Seeking More Points of View

Woke up this morning and thought I needed to bounce some thoughts off anyone following this blog. I know all decisions are mine, but it helps to share. Putting things in writing helps me sort out my own thoughts, as muddled as they may be.

I’m taking three days here in this beautiful place to weigh out my options. If it wasn’t for the border crossings there’s no doubt I’d keep on riding south. As far as the riding goes, I’m in the zone. But, I have to measure the pure pain of the crossings and other pressures against the pleasures of riding. As well, the unanticipated variables that have come into play, at some point, have to be accommodated.

If a mistake was made in planning this adventure, it was not having a few experts take a look at the map and provide a reasonable time, distance, cost schedule. By not doing that, I ended up with a plan that was far from feasible to apply in the timeframe I had in mind. The number of miles and days needed to complete those miles (plus cost) was way out of whack. Someone once told me you need at least three points of view to get at the facts. I see a lot of truth in that position, and I wish I had applied that in planning this trip.

Anyway, that’s all water under the bridge or, as life has recently taught me, keys under the hat. I don’t have three people to help me think this through now. Only me. So, after looking at the map and applying the math that comes out of my head, it would appear that to get to Panama and back to PEI (with any sense of pleasure) would require about seven to eight more weeks. On top of the time I’ve already been on the road, the thought of that much more time on the bike, with all the related costs, is a tad daunting.

But, here’s the hard part. Even if I turned north now, I need at least 14 to 16 days just to pleasurably get myself back to Texas. That gets me to the end of March. Then, I have to begin the ride home through the states. At that time of year the weather in the southern states may be fine, but the northeastern states and Canada is pretty iffy. Right?

I’m putting this out there because I’m not confident my thinking is right. If I am right, mostly because of timing, this leaves me with not so perfect options. Anyway, I’m tossing this out there to other people to see what options others may see that I may not. As it stands, I’m ready to recast the trip from the PEI to Panama ride to the Smell The Roses Ride. Trouble is, I’m just not sure just what that looks like.

All advice, encouragement, admonishment or insights are welcome! As it stands, I’m shutting down the iPad for more than a few hours and I’m going to enjoy this amazing location. The sun is out, the heat is on, the huge waves are calling for attention. As for this moment in time, life is good.

Sent from my iPad

19 comments so far

  1. Mary MacKay The Guardian on

    The only person holding you to that initial PEI to Panama goal is yourself. I’d go with the new goal and the flow you have now. Smell the roses; enjoy.

  2. islandbikers on

    I don’t have that much control over my mind, so it no big task to change it! The challenge is to change it to something better. Right? Thanks for your support.

  3. Brian Murray on

    Walter you have already had an amazing journey that I and many others would be envious of. So from that point, you have accomplished much to date and there should be no regrets from not going to Panama at this time. The next hurdle as you say is getting back through the northern states if you do decide to come back earlier than expected. The options there would be to ship the bike back part of the way, or have someone meet you in the northern part of U.S.

    • islandbikers on

      I really appreciate your level headed point of view Brian, always have. Thanks for taking the time to comment. No matter what option I choose, the trip is far from over. I just want to make sure I have as much information as possible.

  4. Peter Williams on


    Have you looked into shipping your bike from Panama City to somewhere on east coast of the states? Boston? New York? Someone could drive down to pick you up if the weather is iffy You fly there to meet it? Save a lot of time and perhaps not much more money when you take into account the travel costs of riding back?


    Sent from my iPad Peter Williams


    • islandbikers on

      Yeah, I think shipping the bike from Panama would cost a bundle, even relative to the costs of using it to get home. Plus, I’ve signed so many bloody documents stating I’ll sign off on the bike upon exit of each country, especially Mexico where they have a substantial stack of money they won’t refund if I don’t do the proper exit paper work. To some degree, I feel held hostage to that one variable alone. Nope, unless someone has more wisdom than I do on this, riding to the US of A seems like the only option.

  5. Elvie on

    I agree with the others Walter. You have accomplished quite a lot and have so many stories/ experiences to share. I am sure that someone could meet you in the northern states with a truck. Just ask 😉 😉

    • islandbikers on

      That’s true Elvie, I’m sure Merlin or anyone with a truck would help too. That said, the thought of cold makes me more nervous than the Central American risks! For myself and anyone who cares, I’ll make the best decision I can given the information I can gather. Thanks for caring.

  6. Don E MacEachern on

    Good Afternoon:

    My name is Don MacEachern and i live in South Granville. I am retired and i am following your blog closely. I feel riding alone is very dicey and take the memories you have and shut it down. I would make my way back to Texas and you can do it slowly so you will end up in April. Yes you may hit a freak storm but you could spend a day in a motel until it passes over. You have been wise AND lucky so far. This may just be the thoughts of an old man who used to bike but i have your safety and well being at heart. Best of luck my friend. D

    • islandbikers on

      Thanks Don, your advice fits pretty well with the Smell The Roses Ride option. I certainly don’t want any decision I make to be driven by hubris. Thanks for taking the time to offer your point of view. It matters.

  7. on

    Hey Walter, You don’t have much further to go to get to Panama. Also the more time spent in C America means the WX will be warmer getting home. Stay the course .Costa Rico and Panama are great countries although I have not being there. Keep going .You won’t regret it. John

    From Johns Ipad


    • islandbikers on

      Hey John, since getting here I’ve found out a bit more about riding in Honduras. While it’s certainly possible, most say it’s very difficult, especially with one person. The places to stay are supposed to be very far between each other. But again, it’s the border crossings. It’s not just the unholy buracurates I fear. I have to leave my bike (IE: my worldly possessions) alone and unwatched by me for long periods of time. My heart says go south, not so much my head. Or, maybe it’s the opposite. Anyway, the surf up and I’ve given myself another day to make a decision.

      • islandbikers on

        Actually john, I meant to say Nicaragua, not Honduras. All talk around here is how long and draggy The Nicaragua ride is. But ill try to take another look at things to see if it and be plotted out. For that, you’d be the man!

  8. Martin Hilchie on

    Hey buddy your there now why not try another boarder. Your that close now. Having said that what an amazing adventure !

    • islandbikers on

      Ha. If I was even half-way there I’d agree, but given the return route I’m less than 30% from being close to the finish (home). But that’s measured by distance, cost, time and effort – not necessarily the sum total of my resources. That sum total, I have yet to determine.

  9. David Klett on

    Walter, I can’t presume to council you on the best course for you now. Only you can decide that, and you have already received advice from both sides….go on…don’t go on. I will be watching with interest to see what you decide. I can offer you, however, a place to stay, a comfortable bed, some good food, and good wine on your return trek across the US if it so happens that you find yourself near western NC sometime during the first half of April….Lake Lure to be exact. I know you know the area. You are welcome to stop and visit for a night or two on your return. I will be leaving on a ride of the Texas Big Bend country on April 17. I will be watching your progress and will be in touch.

  10. islandbikers on

    Thanks for that, ya never know. Big Bend is a great place to ride.

  11. Bernie on

    Have been following your blog —- what interesting stories! Don’t put your life in any more danger—you have accomplished more than a lot of people! Wishing you a safe return.

  12. Jocelyne Vernham on

    I have been nervous for you since the split. Turn around and come back. By the time you get close to the northern states it will be warmer or stay on Texas area a bit longer. Go see the Grand Canyon maybe will things warm up here in Canada.
    What a trip so far. I have been eagerly waiting for the next blog each day.
    I say smell the roses

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