Team America

Getting to know the Team America

Here it is, a little taste of the team. We figured we better document ourselves before the real adventure begins to get an idea on why would one ever decided to partake in this craziness across Eurasia.

As some of you know John-Mark has graciously decided to not attend an adventure of a lifetime, but he's still in to help us in anyway he can stateside in our madness. So he's no where to be found in this video, hopefully we'll get him saying a word or two at some point.

We are less than a month away now from rally starting, and just two weeks before I leave to UK. woot woot!


My passport arrived and some real route planning

To start off my Saturday morning right, I received my passport with my three beautiful visa stamps for Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyz Republic. I took some quick photos to at least document that I have them to then turn around and immediately sent it to Washington, DC to get my Azerbaijan visa. This visa claims 10 business days, so that puts me at July 5. I then have 4 days to get my Russia visa before my departure to London. I hope for me that it's less than 10 days. Either way I'm going to have to expedite my Russia visa which is double the price. ouch! Anyways the visa front is looking in good shape for me.

Jeff and I sat down Saturday and did some route planning. Our conclusion, a lot of miles in a short period of time. I was hoping we would have some extra time to stop off in a city along the way but it seems like the time budget for this is no where to be found.

Some quick napkin math: if the length of our route is 10,000 miles and we average 35 mph (33% * 55 mph + 33% * 35 mph + 33% * 15 mph) it will take 285 hours to complete excluding borders and the ferries. Assuming we drive 10 hour days, that's 28.5 days right there! That gives us 13.5 days of free time to explorer those 10,000 miles, a lot of which unfortunately will probably be spent at border crossings.

So we will just have to make sure to choose a route so that when we stop it has a beach and good food. Reading through the guide has created even more excitement out of Jeff and myself. There's still a bunch of little details to be done but overall everything is looking great.


The fundraiser was a success!

Thank you all for coming out. We had a great time. These are great steps to raise money for Christina Noble Children's Foundation and Mercy Corps. Of course a big boost to kicking off Team America.

All the stuffed animals have had their first step of their dream come true. The picture you see to the left is Cecil from Sussex whose dream is to gain his honor back for his missing front teeth. Thanks to Nick W., he is one of many stuffed animals going with us. When a family receives this stuffed animal we are going to take picture of them with the stuffed animal and send it back to you. We've also had people place their bets on our arrival date in Ulan bator, Mongolia. For those of you who aren't local we hopefully can extend both these offerings to you. Please contact me directly if this interests you and we'll definitely get you involved.

Click Here for pictures from the event from the Color App. There are few more and I'll update when I receive them.

For those of you who missed our video you can see it below.

Mongol Rally Team America from Spots Unknown


Fundraising Event 8pm Saturday June 11

We are now about 40 days away from the beginning of our adventure. The Visas are still in process, and once our passports return we still have Russia and Azerbaijan to finish!

The venue has been confirmed for our fundraising event. Of course we are full on scrambling to pull it off. If you are reading this, then you should come! Don't forget to grab a friend or two to bring with you.

The festivities will begin around 8pm, Saturday. It's at Citizenspace located at 425 2nd Street, San Francisco.

What you should expect:

  • drinks
  • auctioning off cute stuff animals that will join us on our journey
  • betting pool of arrival date in Mongolia
  • our video premiere

Of course some music and good times with friends.

See you there!


filming for fundraising video continues

It was an excellent windy day on Treasure Island a few weekends ago. We were prepared with two cameras so that we could capture it all, a contour HD for the mounted wheel and some inside cabin shots, and our Jeff's talent with his dslr(which sadly I do not know the model) for everything else. A few hours later with some seriously awesome footage capture. A quick check of the Contour HD and it hadn't recorded anything! I'm not sure if it was dead batteries or corrupt card, but either way double failure.

So the following day Jeff saw a vision of greatness. He thought it would be funny to interview me(a man of few words). Push my scooter into his courtyard, check. Set up lights, check. Set up wireless microphone, check. "Should I get my headphones from upstairs? Screw it let's go!"

Next morning, I get a one word email from Jeff, that ever so humbly says "fuck." The audio was recorded from the built-in microphone not the wireless microphone attached to me!

Anyways round two of treasure island is done and hopefully the sound from Jeff's camera is reasonable enough?

No matter you can chat with me in person if you want to know the real deal...


Fiat Panda has been purchased!

I have managed to remotely buy our prized 2005 red Fiat Panda! Such a pretty machine. I'm looking forward to drive it. You can see more pictures of it here.

As it turns out I haven't required as much use of my uk contacts services as I thought. I had Dylan and Kerri at D+K mobile servicing take a look at the car to see what I was getting myself into before purchasing. Bradley and Paul at Geneva Motors have been super helpful at dealing with me from stateside. They are even going to hold the car for me until my arrival in July.

Next up, car insurance and securing fundraising venue...


Some Mongol Rally Statistics

Mongol Rally Statistics

Particular amusing, Jobs quit after rally: 43; jobs lost during rally: 7.


UK Contacts Made and Car Buying Progress

fiat pandaWell things are moving along nicely. I have confirmed two contacts in the UK for all my remote hand management. As of today there are 3 fiat panda 4x4 for sale nearish london. I have a £200 deposit on a 2005 red fiat panda that will be arriving next monday. I'm also in contact with a company that does pre-buy inspections which will be reviewing the car. I spoke with the seller of the other 4x4 panda and there is someone looking at it saturday and if that falls through I'm next in line.

Things are moving along nicely. I'm pretty sure we will be owning a fiat panda by the end of next week.


uk help

We need your help. I've been slowly making contacts in uk but have had little success in wanting to help us with our car buying process. If you know someone who is mad enough to help us on our adventure please send them our way. The easiest way that I can say we need help is with all the things I can't do from stateside. I would only expect a few hours of time, and we will gladly repay them in pints and dinner.

As for everything else, we've been slowly grinding through the planning process. visa machine have received our visas and my status indicates "processing" all of which is a good sign. Hopefully things are done in a timely manner so that when our newly stamped passports return, we can ship them off for russian and Azerbaijan visas.

I keep mentioning this fundraiser and its date has been pushed back a few times, but it's for realz. This upcoming weekend we are going to film some more Justy Power for the film presentation at our fundraiser.


just added mercy corp charity

I've add a new charity Mercy Corp to our donation page. This is through, a US based organization which may it easier for filing taxes. In either case it is possible to make contributions directly to the charity without using the fund raising site. Please contact us so we can make the arrangements.