ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-06-2013, 02:32 AM   #1
Gary France OP
Rider and Writer
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: London, UK
Oddometer: 17
I went for a ride in America and ended up doing 21,475 miles in 4 months.

21,475 miles in 4 months, on an American Road Trip.

Somewhat reluctant to burden these pages with a tale of (wait for it) .... riding a touring motorcycle on paved roads, I share my story because of one reason. It was one heck of a journey!

Having had the dream to ride across America for a long time, I decided to go for it. As I sat at home in London in the UK thinking about the trip, I wanted to make sure I achieved something memorable in my life and this seemed like the ideal way to do that. The trouble was, I had never previously ridden in America. Many questions buzzed around in my head, but there seemed to be more reasons to do the ride than not. Where would I go? What would I see? Where would I stay? What gear should I carry? Would I be safe?

I spent too much time thinking about these things and soon enough, the time for action arrived. I wanted to do the ride on my own bike on the trip, so I shipped my own Harley-Davidson to New York and set out on a remarkable journey of discovery.

My ride took me on a seemingly bizarre route through 27 states and included such iconic places as Yellowstone, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, New England, the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains, Yosemite, Death Valley and many more. I didn’t book any accommodation in advance. Finding a place to stay for the night was much easier than I thought as there are motels, B&B’s and cheap hotels everywhere. Wherever I stopped, I enjoyed talking to the locals. America is amazingly diverse, with so many things to see and people to meet. Almost everywhere I went, people greeted me warmly and wanted to hear my story about travelling across their country. They were genuinely interested in understanding what an outsider thought about where they lived.

Gary at the 10,000 mile point of the trip, in the Wasatch National Forest, Utah

I got to ride some of America’s most stunning roads. The Million Dollar Highway in near Ouray in Colorado is spectacular, but the Beartooth Pass, on the border of Wyoming and Montana, is just breathtaking. I also took my Harley-Davidson to the top of the highest road in America, at Mount Evans on the outskirts of Denver. Like most bikers, I like to stay away from long straight roads and seek out those that twist and turn, and inevitably this meant I spend a great deal of time in the Rocky Mountain states. The map of the route that I took certainly bears this out and explains why I was able to ride over 21,000 miles crossing a country that is a little over 3,000 miles at its widest point. My route bizarrely snakes through the western half of the country as I sought out the most wonderful roads in the mountains.

Garys USA Road Trip Map

I am sometimes asked what are the most memorable places I saw. There were so many, but Monument Valley, with its rock buttes sticking out of the red sandy ground was very impressive and being at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally with half-a-million bikers was a blast.

Monument Valley 4, Arizona

Main Street, Sturgis, South Dakota

My Road King proved to be an ideal motorcycle for the trip and other than needing the normal servicing and replacement tyres, performed exceptionally well. Before leaving London, I had the bike repainted with portraits of 1940’s and 1950’s actresses and the motorcycle became known as ‘The Leading Ladies’. After riding the motorcycle on such a memorable journey, I will never be able to part with it. Here is the bike in Monument Valley....

Monument Valley 1, Arizona

Having ridden 21,475 miles in the USA, I was struck by a few things. I had no idea that America is so beautiful, with so many great places to see. I rode over high mountains and across deserts. I went to big vibrant cities and tiny towns. At one point I saw almost no cars in 78 miles of riding and at another, I saw 78 cars on the road in one second. I saw extraordinary wealth and extreme poverty. I saw old things that should be cherished and I saw brand new things to marvel at. At times I was boiling hot and at others I was freezing cold. What an amazingly diverse country the USA.

I would like to thank America. All of it and all of its people. As a nation you have some extraordinary qualities and Americans are a very special people. I was touched by your generosity, politeness and overwhelming friendship. Just about everywhere I went, bikers greeted me like a brother. We shared road stories and a few beers and it seems bikers are almost the same the world over, going out of their way to help a fellow motorcyclist.

I was so impressed by America and the people I met, I wanted to record the journey in some way and a book seemed the obvious answer. Having now written that book, ‘France In America’, I can only hope I did justice to a wonderful country. That book has now been published and is available at my website (address beneath my signature).

Here is a small selection of other pictures from the trip....

Steaming Blue Hole, Yellowstone....

Yellowstone National Park 3, Wyoming

What a road – Skyline Drive, Colorado....

.

I had just ridden this gravel road, Moki Dugway, Utah....

Road at Moki Dugway, Utah

Rear view mirror, Monument Valley, Arizona....

Monument Valley 5, Arizona

The town of Deadwood, South Dakota....

.

Bryce Canyon, Utah....

Bryce Canyon 2, Utah

Big Sur coast, California....

Big Sur coast, California

My bike outside the Harley-Davidson Cafe, Las Vegas ....

Harley-Davidson Cafe, Las Vegas, Nevada

Riding in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado....

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Needles Highway, Black Hills, South Dakota....

Needles Highway in the Black Hills, South Dakota

Hollywood, California....

Hollywood sign, California

A bison drinking from a lke, Yellowstone....

Bison drinking from lake in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Antelope Slot Canyon, Arizona....

Antelope slot canyon, Arizona

Finally, the bright lights of Times Square, New York City....

Times Square, New York

Gary France
http://www.garysfrance.com/motorcycl...otorcycle-tour

Gary France screwed with this post 03-07-2013 at 11:44 PM
Gary France is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 04:49 AM   #2
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,684
Sounds like a great trip... hope you can fix your photo links. You need to "hotlink" your images from a photo hosting site.
__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 05:35 AM   #3
rgon
explore cordilleras
 
rgon's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Baguio City Philippines
Oddometer: 143
Thumb a glimpse of america

hoorray! i like the introduction. i am eager to see those photographs.
__________________
Baguio City and Mountain Provinces Adventure Tours on Off/On-road bikes.
email: rgon1965@gmail.com Thank you ADV

rgon screwed with this post 03-06-2013 at 06:05 AM
rgon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 07:09 AM   #4
scbison
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Charleston, SC
Oddometer: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary France View Post
Okay, forgive me. I am new to this and cannot work out how to upload the photos. I put them on an external hosting site and thought I had linked to them. I will try again!
Flickr no longer allows for linking to the photo. You need to click on "share" and then on "grab the HTML" Copy and paste that entire section into your post. Great photo's btw!

Zion National Park, Utah
scbison is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 07:23 AM   #5
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,684
Just click Edit and fix it that way.
__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 07:27 AM   #6
Gary France OP
Rider and Writer
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: London, UK
Oddometer: 17
Thanks GB but it isn't that easy. My original post is no longer there, so I cannot edit it.
Gary France is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 10:40 AM   #7
GB
Mod Squad
 
GB's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, ON
Oddometer: 55,684
As a noob, every time you edit your post, your posts are moderated and have to be approved.. this is to keep spammers out.
__________________
ADV decals, patches & flag? Here
GB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2013, 11:35 AM   #8
Slatz
m00b
 
Slatz's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2004
Location: The Biggest Little City
Oddometer: 309
Thumb

Looking good now Gary, can't wait to see the rest of the report.
__________________
"I will say that when it's cool out and I'm in full road gear, top to bottom, full face locked down and riding across country...I feel the fullest of escape. Almost like I imagine an astronaut feels or a pilot of a fighter jet. Complete dissociation and disinterest in anything other than the bike the ride the view and the wind buffeting my helmet. It is bliss." Cornfed
Slatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 12:21 AM   #9
RudyS2MT
Rudy in MT
 
RudyS2MT's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Helena, MT; mountains and dirt roads all around...
Oddometer: 353
Welcome Gary!

We're not afraid! Bring on your trek!!


(looks like you found the Beartooth Highway NE of Yellowstone. A world class ride!!!_)

thanks for sharing your adventure!




Rudy in Montana
__________________
2014 CRF250L (Purchased 3/28/2014)
2009 Triumph Scrambler ("'new" 2/21/12;sold 3/2014)
2005 Tw200 (purchased 2/3/09)
2003 F650 Dakar (purchased 2/3/2007; sold 5/9/12)
------------------------------------------
RudyS2MT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 07:22 AM   #10
poolman
Gnarly Poolside Adv.
 
poolman's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Darnestown, MD
Oddometer: 724
Nice Pictures

Gary,

Looks like an amazing trip! Thanks for posting.
__________________
~~~~~~
poolman

Sacred Valley of the Incas
Costa Rica Solo
poolman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 02:37 PM   #11
jmcg
Turpinated..
 
jmcg's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
Oddometer: 434
Awesome journey.

Great pics.

Thanks,

JM.
jmcg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-07-2013, 06:13 PM   #12
BlackBeast
Studly Adventurer
 
BlackBeast's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Ontario, CANADA
Oddometer: 925
Pics are amazing.
BlackBeast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 01:14 AM   #13
Gary France OP
Rider and Writer
 
Joined: Mar 2013
Location: London, UK
Oddometer: 17
Cheers guys

Thanks for your comments.

The question I am most often asked about the trip is "was was your favorite area?" That is relatively easy as northern Arizona and southern Utah has so many fantastic places to see and ride, it has to come out top of my list.

How could you not love this area, with the charming Sedona, the best parts of route 66 near Seligman, the awesome Grand Canyon, beautiful Monument Valley, stunning Bryce Canyon, the wonderful Arches National Park, huge Canyonlands and the impressive Zion National Park all nearby? All of these places are just a few hundred miles apart - a must for any biker wanting to explore some of the best America has to offer. Include in there one of my favorite gravel roads, Moki Dugway, and it is a wonderful area to ride.
Gary France is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 03:36 AM   #14
betitou
Thumperized!
 
betitou's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Spain
Oddometer: 100
What an amazing intro!!!!!!
I was so delighted reading it, and staring at your amazing pictures...

Keep on posting!!!
__________________
1990 Suzuki GS 500 E
2003 Suzuki GS 500
2004 Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom
2005 Yamaha XT 660 R
Hello from Spain!
betitou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-11-2013, 03:36 AM   #15
betitou
Thumperized!
 
betitou's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Spain
Oddometer: 100
BTW, thank YOU, thanks for sharing!
__________________
1990 Suzuki GS 500 E
2003 Suzuki GS 500
2004 Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom
2005 Yamaha XT 660 R
Hello from Spain!
betitou is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 09:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014