The Great Recession hit many people head-on and took from some what had taken many years to achieve. Some lost their homes, some lost their livelihood, but others actually found some inspiration in the tough times which faced them. That is exactly what Mac Patrick found when business at his day job began to dwindle towards nothing – the desire to go after something he had been putting off for many years.
Mac Patrick, though, is not the author’s real name – it is the nom de plume of a resident of the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. who has decided to keep his identity secret to all but his publisher and his already large group of supporters and friends. He stated that, “I simply don’t want my Scottish name, which is unique, all over the Internet.” It makes sense in these days of lackluster privacy safeguards, but it would still be nice to meet the riding author.
Mr. Patrick’s occupation as a shipwright repairing yachts was experiencing a bit of a slow down in 2009, and the skies were beginning to darken as that year’s winter was approaching. Taking some time off to pursue a life-long dream seemed like a good idea, in fact he figured, “now or never!” Fortunately, Patrick was already aware that he had this one chance, so much of 2009 was spent getting both his bike and himself for the grueling ride ahead. This sort of ‘vacation’ may actually be common for this one.
His first steps involved taking motorcycle safety classes, researching the journeys of other like-minded riders and attending some of their presentations. After this, Patrick spent time mapping out his route and preparing his BMW R1200GS; outfitting, tuning and polishing it from stem to stern. Next, it was time to work on Mexican visas, and his sisters followed news reports and State Department notices about the nation involving the terrible drug cartel chaos so that he could avoid it as much as possible.
On a clear November morning, just after Thanksgiving 2009, Patrick set out on his journey; first, it was off to the ‘Sun Belt’ in the southern U.S. He wandered throughout the region – including stops in Arizona and a complete trip around Florida’s lengthy shoreline – and finally made it into Mexico by Christmastime. During the entire trip, Patrick’s camera was excitedly clicking off shots of everything from festivals and parades to people and monuments. In the end, he covered 17,358 miles over the four months he was on the solo road.
Though he truly was ‘one man and a bike’, he kept in touch with people back home via e-mail and a GPS tracker which displayed trip progress on the Internet. Alone was the way to go for Patrick; he could set his own schedule and did not have to worry about someone else getting hurt, sick or lost. Plus, the fact that he was out there by himself gave him time to really explore both the places he visited and the vast regions inside his own internal landscape.
This led to the writing, compilation and printing of Mexico On A Motorcycle: Riding Out The Recession, published by A.V. Harrison Publishing. The book is available in both e-book and printed formats and contains 100 gallery-quality photographs and over 10,000 words which reveal both Patrick’s outer and inner journey – a vivid ride through the human condition from a man trying to get away from the economic chaos which Wall Street wreaked upon the world.
Did Patrick succeed in his quest? To be fair, you must read his book in order to get your answer, but it can be said that looking through his eyes on this ride may let you escape your own encounter with the Great Recession.
Mexico On A Motorcycle: Riding Out The Recession by Mac Patrick, whomever he may really be, is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.