Interview

MeanderingMounts – Two bananas on a motorcycle!

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Let us introduce: @MeanderingMounts
Rachael & Patrick are a couple from Portland, Oregon (USA). 2-wheel adventure seekers working their way through North & Central America on their steed Yamaha Super-Tenere named ‘Jorge’.

 

What are the top 3 objects in your vehicle you can’t live without?

Patrick: 

1. Battery Jumper box.  We use this to charge devices without having to run the bike, but also in an emergency if there’s a dead battery we can use it to start the bike.
2. Helmet to helmet communication.  Everything is so much better when you can talk to the person you’re riding with!
3. Earplugs.  I use them everyday.  Not only to protect my ears on the highway during long days, but also in Mexico and Central America where it can be so loud at night.  They’re my most prized possession.

Rachael:

1. Aeropress coffee brewer. Nobody wants to see us without caffeine in the morning.
2. Kindle Fire. Used daily for reading, watching downloaded episodes of our latest favorite show in the tent and connecting to family.
3. Mosko Moto bag. We ordered these bags around 3 months after leaving on our adventure and since receiving them we have used them everyday. They hold our clothes & toiletries so we can pull them (and only them) off the bike when we stay at hostels/hotels. Very handy!

What are the top 3 objects you couldn’t live without before to live in your vehicle and you don’t need anymore?

Patrick: 

1. Food dehydrator – I tried… there was not enough space to bring it along.
2. My wallet…  I carry a pouch with cash, but I rarely carry a full wallet anymore.  It’s just unnecessary, I have ID on the bike if I get pulled over or need to show it at a checkpoint.  Otherwise, empty as many pockets as possible.
3. Cell phone... This one doesn’t quite fit the “don’t need anymore” category.  I use it for GPS and for communication when Wifi is available, but I haven’t had cellular service for a year. I’ve adapted to being without it and enjoy it thoroughly.  That and my wife has her’s tethered to her hip… 😀

Rachael:

1. French press. This has transitioned to the smaller, more compact Aeropress.
2. Travel mug. Who needs a travel mug when you can sit & enjoy your coffee wherever you wake up in the morning? A different paced life calls for different tools.
3. Vitamix blender. We just couldn’t find the space on the bike for a blender shrug.

What do you miss the most about living in a house?

Patrick:

A consistent bed to sleep in.  We carry a full camping kit, so there’s a sense of normalcy there… but 50% of the time its hostals and hotels.  There isn’t guarantee on mattress quality anywhere.

Rachael:

A comfortable mattress/pillow combination. Knowing the quality of mattress and bedding you will be sleeping with each night provides so much security – but you get used to it. It has helped me to develop a stronger relationship with my air mattress & sleeping bag.

Tell us your worst or funniest memory since you are living the vanlife!

We were camping at a swimming hole in Veracruz, Mexico when Rachael woke up to find one of her Chaco shoes missing. We were about 10 months into our travels and hadn’t experienced any delinquency. We both wondered to ourselves why a person would steal only one shoe? Ah ha – the dog we had met the night before. We searched for the shoe for nearly an hour. Fortunately, one of the greenskeepers we met knew the property well and found the shoe sitting next to the shoe of a little boy. Crisis averted!

What is your favorite activity when you don’t have network?

Reading a shared book out loud to each other or listening to an audiobook.

What are your tips to keep your vehicle clean?

Ride a motorcycle and don’t worry about it. OR have a specific place for everything and put it back once you’re done with it.

What is your proudest personal deco touch?

We zip tied a wooden crocodile to the front of our bike as our “crocodile security measure”. We get LOTS of looks and questions.

What is the thing you are showing off to everybody?

I’m overly proud of our loud horn… I make sure to honk it at least once a day to make sure it’s still working.

When it’s raining, what do like to do?

Find a cafe or restaurant and watch the storm pass. It never lasts long & since we come from the land of rain, its gives me a peaceful feeling.

What is your favorite dish to cook?

We cook breakfast more than any other meal.  We enjoy oatmeal with a pinch of powdered horchata mix (for sweetness) and dried fruits and nuts.  Is coffee a dish?

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Drink a cup of coffee and try and figure out what the plan for the day is. A route plan is solidified over the first cup.

What are your new habits? (good or bad)

I’m in love with the freedom and/or indifference allowed to motorcycles in Latin America.  Bad habits could include riding on the shoulder as a way to either pass slow vehicles, ride around traffic jams or construction zones or just to enjoy a more leisurely pace.  I know this won’t fly as soon as we cross back into the “land of the free”.
The freedom to change plans at any moment has created so many opportunities to develop relationships. This will be a difficult habit to break. That and almost never setting an alarm.

Who or what inspired you to take this trip?

Taking a year to travel has been a life long dream of my partner, Rachael.  So the trip was her idea, but the idea of traveling by motorcycle was a dream of mine and a way to see a piece of myself in the trip.

Why this vehicle?

We chose the Super Tenere as it fit the bill for what we were looking to do.  It is comfortable for us (2 tall, average bodied humans) as we ride 2-up.  We wanted an ADV bike for it’s higher ground clearance for speed bumps (topes) and possibly poor roads we were going to be riding.

What is your dreamt vehicle(s)?

Patrick:

If money and parts were no option I would have loved to do this trip on an older 1150GS.

 Rachael

Dream vehicle would be one that meets the following criteria: a) a bed b) a table to sit at c) reliable & with repair available easily and d) discrete.

What would you change on your vehicle?

I think I would have put another set of lights on the front.  It would have been nice to wire in a USB charging port for the passenger. Rachael would also love a back support!

What is your bike missing?

2 extra gallons of fuel.

What are your favorites Instagram account you would like us to interview?

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