To finish of the 2017 season I accepted and invitation to race a Supercross in India. I've tried to go to India and race for years but the timing never worked out so I was glad that I could finally make it. My good friend Dennis Stapleton organized all International riders for this event so I knew it was going to be a fun time. Dennis and I have been friends for a while now. I met him back in 2011 at a race in the Philippines and after that we crossed paths all across the world from Kuwait to Europe and now we are both in southern California racing and running our Motocross related businesses. Along with us came Brian Medeiros and Justin Muscutt two professional privateers that just finished the AMA Nationals. After almost two full days of travel with a quick layover in my old home country of Germany we finally arrived in Pune. Day one was all about setting up bikes and checking out the track. One of the most adventurous things about fly away races are always the bikes you are racing on. In India we were handed 350 KTM's that had a couple years on them. After some minor problems on the first day we all had our bikes figured out and were ready to race. The event consisted of three nights of racing with two main events a night. The track was hand made by local workers and turned out to be a lot of fun. I was impressed with the entire set up. Over the last couple of years I have done a lot of events like this one in all kinds of different countries but non of them had a professional set up like this one. The races were fun, all of us international riders treated it as a fun weekend away and didn't get too aggressive with each other. After three nights it was Kerim Fitzgerald from South Africa who won the overall. Brian Medeiros had a bit of bad luck on the last night breaking his finger after he went down early in the first main event. Other than that all of us made it out healthy and happy. I hope I will be able to see a lot more of India in the near future the country has a huge motorcycle market and a lot of potential for a motorcycle enthusiast like myself.
At the beginning of last year I got an awesome opportunity to travel to Vietnam. I was in Cambodia to organize a Motocross training for Top 1 Oil and the decision was made to extend my trip with a weekend in Hanoi. Vietnam doesn't have any Motocross tracks but a lot of Enduro riders so we decided to focus on Enduro riding while we were there. I had been to Cambodia before and it was really hot and humid and after a short look at the weather app seeing 90 degree temperatures I decided to pack for a hot weather trip. Upon arrival in Vietnam I came to find out that even though the two countries are neighbours the weather can be very different. Temperatures in the low 30s welcomed us and I realized that only bringing shorts and one sweatshirt wasn't the smartest move I've made in my years of travelling around the world. After a quick trip to the mall to get some warmer clothes it was time to explore Hanoi and see what the city had to offer. The history and architecture of Hanoi were amazing. We tried some of the local food and had one too many coffee's trying to stay warm. Day two meant it was time to go riding. A lot of rain over night and in the morning weren't a great base for a day of Enduro riding in freezing temperatures. We met the vietnamese Top 1 distributor at the hotel and drove an hour out of the city to the banks of the red river. We had a great view of the city with the Cau Ving Tuy bridge in the background and a lot of sand, rocks and mud to work with. I was provided a Yamaha WR 450 which was perfect for the terrain. Shortly after the riders started trickling in and we were ready to go. 25 riders showed up and were ready to fight the wet and cold weather to learn how to ride their Enduro bikes better. Throughout the day we covered all kinds of riding techniques and little tricks to make it easier for them to navigate the challenging terrain. A nice lunch grilled over a open charcoil fire rounded up one of the best Enduro days I've ever had. Everyone that came out improved their riding tremendously and left with a big smile. It was a surreal feeling riding on the banks of the red river and realizing that 40 years ago this was the side of heavy bombings during the Vietnam war. It put in perspective how lucky I was to travell to so many different places in the world to enjoy riding motorcycles in peace. The riding scene in Vietnam is growing every year amd even though it is hard to find terrain to set up a track or a trail system because of government regulations the enthusiasm of the local riders is at an all time high. If you are intrerested in travelling I recommend putting Vietnam on the top of your list of places to see in Asia. I'm looking forward to going back and seeing more corners of this beatiful country.