Inspirational motorcycle trip stretched from Alaska through South America
For over a year Texas Rider News has followed the remarkable journey of a Texan man, Alex Chacon who just completed a 503 day motorcycle ride from Alaska to the southern tip South America this spring – and met several inspiring people along the way. (Modern Motorcycle Diaries: Man captures his 500 day trip across the Americas)
The 26-year-old completed his 82,459-mile journey in April, which he documented in a film “The Modern Motorcycle Diaries.”
The El Paso Texas resident told the Daily News he planned the trip for years before deciding to sell everything he owned – except for his Xbox — and hopped on his Kawasaki KLR650 motorcycle and traveled down to South America.
“This had been a lifelong dream for years,” he said. “Enough dreaming can get you to a lot of places in life.”
Chacon started his journey from El Paso to South America and blogged along the way. But he said he ran out of money by the time he reached Peru. But then sponsors and people who were following his progress began making contributions so he could continue.
“I did a lot of couch surfing and I would sleep in peoples’ yards,” he said. “People would find me online and tell me to stay with them.”
He eventually rode back to North America and made it all the way to Alaska before turning around and heading back home to Texas.
The movie shows clips on his journey through various roadways including dirt, meadows, cliffs, water, sand, bridges populated with people and one very narrow rock wall.
He also shows some local communities he encountered in Latin America.
There were some cultural differences that struck Chacon — such as the treatment of the mentally ill. Chacon said in many communities people who had mental illnesses were shunned from their towns.
“A lot of them were scapegoated,” he said. “The people there just didn’t understand mental illness.”
The motorcycle enthusiast also began using his newfound fame to raise awareness for charities that helped impoverished children in the region. Chacon did not accept the donations himself so he doesn’t know how much he raised in total but said it should easily be thousands of dollars.
Chacon took his trip after graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in BioMedical Sciences. He plans to pursue a doctorate, but right now his dreams may be taking him to new places — he has plans for similar motorcycle trips in Africa and Asia.
The major things Chacon said he’ll remember is the people — especially the generosity of the children he met in Latin America.
“They were so happy and giving and generous,” he said. “Some of the poorest people I encountered were also the most generous.”
Source: Daily News (Landau, 11/20)