When Axe DeKruif crossed the Florida state line, his body started to shake.
The San Antonio resident had been riding his BMW S1000RR at high speeds for more than 25 hours attempting to break the cross-country motorcycle record; he had little sustenance beyond his Camelbak and a few Slim Jims.
He left San Diego on April 12, 2014 and had less than 36 hours to reach the beach in Jacksonville.
He put his bike into gear and the journey—completed 33 hours, 10 minutes on April 14—is one DeKruif chronicles in his book and film documentary, “No Limits – No Regrets,” released on Amazon this year.
DeKruif admits he’s an extremist. “I have an addictive personality,” he says. “There’s that need for excess.”
He earned an engineering degree from Iowa State University.
He used those skills to retrofit his motorcycle with a spare fuel tank; thermal vision; a throttlemeister, his version of cruise control; and Bluetooth communication to his helmet.
He documented these steps on video.
To prepare himself physically for the challenge, he altered his diet, cut out carbs, alcohol, and hit the gym daily to improve endurance and flexibility.
Born with a heart murmur, his girlfriend Sunshine urged him to see a cardiologist a few years before the cross-country challenge.
He was 34; the doctor made it clear his heart was shot. Following heart-valve surgery, DeKruif struggled breathing and a second open-heart surgery followed.
He spent 17 days in the hospital, a month recovering and lost 40 pounds.
As he began piecing together ideas for the book and documentary, Sunshine’s health deteriorated. She suffered a seizure; they thought she had recovered, but a second seizure revealed cancer.
By November, she died.
For DeKruif, the book and documentary were a way to work through his grief and honor their six years together.
“I look at ‘No Limits, No Regrets,’ as telling our story,” he says. “The focus is obviously the ride and the motorcycles, but she was a big part of that life.”
For more information, visit www.amazon.com