“If I don’t do it now, I can’t do it any sooner,” says Mark Togno.
Mark’s bucket list had included an adventure ride “forever.” Yet, when he came home from the Vancouver Motorcycle Show with a Renedian brochure, he hesitated.
“It was a long way from home and cost a lot of dough. Also, I’m “inseam-challenged” and never been on a Beemer.”
His wife encouraged him to go, reminding him he had the money, and as a retired firefighter, the time. The next morning, he contacted Renedian to book his Journey to Ushuaia trip.
Mark began riding a Gemini SST at age eight and started riding and competing in trials at eighteen. He got a Harley when he joined the fire department but his biggest love was off-road riding. The Coastal Mountains in his back yard, provide phenomenal riding opportunities for trials riding with friends and members of his trials club. Whistler or B.C’s interior are other popular weekend destinations to share with friends.
“I think I was ready for any adventure ride,” says Mark. “The photographic beauty of Argentina and Chile’s mountains, lakes, and rivers captivated me.”
“Many of the others in the group were around my age or older and capable riders. I don’t put on a lot of miles at home, but this trip covered long distances. I quickly acclimatized to the 700GS and spent a lot of time standing up, something that came naturally.
“The lakes and rivers were never ending and the route amazing; the wind crazy at times. We’d go for a couple of hours along a gravel road, turn onto another gravel road, and come to this beautiful green farmland. A beautiful farmhouse accommodation with off-the charts great food was our overnight stop. Being a wine lover, there were always excellent wines to sample. It was wonderful being off the beaten track and away from cities.
“The end of the day, whether it was a farmhouse or a nice little family-run hotel next to the river, was always special. People were consistently welcoming. We’d sit and reminisce about the day and anticipate what was to come.
“The sights were great, but that was all day, every day. Sometimes I noted parallels to B.C.—riding the Fraser Canyon as it follows the river, riding along the North Thompson River, or venturing into the interior.
“I couldn’t believe how fast the time passed. A few of us celebrated our arrival in Ushuaia, the end of the road, by removing our gear and diving into the Pacific Ocean.
Mark’s introduction to adventure riding in spectacular, remote places has ignited a desire for more. Reluctant no longer, he’s setting his sights on another Renedian adventure in 2020—maybe Africa, maybe Mongolia. In the mean time, he’s planning a road trip to Sturgis, South Dakota.
Photo credits: Mark Togno