So, this one is a little bit late in coming, but here it is nonetheless; to follow is a Trans-America Trail adventure!
Owen and I (Kyle) met freshmen year of college (2003), through a mutual interest in everything motorsports. At the time, we were primarily involved in automotive motorsports, building and racing cars of various types. However, as these things often go, that took a turn for the better (or the worse) when we "discovered" motorcycles. In hindsight, it was bound to happen; both of us grew up racing mountain bikes, and then racing cars, so it was a natural progression. We spent the next 4 years designing cars, building cars, racing cars, and fixing cars, and eventually doing the same with motorcycles, occasionally persuing degrees in mechanical engineering as deemed necessary.
In 2005, I bought a new ZZR600, the former supersport billed "sport tourer." I proceeded to ride that bike everywhere, putting 10k miles on it in the first year, completing several track days, and spending the majority of my free time on the bike. In the meantime, Owen was riding (and collecting) various dirt bikes; he started with at least one 2-stroke 125, followed by the (never quite operational) death machine CR500, and a basket-case ZX-600 that never really left the garage. We also had time for a few interesting "side projects:"
In the fall of 2007, Owen and I graduated and parted ways; I went to an engineering job in Boston, and Owen moved to Tennessee to work in wind power. This was not to last for long. By the following summer, I had decided that I would be moving to Philadelphia, where my girlfriend was to attend graduate school. Around July, Owen frantically called me, as he often does when he is hatching a scheme; this time, the scheme was to ride dirt bikes across America. You can probably guess what happened next.