Talking with The Full Ride: Part One

We first found out about The Full Ride back in June, when Zac found one of their video clips online. It wasn’t your usual road trip film – no hip cafe racers, stodgy big twins or jacked-up adventure bikes. Instead these guys were riding a 1984 Kawasaki ZN1100, a 1994 Honda Shadow 1100, and a 1984 Moto Guzzi California II (complete with two-speed auto transmission).

Talk about a mixed bag, and talk about a collection of bikes that normally wouldn’t be thought up to the job of transcontinental riding on paved roads! They’re doing a 25,000-mile trip around North America (including parts of Canada) on the Dalton and other unpaved roads, on these bikes.

Are these a trio of yahoos who have more nerve (and verve) than they do road smarts? Or is this a case of riding what you got and having a real adventure? What follows is a series of questions and edited answers from the guys of The Full Ride — Tom Solymosi, Brad Franssen and Avery Starkey— about their epic trip. Tom’s riding the Kawasaki ZN1100, Brad’s riding the Guzzi, and Avery is aboard the Honda Shadow.

If you want more background on their trip, you can see their blog here. It’s packed with far more stories than we could fit on CMG. But, we were able to ask them some questions, and thought they had some pretty interesting answers. Read on!

You’ve ridden across a lot of the US, and a little bit of Canada. What are the differences you’ve noticed between the two countries? Obviously New Jersey and Alberta are wildly different, but what about Montana and Alberta, or the Yukon vs. Alaska?

TFR21 text 2

tom head shotTom

I’m not a great writer. I can only tell a person to get out there and ride. Enjoy all the things. The landscapes are all so very different and very beautiful. Don’t take my word for it. Go and see. The sooner the better. I would be doing an injustice in trying to compare what this continent has to offer.

Brad head shotBrad

One of my favorite things about this trip is how much ground it covers and the wildly contrasting landscapes we’ve ridden through. The U.S. and Canada have a lot of similarities but I have to admit what I’ve seen of Canada I’ve enjoyed the most. It is unparalleled majestic beauty that seemingly goes on forever … Some might say it makes you feel small. But for me, especially on a bike, I felt a part of it and its vastness …

Avery StarkeyAvery

The major difference that I noticed is the attitude of people. Alaska may be America’s coldest state, but within it are America’s warmest people. It is those same warm people that populate the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alberta.

The average interaction I’ve had with nearly any Canadian, contains advice, wisdom, humor, well wishes and usually a heartfelt handshake and a smile. I have absolutely loved my time in Canada. The scenery cannot be beat, the people are some of the nicest and most helpful I’ve ever met. If I could get the hang of the metric system I would move here in a heartbeat.

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