This editorial type content can seem self centered to me and I must admit sometimes I'm bashful talking about my coast to coast antics, but the facts are I want to inspire others to take the epic journey and ride coast to coast. Its a cathartic action every time you ride from sea to shining sea and even if you can only do it once in your life, you should! I just did 75 days on the road but it can be comfortably done in 10 days on a shoe string budget... you just have to make up your mind to do it. The seat time and the movement through space and time on a motorcycle has a healing property that's hard to describe. It's one of them things you just have to do to fully understand.
I was on the fence about what bike to take this time, having done it last year on a 10 foot long kick only chopper (The Cheesy Banana)
I was back an forth about riding my mostly stock DYNA (aka The Dirt Glide) After talking with Walter from Kick Start Cycle I decided to take my more practical sled heeding his words "you ain't got shit to prove bro, take the push button"! So I packed up the Dirt Glide and road from Columbus to NYC for the departure party. I wanted the full monty, a classic NYC to LA ride, arriving in LA in time for the El Diablo Run. With plans to disappear into the chopper underground and visit the Redwoods in the 30 days between the EDR and Born Free. The plan worked flawlessly and I made a ton of friends along the way.
As is customary for me the trip was not with out mechanical mishap. I sheered my rear sprocket right off the hub in PA and about 50 miles into the EDR after riding 3000 miles to get there the electronic control module on the Dirt Glide shit the bed and its not something you can fix on the side of the road. So much for my thoughts that the push button would be more reliable... ... I was disappointed but quickly decided I would do the run in a chase truck. I didn't want to hold anyone up with the bike in tow at the boarder so rather than hog up trailer space I stashed the bike in a storage unit. A little bummed out I hitched a ride in a purple 1970 Ford Econoline chase Van.
Making fast friends with its owner Elton who was riding his XS650 while his bro Vaugh Solo was handling the van driving duties. The van had ERD 2013 and "Bike & Human repairs" written on the sides and as it turned out it was an awesome way to do the EDR. We helped stranded dudes with gas or tools and handed out cold beers all the while high on gas fumes from the open fuel containers in the back of the truck. Our little group grew as two of the Greasy Dozen Builders Shane an Dusty from The Chopping Block linked up with me in San Felipe. The trip progressed and we became affectionately known as "The Purple Van Pirates"
After the EDR I was back on the road in a day with help from Shane and Dusty to retrieve the bike from its desert storage spot. From there I partied with "Red Solo Cup" Sean and Rob in Long Beach and rode up the PCH to see the Redwoods.
Spending 10 full days alone in the woods writing and contemplating life, before heading back down the coast to party like rockstars at Born Free 5 and meet Dale who road in from Ohio to do the ride back with me. After Born Free we partied for a few more days in Long Beach. I rode straight shot 2600 miles in 2.5 days to the Low Brow Get Down for the closing chapter of this epic journey. I even managed to fit in a stop at Pinned on my way to Cali, Hell On Wheels in-between the EDR and Born Free and AMA Vintage Days at Mid Ohio to reunite with old friends. It was not easy to hit this many events but it was worth every skinned knuckle and back ache. I think I'm officially addicted to long distance riding and grassroots events.
I could write volumes about this trip, instead I think I will let the pictures do the talking and take this opportunity to throw some appreciation out.
I want to thank Elisa and Bobby from Indian Larry Motorcycles and Walter from Kick Start Cycle Supply for throwing the departure party so I could ride NYC to LA this time around. Along the way there are far too many people to thank but I'll try... Curtis for putting us up in NYC, my old buddy Loic for riding in from Montreal to see me off and insisting that I see a Mets game before leaving, Tim from OBB for doing the Columbus leg and keeping things running smooth with orders while I was on the road, Matt from Brass Balls Cycles for fixing my sheered sprocket in PA, Bill, McGoo and Mike D. at Biltwell for having Old Bike Barn as a sponsor on the EDR and being all round classy dudes. David and Sean at Burly Brand for lunch, parts, a place to work, and gabbing into the night. My friends at progressive for the free shocks and instal on the Dirt Glide, Sean and Greg from 710 Speed Shop for putting me up and keeping it interesting. Mike 47 for a warm welcome an laughs on the first night of the EDR, Heavy Jeff and Dump Truck for the night of debauchery that ensued in Murrieta. Paul Cavallo from Spitfire Motorcycles for a great steak dinner and graciously donating a new girder for the Cheesy Banana rebuild. Aarron for putting me up after Hell On Wheel and Johnny from Asphalt Squadron for a killer welcome to Cali BBQ. Louis Soto for a kick ass Greasy Dozen party in Riverside, Dave and Jen at Cerberus Motorcycles in San Diego for tire installs, bitching food, and a night of punk rock rowdiness bringing us out to see and actually meet Punk Rock legend Billy Bones from the Skulls. Cody Adams from Hot Rod rubber for entertaining us all by the fire at BF5. Kyle and Tyler at Lowbrow Customs for a sweet party and that custom painted bottle of rum. Marc for riding company on the way down and my bro Dale for being great company on the road home, momma Bear for coping with her worries and all my family for understanding my wondering soul, my brother Billy for holding down the fort at OBB, my lady Little C, and her folks Pat and Tom for their support.
Last but not least all the kind folks that gave me a place to sleep or a hot meal and cold beverage. I believe if you have faith in the road things tend work out.
Get on your bike and use it for its intended purpose! Even if you can only do a few days... get a road trip in this season you won't regret it.
The time to ride is now.