2015 Solo Cross Country Motorcycle Trip

Herb in Driveway with Packed Honda ST-1100Herb in Driveway with Packed Honda ST-1100Ever since I first rode my brothers mini-bike at age 15, I have always had an attraction to motorized travel on 2 wheels. The dream of a cross-country motorcycle trip is one that most all motorcyclists feel, but the responsibilities of life served to repress this desire for over 45 years until the stars came into perfect alignment. Previous readers of this site will know that by 2013 we had already committed ourselves to moving west and had taken our final cross country journey in the Lazy Daze which was now in storage outside of San Francisco. By 2015 Lorry's 93 year old Mom had passed, and we had put our Upper Saddle River Home of 30 years up for sale.

Now, one of the many logistical questions of the move included how would the motorcycle get over to the west coast? I rejected commercial moving services since it was after all, a long distance touring bike, and what better a trip than one across the country. I had visions of the classic motorcycle routes such as Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway down the spine of the mountains in the east, cross the country on the classic Route 66, and back to San Francisco via 395 on the Eastern Sierras and through Yosemite National Park on 120. Something I thought would perfectly fill up 3 weeks of motorcycling nirvana. Lorry however did not particularly share my enthusiasm for a motorcycle trip of this duration. While she is a faithful and and competent motorcycle riding companion, she also had a high need for physical activity. The idea of 8 to 10 hours in the saddle each day with limited capability for exercise for 3 weeks was not viable for her.

So,,, for the first time in our 30 years of marriage we decided to take separate vacations. I would take about 3 weeks to cross the country on my bike, while she would fly west to Seattle to visit with Tommy for a week, Andrew for a week in San Francisco, and we would be reunited in the KOA at the conclusion of our respective vacations. Lorry has already conscientiously updated her trip on 2015 Seattle, San Francisco, and Sierra.

This trip report will be unique from all the other cross country road trips on this site in the following ways.

  • As it was a solo trip done by myself, "Herb", it will be my first time writing the hopefully compelling narrative that fills each page between the photos instead of Lolo's.
  • It was completed on my trusty 1996 Honda ST-1100 motorcycle instead of the 1999 Lazy Daze Motorhome or other 4 wheeled vehicle.
  • It is being written over two to four years after the trip actually took place.

I would not have even attempted documenting this without the benefit of the gpx track files that I created for each day of the journey. Using the phone app Strava, I recorded each days progress and watched as it "automagically uploaded" to the Stava servers. Now, two years later, I am able to download the gpx track files and import them into Google Earth where I can virtually relive my entire ride using the Flyby feature. It is uncanny how I can now sit in my den, and watch my virtual motorcycle ride cross the country complete with gas stops, lodging, lunch and pee breaks all dutifully recorded for my now 62 year old brain to process.

Now please join me as I channel my inner Steppenwolf to get about as wild as I get...

Get your motor runnin'
Head out on the highway
Lookin' for adventure
And whatever comes our way

You can download a detailed pdf Road Trip Travel Itinerary or zipped Microsoft Streets and Trips Travel Road Map file for this trip using the links shown below.