I decided I would drive through the night to avoid the heavy day time traffic typical on US Interstate Highways. I did have to pull over a few times to rest, and stretch the legs, and it was nice to just tootle along at or slightly below the speed limit! It saved me some fuel and gave me a front row seat on the trucker night time gumball rally! There was drafting, downhill corner passing and side by side driving that proved to be very entertaining, scary at times, but definitely entertaining.
I stopped for coffee and some breakfast just outside Charlotte, North Carolina and called Neale Bayly. For those who do not know about Neale, he is a philanthropic motorcyclist, journalist, photographer, and TV star of Tripping on Two Wheels (with Dennis Gage and his son)http://www.mavtv.com/shows/trippin-on-two-wheels.html and Neale Bayly Rides Peru. http://nealebaylyrides.com/ In a nutshell Neale has tested many motorcycles providing readers with his opinion on the latest machinery, as well as providing stunning photography to accompany his words.
Neale’s latest project “Neale Bayly Rides Peru” is a 3 part series about Neale taking three relatively inexperienced riders, training them, getting them to Peru where they experience a 1000 mile ride across the countryside to an Orphanage in Moquegua, Peru. The program briefly touches on the Wellspring Foundationhttp://www.wellspring-outreach.org/ a charity Neale started in order to raise much need funding for the 300 plus orphans there.
Neale is the consummate people person, someone who genuinely cares about others, and I was excited to meet him in person. When I rang the doorbell, and headed into his residence, he met me slightly out of breath, sweating in his gym gear, with dumb bells still on the floor from his work out. He had been preparing for our upcoming motorcycle adventure trip to South Africa, and being fit is vital to riding an adventure motorcycle.
We chatted about his passion, motorcycles and helping others…in between phone calls. His phone would ring all the time, with Neale chatting with high profile friends, motorcycle related contacts, business people, and family. As I watched Neale work his magic on the phone, while simultaneously working on the computer, intermittently sipping a black coffee, and it became clear to me that he was in dire need of an agent. Someone to ease the workload and allow him to spend more time with fans, friends and family, as well as organize the wide variety of projects he has on the go. During the 5 days I spent with Neale he was busy from the moment he got up until the late hours of every evening. He really was THAT busy!
Neale and I also talked about how generally people have become focused on stuff! I find it amazing that people would go deeply in debt, so they can work longer hours, to buy more stuff, so they can fill their homes with stuff, and then need a storage locker for the overflow of stuff, so that now they have to pay even more money to keep said stuff locked up. Then work more hours just so they can be unhappy because they work all the time, because they need the money to support the stuff habit. It is the insanity of that statement and how I can see it daily with many, many people. Sad really because the world is such a big place with so many interesting people out there, that it is worth exploring, it IS an option other than the having more stuff habit which I gave an acronym H.M.S.H.!
We also had an amazing time while we took photographs of lovely Lorie, a friend of Neale’s and making the time even more special was Neale’s son Patrick who used one of my lenses and took some amazing shots, he definitely has a keen eye for capturing an image! I am looking forward to seeing more of Patrick’s work in the future!
I also watched Neale and Ike DeJager train a business group doing a team day at TNT Motorsports, where I took action photographs to practice my craft in preparation for South Africa. Shooting moving vehicles of any kind is a perishable skill, and I had not done any shooting of that type for years. Suffice to say it was an incredible day of shooting and fun!
The upcoming trip to South Africa has an incredible itinerary put together by Johann (I have not met him yet) which will allow the diverse group of adventurers to experience South Africa and in all it’s splendor. It will be an epic journey for me, I have always wanted to go to Africa, and now being able to do it as a photographer is a dream come true!
I decided to continue south to Florida on the Saturday, knowing that Neale had significant work to do in preparation for South Africa as well as an appearance at the Vintage Motorcycle Festival at Barber Motorsport Park. Update: At the Vintage Motorcycle Festival this past weekend Neale gave away a Triumph Motorcycle built by Dime City Cycles in Largo Florida, specifically to support Neale’s charity The Wellspring Foundation. Congratulations Stephanie Gage winner of a one of a kind motorcycle!!!!
During my 5 days with Neale I got to see what he is really like, his wild side, his humanitarian views, his love of motorcycles and travel of the world, and his passion for helping others. He really needs to write a book about his life, it truly is that interesting, and an adventure that has been years in the making and is far from over!!!
Now on with my own adventure which will continue in Florida, then with Neale again in South Africa!