Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650 ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650
Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

Aug 9, 2003.-- 51 months, 6 continents, and a Guinness World Record® breaking 101,322 miles (163,027 kms)...

Credit to at Last

-- Story by Erin --

Wednesday, August 6th:  D-Day!  This was it, the official end of our four year trip.  We had wondered for the past year what this day might be like.  Would we be happy, apprehensive, relieved, sad? 

Near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel we met the Welcome Home motorcycle crew that would be escorting us back into New York.  Lauren Secular, Scott Wynn, and Paul Kahn were part of the escort crew that gave us a send off at Kennedy International Airport more than four years ago, and they were back again today to help bring us home.  Also present were Kevin Shuker, Dan Cohen, and Doc Gonzo.  There was definitely electricity in the air as we rode to the tollbooths of the tunnel.  Scott was the official photographer since he was injured and rode pillion.   We got a policeman to take our picture as we entered the tunnel (a bit of a no-no post September 11th).

On the Manhattan side we were amazed at how calm the traffic was and how few people there seemed to be on the streets in general.  We had a leisurely ride up the West Side to Columbus Circle, the southwest corner of Central Park.  We made a short stop in front of the famous Plaza Hotel to take a group picture before riding down Fifth Avenue and then east on 49th Street to finally park outside the NBC Today Show studio at Rockefeller Center.

As this was planned ahead of time, several family members and friends were there to greet us and welcome us home.  Wow, it was so emotional and felt surreal.  It definitely wasn’t setting in yet.  At one point, two of the show’s hosts, Willard Scott and Katie Couric, stopped and said hello to us on their way past to do interviews out on “the plaza”.  A photographer that worked for the New York Newsday newspaper snapped pictures of our every move, arriving at Rockefeller Center, seeing our family and friends for the first time, and all the hugs to go around.  It just felt like one ongoing bizarre dream.  As much as we wished it could last like that forever we knew it had to wind down.  Slowly friends and family began to peel away, heading off to work and taking the kids to see other attractions in the City.

Dan Cohen and Paul Kahn stayed with us though and kept us company.  They escorted us the rest of the way home, with one key stop at the Scobee diner in Little Neck, NY for a hearty brunch.  The owner of the restaurant was so impressed with our story and hearing that we were going to be on the Today Show (I think that’s what clinched it!) that the whole meal was paid by him!  Now that’s a real New York welcome home!  

When we arrived to Chris’ parents house in Manhasset, New York there were homemade Welcome Home signs on the front of the house made by Chris’ niece Elyse and nephew Scott, while balloons hung from the deck above.  Chris’ parents greeted us at the front door, very happy to have us back at long last.  Jeremy Boren, a journalist for the New York Newsday was there as well.  He spent several hours with us, patient to hear our story and ask questions from every angle he could think of.   Paul and Dan kept Chris’ parents company while they all patiently waited for us to finish the interview and finally settle down to a relaxing home cooked dinner -- Chicken Paprika with spatzle.

The next several weeks were a whirlwind of activity, seeing old friends, giving a few more interviews, and day by day starting to let it sink in that we were home for good.  On that Friday, we got our few minutes of fame with an appearance on the NBC Today Show.  The nice producer, Roberto, had us park the bikes in “the plaza”, let us relax in the “green room” with the other guests that day (no one we knew), had the makeup artists prep us (yes, even Chris got powdered!), and got us “mic’d up”.  Next thing we knew, Janis Huff, the spunky and stylish weather woman, and three cameramen were standing beside and in front of us.  It all happened so fast that we didn’t even have a chance to get nervous about being “Live” on national TV!  And before we knew it, it was all over.  Janis told us later that she was not keen on the idea of riding a motorcycle herself, but she was so impressed with our story that she was going to tell her husband about us, as he was thinking of buying a BMW motorcycle.

As we started to pull out of Rockefeller Center after the interview, I heard someone call out our name.  I turned and saw a familiar face.  It was our friend Linda Root who now is Deputy Art Director for Sports Illustrated magazine.  She hadn’t heard we were home and just happened to recognize us and the bikes.  What a coincidence.  After chatting for a while on the street, she asked us to follow her to her office and she would introduce us to the new editor.  She said he was a keen admirer of adventurers and he would love our story for their new “Adventure” section they provide to their subscribers.  Well, just as she said he liked us and assigned the story to one of their staff journalists Marc Beech.  View an excerpt of the article

The next day, Saturday, we hosted a big welcome home barbecue for ourselves.  We learned years ago that if you want to make sure to see all your friends in a short time, throw a big party.  It worked four years ago for our farewell party and it worked again now.  With over 60 of our closest friends and family present, it almost felt like our wedding all over again, minus the port-a-johns.  Journalist Marc Beech was also there, not only interviewing friends and family but also pitching in to help put up the party tent!

I suppose the party is a good place to end this story.  It feels strange now to have to find some way to close this last journal entry. Normally we just end a journal entry somewhat arbitrarily one day and the next journal picks up the story a few days later.  

So, how Do we feel now that we are home?  I can say that we feel, at any given moment, all of the feelings I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter---happy, apprehensive, relieved, sad, and more.  We are proud to have done what we sought out to accomplish.  In the end, the trip was not at all what we thought it was going to be.  15 months turned out to be 4.3 years, and along the way we unexpectedly managed to break a world record.  We did see some amazing sights, just as we expected.  But what we didn’t expect was to meet so many kind and generous people in all 50 countries, which we now consider dear friends.  Of all the things we experienced along the way, the people will always stand out as being the most significant part of our trip.  Yes, there is so much more, but I guess you’ll just have to get out there for yourself and undertake such a trip of a lifetime to know what we mean.  If just a few of you dare to follow your dreams and make them a reality then our efforts to keep this journal current and honest will have been totally worthwhile.  Stay in touch with us and we promise to keep you posted on our doings and whereabouts via the Quick Update on the Homepage.

Words alone cannot express our gratitude to all those who supported us along the way.  Thank you!  Un grande Abrazo!


Our first view of the NYC skyline


Back in New York City!!!!


Our Escort - Motorcade

Paul, Doc, Erin, Lauren, Chris, Kevin, Dan, and Scott

Chatting with Katie in front of NBC studio


Part of the motorcade from 1999

Scott, Lauren, Erin, Paul, and Chris
(See Chapter 3 from May 1999)


That's all she wrote: 108,072 - 6,750 = 101,322 miles!!


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