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Archive for April, 2010

April 30th, 2010 - Walk for Hunger

Please join us by walking on May 2nd in Boston for hunger. We are a dedicated group of Walkers who want to make a difference in Massachusetts. In essence, we are neighbors helping neighbors.

On Sunday, May 2nd, we will be participating in Project Bread’s 2010 Walk for Hunger.This year’s event is especially important, and we hope that you will support us! Please consider donating to the team to help reach the goal and to help our hungry neighbors. Together, we can truly make a difference in the lives of hungry people. Thank you for your support.

Jared Williams, Public Relation Officer, Transcontinental Humanitarian Corp.

About The Walk for Hunger

Since 1969, Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger has provided critical resources for hungry children and families in Massachusetts. Today, The Walk for Hunger is the oldest continual pledge walk in the country, and the largest annual one-day fundraiser to alleviate local hunger.
Money raised through The Walk for Hunger funds more than 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks, and food salvage programs in 135 communities across Massachusetts.
The Walk for Hunger is held on the first Sunday in May every year. The 20-mile Walk route weaves through Boston, Brookline, Newton, and Cambridge.

About Project Bread

As the state’s leading anti-hunger organization, Project Bread is dedicated to alleviating, preventing, and ultimately ending hunger in Massachusetts. In addition to organizing the annual Walk for Hunger and supporting emergency food programs statewide, Project Bread also advocates systematic solutions that prevent hunger in children and that provide food to families in everyday settings.

About The Team

The team name “T.H.E. Walkers” comes from an organization that the team leader Jared Williams is proud to be a part of. The Transcontinental Humanitarian Expedition is based around one man, Chris Sorbi’s mission to ride around the world on a motorcycle to raise funds and awareness for the number one cause of death in the world: Hunger.

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April 26th, 2010 - WE DID IT!!!

I left Bakersfield for Monterey, CA on a beautiful sunny day. I was going up to Monterey to meet up with Andy Pogany, our CFO, to do some work on the books and get the bike tested in the process. I figured that since he has a garage, I might as well take the new Kenda tires with me and install them there. The ride was a great one. The bike handled very well fully loaded, and even with two odd shape tires strapped to the back, and the mighty winds of Kern County, I kept a steady 80mph pace easily. For those of you who have been following this blog religiously, you might remember that I first met Andy on my way down from Alaska. He is a fellow GSer (www.gsresources.com, a motorcycle forum focused on older Suzuki GS line) who invited me to stay at his house for a day or two. The first time I ended up staying for 4 days and this time I doubled that! Andy and Jollene are gracious hosts. Andy’s house is right on top of a giant hill with a view of the Pacific Ocean, and his property is as close as to any wilderness you can find in California. It’s got raccoons, deer, turkey, wild boars, hawks, frogs… you name it, it’s there.

For some odd reason, Andy and I get along like we’ve known each other for years, and he is one hell of a cool guy. With a BS in finance and MBA, it really was a no-brainer to elect him as our CFO/Treasurer on the Transcontinental Humanitarian Corp. board. This non-profit bookkeeping business is more than I can take, and I’m glad that Andy is pretty good at this stuff and volunteering to do it. Happily, Cynthia joined me in Monterey the next day and we pretty much got the whole corporation beast under control. We held another board meeting with all the directors and unanimously elected Jared Williams (another fellow GSer, I know! The list is growing.) as the 6th director and Public Relation Officer. Welcome aboard Jared. You will be hearing more from him and his upcoming hunger walk in Boston soon.

But the biggest news of all is that WE DID IT!!!! 4 months and 20 days of hard work finally paid off. Our application for tax-exemption got approved by the IRS, and Transcontinental Humanitarian Corp. is officially a non-profit public benefit 501(c)(3) corporation, and that means that from now on, all contributions and donations are tax deductable. You don’t believe me? Try the donate button and see for yourself. No seriously do it! I dare you!

When I received the news, I was in shock for longest time. It feels good to see what I have started is becoming what I didn’t even imagine. I started this ride to make a difference and see the world in process, but I met so many people sharing the same passion and enthusiasm that I could not resist the temptation of jumping higher. We are divided as species, but we can unite on what we can believe in and make a bigger difference together. A 1982 Suzuki motorcycle became something bigger than life for me. Now I can say that I’m content with what I have done, and I see a very bright future for this budding organization.

Many thanks to beautiful Cynthia Quispe for her hard work on writing/editing and proof-reading the countless words I scribbled on the corporation documents. I couldn’t have done it without her. Thanks to Andy Pogany for crunching down all those alien numbers, thanks to Kyle Ford for looking over the steps like a hawk and pointing out legal misunderstandings. Thanks to Joe Deluca for running around and getting the signatures, thanks to Jared Williams for his share of knowledge and his great support, and many thanks to Don and Pam Chriske for scanning and sending all the correspondent letters, and thanks to myself for not killing myself in the process. Thanks to all of those who made this journey possible, from individuals to big corporations, all who provided road-side assistance, occasional beer and burger sponsors, thank you to all of you, I couldn’t have done it any other or better way.

Cheers,

Chris Sorbi

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April 10th, 2010 - On the road again

The time I have been waiting for so anxiously has finally come. The GS850 was a fine bike to begin with, but now it’s even better. The second leg of the expedition has started and in order to maximize the storage capacity for the longer push, the bike had to go through some more modifications along with the regular maintenance. Finally, it’s in tip-top shape.

First thing was to resolve the fork seal problem by installing bright yellow dirt bike fork boots to prevent dirt and bugs from ruining the fork tubes and seals. It kind of looks funny (Cynthia calls them Big Bird Legs), but I’m convinced that they will make the seals last much longer.

After exhaustive research for the best navigation system, besides stopping and asking Seven Eleven clerks en route, we finally decided on the Garmin Nuvi 260W GPS with 4.3” display. This unit is a discontinued model, but it is powerful and robust. The routing engine is excellent and since we have no use for Bluetooth, MP3 player, or traffic updates, this $100 GPS fits the bill perfectly. I had to come up with my own ingenious hillbilly-design mounting system, but it works like a charm.

In order to make more room in the aluminum panniers, I got rid of the big water bottle and instead, installed two smaller external bicycle-style water bottles on the outside of the boxes. I mounted another bottle cage on the back for the fuel bottle so it now sits outside instead of taking up room inside the pannier.

The pannier rack had to be redesigned to accommodate more rearward mounting of the panniers, so a completely new rack was built from scratch to move the boxes back 11 inches. The rear turn signals had to be relocated, and they are pointing downward nesting between the boxes now. The rear footpegs were also relocated by drilling two holes in the aluminum receiver so the rack could be mounted using the stock rear footpeg mounting holes.

I ordered the Kenda 761 tires and after a long mounting battle, they are on and looking good. The complete test report will follow on how they perform, but my initial impression is that they seem to be well made, have sticky rubber compound, and I like the tread pattern.

There were two pieces of equipment which failed during the first leg of the expedition. One was the trusty Optimus Nova multi-fuel stove and the other the Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp. I have used Optimus stoves on the highest mountains and harshest terrains and have yet to have a problem with any of them, but this particular one baffled me. It kept leaking and regardless of what I did to fix it, it refused to get better. Optimus kindly and promptly replaced the stove after only one email, and they even sent a newer model right to my door. Princeton Tec also replaced the faulty headlamp for a new unit for no charge. I’m sure these were just couple of bad apples in a bunch, and both companies stood by their products. I will continue to use their gear and will attest to their quality and customer service.

Stay tuned for the reports as they will come more regularly from now on.

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