10,000 Mile Ride Around North America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by flanga, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. DrBump

    DrBump Adventurer

    Aug 2, 2006
    Great Ride Report... thanks for sharing.

    I had parked my Goldwing once outside the Motel room on new asphalt with the centerstand. The next morning it was on it's side with both wheels off the pavement... it had tipped over on the right side opposite the centerstand foot lever. Since then, if the ground appears soft, I use the sidestand with a plate.

  2. Iceman68

    Iceman68 Tank Slapper

    Jan 30, 2008
    Punxsutawney PA
    Followed this from the start. Glad to have witnessed it and I envy you in more ways than one. :D

    Thanks for everything, and glad you made it back in 1 piece.

    Oh, and lighten up on the Hog riders out there...

  3. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Sep 20, 2006
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
  4. Northstar Beemer

    Northstar Beemer Face Plant

    Oct 16, 2007
    Frozen Prairies USA
    But this is real life, not TV.

    I look forward to your closing notes and thoughts. Well done start to finish.:clap :clap :clap
  5. GTI Giant

    GTI Giant no tengo dinero

    Mar 26, 2008
    Lurked through this thread for about a week. Love the writing and photo montages. You rode it appears right past where I grew up (Wendell, ID) along the Snake River. Lovely roads to ride out there if you know where they are.
  6. Wanderlusty

    Wanderlusty Former Fat_Man

    Nov 5, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    Thats a strange thing to say. It's a ride report. It ends how it ends. What were you hoping for?
  7. BCBackRoads

    BCBackRoads Travels with Gumby

    Mar 22, 2008
    Kelowna, BC
    Great ride report Fred. I've been lurking around and folllowing this one for a while. I love your story telling and the interesting links and information. Your photography is excellent considering most of the pictures were taken from a moving bike.

    I drove out to Calgary over the Easter weekend (cage) and it was kind of wierd to see your pictures of the Revelstoke to Calgary segment posted the next day. Sorta Deja Vu.

    Anyway, thanks for the great stories. Hope everything works out in your home life.

  8. 20scout

    20scout Been here awhile

    Jul 9, 2007
    The (ex)wife had a change of heart after winning the lottery and is back home waiting to make amends.......or you found out that wile you wher on the road, you had won the lottery yourself and your financial advisor suggested that you go on a trip untill things settle down abit......:D

    Just kidding.....happy you made it home after all thoes miles with no major mis-haps or problems. As so many have said before, what a fantastic RR and thankyou for sharing it with us. Please by all means, feel free to let us know how your next run goes!!:clap
  9. Ledge End Hairy

    Ledge End Hairy Lost in Space

    Oct 21, 2007
    NYC Metro (CT)
    To me words cannot adequately describe the quality of this RR, but I will try , inspiring, humbling, full, epic, delicious, genuine!

    I have followed your RR in it's entirety and even got my wife interested in reading it. :evil You have also inadvertently helped me in planning my own two week trip from SoCal through the Southwest this summer, thank you.

    Cheers and thank you, Flanga!

    Vaya con dios!
  10. flanga

    flanga Delusions of Adequacy

    Sep 19, 2005
    New Hampsha
    It felt good to enter familiar territory as I rolled in from Canada. New England has a character all its own, not least in part from the ancient mountains there: The Appalachians were once as mighty as the Himalayas, but half a billion years of wind and water have smoothed the edges and worn the tops so that mostly all that's left are the rounded stumps of once-massive peaks. It's a stark contrast to the still-jagged aspects of the Rockies, which are relative babies geologically speaking; a full order of magnitude younger than the Appalachians.

    Of course, it's also home to me, and that counts for a lot. And I admit it: The lure of a familiar bed, a long shower, and something other than riding clothes was part of the immediate appeal.

    When I got home, I pondered some stats:
    • Numbers: one month, two countries, 17 States, 5 Provinces, 10,355 miles (16,665 km) total.
    • Damage: Two scratched saddlebags; two broken air deflectors; one lost Camelback hydration pack (it was full of water when it fell off the bike, but I have no idea where); one lost mousepad; one broken fannypack buckle; several bent tent stakes; one malfunctioning camera (I dropped it: d'oh); one somewhat sore behind.
    • Temp extremes: 38F (3C) camping high in the Colorado mountains; 108F (42C) at a Saskatchewan rest stop.
    • Bugs splatted on the front of my motorcycle: Um, a lot.
    • Elevation extremes: Sea level at several locations; to 14,258 feet (4,354 m) atop Mt Evans in Colorado.
    • Number of days with no riding during the month: One.
    • Body weight lost: 12 lbs (5.5 kg)
    • Number of photos and video clips I came back with: 5,725 (really!)
    • Number of voices in my head: Varied, but most of them were nice.
    • Lowest unintentional speed: 0, twice, for hours; due to taking the Goldwing places it wasn't designed to go and getting thoroughly stuck.
    • Highest intentional speed: Well, let's just say that some of those long, empty, straight-to-the-horizon roads out West can be quite interesting.
    • Scariest moments: Unplanned eye to eye with a wild bison, close enough to smell it; flirting with heat stroke during an unplanned stop [ok, I was stuck and digging the bike out in full sun and high heat] on a remote dirt road along the Snake River in Idaho.
    • Most thrilling moments: Tenting in a primitive campground atop a mesa in the Utah deep desert; crossing the Continental Divide numerous times and seeing all the varied mountain scenery that suggests; having a visceral sense of the size and nature of my home continent from having ridden across it, rather than just seeing it on a map or from a plane, or reading about it in books.
    • Biggest positive surprise: How nice people were, everywhere.
    • Biggest negative surprise: Lodging and gas a lot cost more than I planned.
    • Pulling it all off and arriving home intact: Priceless.
    In retrospect, I'm doubly glad I took the trip, not just for the adventure itself but because it was a very bright spot in an otherwise bleak time. The long ride was good for my soul and my sanity.

    Well, my soul, anyway. <G>

    Here, as promised, is the video of the final leg:

    high-res (recommended):

    medium res:


    It's been fun reliving the trip through this RR, and I've enjoyed sharing it with you and have enjoyed all your comments. In fact, as I pulled together this RR, it felt like I had a lot good company along for the ride. Thank you for that.


    (PS: If you ever hear someone say "...a Goldwing isn't an adventure bike..." kindly flip them the bird for me, and show them this thread. :thumb )
  11. wully

    wully Not long now...

    Jun 10, 2007
    Scotland, just north of Englandshire
    Thank you for sharing this with us- it's been a great read.
  12. BikerGeek99

    BikerGeek99 Horizon Chaser

    Mar 12, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Very nicely done, Fred. Very well-written, entertaining and informative.

    Keep the rubber side down,
  13. Timmer

    Timmer Curious Adventurer

    Oct 14, 2006
    Burien, WA
    Very nicely written and photographed. :clap:clap
  14. McNeal

    McNeal Long timer

    Dec 4, 2005
    Now that you've ridden up Mt. Evans there's something that you might appreciate even more. Each summer Mt. Evans is host to a bicycle race up that sucker. They start at the entrance were the fees are collected and race to the top. A friend of mine has done it several times and has spoken of leaving the base in the morning with the sun shining only to end up with it snowing at the end. It's a brutal race.
  15. AK Bear

    AK Bear Long timer

    Feb 22, 2003
    What happened to the rest of your life when your got home? For me that's been a great part of your travels, wondering what life had in store when you arrived home. Hope things worked out for you. Bear
  16. Drybones

    Drybones Fish bones are on my truck seat cover, too

    Feb 3, 2007
    Oro Valley, AZ near 77
    This was a typical example of the excellent photograph commentary in your fine report...I am not very well read and have never even heard of Ursula Le Guin. A little googling around and I found out what an interesting writer she is. Her thoughts on writing:

    "A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper."

    Fred, thanks for caring about your writing...we are fortunate that you have put forth the effort to share your adventure with us. I for one feel like I have authentic sense of what you saw and felt. :clap

    "I love the rocks in this next photo. A writer--- I think it was Ursula Le Guin--- once described rocks as "the slow poetry of the Earth itself," or words very similar to that. I think this photo captures what she meant."

  17. Mileater

    Mileater Been here awhile

    Nov 29, 2007
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Fred, we all knew that the ride (and RR) would end sometime, but I sort of hoped that it would continue on for a few more days yet!:cry

    I could happily read reports of this quality all day long and I will be re-reading this one, just because it was so good.:clap:freaky

    Thanks for all the effort you put into this and I hope that you will grace us with another, soon.:ear

  18. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer Super Supporter

    Nov 19, 2005
    right here on my thermarest
    This story reminds me of Ms. Chiff's six-week journey on her 250...a great wandering north american exploration. This is my favorite thing. Thank you for the ride report, you've fanned the flames of my wanderlust.
  19. Rhyolite

    Rhyolite Been here awhile

    Oct 31, 2005
    Missouri Ozarks
    Thanks for your fine efforts here, Fred. This RR has been a fine read and a great adventure to share for us all. :clap :clap :clap
  20. jeckyll

    jeckyll Kneedragger

    Jan 20, 2007
    Really enjoyed reading this. It coming to an end is almost like coming to the end of a good book, you knew the pages weren't going to last forever, but you wouldn't mind reading just a bit more.