Author: Glen Heggstad
In the James Bond movie Casino Royal there’s a scene where the heroine directs James to a tailor made dinner jacket, the sultry line goes something like this: “James, there are dinner jackets and then there are dinner jackets…”. In reference to adventure riding stories I can say the same thing. There are adventure ride stories and then there are adventure ride stories. Glen Heggstad penned the latter.
Glen is one of those guys that made up his mind to do something and bloody well did it. He rode a KLR from California to the very last kilometre of South America and back with a page-burning pause in between. He was kidnapped by the ELN (Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional), Columbia’s deadliest rebel army. The ELN would meet their match as Glen is not a terrorist friendly type. After weeks of starvation, brutal beatings and bogus mind screwing executions, Glen turns the tables on the terrorists by faking a terminal disease. I won’t spoil the surprise on how you fake a terminal disease. By doing the impossible he was able to literally fall into the hands of the Red Cross. Afterwards the F.B.I., the Red Cross and everyone who doesn’t understand the commitment of finishing what you started all told Glen to go home, get better, live another day. Glen’s response: Nope, nuthin’ doin’.
Ride with Glen through good times, bad times and great times. Meet the good folks that Glen stumbles upon and ride through areas with descriptions that will take your breath away.
Is this a good read? No, it’s a great read. I just wish he had written more. I asked Glen a few questions that other adventure riders would have percolating in their heads…
MMM: What advice would you give riders challenging the same or other routes?
Glen Heggstad: “Study the language and take your time. Long journeys are rare experiences that will revolutionize your thinking as you interact with various cultures, so slow down and absorb the surrounding landscape of humanity. When encountering those in distant lands, remember that we are all cut from the same genetic cloth and be prepared to marvel at our similarities while celebrating our differences.”
MMM: The Bike, any preferences?
Glen Heggstad: “Just about any late model, low mileage 650 dual-sport motorcycle is sufficient for occasional rugged off-roading to long stretches of paved highways. Pack light and take tons of pictures.”
MMM: Knowing what you know now, what would you do different and what advice would you give adventure riders contemplating a similar trip.
Glen Heggstad: “The only thing that I would do different, because the journey was so fascinating, is stay one more day – everywhere. In fact, that’s the title of my new book: ‘One More Day Everywhere’.
MMM: Last words?
Glen Heggstad: “A ti tambien. Que le vaya bien.” I’ll leave that one for you to figure out…
Pick up this book and settle in for a gut-wrenching ride from California to the very bottom of South America and back to California via some of the nastiest most wonderful roads and strangest happenings going.
Check out www.whitehorsepress.com or www.strikingviking.net.
Also available at any Chapters outlet for $24.95 or $16.46 at www.chapters.indigo.ca.