For the past couple days, we’ve been talking to Honda-riding Avery, Moto Guzzi-piloting Brad and Kawasaki-flogging Tom, in the middle of a 25,000-mile trip around North America.
Here’s the rest of our interview with these hard-core cruiserratti. Right now, they’re in the American midwest; their plans have changed a bit. Brad’s splitting off to go south, heading for Arizona to reconnect with family and then heading back west to take care of other business.
For now, it sounds as if Avery and Tom are on board with the original plan, headed back east. These mile-eating madmen will soon be done The Full Ride. Read on.
Have you met any other travelers who inspire you? What about non-travelers you’ve met?
Everyone who is traveling on a shoestring budget has impressed me. No offense meant to the GS, KLR, or other adventure bike owners. Riders all find their own way to do this unique thing called traveling. It requires a person to be adaptive and flexible …
On the other end, we’ve heard that we make those around us jealous. We hear it daily, and that is a fact. As long as we’re talking to someone, the words “I’m jealous”, or “You’re living the dream” have been heard and often. We’re told that we’re “badass” and “cool dudes”, but my favorite is that we are “inspirational.”
It took some getting used to this. I mean, we’re just out here on this trip. How on earth could it inspire others? Needless to say, I now greet those words with a smile. It feels good to know that you’ve made someone’s day just because you’re out doing your own thing.
I knew Avery when we were six and seven years old in New Jersey. He was my first best friend in the States when I moved here and he taught me everything I know about the most beautiful cars ever made. I used to love the AC Cobra because of him and dream of getting one. I’ve only recently met Brad and Tom a few years back and I have to say these are the best kind of people I can think of. I can’t explain how happy I am that they were able to finally fulfill this journey and that they made it back safe and as brand new people. It is more than clear how many people they have changed on their way I know how annoying it can be to keep people posted on social media on everything you do, but to use THE FULL RIDE sunny disposition I read about in the Huffington Post article, I see an incredible amount of positive influence on others to do what they’ve always wanted or to start dreaming big. I was able to visit these guys before they left and I can attest to the drive I walked away with when we discussed the plans for the trip. I was planning a trip of my own and they certainly had a role in helping me dream bigger. Now I just can’t help but wonder what’s next for los tres amigos!
I met these guys in Arcata, California at a KOA camp ground. The carburetors from Brad’s Guzzi were spread across the picnic table. I was riding my “new to me” 2001 Honda Goldwing with matching trailer. After talking with Avery for a while, I realized that they were the ones who were really experiencing life on the road. I wished I could join them on my old Honda Shadow.
Hahahah I would have loved to tag along on my old KZ440 but I doubt it would keep up. Although its reliability means I’d catch up to them every time they broke down.
Get me a used KLR, 200 bucks worth of camping gear from a Canadian Tire flyer, and I could do this trip just as cheaply, and with far more comfort and personal hygiene than these 3 bearded wonders. Of course, I would completely lose out to them in over-the-top hipster drama.
The whole point of this story is doing this ride on a bike you like, or the bike you have. Too many people are not doing these trips because they don’t have the KLR and the $200 camping gear, or they are worried about how they will be comfortable and whether or not they can shower, etc. Getting out there, and doing it, is a skill people seem to have forgotten.
Sure, after a few years on the road and a few years of camping, you can travel smarter. But you gotta start somewhere, and these guys have started.
I couldn’t agree more!!
My very 1st tour that was more than 1 or 2 nights, was a 17,500 km loop around the U.S, and Canada. It was 34 years ago, I had just turned 22, was on a 70s era BMW airhead, and traveling alone. I departed with no advice or guidance from anyone, because there was no internet, and I didn’t know anyone who had done it. My route was pretty loose, charted with a paper road atlas, sticking to secondary roads as much as possible. I found some pretty creative places to pitch a tent and did my own motorcycle maintenance. I only spent 1 night in a hotel, and never had to sleep on the street like a homeless person. I’ve been following this piece, and I was on side with them until I got to; “camping is a luxury”, “11 days without a shower”, and the picture of them sleeping on the sidewalk. Nothing but laziness and lack of effort IMHO. Anyone who thinks that these 3 are doing something really special, should read the thread below.
It all depends how you do it. I’ve never slept on the street, but I have definitely camped in spots like gas station parking lots in my tent because I was trying to lay max miles down in a day, and I just couldn’t go any further. If you’re on a tight schedule, you make sacrifices.
Def wouldn’t go 11 days without a shower though. The sheer thought makes one gasp and stretch one’s eyes, to quote Hilaire Belloc. Unless you’re in the Sahara, there’s always water somewhere to clean up with.
BTW, curious if you were an Islander when you did that. Didn’t know any Islanders who did any real bike trips when I was growing up there, met a few later but most of them were transplants.
I was in Shane Bolger’s shop last summer and he had an old 70s Beemer airhead there that was the only one I’d seen of that vintage on PEI. Price was right; it ran but needed lots of TLC. I was seriously tempted but walked away.
I was an Islander at that time; left a couple of times, but have been back, permanently, for a long time now. There are several airhead BMWs on PEI, but used ones, for sale, are often overpriced. I’ve purchased 3 (used) over the years, 2 from NB, 1 from NS, and always found better deals off-island. BTW, I’m not stuck on BMW airheads; it’s just that I know them well. Most classic UJMs will travel equally as well. I have a buddy who took a well used ’85 Suzuki GS750 from Halifax to Alaska > Vancouver > Toronto. Those old 4 cyl. air/oil Suzukis are almost indestructible. All of the big 4 Japanese makers have made various models that are economical used purchases, and with a little maintenance, can deliver epic road trips. It might be a good topic for a CMG piece; prowling through Kijiji, to see what’s available. Maybe you could even get President ‘arris to pry open his moss encrusted petty cash box, and pick up a dinosaur…..I mean, classic bike project. You would have to do all the work; to save ‘arris from having nasty flashbacks from his Dickensian formative years.
The original CMG dinosaur, the GS750 that became the GS 7/8 and then partially transformed into the 7/11 now resides in my sunporch. It’s currently #3 in importance on my project list — the DR650 needs reassembly, the DR350 needs a top end rebuild, but that 7/11 has taunted me for several years and will eventually be completed.
It needs a lot
Well there you have it. You’ll need a sponsor. The usual ones won’t do; it’ll have to be a down and dirty motorcycle salvage yard of some sort. You obtain a “parts” bike. After inspecting the parts bike, you determine that it’s better than the one you have, and you designate it as the “runner”, thereby demoting the one you have to donor status.
I’m not sure that down and dirty motorcycle salvage yards still exist in Canada. It’s hard to compete with eBay.