“I am so happy I didn’t plan anything, because everything worked out,” said 25-year-old Moin Khan with a laugh.
That laugh must hurt. After all, his ribs are broken from an accident in Arad, Romania, which has forced him to pull the brakes, temporarily, on his ‘epic solo motorcycle journey.’
With a Pakistani and an American passport in his backpack, Moin is travelling from San Francisco, California to Lahore, Pakistan on his Honda F4i.
After posting dozens of videos and thousands of pictures on his facebook page “ADifferentAgenda” from the 15 countries he has already conquered in more than a 100 days, a man crashed into him on October 20th deconstructing his bike and hospitalising him.
But Moin doesn’t seem the slightest bit disappointed.
For him the crash has simply given him an opportunity to cement “ADifferentAgenda” just a little bit deeper in Romania. His first post after the horrific crash was titled “My bike's totaled, a couple (of) bones are broken and new Romanian friends are made.”
The man who crashed into him visited him everyday in the hospital. And local bike enthusiast Daniel Jula, after hearing about Moin’s crash, showed up at the hospital and offered to help put his bike back together. He searched for parts all over Romania, and even managed to procure some.
As Moin recuperates at a newly discovered distant relatives place in Bucharest, Romania finding a radiator proved to be a huge challenge. But then another complete stranger named Adi, showed up at his doorstep with a brand new radiator, which he called “a gift from the (bike) stunter community in Romanian” in the video below.
The video elicited dozens of thanks and prayers for Adi from Moin’s fans in Pakistan on his facebook page.
Moin has been overwhelmed by the kindness extended to him from complete strangers, ever since he bid farewell to his friends at the Golden Gate Bridge on July 10th.
“Before the trip, I would have never have thought of inviting some stranger into my house,” admits the biker who grew up in Lahore.
“But it happened to me, not once, but a few times on the trip; in Canada, in Germany and even in Switzerland, which was so random and so beautiful. “
Here’s a video where Moin introduces us to his new friend and host in Martini, Switzerland. After a long journey on the road, Moin arrived exhausted in the enchanting town, only to realise that all hostels and affordable motels were booked. He was parked on the street, when after a five-minute conversation Moin got an invitation from a local to stay at his home.
In 2005, Moin moved rather reluctantly from Lahore to California to start college. “My parents forced me to go to the US for college,” he admits. He soon made friends and started loving life in the Bay area.
“After waking up, I’d go to Dawn.com or Geo’s website,” said Moin in an interview on skype.
Everyday Moin would be rudely greeted with a headline bearing bad news. “Starting from Lal Masjid to the drones. You barely hear anything positive out of Pakistan.”
“I am not political in any way. I just wanted to tell the world that we Pakistanis are just regular people,” said Moin.
And one day while he was sitting with some friends it hit him. “I’m going to drive my bike from San Francisco to Pakistan,” he announced.
So started Moin’s mission. He worked two jobs, 7-days a week, and survived on ‘rice and ketchup’ to save up for the trip and to buy a bike and gear worthy of the journey.
“I didn’t make the Facebook page or the website, till the 3rd or 4th day into the trip, I wasn’t expecting anything at all.”
Moin now has more than 5,000 fans on his facebook page.
Moin’s Honda F4i’s tires have already touched concrete in the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Germany, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France, Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.
One of the key things keeping fans hooked to his journey on facebook, besides his skill to always find an Internet connection to upload pictures and videos, is his storytelling ability, which is playful and informative.
On the 15th day of his trip he uploaded some pictures from Yellowstone Park. One caption read, “I had to stop to take a picture with the Lulu Pass board, haha.”
“These (are) some pictures of the mud volcano in Yellowstone, it smelled of rotten eggs. I wonder why people drive thousands of miles just to smell rotten eggs. Well, I too sadly rode 3000 miles to see this. Yes I reached my 3000 mile mark today!” exclaimed another one.
I asked him which place surprised him the most.
“The Selvio Pass in Italy … I have never seen anything like it,” replied Moin who started pinning up motorcycle posters in his room when he was just 7-years old.
“My love for Pakistan has always been there, nothing can match that, but motorcycles have been a big part of me and riding through the Swiss and Italian Alps was a dream since childhood.”