So tomorrow is the day I start my motorcycle journey. I’m pretty amped about that. Heffrey Jabert asked me why don’t I take a car across America instead? Sager asked, why not Greyhound bus? Pollard, well, he is just having a good laugh about me falling. All the boys are having fun at my expense — sure go ahead — I’m a big boy. Heffrey asked me today, how is your driving skill? I thought about it for a second… I think “below average”, possibly I think a C+ to a B-. Buy hey, whats a few brownie points between a bike and its rider? I need to prep for my next adventure — long way down to South America for 80-90 days.
Anyway, enough of that nonsense kids, I’m about to go.
Now, where am I traveling? I have no hard rules for this short trip. But I have an outline and some places I plan to visit. Very loosely, I am going from Boca Raton, Florida to Orlando, to Pensacola, Biloxi, Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, Amarillo, Santa Fe, Phoenix, San Diego, Palm Springs, Los Angeles. Their are some smaller towns in the middle where I am staying over like the south entrance of the Grand Canyon for a couple of days, some small town in New Mexico with the biggest pistachio monument in America, etc. Maybe some places that I don’t even know of right now. Its all about not making hard decisions — just drive and have fun.
Paula is meeting me in Los Angeles. We hang there for a couple weeks. Drive to Vegas — play there. Fly home.
So my bike is pretty kitted up with a few last minute changes today. First stopover is Orlando along A1A (Ocean) beautiful, however is a pretty short ride for the first night of 13-15 days on the road. I want to get organized after the first riding day so Orlando has some luxury creature comforts that I wont have moving forward. I have worked my ride around visiting some cool places and in the first week, some need to be seen during the work-week so I had to plan around that. Awesome factory tours and cool museums and local attractions trixie! My goal is to travel 300 miles per day. Tomorrow is the shortest, but after that, I cant think of a day less than 300-350 all the way up to 470 miles for a few days. I will stay in some towns for a second day and wander. Total trip will be about 4,000 miles on non-interstate roads. My plan is to stay away from interstates and see real America. Harder work — but totally the way to go.
Am I scared? Darn right I am. Traveling alone in the back roads, small towns in Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona are pretty different to my normal life. These are places full of pretty unemployed african Americans, native Americans and illegal Mexicans. Pretty tough mixture of dudes and drunks that when I did the car rides — I made sure that I locked the doors for hundreds of miles at a time and even rode 12 hours one day to stay away from boarder states/towns with Mexico and indian reservations — some real bad places. On a bike, the luxury to drive long is not there — also, its not what I want to do.
On top of the slimy population in the middle of the U.S., its the bike that gives me some hard thoughts. Its loaded and heavy. Big bike. I’m riding a BMW R1200GS. Its the best bike in the world for adventure travel. No bike in this world has been to more countries, terrains, streams, off road, on road travel. 90% of motorcycle travel around the world is on a 1200GS — its that Iconic! On Youtube, their are literally hundreds of videos and movies of the 1200 GS adventure in every part of the world doing hard trips. Harley is an American thing and they are big and fun. BMW is a world-wide thing and is like a stallian vs a donkey — its that big a difference having owned both. Ok, so knowing much of the route, or have a very good idea since I have driven by car 5 or 6 times in past 3 years from Left to East coast, riding non-interstate roads, their are very long stretches of road which have nothing — just mountains, rocks, ranches, or oil fields. I do have a fear of a flat tire, hitting a pothole, an animal, mechanical problem or anything that would go wrong without much help. That sucks. Even lifting the bike should it fall is worthy of a video for a thousand laughs. I am useless. Anyway, crossing fingers. I have a Iridium device with me — which is a satellite texting unit that can be seen anywhere in the world. As you can well imagine, T-Moble has lots of holes in the middle of the U.S. outside the big cities. No communications at all for long stretches. The Iridium can literally save my life in emergency. It allows for 40 text messages on my plan and has no holes from the north pole to the south pole.
Why do this trip? First, its a teaser. Last year the Po and I went on a fun, but pretty basic tour of Spain and Portugal. Good skill-level for both of us. Problem was that it was too many couples and not a real camaraderie among boys kind of thing. Now, this trip to Los Angeles is for shits and giggles. Next, more interesting travel — I just have to figure that out. I’ll go anywhere with some crazy places to see. Not Europe, thats for sure. Second reason for this trip is that I am blessed to have the opportunity. How could I waste it? I am retired (not retarded) at a relatively young age and half-fit (or quarter-fit), so how can I not take this opportunity to not get into the corporate, suburban, fancy dinners, meetings, … everyday travel trips. Sure, I like those trips to Europe, etc, but I need more — its in my DNA. While I can, get out there and do stuff which makes my life personally just a bit more meaningful. Thats my reason, anyway. I get it why others are not like me, but I need to do this stuff for my soul. Keeps me motivated. Bla, bla, bla… Like who gives a fuck. I just have to tell you… I was at the BMW dealer yesterday and this old guy comes up to me. We talk. He tells me that he has 18,000 miles on his 1200 GS in 1 year. I say “wow”, where did you go? This dude is 80 years old, let me repeat — 80 years old and fit like a dream. He has traveled his whole life on a GS all over. He plans on going to Vermont in a couple of months from Florida then to somewhere else which i forget. 80 years old. I talked to the owner of the BMW store and she said that the guy has been a customer for over 30 years there. That’s an incredible life to me.