Happy Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day 2017!


HERE’S HOPING yesterday was a great day where you are, whether you spent it surrounded by loved ones or alone in a strange town sharing a pack of turkey hotdogs with a cat you don’t know. (Yep, did that.)

And here’s to today, whether you’re kicking off the Season of Joy by trampling the weak and the elderly at the big box, or striking a symbolic 24-hour blow against consumer culture, hitting the donor class in the secret offshore accounts.

On Thanksgiving, part of our family was here in spirit only. Daughter 2 and Significant Other 2, adventurers both, boarded a jet for Nicaragua early yesterday morn. They’re off to hike to the crater of an active volcano and trust that the Mount Saint Helens event holds off.

They’re both fit, so with a warning rumble from underfoot I’m sure they could book it off the mountain faster than most. I don’t have to outrun the volcano, I just have to outrun you! Oh wait, that’s bears, I guess for volcanoes you actually do have to outrun the thing no matter what.

They were athletes in their school days (a gymnast she, wrestler he) and have kept fit ever since, so I have confidence in them.

Here are D3, D1D1 and D1 last evening, while Facetiming D2 in a hut somewhere in Nicaragua.

D1 went there in 1999, when she was just 17. She went with a group of volunteers to help rebuild houses damaged by a hurricane.


A screenshot from the phone D3 is holding above.


This is SO2 and D2 in Iceland, I think.




On the trail in Maine… Not far from where D2 was born, in Bangor. I was working at the newspaper there.

At a wedding here in the great state of Little Rhody. Looks like Newport.

Watch this space for pics of the volcano trek in Central America.


I may also have a two-wheeled wrenching report coming up.

It has to do with a fuel issue on the piglet bike, the one I took to Labrador two summers ago as a tune-up for the South America thing that never happened. We’re going to give it one more try, though, I must say, my optimism has been tested by striking out three years in a row. The shipping logistics are a nightmare, import/export regs and requirements and fees, indecipherable at best.

The plan is to get to Colombia or Ecuador by sea around this time next year, then ride south to Tierra del Fuego, at the bottom of the world where that Argentine sub went missing.

If we can make it happen, CCjon says he plans to limit his altitude exposure in the Andes, given that he’s got a decade more on the clock than I have. In a recent note he said, “No 15,000-foot passes for me. You can take the high Peruvian highways of death, I’ll meet you on the other side.”

Well, okay… if we’re assuming I can hack it at 15,000 feet.

There’s a bus doing it easy peasy lemon squeezy. Let’s assume the people on the bus aren’t wearing spacesuits.

Judging by the vegetation, this isn’t all that high, though… maybe halfway up.


This is higher. Still a four-wheeler on it. Where’s the challenge?


Given that we’re both solo riders by nature, I always expected that ol’ CCjon and I would travel not connected at the elbow but just generally headed in the same direction.

CCjon likes a roof and a sit-down meal in the cantinas, I dig the stars and squatting by a fire out in the weeds. I always figured we’d motor along in the spirit of give & take, go by friendly compromise, and here and there one of us would say, Meet you in such & such a town in a week, amigo.

Whether I end up riding this bike in remote places up here or down there, I do need to set it up so I can burn the last drop of fuel in the aftermarket tank. It’s bigger and deeper than the factory tank; and because it’s deeper, gravity, at a certain point, stops wanting to make the fuel run uphill into the carburetor.

My initial setup wasn’t very good, left way too much Go in the tank when the bike started acting starved for fuel. So I did a little work on that this week, a DIY fix shown here, in progress, on the shed deck out back.

It’ll work, I think. Will report back when things are reassembled and I know for sure.

Tony DePaul, November 24, 2017, Cranston, Rhode Island, USA



About Tony

The occasional scribblings of Tony DePaul, 63, father, grandfather, husband, freelance writer in many forms, ex-journalist, long-distance motorcycle rider, motorcycle wrecker, motorcycle rebuilder, collector of surgical hardware, blue routes wanderer, outdoorsman, topo map bushwhacker, handy with a wrench, hammer, chainsaw, rifle, former photographer, printer, logger, truck driver, truck mechanic, jet fueler… blah blah...
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7 Responses to Happy Black Friday/Buy Nothing Day 2017!

  1. Brad says:

    Happy post-thankgiving to you and your remarkably photogenic brood. I can easily tell who got what genes in your family. Just sayin’… Good idea to tap a bigger flow path when starving for fuel, I’m wondering why that is happening in the first place? Any comments from http://www.RideATallLittleBikeAroundTheWorldForum.com?

    cheers, Brad

    • Tony says:

      Hey, Brad. The factory fuel inlet is a steel elbow that points almost straight up. Works fine on the dinky stock tank but the petcocks on the 6.6-gallon Acerbis tank sit lower than the elbow. At a certain point the fuel in the tank isn’t heavy enough to move the fuel up & around the loop in the fuel line. I’m setting it up for a straight fitting at the least and maybe an elbow pointed down.

  2. Tony says:

    Hmmm… now I’m second-guessing myself… that pic wasn’t taken on their travels in Mexico… I’m thinking it’s from a trip to the Colorado River in Arizona.

  3. Ellen Liberman says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Tony — so glad to hear how your family is doing!

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