body of work...It
deserves to be a
tome of record.
From: Carla King
Subject: Re: your URAL
The bikes imported by Ural America are good because
they're modified to comply with U.S.A. regulations, which
are very strict. I think the ones sold in Europe don't
need to be of a certain quality so I couldn't a
> Hi there, I enjoyed reading your Web page. Since I
am looking for a motorcycle with side car I'd like to
know what is your experience with the URAL today?
(Growing up in Hungary, I have been exposed a wide range
of Russian built stuff and the quality is just not
there.) So how are the URAL's now days? Thanks for your
Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 14:24:00 -0500
Subject: American Borders
I just started to read your "American Borders"
travelogue today and
wanted to express my appreciation for making this type of
available on the internet. I've only read the
"Aren't you scared" entry
and I already enjoy your writing style and insight into
I can't wait to read on - but, first I have to get back
to work - Big
Brother may be watching!
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 17:24:02 EST
While looking at the links to 'Santa Barbara' and
'castles' in the final
installment of American Borders, about 3 or 4 porn sites
appeared on screen.
After enjoying your stories it seemed apparant these
sites were not your
I felt you would want to know. I've listed the link info
as it was reported
following this message.
...While at this location [
...and viewing the final "borders" installment,
the following links were
towards the end of the article.
This one was for "Santa Barbara"
And the following was for"castles"
...as I selected these sites 3 or 4 porn web sites
Sorry this happened to your story and hope this helps.
Subject: Ural Covers
I saw your posting on the Ural site asking about a cover
for your Ural.
I use a Jeep CJ-5 cover. Weather proof, cheap and
avaliable from any
auto parts store or JC Whitney for about $60.00. Its big
enough to cover
the entire rig with a little spillover to tuck in.
Date: Mon, 18 Jan 1999 21:56:37 EST
Just finished reading American Borders, and am amazed. I
would have scrapped
that pile of junk at the second or third breakdown. I
ride a Wing, and have
gone over a 100 thousand miles sans a breakdown. I have a
friend with 530,000
miles on his 1984 Wing. Why, Why, Why would someone put
that kind of torture just to ride something unusual. You
must be from
California, I don't believe the part of you being from
North Carolina. I think
that what they say about people from California is TRUE.
Your new friend,