Motorcycling

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Motorcycling is for me what golf represents to others.  It’s a form or recreation, entertainment and endless adventures.  It’s a sport in which perfection is unachievable and proficiency is a lifetime pursuit.  It’s an opportunity for socialization, learning and a big dose of fresh air.  Like golfers, motorcyclists ride in all weather, obsess about their equipment and garments, and bore non-motorcyclists to tears.  And a place, just like golf, where business is done.  Physically, the closest analog is skiing.  In fact, it is a great way to cross-train between seasons.  The stories below supplement what you’ll find in my book.  The articles below that are excerpts from the books appendix and handy advice for anyone considering traveling by motorcycle.

Escape (or, why do people ride these crazy machines anyway?)

Escape: to get away (as by flight) from confinement; to avoid a threatening evil; to get free of; to get or stay out of the way of.

Ever thought about escaping?  I have.  But escaping from what, or more importantly, to what?  When I was a kid, I was fortunate to have a father who drummed into my head that running away from something leads you to nowhere – before you cut and run, figure out what to run toward.  Good advice.  Enjoy this essay about how I came to riding motorcycles and what it’s really like out there.

Liberation Itineraries

This is where you’ll find the details on the places to stay and dine described in my book, Liberation: searching for myself and the world around me on a motorcycle.  These are his and his wife’s favorite haunts in Spain, France, the Alps, Italy, Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, New Zealand and the United States.

Supplemental Stories

East of Eden

Read about Ed & Pat’s ride across California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee and into North Carolina in May 2008.  We’d been invited to ride motorcycles with some friends in North Carolina – let’s see, we can ship them there (after all, we rode across country last year) . . . or just ride them there.  What the heck, let’s ride again!

Swan Song

All good things eventually come to an end.  After eight wonderful years of riding in Europe,  Pat and Ed bid a fond farewell to their faithful Honda F4s.  Usually undeterred by bad weather, two weeks of steady rain in June 2008 (along with a Euro that had reached a value of $1.50) and it was time to explore some other parts of the world.

High Plains Drifting

In April and May, 2009, Ed and Pat embark once again to cross there great United States for their annual trek to the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.  Enough with Tornado Alley.  This time they head south across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

West by Northeast

In August and September, 2009, the intrepid duo (having left their faithful steeds in North Carolina for the summer) embark on a northern route back to California.  Other than being turned back out of the Northeast by hurricane Danny, Ed and Pat thoroughly enjoy a remarkably different route across this great country, traveling through West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada before reaching home in San Francisco.

India and Bhutan

In March of 2010, Pat persuaded Ed (who had sworn he’d never ride in a Third World Country) to join a group of motorcyclists traveling to India and Bhutan.  Find out why, and what it’s like to ride in the Himalayas on old school Enfield “Bullets.”

Go East Old Man

In May of 2013, I embarked on a 2,600 mile solo ride from Fayetteville Arkansas, where Pat and I now keep a couple of V-Stroms, to explore more of the Southeast.  This beautiful trip, meeting friends along the way, allowed me to experience some new parts of Missouri, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and, of course, Arkansas.

Notes on Riding

The following articles are from the Liberation Appendix and are intended to help you plan and equip your adventures, and to ride safely!

Logistics

Contains notes on planning your route, finding your way, selecting where to stay and information on tour companies you may wish to consider for your adventures.

What to Take

A complete checklist for the well equipped touring motorcyclist.

What to Ride

So many motorcycles, so little time.  Some thoughts on how to select the appropriate ride for you.  Also, some sources for motorcycle rentals.

Riding Clubs

Tired of riding alone?  Here are some thoughts about finding a group of compatible friends to share the road with.

Safety Tips

Advice for group rides.

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