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Old Aug 8th 2014, 02:23 PM   #1
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'Round the World with an Italian Supermodel

My journey first started two years ago with "Coast to Coast with an Italian Supermodel." But despite all the months and the miles, I canít find a clear break between hitting the 'ignite' button on my Ducati 1199 S in 2012 at Ducati Newport Beach for the first time and hitting it at Ducati Milano yesterday. Each day blends into the next and every decision that led me here seems superimposed on the one prior. Hopefully I have enough time to explain everything that happened in-between then and now.

In any case, ď'Round the World with an Italian SupermodelĒ officially begins.





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Old Aug 8th 2014, 02:42 PM   #2
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I Ride: Panigale 959 SuperSport S
Looking forward to your RR's and living vicariously again through you and your travels. Ride safe!
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Old Aug 8th 2014, 03:03 PM   #3
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I Ride: Panigale 1299, 2016 MuliStrada S
Wishing you a safe ride and great journey. I hope forum members can offer some overnight options for you on the tour, as it would be a great way for you (everyone) to connect.

Live to ride!
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Old Aug 8th 2014, 03:58 PM   #4
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That's great you finally got it over the pond!

Enjoy!
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Old Aug 8th 2014, 04:06 PM   #5
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I'm glad for you that your World leg has started, good luck and have fun
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Old Aug 8th 2014, 05:38 PM   #6
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Safe Ride Dennis! Let the Euro invasion begin!
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Old Aug 9th 2014, 06:37 AM   #7
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Here's a little prologue for anyone who missed the first two episodes (Coast to Coast with an Italian Supermodel and PacNW with an Italian Supermodel - both links in my signature below):

In 2012 I hit the starter button on my Panigale and the reset button on my life.



I wanted to test a hypothesis. More precisely, a 'null hypothesis' - I set out to find evidence contrary to what I believed in to test my assumptions about the world. No one likes to be told what to do, where to go, who to like, what to avoid, what to eat, what to laugh at or what to oppose. And definitely no one likes to be told who they are or what they are or are not capable of. Yet every minute of every day we blindly obey the tyrant narrator in our head who dictates the kind of rules and restrictions that limit every aspect of our life. I intended to demolish that voice, to rediscover both the world and myself. So I left. And pretty much did everything that voice said not to do precisely because he said not to.

At the time I noted it was a suicide of sorts, but in reality it was more of an extermination of the self-imposed restrictions Iíd accrued over time. 6 months and 16,000 miles later my life had radically changed. So much so that I simply could not adapt to a Ďnormalí life. So I left again, and again, and again, satisfied only on those days when I didnít know where Iíd be sleeping that night. And one day, during a particularly memorable internal dialogue regarding what I was going to do with my life it hit me: do what I love. So fucking simple! Ride, write, paint and travel. How would I make it work? No idea. I quit my job and, well, here I am, writing today from Rome. This will either be the best decision Iíve ever made or one of the worst.

But, as the past increases and the future recedes, I can honestly say that itís the reckless and stupid decisions Iíve made that I remember the most. Routine leads to regret, habit leads to unhappiness. Certainty leads to boredom. And fear? Fear kills more dreams than failure. Passion. Passion is the only force that leads to destiny. To live the life weíve always dreamed of and to become who it is we know we truly are requires acting on desire, taking risks and ferociously (or foolishly) pursuing whatever it is that we love.

To reckless adventures and fearless success.
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Old Aug 9th 2014, 06:39 AM   #8
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I have difficulty when trying to answer the question about when this ride report began. Only because from my perspective it really began the first time I threw a leg over a Suzuki RM80 as a kid. It's convenient to begin with the first day of the journey. But I have bad news for anyone who's not gone big with a long, extended road trip: shit begins way, way before the key goes into the ignition.

Anyone reading this--or any other ride report does themselves a great disservice to think that what someone taking off on an open-ended trip is the result of luck or fortune. When you see the first pic of 'setting off', you’re seeing the end result of what could have been years of construction and planning. I don't meant the kind of planning that begins with google maps or Trip Advisor or NatGeo Travel magazines. I mean sorting your life out so it can happen. Before C2C, I spent years detaching myself from anything and everything. So that when the final detach happened, I was ready to roll.

This trip was not so easy. Though I'd made the decision to fly the bike to Europe to continue my ride, my ride did not cooperate. A perplexing high-idle issue that reset itself every time I went into the dealer couldn't be fixed. Before anyone goes nuts and starts firing arrows at Ducati, keep in mind that my bike was the highest mileage Panigale in existence. It also saw 10 hard track days, monsoon rains, sand, dirt roads. She slept in 30 degree weather, endured Hurricane Sandy and not once ever failed to start. In an effort to identify what was causing the high Idle, Ducati replaced all the major components. The good news--nothing was wrong with any of 'em after all my abuse. The bad news: the issue was still there. I was running out of time. I had two choices: wait for a fix or get a new bike.

I went with the latter, which also gave me a worldwide (and unlimited mileage) warranty. Ducati Newport Beach, whom I purchased my original bike back off of, gave me a great deal (Thanks, Aaron, Chris, Mark, Brandon, Adrian and all the rest of the staff who had a part of helping get me on my way!).

Though I made it to Milan just fine, a US Customs Delay meant I'd be showing up to World Ducati Week at Misano in a rented Audi. Can't really complain--World Ducati Week is mecca for anyone who loves bikes and is absolute porn for anyone who appreciates Italian design.

I've already posted these on a separate thread, but it's all an integral part of this story, so here goes:

With that said, a few pics are below. Full album is here: World Ducati Week - antihero















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Old Aug 9th 2014, 06:40 AM   #9
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This was pretty funny. I took a pic of this guy on a Hyper that was set up to drift and not fall over and instagrammed it with the caption, "Looks like he's having trouble keeping it up." Within just a few minutes someone who knew the guy instagrammed it TO the guy in the photo. Comedy ensued. Small world.



I also got a ride around the track in a Huracan:


Got to meet this legendary Ducati rider:


Oh and this guy, too:


Never know who you'll run into at WDW!

Or what:




More Photos Here: World Ducati Week - antihero
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Old Aug 9th 2014, 11:21 AM   #10
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So now for the fun parts. Doubtful if anyone remembers, but at some point in my Coast to Coast report, a piece of my tooth just fell out while I happened to be writing an update. After the nerve died, it gave me no problems. But before the trip I went to the dentist. Bad move. Got a root canal about 4 days before I left. It got infected. When I arrived in Milan (prior to World Ducati Week), bad things began as soon as I was in a cab. At first I thought it was just 36 hours since I'd last slept, but fuck me if I didn't start feeling like absolute trash in the cab on my way to the apt. I'd haphazardly booked on airbnb while waiting for my bags.

Outside looked like I imagined Italy to look in 1960. I didn't care. I was rapidly feeling stranger and stranger and was happy to finally be in Italy.



I rang the buzzer at the security door at the bottom of the apt. Some old Italian lady answered. She hung up, then nothing. I thought...shit, no cell coverage, no way to contact the host, fever starting to build...then the door buzzed. WHEW! Hauling all my gear up the stairs to the 8th floor didn't lower my core temp that was approaching brain-cooking stage.

"Fuck me" is an appropriate utterance in Italy when a foreigner arrives at the top of the building to find all doors closed. None of them were numbered, either--not that it mattered as the host only gave me the floor.



I stood there looking about as disappointed as anyone could look while contemplating just dropping my bag in the staircase while I waited for death to just take me away when a door at the end of the hallway opened.

It would be the first of many conversations I had with locals who spoke as little English as I speak Italian. Because of the language barrier (I assume), the owner's elderly parents thought they had to explain to me how everything worked--including how drawers open, where the hairdryer was (they seemed proud of the device) and how the 11" TV worked. They had me at the pull-out bed. All I wanted to do was collapse.



Within a day, the throbbing tooth spread its poison all the way up to my eye socket. It felt like the side of my face had been hit with a bat. Then a toxic, toxic, toxic death-like smell filled my sinuses. Welcome to the first day of the rest of my life.
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