Updated: Jul 1
I don’t always have a lot to say when it comes time to write these articles, often in fact, I will spend days trying to formulate in my head what story I want to tell. This month for example I was thinking that I could write the follow up to one of my last articles which was about my ride to St Louis and Milwaukee for the Cycle Showcase and Mama Tried motorcycle shows, but that, I decided, would make for a rather boring story. 1100 miles in two days, across the Great Plains in freezing temperatures, to try and beat a winter storm rolling in back home. There, I pretty much just told the story. I suppose I could add in little snippets about the near intolerable headwind I dealt with on the first day which took me a touch over 600 miles to York, Nebraska. Or I could tell you about how when I crossed the Colorado state line, passing under signs warning of the upcoming storm, that the rolling fields were blanketed in pristine white snow with glimpses of Longs Peak in the distance as I crested said hills. But again, that’s about all there is to the story. 1100 bone chilling miles down wide and bumpy intestates that really reveal nothing interesting about the areas I’m passing through. Maybe that is where the story is, a look into how traveling the interstates is really no more interesting then flying over a state. In fact, I could argue that at least in an airplane you get a larger field of vision to give you a better sense of the landscape. You still miss out on the human connection however, you miss out on life in the small towns, you miss out on the wave to a farmer plowing his fields. As much as interstates brought efficiency of travel they stripped away the purpose of travel. I digress, I don’t want to talk about any of that either.
So, based on that near incoherent stream of consciousness, and to really go off into left field here. What are your plans this summer? Mine, at this point in time, is completely undetermined. Being as how I spent nearly the last 12 months away from home I was considering “laying low” this year. I put it in quotes because I am fully aware that my “laying low” will still probably involve doing quite a bit. I’ve been thinking about using this summer as a chance to attend some of the smaller, lesser known motorcycle campouts I’ve had my eyes on for a few years. Use my summer to spend more quality time with friends and family. Use my summer to incorporate my latest obsession into my travels, trail running. That’s right, you read that correctly, I’ve been running. I wouldn’t call myself an athlete by a means but I can confidently say that I have been tying up the running shoes and moving my feet at pace just slightly faster then walking, which technically qualifies as running. Why am I doing this you ask? Good question. I’ll let you know when I have the answer to that. There I go getting off track again. Back to what is happening this summer, because it will be here before we know it. I’m thinking Id like to hear from you, whoever it is that has taken the time to read these words. I’d like to know what small grassroots events are happening so I can start formulating something that resembles a plan. While we are it, I’d like to propose another idea, one that our very own, Chris Callen from Cycle Source Magazine, mentioned to me a while back and that I immediately fell in love with.
The concept would be to gather together as many choppers as possible and take off on a substantial road trip together. Whether this means coast to coast, Mexico to Canada or some circuitous route that takes us through interesting places is yet to be determined but the idea and the method would be the same regardless of the route. We would stick to the smallest roads and the smallest towns possible, there may even be some dirt roads involved. We would camp each night, make repairs to our motorcycles next to a campfire, swap stories and lies about what we experienced that day and ride as a unit. Imagine a well manicured tour where they provide lodging and meals each night, a tour where they tell you exactly what will take place on your trip and what to expect. This ride would be the polar opposite of that. We will be dirty, we will figure out meals when we are hungry, there will be no chase vehicles, we will help repair each others bikes as necessary and we will develop lasting memories and stories that will last a lifetime. I am hoping to gather ideas from all of you to determine how to best do this, what you all want to do. How long should the ride be? One week? Two weeks? Longer? How many miles do you want to cover in a day? Is there a particular part of the country you think would be best for this? For example, I think starting and stopping at a small event would be cool, but that’s just one idea. Maybe start at a small event and then finish at Sturgis? No idea is a dumb idea so throw it out there to either myself on Instagram @travelingchopper or to @roadsareforjourneys. Consider this crowdfunding for ideas where no contribution is to small. I know for a fact that Chris, myself and the other people who know of this concept are excited to see it come to fruition so lets make it happen. Let’s get those crusty choppers out on the road, where they belong, and make some memories. I’m leaving the definition of chopper up to you. If you see your bike as a chopper then we will to. Now, it’s still cold in most of the country so you still have some time to get your bike roadworthy and hit us up with your ideas. I truly look forward to seeing what comes of this and look forward to hearing from everyone.