• Idaho – Nowhere on the American Coast

    Posted by Loren on October 11, 2012

    Idaho – the state that doesn’t appear to want any tourists. How else to explain “Potato” on their licence plates, and that previously being my entire knowledge of the state? Not really a conduit for attracting an international contingent of tourists. After criss crossing the state for 8 days the only potatoes I saw where of the fried type sitting proudly next to my hamburger. What I did see plenty of was empty, sweeping, glorious roads following the curves of rivers cut deep into the Rocky Mountains. That has a much better ring to it for an advertising campaign than “Potato”.

  • Montana – No Hannah To Be Found Anywhere

    Posted by Loren on September 12, 2012

    The astute reader will recall at the end of the British Columbia update, I said that I was going to Idaho. This I did, turned left, and an hour later I was in Montana.

    I have a set of maps from Butler Maps which cover all the mountain states and do a brilliant job of showing routes and all sorts of other bits and pieces specifically for motorcyclists. Each evening I sweep an area clear on the ground, secure the corners of the map with a mixture of riding boots, bear spray and firewood, and plot the next day’s ride and create the route in my GPS. I then sit back and be led by Garmin. Thankfully the data in the Garmin is much more detailed for North America than it was for Central and South America, where if a country was lucky it would have a couple roads listed, accurate to +/- 150km.

  • Canada – Beautiful British Columbia

    Posted by admin on August 30, 2012

    After much careful planning and a dedication to fitness that ensured we were as fit as two humans could be, Mr Murray McNab and I, Loren Vercoe, esq, saddled our BMW GS motorbikes, and in January 2011 departed Vancouver, Canada for a ride to Buenos Aires, Argentina. This journey has been extensively documented on these pages, the result being I completed the journey, and Murray finished in Cusco, Peru due to health reasons. Upon arriving in Buenos Aires, I arranged to have my bike flown back to Canada to “sell” it. Shipping the bike was successful, and I proceeded to prepare my bike for sale in Vancouver. This preparation included such things as trying out new coffee shops, going to the beach, visiting friends, and generally fussing about. In short, I did not get around to attempting to sell the bike, instead, bought a bike cover, disconnected the battery, put it in storage, and departed for Sydney.

  • Argentina – Where Water Falls

    Posted by Loren on June 2, 2011

    The flat plains were calling, and I obliged, keeping the throttle open as I road through Argentinian farmland. Miles and miles of cotton fiends were interrupted with miles and miles of wheat. I love riding through lush farmland so was right in my element as bugs splattering across my visor. I was not paying particular notice to what the effect of going fast was having on my fuel consumption, and when I pulled into Quimili for the night, I had 35km left in the tank. Luckily, Quimili had two fuel stations, but unluckily, neither had fuel. Putting this little problem aside, I noticed a motorbike part shop in town, and went to see about the possibility of getting a new front tire. They had one in stock, so while they were mounting it, I went to the ATM to get replenish the money supply. All ATM’s in town were down due to a communication issue. There is no credit card facilities anywhere in town. Quimili and I aren’t singing from the same song page so far.

  • Argentina – Goodbye Andes

    Posted by Loren on May 31, 2011

    Argentina should create a “how-to setup a border” guide and distribute it to Central America. Following the clearly marked numbers, providing a couple signatures, I was back on my bike in no time, flying along the plateau, even getting my “bike on gleaming white salar” photos making up for the disappointment of the wet flats in Bolivia. Descending into Purmamarca on Ruta 52 was on the tightest, most numerous switchbacks yet. Thankfully this was Argentina and good, wide roads with an actual maintenance crew made the journey down very enjoyable. The next morning, a straight, warm freeway ride popped me out in Salta, and a quest to find a new front tire.

  • Chile – Crazy, Beautiful

    Posted by Loren on May 22, 2011

    I have read many reports of exiting Bolivia, entering Chile and being greeted with beautiful smooth road happily containing road markings and squeezed between guard rails. No such luck for me, and the gravel, sand and salt flats continued. With no other vehicles around I had the snow capped mountains and salars all to myself. Three hours later, line markings gleamed on the horizon like a mirage. I had reached the promised land!

  • Bolivia – In Search of Gasoline

    Posted by Loren on May 19, 2011

    The only thing more relaxed than myself after an Easter long weekend was my bike. The dashboard had been flashing the need for a service for the last 1000km, which I obliged with at the all accommodating BMW Santa Cruz. With all fluids changed, new brake pads fitted, and front wheel balanced, we reunited and plotted a course to the west and Ruta del y Che. It was good to get back into the mountains as the Cordillera Oriental range was stunning. No photos to prove this, however, as someone forgot to charge the batteries on his camera. I told you I relaxed.

  • Bolivia – Someone Needs to Update the Maps

    Posted by Loren on May 11, 2011

    Murray and I often said that when we were not having fun, that it made for the best blog updates. Lovely, smooth pavement with perfect berms don’t transfer to more than a few words. So it is my dear readers, that I sacrifice the next week of my life for your entertainment.

    A 20,000km service on my bike dictated that I go to Santa Cruz, the only BMW Motorrad dealer in Bolivia. Looking at the map, with consideration that I hadn’t been warm for a long while, I chose the route to Trinidad, located in the jungle in Bolivia. Your geography lesson for the day is that 1/3 of Bolivia is in the Amazon Basin. Educating and entertaining.

  • Peru – Thanks for the Memories, Hello Bolivia!

    Posted by Loren on May 3, 2011

    Fluffy pancakes stacked high, dripping with maple syrup, greased with a double espresso at Heart’s Cafe in Ollantaytambo is, I can confirm, the perfect way to start a days ride. Two fellow riders from Argentina were staying at the same hotel and heading in the same direction, so we all decided to ride together. In true Peruvian style, we experienced 4 seasons in one day, and a new one where one freezes and gets pelted with hail. Not my favourite season.

  • Peru – Cusco and Machu Picchu

    Posted by Loren on April 26, 2011

    A three week stop in Cusco, Peru was exactly what was needed to recharge my batteries, reacquaint myself with a daily coffee, eat way too much good food and put the final touches on my Spanish. As Spanish classes were finished by 1pm, I was left with plenty of time to ensure my bike didn’t grow moss, taking it out and about around the very pretty hills of Cusco. I also had my front rim fixed after the unfortunate incident with a rock in a river, replaced the very fast wearing Metzeler rear tire with a Pirelli MT60, stocked up on decent chain lube and scratched my itchy feet. After a couple days of sharing stories with Alberto and Naomi, two Canadians who road a similar route to us, and are on their way back north, I well and truly had the urge to get riding again. Pulling out of the courtyard at Hostal Marani for the last time, I locked Machu Picchu into the GPS, and set course for one of the Wonders of the World.

  • Peru – And Then There Was One

    Posted by Loren on April 25, 2011

    Earlier this week, Murray and I visited two friends that volunteer at the Diospu Suyana Hospital in Curahuasi, which is two hours north of Cusco, Peru. The hospital is a marvel of modern medicine, and runs as a charity giving the poor farmers in the region access to quality treatment. One of the perils of riding through Central and South America is the nonchalant attitude towards food hygiene. Murray has been suffering from stomach troubles so he booked in to see one of the German doctors in the hopes of being prescribed medication to remove the parasite. Unable to find the cause of the problem, the doctor advised Murray to return to Australia.

  • Peru – Where Rivers Cross

    Posted by Loren on April 25, 2011

    Getting out of bed on the wrong side is usually a good indicator of how the rest of the day is going to go. Attempting to exit a town, the road detouring through a garbage dump, and general being lost for an hour, is another healthy indication that they day isn’t going to go as planned. And so it was that we departed Ayacucho, mud and a mini tornado of garbage flying from the rear wheel as the accelerator was twisted harder and harder with each wrong direction acquired from the locals.

  • Peru – Central Contemplations

    Posted by Loren on April 12, 2011

    With our camping stove problem sorted, we exited Huaraz about the same time as we would normally be looking for a camping site. With plenty of snow covered peaks reaching over 6000m, high mountain passes, and lakes covered in white foam, there was certainly plenty to keep us entertained. Three hours after the arduous task of packing our bikes, we were unpacking them in a rock surrounded paddock, scrapped out of the side of a mountain. Tents erected, ground tested to ensure we hadn’t set up on a slope that would result in sliding off the sleeping mattress halfway through the night, a scrumptious dinner was cooked on the newly fixed camping stove, and we were lulled to sleep with the sound of an Andean river fighting it’s way to the sea.

  • Peru – Making our way South

    Posted by Loren on April 4, 2011

    I have had a standing invitation to Carjamarca for many years, as that is where my good friends Mike and Melinda live. An endless supply of fresh coffee, good food, hot swimming pool and great company is a very good reason to park the bikes and make use of the invitation. So that’s exactly what we did – kind of. A 100km ride is considered parking in our world. The ride was way up into the mountains for a personal tour by Mike of the property of his employer, a very large gold mine. We swapped our helmets and riding gear for hard hats, safety vests and steel toed boots and headed down into the pit, avoiding the 80 some odd Caterpillar 797′s (BIG) dump trucks carrying 360 tonnes of dirt up out of the pit. It is incredible the amount of earth that is moved and processed to extract a small quantity of gold. I shall forever think of that huge pit whenever I put on my gold chains and bling.

  • Northern Peru – Chachapoyas to Carjamarca

    Posted by Murray on March 19, 2011

    After a few days of ripping up the gravel roads, creek crossings, muddy rutted uphill jungle tracks, ABS off to maintain to feel of the bike beneath you and a few tailout back brake locked moments as the rear of the bike slides sideways to avoid an errant vehicle in the other direction, it was great to roll into Chachapoyas early afternoon.

  • Ecuador/Peru – A Carnival crossing

    Posted by Loren on March 18, 2011

    Being on an extra long holiday doesn’t diminish the special feeling of a Saturday ride. Impossibly colossal green mountains grasp at the sky, the road clinging wherever it can, the valley floor disappearing far below, appearing in the pit of your stomach around the next switchback. Blue sky and thoughts of a sunburnt nose are soon replaced with pellets of freezing rain pummelling your face as the clouds are reached and their contents are scattered across the road and in through any forgotten openings. Thoughts of stopping to extract proper winter gear from the most inconvenient of the four bags are quickly eradicated as the mountain is summited, the bikes rev with approval as they scream downhill and the sun returns from it’s brief sabbatical and starts the task of again drying our clothes strapped to the back, washed the prior night in a pint sized handbasin.

  • Ecuador – Off the Edge

    Posted by Loren on March 6, 2011

    Throttle released, drop down two gears slowing a little more than normal as the right shoulder is a sheer vertical drop 1000m to the floor of the Andes, the apex of the corner lined up, begin hard acceleration, biking leaning over, gyroscopic keeping everything in place, and what is that? A 93 year old man in a three piece suit with a walking cane, slowing walking across the road. ABS chatter, gears are dropped and I come to a complete stop as the old man stops in the middle of the road and gives a death stare. They still mustn’t like German machines around these parts.

  • South Colombia to Ecuador Border

    Posted by Murray on March 6, 2011

  • Ecuador – Day 59, 14371km, 3rd March 2011 – The Centre of the World

    Posted by Murray on March 6, 2011

    Today Loren and I parted company and went to separate hemispheres. It was great to have some time apart after travelling together for 2 months, a good chance to clear the air, work through any pent up issues alone and take a fresh view of the trip.

    We were 2m apart – he stood on one of the equator and I on the other. We were keen to set up a toilet and flush it to see which way the flush would rotate on the north and then on the south. This little exciting experiment was not to be as the gasoline station attendant objected to us hocking his dunny for an hour due to excessive demand at the time. We thought about riding back to EL Cafe de la Vaca (Cow Cafe) to ask them for theirs (see pic).

  • Colombia – Love It

    Posted by Murray on March 4, 2011

    Colombian people are great! We love them! In fact, we have encountered some of the friendliest people in this country that we have come across in our travels. Colombia’s sordid and at times very violent past was not evident at all whilst motoring through and mixing with the people in cities and villages; with the exception of a heavy presence of police and military. In more than one instance in the northern part of the country we passed a lone armored tank reversed up into the bushes with it’s fearsome turret glaringly at us like a ravenous long beaked monster, just longing to unleash its fury onto some cowering drug runner. The soldier poking out the top gives us the thumbs up as we ride by which we take as a good sign that he won’t open up on us.

  • Ramblings from Northern Colombia

    Posted by Loren on February 27, 2011

    After an unplanned 4 day sabbatical in Cartagena, with customs and insurance papers in hand, we swung a leg over the bikes, and pointed them north to Santa Marta. Well that was the plan, anyway. We promptly turned the wrong direction and ended up in a part of town that won’t be making the Lonely Planet anytime this decade. A quick confer with a taxi turned him into our pilot vehicle, and off we rode, putting Cartagena and our customs drama behind us. The road rolled under our tires, wind blow through our helmets, and jackets sweltered us, further confirming we are bike riders, not sailors.

  • Stats on Day 50……

    Posted by Murray on February 23, 2011

    An update on the statistics…… don’t you just love numbers!!

    • Days on the road – 50
    • No. of countries entered – 10
    • Longest border crossing – 4.5hrs but fast being overtaken by a 3 day wait at customs in Colombia
    • Most police blocks in one day – 13
    • Kilometres travelled by road – 11,602
    • Kilometres travelled by sea – 480
    • Most kilometres travelled in one day – 693
    • Number of campsites – 6
    • Average fuel usage – 4.9lt/100kms (Murray), 4.7lt/100kms (Loren)
    • Number of punctures – 1
  • Sailing the San Blas – Panama to Colombia

    Posted by Loren on February 23, 2011

    The road from Alaska to Argentina is continuous, except for a 160km swath of undeveloped, impassable and dangerous land between Panama and Colombia. There are only two ways to pass it; by boat or by plane. We had organized passage via boat on the 38.5m Stalhratte, or Steel Rat as it is affectionately known. The trip from Puerto Lindo on the Caribbean coast to Cartagena, Colombia via the San Blas Islands would take four days. A break on a sailboat through the Caribbean sounds like a good idea.

  • Panama – Caribbean to the Pacific in a day

    Posted by Murray on February 23, 2011

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Costa Rica, we were looking forward to cruising through Panama – and it didn’t disappoint! We exited Costa Rica via a small border crossing at Sixaola, close to the Caribbean Sea and it was a barrel of laughs. At this point, the countries are separated by Rio Sixaola, joined only by a sturdy old railway bridge, no longer used by trains. After being stamped out (both ourselves and the bikes – many of these countries have stamped our passports for the bikes), we topped our sordid breakfast up with a $0.10 banana and a $0.40 fresh OJ and pointed the steeds towards the bridge. The bridge crossing was a classic with the numerous loose or missing planks making the flowing river far below seem even further away. It was unfortunate to see several elderly pedestrians plummet through the gaps as the bikes roared passed.

  • El Salvador

    Posted by Loren on February 23, 2011

    Comment of the Day – “Everyone just wishes Honduras would go away”. Tom – Green Turtle

    A suggestion to anyone that is thinking of starting their own country, spend money on your border crossings and bring them to a standard above a garbage dump. It is very hard to get excited about entering a country when the border looks like a toxic waste dump that went bankrupt. About the only thing to be thankful for at the Guatemala/El Salvador border crossing, was that we weren’t truck drivers. Hats off to these guys, as after spending up to a day attempting to cross the border, they still laugh and joke. Maybe I would too if I was being paid, but I’m not, and I want to get to the beach!

  • Costa Rica

    Posted by Murray on February 23, 2011

    Arriving into Costa Rica was a breath of fresh air. Literally! Oh, hang on, maybe because we had our first clothes wash for many many days. The country is beautiful! But first, one can’t help but share some more border crossing experiences….

  • Nicaragua

    Posted by Murray on February 23, 2011

    As the border crossings were eating into our schedule more than bargained for, our time in Nicaragua was unfortunately limited. 3 nights in fact. We had planned to meet with some friends in the city Managua, however the timing didn’t work out so we stayed a few nights in the lovely historic city of Granada, known as the jewel of Nicaragua. Granada nests beside a massive lake Laguna de Nicaragua and is constantly under surveillance by the magnificent nearby volcanoes protruding above the clouds. Our residence was an excellent hostel not far from the main plaza – the selling point being the fact that the girl on reception giving us the nod to bring our bikes inside the hostel so they were secure. With cm’s to spare, the steel horses maneuvered past reception, past the standard 15 nationalities of backpackers sprawled in hammocks reading Lonely Planets and others nested on sofas tapping away on their mini laptops. Amongst turned heads and mutterings such as “Well, I have NEVER seen THAT before”, we safely stored our bikes inside the hostel for a few nights.

  • Honduras and Murray

    Posted by Murray on February 10, 2011

    “……. it was the lowest ebb of the trip thus far……”

    Some things in life have to be experienced first hand.

    Crossing a border, continuing through Honduras and crossing another border in one day on a motorbike is one of those experiences. During trip planning, I had read about Honduras, researched the do’s and the don’ts, pored over other people’s blogs and vivid experiences, memorised checklists….. and yet, still there was the shock and frustration factor that is difficult to prepare for or describe on a day in and out of Honduras.

  • Honduras – from Loren’s Eyes

    Posted by Loren on February 8, 2011

    Time Elapsed Time Description Cost
    El Salvador – Honduras 09:47 00:00:00 Arrive El Salvador Border Entrance
    -copy permits 1
    -cancel permit, stamp permit
    -copy stamped canceled permit
    09:59 00:12:00 drive to El Sal border
    10:05 00:18:00 Immigration Exit El Sal
    10:16 00:29:00 drive to Honduras border, checkpoint
    10:17 00:30:00 continue, further checkpoint
    10:22 00:35:00 remove plates to copy 2
    -copy 4 x reg
    -copy 4 x plate
    -copy 4 x licence
  • In the Clouds – Guatemala

    Posted by Loren on February 4, 2011

    Our first thought when entering Guatemala was “no topes – yes!” Maybe we have finally left the speed bumps behind. In our first town coming over the border, Murray was in lead, and we were on the radios discussing which direction to take. Just then, a bus coming from the opposite direction, careened into our lane as he passed a black smoke spewing ute carrying an entire class of school kids. To avoid a head on, Muz veered off the side of the road kicking up dust, empty beer cans and 10 year old plastic bags. Safely back on the road, he then came back on the radio, and continued to discuss the directions. You know you have been in Latin America awhile when the only acknowledgement of a near head-on collision with a bus is 3 seconds of radio silence while you avoid barrelling into the myriad of coconut sellers on the side of the road.

  • Adios Mexico

    Posted by Loren on February 4, 2011

    Our two week sojourn in Mexico has drawn to a close, and we are a little sad to be leaving. We have finally thawed out, been impressed with the friendliness of the Mexicans, eaten way too many tacos, had some truly awesome rides and seen so much in two weeks. As a final goodbye, Mexico turned up 120km of crosswinds so strong our bikes were being gusted up to 2 metres off course. This is not a relaxing way to ride, and recommended finding a different route when you see wind turbines.

  • Playa Ventura to Oaxaca – Mexico

    Posted by Murray on January 28, 2011

    The Night That Was….

    Disclaimer: A combination of fear and inbuilt body defense mechanism may have clouded the recollection of the authors. Steel Horse Tour accepts no responsibility for information that may appear incorrect or misaligned with the individual encounters.


    Murray’s Encounter

    “….As I peered through gritty eyes out my hurriedly unzipped tent flap, the moonlight glinted hauntingly off the long curved machette blade as it rested loosely across the chest of the semi naked unsmiling Mexican hombre…..”

  • Somewhere on the Mexican Coast

    Posted by Loren on January 27, 2011

  • Rest day in Mazatlan, Mexico

    Posted by Murray on January 24, 2011

    After 16 days on the road averaging 352kms per day, it is time for a day off for some rest, bike maintenance and route planning. The selected location is on the beach north of the lively city of Mazatlan, east coast of Mexico.

  • El Espinazo del Diablo

    Posted by Loren on January 22, 2011

    “The best motorbike road in the world”, the man said, “160 miles with 3800 perfectly banked corners”. Mexican legend says when the Archangel Michael threw Satan out of Heaven, his broken spine formed a jagged ridge that winds across Sierra Madre: El Espinazo del Diablo or The Devil’s Backbone. This is the road to which our new friend referred, but first, we have a bit of a trek to get there.

  • The Road Less Travelled…

    Posted by Murray on January 18, 2011

    Motorbikes trips are generally about planning and organisation in order to achieve set goals in a safe and enjoyable manner. However, there are a number of things not to do, which we knew but just didn’t do for numerous reasons:

    1.Don’t leave late if you have a long unpredictable day ahead

    2.Carry detailed paper maps

  • South of the Border

    Posted by Murray on January 18, 2011

    Comment of the day – (to Loren by a small boy at a gas station)

    Small boy – You look like a Ghostbuster
    Loren – Maybe I am one…

  • Look Ahead – Creel, Mexico

    Posted by Loren on January 18, 2011

    A good nights sleep, and a breakfast of banana’s, OJ and a muffin can do wonders for ones outlook on life. The stovetop espresso maker was broken on the previous days adventure, so couldn’t make the morning quite perfect. The first hour of riding was tentative for Loren, due to confidence at low ebb. A nice warm morning in the dirt soon sorted that out, and the backend was soon hanging out around the corners.

  • Stats on Day 8….

    Posted by Murray on January 13, 2011

    Ok, this one is for the statistic nerds (ie. us):

    • Days on the road – 8
    • Kilometres travelled – 3391
    • Most kilometres travelled in one day – 693
    • Average speed – 86.4km/hr
    • Max speed – 1**km/hr :)
    • Average fuel usage – 5.4lt/100kms (Muz), 5.3lt/100kms (Loz)
    • Average fuel cost – $0.91/lt
    • Minimum temp – minus 4deg C
    • Maximum temp – 21deg C
    • Highest altitude – 1968m
    • Best coffee – Sightglass Coffee, San Francisco, double mac

  • The Sun – Arizona

    Posted by Loren on January 13, 2011

    Quote of the day – from traffic sign – “State Prison, next left.”. Sign beneath “Do not pick up hitch-hikers”

    We have had a very busy few days, racking up the kilometres and getting the last bits of gear together before we head into Mexico, and the next phase of our trip. Two way radio issues were sorted out, allowing us to critique each other’s wave at fellow bikers. There is a great degree of skill and style involved, none the least of which is to ensure the bike stays in a straight trajectory whilst slowly “dragging the arm”, as we have taken to calling it.

  • California Dreaming

    Posted by Loren on January 8, 2011

    Quote of the Day – Women in Fuel Station – “Welcome to Whacky Weed Country”

    During planning, there might have been the perception amongst two riders that by the time they hit mid Oregon, things would starting warming up. Should you been of the same mind, let me advise you – you are wrong! If you are of a greater intellect than ourselves, you would know that mountain passes in Oregon and California are cold in the winter, and I mean sub zero degrees cold. Thankfully we were of mind to pack cold weather gear keeping the blood flowing to all body parts, and “Loren and Murray’s Guide to First Aid, Featuring the Leatherman” safely tucked away in the tank bag.

  • Wet wet wet….

    Posted by Murray on January 6, 2011

    Quote of the Day – Murray – “This is the second time I need cup holders on my bike”

    Picture 4 deg C, rain and boring down the I5 Interstate at 70mph in driving rain for 6hours. Actually, Loren and I had a interesting revelation over some hot beef stew at the Country Cafe today. The gear we have has 2 layers, an outer wearing layer and an inner waterproof liner. So the freezing rain drives in through the first layer and then stops – hence keeping us dry. For starters, 4 deg C is the same temp as a fridge. Secondly the wind….. the revelation was that we are sitting in a fan forced fridge on wheels, dry but a tad chilly.

  • Steel Horse Tour is on the Road

    Posted by Murray on January 6, 2011

    The bikes fired up, comms plugged in, Argentina punched into the GPS, helmets jammed on, gloves up, a nod to each other…… the Steel Horse Tour has begun!!!

    The 4th morning of 2011 started early and with building excitement and anticipation we strapped on the waterproof bags, closed the panniers and wheeled the bikes out, ready to commence a journey of a lifetime. As we pulled out onto the street and accelerated south thousands of screaming fans and sponsors lined the streets throwing wads of cash and confetti…….. oh, no thats right, actually the streets were empty because it was below zero degrees Celsius with crusted snow on the ground and most sane people were inside asleep.

  • Pickup and Assembly

    Posted by Loren on January 3, 2011

    What a time to travel from Australia, with the Australian dollar is at an all time high. We had the majority of our equipment and parts delivered to a friends house in Seattle. It was a boys best Christmas, more motorcycle toys than one could think possible.

    Between December 23 and January 3rd, we need to pick up the bikes, arrange the insurance, assemble the crash bars, skid pads, panniers, windscreens and Barkbusters.  A voltmeter, wire, snapties and a New Years long weekend, and we were ready to tackle the electronics.  A brand new bike with the panels off and wires hanging everywhere is a test of ones commitment to the cause.