My name is Ryan, I’m a photographic artist from Melbourne, Australia.

This blog represents a snapshot of the journey I undertook across North America from Texas to Alaska riding a 1100cc road touring “Hell” bike called “Mad Mavis”. With a budget half the size of a 12yr olds life savings, the trip was one shoestring-road-touring-adventure.

Flying into San Francisco, I spent two weeks helping my brother prepare to set sail on the last leg of his own journey before making my way down to the coast of Texas, about 2hrs south-east of Houston where I picked up the bike donated by Lee Winters. From Texas, the road took me anywhere and everywhere, traveling in a north-west direction to Alaska. The bike was the biggest I’d ever ridden. Previous to which my riding experience was limited to a few laps around the odd paddock on small dirt bikes or a Honda CB250 at H.A.R.T’s rider training facility in Melbourne where I obtained my motorbike license two days prior of departing for the trip.

I traveled 25,000+km by road through 14 States, 2 Provinces, 1 Territory and passed through 4 border crossings over a number of months.

I have a rather large soft spot for film after coming full-circle, shooting exclusively digital for over 2.5yrs from 2005. My intention was to document this trip using a medium format Pentax 6×7 and Pentax K1000 cameras. I shot mostly Velvia 100 slide and Agfa Neopan 400 or 800 120film, and Kodak Portra 160VC 35mm neg. Two late additions to the camera bag, a pair of Canon AE-1 Program cameras both with 50mm 1.4f lenes which I picked up while in Las Vegas. I made a mounting bracket to attach the cameras to the bike in order to capture 3D stereoscopic images while I rode of the road ahead. I was unable to fully test this method with both cameras simultaneously, but instead captured 2D images while riding and also later mounted high powered driving lights onto it to facilitate riding at night.
Another aspect of the trip was to document my experiences in written form and publish to this site. For this purpose, I took a Brother EP-20 electric typewriter (circa 1982) and employed the power of a “Fax-to-Email” service which allowed me to fax pages from anywhere in the US to a special fax number, which then converted the fax to a .JPG and sent to me via email, then autonomously uploaded to this site. A small Eee PC was also later brought along to allow online editing and insertion of images.

In July 2010 I exhibited a selection of works from the trip as part of a group show with three other photographers at Brisbanes Bleeding Hearts Gallery, entitled “Personal Effects; Australian photographers, American Landscapes” in support of the Australian Red Cross’ “Where It’s Needed – Australia” appeal with proceeds from the sale of works donated.

3Mad Mavis, Nevada2

4Mad Mavis, Nevada