Motorcycling Coast to Coast - Twice

Motorcycling Adventure #1

22 days, 7,300 miles, Apr 2011

Ray Jardine

Day 1 2011-04-20Departure page 1 of 23


Blast from the past - from 1982. This is our sailboat that we took around the world, and our motorcycle that we used for 7 months while in Australia.

Fast forward to 2004, when Jenny and I pedaled a tandem bicycle across the country and back: We called the trip our "Hello America" ride, and along the way we met many people riding motorcycles on trips long and short. They were a friendly bunch and seemed to be having a whole lot of fun. And they were seeing much the same pretty scenery that we were.

Because of these people, we wrote in our journal that in another 10 years, we would like to ride much the same Hello America route by motorcycle.

In 2009 and 2110, I did three rigors solo trips, virtually back to back: Two thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail, and a cycling trip across the country. On the cycling trip, there again I met many friendly people riding motorcycles.

In 2011 I wanted to do another trip, but this time not as strenuous. It had to be challenging; I wanted to learn new skills; and most important, it had to be fun.

Thus, the 2011 Moto-America trip was born:

Day 1

2011 MA Day-01 Arizona City to Las Cruces - 414 mi.

All set to ride!

First stop: below Picket Post Mountain, near Thompson Arboretum SW of Superior.

Lunch stop at a dirt bike hill climbing area, just outside of Globe AZ. I normally stop here during my winter rides. It is a great place to sit down and rest in the shade. Usually at this point I turn South and head for home; but not today.

I met this interesting fellow here, the week previously; we talked for an half hour but didn't exchange names. He was touring to Florida and back on his big KLM.

During our 2004 Hello America bicycle tour, we found this hill a major workout. With more horsepower, it was a fun and twisty road.

Welcome to New Mexico

Wide open spaces (Soaptree Yucca).

The back wheel began to feel a little squirrelly, so I stopped to check things out. Soon an old, rather dilapidated pickup pulled up, and the guy leaned out the window and said: "Yeah, them BMW's need fixing every day. Need some help?"

"No, I'm just checking my tire pressure." I replied.

He looked like a HD motorcyclist, even though driving the truck, so I asked him "Ride a Harley, eh?"

"Nope, a Beemer." and we both laughed at that.

Back on the road with renewed confidence in my tires, I realized that the particular road surface was making the ride feel a little strange. And that is the purpose on this initial ride across the country, to get to know the bike and how it handles various conditions.

Emory Pass was the highlight of my day. The road is steep and twisty, the terrain is beautifully forested, and the traffic was very light. I'm carrying no luggage because Jenny is planning to meet me at days end, in her car, taking a shorter and faster route. We're headed for Carlsbad for a visit to the caverns.

At the last shred of daylight, we met at a campground in the Organ Mountain National Recreation Area, NE of Las Cruces, and found the campground closed. With no other camping options, it was back to Las Cruses for the night.

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