My name’s Pete and my wanderlust runs deep.
At age 15 I left my family’s home in Philadelphia, dropped out of school, and spent several years riding freight trains and hitchhiking all over North America. I worked odd jobs for cash, making just enough to stay afloat and keep traveling. Most nights I slept outside – on beaches, under bridges, in the woods – anywhere I wouldn’t get busted. It was an intense experience and it’s still a big part of who I am today.
California, Age ~16
I never got past 9th grade. Instead I enrolled in a junior college, and later transferred to a four year college for a degree. I kept up the hitchhiking and freight-riding throughout, crossing the country several more times and hitchhiking to Alaska to make money in the fisheries. One year, when I got back from Alaska flush with cash, I was in a buddy’s car and we saw an old CB550 for sale on the side of the road. I bought it for $350 and learned to ride just to get it home. That Honda was the first vehicle I ever owned; camping and exploring on a motorbike was a big improvement over hitchhiking.
Life took a turn-for-the-normal after school. The absence of a high school diploma was immediately overshadowed by the presence of a college degree. It turned out I was actually a good student, good enough to land a professional job in downtown Seattle, and ultimately a graduate degree in business as well. While living in Seattle I discovered and fell in love with the Columbia River Gorge, which I’m happy to now call home.
The wanderlust that infected me as a kid has not gone away as I’ve gotten older. Before Andrew and I started Mosko, I took every chance I could to head off to some distant part of the globe, find a motorbike, and get as far off the beaten track as possible. I had a blast riding through countries like Vietnam, Mexico, Uganda, Colombia, India, Bolivia, Honduras, and more. Mostly I went alone, and the trips were always unguided, unsupported, and unplanned. I liked it so much that I decided to make it my life.
Things I love about moto: there are no windows, no doors, no schedules, and no predetermined routes. I feel the temperature, see the sights, and smell the smells in a way that I wouldn’t in a car, bus, or train. When it rains, I’m wet. When it’s hot, I sweat. And it’s a great way to meet people. Pulling into a small town in some far-off place on a bike, people invariably walk right up and introduce themselves. Those introductions lead to all kinds of wacky invitations, which then become the highlights of the trip. Motorcycles are awesome conversation-starters even when you don’t speak the same language.
For Andrew and I, motorcycles are a way to get deep into the backcountry, find epic campsites, and border-hop through the remotest corners of the world. They’re a way to see places that aren’t seeable any other way. They’re about getting off the pavement and out of the comfort zone: climbing mountains, crossing rivers, and traversing deserts. They’re about scratches, dents, and scars, and the stories behind them. They’re about taking a machine to places I didn’t know we could go. They’re about pushing boundaries.
La Moskitia, Honduras
Starting this business is about pushing boundaries too. I’ve always had strong opinions about moto gear, but until we started this business I didn’t know the first thing about making it. It has been a steep learning curve so far, which is both motivating and scary. Fortunately, Andrew is an extremely talented industrial designer with a ton of experience, so I know we’ll make something cool. But it’s still a big leap for both of us.
This blog tracks our progress, Hope you enjoy it!
White Salmon, WA