Raised in South Africa, Emma was obsessed with horses as a child, and harassed her parents into buying her a pony. She accumulated boxes full of showjumping ribbons and helped her provincial team win the national championships. That was the first step in giving her mother more gray hair than she deserved, and she didn’t stop there. She drove her car too fast, jumped out of airplanes and swam in rivers inhabited by crocodiles. After she finished her bachelor’s degree, she took off to seek her fortune with a backpack. After 6 months on the road her grand travel plans were cut short by being admitted to graduate school at Carnegie Mellon University, so she packed two suitcases and moved to Pittsburgh for two years. Motorcycles had always fascinated her, so when she learned about the MSF course offered in the U.S. – where they teach you to ride AND give you a motorcycle licence she signed up immediately. A week later she owned an R6. The metal horse turned out to be a great replacement for the hairy horses of her youth and riding continued to be big part of her life. In between a design career in San Francisco and founding a start up, she’s scraped her knee pucks at most at most tracks within driving distance of the Bay Area, harassed the city streets of San Francisco on a DRZ supermoto, and most recently taken a solo ride to the Grand Canyon on a Triumph Tiger 800.
A few stone throws north of Emma’s hometown, a young Regis perched on a Harley had visions of racing victories. Persistent as a rabid wolf, he begun by chasing chickens around his grand parents farm on an Italian 50cc pure-bred. Noticed by his mum, he was promptly offered a factory seat on a very French Solex. Despite a methanol diet the stubborn beast refused to exceed 35km/h, a clear sign that it was now time for Regis to get back to school and find another way to make a living. A few sport bikes later and an almost Ph.D in his pocket, it was towards the United States that he turned for new challenges. A Radian helped him make a few bucks as a courier in San Francisco until he got caught in the Silicon Valley start-up frenzy. After a brief detour through Thailand on a 250 TTR, Regis finally found his way to the racetrack thanks to the American Federation of Motorcyclists. For over 2 years, Thunderhill Raceway, Sears Point and Buttonwillow became his unique week-end getaways. Places where money, rubber and speed blended to deliver a blissful fix of friendship and adrenaline. A one-on-one with his banker tolled the bell of his Road Racing addiction. Undeterred, Regis headed to the AMA District 36 for dirtier pleasures. Armed with his 450 KTM he conquered several podiums and got promoted to the B class mid-season.
Working high-tech jobs in Silicon Valley leaves you with limited time each week to get your fix of adventure. Things become even more complicated when you pursue multiple passions. A few hours of kiting here, a dirt bike ride there, and squeezing in either mountain biking or yoga in the evenings… We need longer days and more week-ends.
As the weeks went by, an audacious solution emerged. We had to quit our jobs, acquire rugged motorcycles and head south to Tierra del Fuego, enjoying life along the way. We would joke about it over dinner, fantasize about all the wonderful places to visit, debate which motorcycle was best suited to the trip, and just like that it became real.
Follow us on this wonderful adventure as we take you kiteboarding in Costa Rica, learning Spanish in Guatemala and dancing the Tango in Argentina. We won’t have a schedule to stick to and won’t spare a detour to explore all that South America has to offer.
We will document our journey with a Canon G10, a Replay XD, a Garmin GPS and the words on this blog. Enjoy the ride!
The adventure starts in February 2014.