So, as some CMG followers may have guessed, from photos I’ve posted to Facebook over the past few days, I’m riding a Harley-Davidson Switchback at the moment. I’m taking that bike to Arizona, and today I crossed the border to the US, to start the trip.
Why Arizona? Because I’m visiting Overland Expo, a yearly gathering of adventurously-minded motorcyclists and cagers.
Why a Switchback? Because it has a windshield and luggage (although not a lot of luggage space!) and it’s still not that heavy when compared to a full-dressed H-D.
Because, you see, this trip isn’t just about taking the superslab to Arizona and back. I’m trying to hit a few motorcycle hotspots along the way, including some twisties in the Appalachians and the Million Dollar Highway. Also, rumour has it that Arizona itself is a motorcyclist’s paradise. I guess I’m about to find out …
Today’s riding started outside Chatham (where I stayed with frequent CMG rally attender Murray Pickard, and wife Janet, who fed me well, gave me a great bed to sleep in, and then patiently watched as I set up my motorcycle for the cross-continental trip – thanks, Murray and Janet!).
This is my first time motorcycling in the US, and it’s certainly a bit different. Barely anybody wears a helmet here while riding, apparently. I met a grizzled Yamaha cruiser rider at a gas stop, with old lady in tow; neither of them had a helmet, riding pants, or even chaps on – they just wore jackets covered in rally patches.
But, if they were in an accident where they only skidded on their torso, they sure were prepared. I asked them how far it was to Cleveland, and they looked at me funny, as if they couldn’t take a guy seriously if he was wearing Rev’It Sand 2 dual sport gear while he rode a Harley-Davidson.
I’m just west of Cleveland right now, headed east to Amish country to camp for the night, then on to Pennsylvania in the morning. But for now, I’m in McDonald’s taking advantage of their free wi-fi with a bunch of screaming children in the background, fighting over the ball pit.
I’ll likely be spending some time at Mickey D’s over the next couple of weeks, putting on vast amounts of weight while I continue to crank out the news and try to keep CMG readers updated on my travels.
But, two quick shout-outs: First, to Atlantic Motoplex, who hustled and fitted me with my Rev’It gear mere minutes before I had to fly to Toronto. A big thank-you to Kristy who helped me get set up, and also to Rev’It, for their speedy rearrangements.
Second, I’d like to give Deeley Harley-Davidson’s Maria Diaz and Janet Tinsley a big thank-you as well. Maria and Janet and some other folks at Deeley worked hard to set me up with this bike for my trip to the US; they weren’t expecting me to show up, asking for the keys, as soon as I did, thanks to an email breakdown, and they still managed to take care of me on super short notice. Thanks again!
Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.