Bike Trip Round the Usa 2013

Dodging storm clouds

I guess a lot of seasoned bikers are familiar this skill but I had to develop olit completely from scratch and it was up to necessity rather than fancying myself taking on a skill I might not use ever again. During my few weeks biking in the US this June I got quite good at it. What it basically is that as a motorcyclist you try avoiding getting wet by avoiding rainy clouds as they intercept your route.

Avenue of the Giants

The name sounds like something from a children’s adventure book, perhaps depicting an overgrown legume, but this was an actually road-sign I saw in northern California that was inviting me to leave the route 101 and explore its mysteries. This is actually the name of a byway, a road that runs close to the Route 101 but is much MUCH nicer. The roads twists and rolls round enormous Redwood trees, which are really sequoia trees.

My biking retrospective

[caption id=“attachment_2693” align=“aligncenter” width=“1000”]End of the trip in Chicago, Illinois[/caption] Today marked the first week since I hit the road. It seems like ages since I departed Chicago and I must say the trip has given me the desired effect and changed my perspective on biking and bikers. Long I thought them to be criminal gang associated thugs. But the truth really is far faaar from that misconception. They are a really friendly bunch of people that will always help each-other in trouble.

The end of the road

Distance travelled: ~8,000 miles (just under 13,000 km) The 17 states that I had a chance to see: Illinois Milwaukee (briefly) Minessota (briefly) North Dakota South Dakota Wyoming Montana Idaho (briefly) Washington Oregon California Nevada Arizona Utah Colorado (briefly) Nebraska (briefly) Iowa (briefly) People met: loads Technical issues with the motorcycle: almost none, substantial oil addition in Utah at about 6.

Chicago

[caption id=“attachment_2639” align=“aligncenter” width=“1000”]Chicago river from Lower North Lakeshore drive[/caption] Drove from Morris, Illinois in the morning straight downtown. Although sometimes glitchy the built-in Android turn-by-turn satnav saved the day by giving me good verbal instructions to guide me to the Monaco hotel where I stayed until my flight on Tuesday. Left most of the luggage there and then drove to the Eaglerider shop at the Chicago, Countryside Harley-Davidson branch. Very thrilling ride but not that difficult.

The quick run towards Chicago

After completing my wish of seeing the Grand Canyon I realized I need to start towards Chicago. The day before sort of already was a travel east but it was more south-east than northeast which it should have been. I started from the Colorado town of Grand Junction. The previous day travel was not pleasant at all. More like excruciatingly hot. It felt like I was in a stove and the air just kept getting hotter and there was no way of getting out.

Grand Canyon

And this was the penultimate final destination on my trip. Amaaaazing and truly awe inspiring. Those who have seen it probably know what I mean. Just the size of the whole landscape really gets you. I was really on my way to Chicago but after sleeping on my thoughts when I was in St. George in Utah I decided to give it a go. I was going to go to the horseshoe but the local road was closed for roadworks.

Death Valley, Las Vegas and the Hoover dam - 4 states in one day

Decided to give it a go and hope it doesn’t bite me in the backside if I turn out to be late for my bike drop-off on Saturday I. Chicago. I decided I really wanted to see at least some of Grand Canyon and I went for it. From Bishop in California I headed southeast towards Las Vegas by crossing the “infamous” Death Valley. In fact its not that scary and there is even a small basic petrol station and motel there.

San Francisco and the Yosemite national park

[caption id=“attachment_2550” align=“alignnone” width=“600”]Yosemite[/caption] I put these two together as I visited them on the same day. They are only about 4 hours drive from each other. I started the day in Santa Rosa and headed down highway 101 that leads into San Francisco over the Golden Gate bridge. The bridge always used to be a toll one as I recall but now they have a silly electronic system where your plate is scanned and then your account gets charged.

Oregon

Not one of the very impressive days on my trip. The weather precipitation radar was showing quite a lot of scattered activity in the whole northwestern quarter of Oregon. I did have a little wish to see Mount St. Helens where that big eruption happened in 1980. This would actually take me northeast to my then position in Vancouver (yes, there is one in the state of Washington. So this plan was scrapped.