How it began: “Some of us are riding to Montana for the national BMW rally in great falls. Of course, you’re welcome to come along if you want.” Hmmm. I’ve never been to Montana. In fact, there’s a small block of states in that area that I’ve never been to. Check with the wife. It would mean me being gone for a couple of weeks and no long bike trip for us this summer. “You have to go!” She seems just a little too enthusiastic about being rid of me for a while. I could almost have my feelings hurt. However, I may do a lot of stupid things, but I’m really not a stupid person (quiet in the back!). I take that hall pass and run. Only one more hurdle to clear. Departure is on a Sunday morning in five weeks. That weekend I’m playing golf in Alabama with my sons and son-in-law. Are they good if we play Friday and Saturday, but not Sunday? It will be Father’s Day and they want to be home with their kids. Perfect. I’m in! My bike is a ’20 Harley Road King I bought new last year as a birthday present to myself. It’s sitting at a little over 14,000 miles. Tires, especially the rear, are good for maybe 2-3000 more. Trip will be about 4-5,000. Take a few day rides and get it up to about 14,500. Get the 15,000-mile service done and a new set of tires. No need to worry about it on the road. By the time I leave for the golf trip the bike is packed and ready. I’ll get home from Alabama Saturday night and hit the road 6:00am Sunday morning. Easy. As we’ll say many times on this trip, timing is everything. It's been a stressful last couple of weeks. Getting ready for the golf trip, the bike trip, and being gone from home for two weeks and work for almost three. I need a rest from all the preparation. Hopefully day 1 will be an easy day. Yeah, right. An Harley.