Motorcycle Trip 2014 – Calgary to San Francisco – Summary

Total Number of Day for Trip: 20 days
Total Number of Days Riding: 13 days
Total Distance Traveled by Motorcycle: 4749.2 miles / 7643.1 kilometres (most distance in least number of days) – an average of 587 per day
Warmest Temp: 43 in Death Valley – smoking hot!
Lowest Temp: 6 Whitefish, MT – yikes! Even with proper gear you freeze the family jewels
Best Hotel: McMenamin’s – Old Francis – I’m going to have to do a tour of Washington and Oregon and stay in all of the hotels – they are awesome! (Close second to Maverick Hotel in Klamath Falls – best customer service/value)
Worst Hotel: Motel 6 – Fort Bragg – drunken debauchery, monster trucks, mega stereos and white trash pretty much seal the deal that I’ll never stay in Fort Bragg again.
Best Food: Prawn Linguine (McMenamin’s) or the Pesto and Seafood pasta at the Sand Dollar (Stinson Beach)
Best Beer: Double IPA (Mcmenamin’s) / Close second to Lagunitas IPA and Klamath Falls Notch Eight IPA
Favorite Road(s): Most roads on the trip (other than those stinkin’ soul-sucking freeways) – the #1 from Mill Valley to Stinson, #1 Cleone to Leggett, and Highway 36/3 in California are my faves that I’d ride all the way down there to do them again. Really liked FR39 from Hells Canyon to Joseph in Oregon – secluded, great view of the Canyon, great twistiness if you are heading North it’s the last half of the route. Auf der Heide and McKenzie Pass (242) in Oregon are not to be missed.
Least Favorite Roads: Lolo Pass #12 (long, windy and boring – IMHO), Mattole Road for road quality (but an A+ for scenery)

What I learned about myself: The older I get the less concerned I am about shredding pavement. I’ve enjoyed riding with others but the pushing your bike to the limits on public roads thing just doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve realized that I’ve continued to improve as a rider with each trip but that I really enjoy the touring and traveling aspect of the rides much more than the macho bullshit that happens with most group rides. I’ve found that with my health and age my limits for distance are becoming more reasonable and unless I bought are real tourer like a Goldwing of KLT BMW the best riding days seem to be about 300-500 kilometres.

For future trips (and I’ve said this before) I’d like to do some home base riding where you stay in the same hotel/place for 3-4 days and do local rides from there. California has so many great places to stay and an abundance of great places to see/ride that if I could find like-minded riding companions I think this would eliminate some of the fatigue of traveling from destination road to destination road.

I also feel proud of myself for following through on this journey in spite of how ridiculously shitty I feel most of the time healthwise. Three years of constant pain and low energy will not stop me from enjoying myself and my life. I will not relent and give in and will keep fighting it and hopefully find a solution so that I can feel ‘normal’ again – although in most aspects I don’t think I have been ‘normal’ most of my life. 😉 I said to a friend on Facebook who is also having health issues and recently started riding again – I hurt when I don’t ride, I hurt when I ride. So if I’m going to hurt all the time anyway – might as well ride.

Lastly, I sincerely hope that David my riding buddy from last year and a few others can join me on my next trek (wherever that may be) because it’s nice to have someone to share things with and relate to when you see something awesome of have a life-changing experience. I haven’t had a lot of luck in finding grownups that want to savour the moment and enjoy the process of travel rather than racing through it, but I’m still hopeful. I really enjoyed our vacation time as a family in Stinson Beach. Even for my two year-old son this has been a trip that has created memorable experiences even though he is only gaining the capacity for long-term memory. I’ve always felt an affinity for the ocean and nature, something that my parents instilled in me as a child, and I’m grateful for any opportunity to enjoy nature in whatever capacity I can.

Now, where do I go next year….