Welcome to TeamStrange's
If you’ve been hanging around TeamStrange for a while then you already know the story of Danny and Arlene Liska. You already know that we have a special relationship with Arlene and in many ways, consider her family.
If you’re new here, no worries, we’ll happily bring you up to speed regarding this amazing woman who is a legend in the long-distance riding community.
It begins in the tiny town of Niobrara, Nebraska, the home of Danny Liska, an adventure rider long before it was a “thing.” Danny, who, as a result of some truly remarkable globe-trotting rides, was featured in ad campaigns for BMW motorcycles in the 1960s.
In 1959, on a BMW street bike, he left behind his ranch in Niobrara and headed to Alaska, more than 3,200 miles away. After reaching the Yukon River, he turned around and headed to Ushuaia at the very bottom of South America. Along the way he hiked through the roadless Darien jungle between Panama and Colombia and worked as a stand-in for Yul Brynner during the filming of the movie Taras Bulba in Argentina.
Home again in Niobrara after more than 50,000 miles, he began planning his next adventure. He purchased a new R60 and took delivery of it in Germany. Between September 1963 and November 1964, Liska paralleled his earlier ride, this time from the top of Norway to the bottom of Africa.
Years later he recounted the first half of the odyssey in a self-published book, Two Wheels to Adventure: Alaska to Argentina by Motorcycle.
By this time Danny and Arlene had divorced. She had ridden almost all of those miles with Danny, two-up. There are a thousand photos, mostly of Danny and spectacular landscapes, but not a single one of her. And yet, except for some brief intervals, she had been on both expeditions almost every mile of the way.
Danny had married a woman he met in Columbia and in the writing of the book, had removed Arlene from it completely. The back cover photo of Two Wheels to Adventure shows Danny on the bike with an enormous parrot. But the bird is a superimposition. If you look carefully, you can just make out the edges of a second rider. It is, or was before the purge, Arlene.
TeamStrange founder, Eddie James, traveled to Niobrara after reading Danny’s book, in search of more information about this remarkable adventurer. On that first visit, he was told of Danny’s ex-wife Arlene, who had joined him on those adventures. Eddie and Arlene met and a wonderful relationship blossomed. Eddie considered Arlene almost like a mother. He worried about her, helped her, and encouraged her to share her stories with long-distance riders. He helped her give presentations … complete with slides, artifacts and stories of her travels … to riders who traveled to Niobrara to meet her.
TeamStrange wants to continue, as Eddie would have, to help Arlene as much as we can.
Arlene will be 91 this year and still resides in Niobrara. Life hasn’t always been easy for her. She has worked hard to survive by herself. She recently had to give up her home and land along the Niobrara River. She is in the process of moving into housing “in town.” She no longer is able to drive her car after a near miss with a semi not long ago.
Arlene is tough and proud. She doesn’t care for charity. On our last visit with her in the fall of 2017, she insisted that she is still able to work and would be earning her own money again soon.
During 2018, we are asking each rider in all TeamStrange events to make a donation to help with Arlene’s living expenses. In return, the rider will receive bonus points. Each rallymaster will communicate the rules for claiming this bonus as it pertains to that event.
Check out some fun pictures of Arlene, and an article by Bob Higdon.
Thank you for joining TeamStrange as we help our friend, Arlene Liska!
Please use the button below to make a donation in any amount for Arlene. You will be taken to a page where you can complete the transaction using PayPal or a credit card.
riding in a TeamStrange event which awards bonus points for making a
donation to support Arlene?
You will be taken to a page where you can complete the transaction using PayPal or a credit card.