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Home Sweet Home!

July 21, 2010

Chris Garlasco, Owner & Managing Partner - Founders Insurance Group

The bags are unpacked, the bike is in transit, my sore back is resting and a lot of insurance work is at hand! Each long distance ride starts out like a blank canvas and each day a new portrait is painted that ultimately tells the unique story of each journey. The journey to the Arctic Circle, although not the longest, was second to none in terms of challenges. Severe storms in Chicago, knocking out windows in the Willis Tower, left us seeking cover under a downtown bridge. The tornado producing storms in Montana had us riding in wind driven rain well after dark, while effectively disabling my bike to bike communications. Seventeen days of the trip saw us riding in the rain and often cold conditions while the threat of road damage and wild animals kept us on constant guard. Close encounters on the road with black bear, moose, and wild buffalo greeted me at different points during the ride. Countless deer and even two grizzlies made appearances for our entertainment in western Canada!

All of these challenges we expected, although we had hoped for a bit more sunshine. One of the trips biggest challenges was one we had not expected; calcium chloride. The great state of Alaska uses calcium chloride to help keep the dust down on dirt portions of the roadways. When wet, the calcium chloride becomes like a sheet of ice to a motorcycle, often leaving the eight hundred pound bike sliding across the road as if with a mind of its own!

Sounds like a lot of fun doesn’t it? You bet it was! I was treated to some of the most incredible landscapes that our continent has to offer. Glacier National Park (www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm), The Icefields Parkway (www.icefieldsparkway.ca), The Alaska Highway, and the now famous Dalton Highway (http://fairbanks-alaska.com/dalton-highway.htm) made for an exciting journey. We are truly fortunate to be able to live in such a beautiful country.

As a long time long distance rider and a sufferer of chronic pain; knowing that I could conquer the challenge took on an extra special meaning. The fact that Mother Nature took a somewhat challenging trip and turned it into far more only added to the experience. The feeling of elation when I reached the Arctic Circle will stay with me for a lifetime!

Thanks to all of you for the kind words of encouragement, and if you have not yet visited the chronic pain web site, please take a moment of your valuable time to visit the American Chronic Pain Association: www.theacpa.org

Have a great day!

Chris Garlasco

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