Friday, October 17, 2014

Frank Versus The Yukon

When he turned 50 6' 6" Frank Ostertag declared: "Live your dream now before it's too late!"

Frank's "dream" turned out to be flying from Hamburg, Germany to Toronto, Canada with a custom made steel touring bike, then battling north across The Shield though thousands of miles of fierce crosswinds. ("I saw the dark side there. I'm never going back.")  In The Yukon when his rim gave way he asked directions to the nearest bike shop. A local said "Do you realize that for the next 250 Km there is NOTHING?"

So Frank rode south on his broken rim with 20+ kg of luggage and a collection of Canadian license plates that he picked up off the road—all the way back across The Shield. Many, many, many miles later he pulled into my driveway just ahead of the rain, our first Warm Showers guest. Canadian customs had confiscated his license plates but Frank was still smiling.



"Other bike tourists have done much more than me," Frank insisted, "the difference is: I'm willing to suffer."



Step 1: Load bike. 
Step 2 North across The Shield 
Step 3 South across the Shield

Adventure or masochism? 

We served up hot showers, warm meals and two days of rest. Frank makes an interesting house guest who doesn't hesitate to speak his mind. After conquering The Shield, you don't waste time beating around the bush. He's exceedingly polite and will do his best to appraise the value of everything in sight.


The morning of departure,  I rode south with Frank as far as Eureka.



What new adventures lie ahead for Frank? Ride with him on crosscanada2014 which will soon extend to San Francisco,  LA and... ?