The World by Motorcycle
THE WAY I SEE IT
I live in a fairly small city of about 90,000 folks, Bellingham, WA; it’s about 18 miles south of the US/Canadian border. Vancouver, BC is about 50 miles north and Seattle is about 90 miles south. Perfect.
I moved here in 1990 after a five-year stint in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was a very long five years but most of it was a lot of fun. We rode motorcycles every Saturday morning, waking up chickens, pigs and goats along the way. We dived the ocean waters and ate our fill of seafood. We traveled throughout the Caribbean and I frequently worked in the US Virgin Islands. We started our family there. More often than not, it was hot and humid and I remember seeing my daughters waiting for me to get out of my car – took a while to leave the air conditioning. After serving for five years, I was able to choose my next assignment and I chose Bellingham. I had visited when I was 17 on my first longer road trip from Las Vegas to Vancouver, BC. I knew then I wanted to live in the Pacific Northwest and drive a jeep. I did both. I retired after 25 years having worked with some of the best men and women in our government. I then worked part-time at Microsoft for about five years. I had the pleasure of working with brilliant folks who taught me quite a bit – or as much as I could consume.
Now, I have retired and travel as much as I possibly can – most of it by motorcycle. Just as I’m sure you do, I love being on a bike. I love the freedom, the excitement, the camaraderie and the bit of danger watching the earth go by at 75 mph just inches from my boots. I love stopping at a hotel at the end of the day and will always try to pick up some conversation with fellow travelers I meet while at a restaurant, brewery, rest stop or just out for a walk to stretch my legs.
The Pacific Northwest is terrific for riding motorcycles. Miles of terrific scenery in the twisty North Cascades to the east, the Olympic National Park and the Olympic peninsula to the west, Skagit flats and rivers to the south and outstanding riding in the BC region to the north. I have ridden all over this area and much of Oregon and California. Having lived in Las Vegas, I rode much of the Southwest on a cruiser and now ride a Honda Goldwing as well. It is comfortable for my 60+ year old butt. I love long rides here in the US as well as abroad and spend much of my time out of the saddle planning on how to get back on. I have traveled across the US several times and am really looking forward to sharing those rides and other road trips. I’ll tell you how I pick my routes, how I find a bike/guide and how I try and save some money along the way. Not only is riding the best mode of travel but riding takes you to some wonderful places, puts wonderful plates of food and drink in front of you and puts you in touch with some folks you wouldn’t otherwise meet. That’s fantastic
I am not the best rider nor the worst but what I am is tenacious. I haven’t gone around the world on a bike..yet. There are better riders and a host of excellent people that I follow and I do what they tell me to do. I watch MotoJitsu and practice what he suggests. I watch Jerry Palladino at Ride Like a Pro, Yammie Noob for the riding tips and comedy and always watch FortNine because the kid is wicked smart. I read a ton. I read magazines, books, websites and watch my share of YouTube videos. I come away inspired by new places to visit, new places to ride and always some tips or advice on how to travel better, ride smarter and safer, and just how to be a better man.
I love to travel and explore; mostly by bike but also road trips by car. If you’re reading this, I gotta feeling you do too. So, enough talk – let’s throw a leg over the bike, kickstands up and ride.