A mere 60 years after Carl Stearns Clancy completed his motorcycle trip around the world, a young 42-year old man named Ted hopped aboard a Triumph Tiger and for the next four years, followed some of those same routes. Me? I was three-years old.
I believe there are two types of motorcycle riders in the world, those who have read Jupiter’s Travels and those who have not yet read it. To read it is to be stirred to action. Ted Simon was even the inspiration behind Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor’s epic two series The Long Way Round and The Long Way Down.
I heard of the book when I was younger, but I rode for many years before I actually read it. I think I was scared away from it due to early attempts to read and comprehend Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; I was simply not ready to be schooled in the Metaphysics of Quality. Jupiter’s Travels, however, grabbed me immediately and I could not put it down until I was done. Captain Jack Sparrow has nothing on the adventures that Mr. Simon encountered.
In 2012 I was faced with an immeasurable tragedy. After several weeks that turned into months of sadness, I decided I needed to get myself together. Not feeling much like riding, I scoured the web reading about other people’s adventures for a time. One of my favorite places to go for inspiration was the Ted Simon Foundation page. I admired the amazing women and men that were challenging themselves through adventure, but even more importantly, opening themselves up to the world and then sharing their stories.
Even though my adventures did not seem as brave and humanitarian as some, for example fellow Coloradan Shannon Galpin’s work developing the Panjshir Tour, but I knew I had to try, so I threw my helmet into the ring. I love seeking adventure, meeting people, and sharing my stories, so I sat down and wrote my essay/application to become a member. I focused on my upcoming Trans-American Trail expedition. I knew it was time that I turned my “someday” into a “got to get on doin’ it!”
I had all but forgotten that I had applied when I received an email from Iain Harper, the Executive Director of the Ted Simon Foundation. At first my heart skipped a beat, then I read the first sentence of Iain’s email.
“Following your recent application to become a Jupiter’s Traveller, I’m very pleased to confirm that your application has been approved by the Foundation board. Congratulations!”
Please keep the good news to yourself for the time being. In this latest round of reviews we’ve accepted a total of six applications and would like to make an announcement about all of you together as soon as possible.”
I am thrilled and humbled to have been selected as one of the New Jupiter’s Traveller’s. I share this honor with everyone who has inspired me over the years, even when I did not always want to keep going. To all of you who ride and share your stories, I am proud to be one of you. To my fellow writers at RoadRUNNER and to all the private bloggers out there who continue to inspire me everyday to keep riding, writing, and sharing . . . Thank you!
Don’t Go Anywhere . . . Go Somewhere! You can view the official Ted Simon Foundation announcement for more inspiration from this year’s recipients. Also, be sure to check out RoadRUNNER’s Interview with Ted Simon – Still Orbiting.