The first of many shared adventures and tales of Open Road Travel; Brutus from ScooterTrippin.com has joined our favored group of guest contributors to give you even more of what you love the most.
I recently received a frantic call from a friend who begged me to get to his house as fast as I could. “Its here. They just delivered it.” I knew what he was talking about. His vivid black, 2013 shark nose had finally been delivered by the dealer. Being just as eager as anyone to gawk at a new Harley, I rushed over to poke at it.
The Road Glide was pristine. The chrome gleamed like a million stars piercing a midnight sky; the paint was flawless. It even smelled new. Everything about it screamed “Look at me, I’m new!” And then I saw it. I couldn’t believe my eyes but there it was right out in front of God and everybody. I just stood there slack jawed; amazed; bewildered.
Tim: (Oh yeah, the name has been changed to protect the silly.)
Tim: “What? What’s wrong?”
Me: “You’re shittin’ me, right?”
Tim: “What are you talkin’ about?”
Me: “Is that a freakin’ GPS on your bike?”
Me: “OH MY GOD! A clock? You put a clock on your scooter?”
I’ll admit it, I was dumbfounded. The Road Glide is a bike built for travel, exploration, experiencing the open road, freedom, the joys of the nomadic lifestyle. When I think of owning and riding a touring bike like that I have visions of the rebel, the gypsy, the outlaw, of Peter Fonda, of James Dean.
Now, don’t mistake me for someone who is reckless or silly. I don’t hop on the scooter one sunny morning and start roaming hither and yon with no idea of where I’m going. I do have a process.
Once I decide what general direction I want to ride tomorrow, I will use a map or even a smart phone to get some idea of the roads heading in that direction. Yes, I do carry a phone in case an emergency arises. Discretion is, after all, the better part of valor. Somebody famous said that I think. Anyway, I immediately exclude all Interstates and as many US Highways as possible, unless they are a historic or scenic route such as Route 66. I try to get some idea of the smallest local highways and roads that run in the direction I want to go. I look for small towns, communities or other landmarks I might pass.
I have to admit here and now that, while I can’t memorize an entire route like this, I do have a great memory. As I ride along I will see signs for a road or highway and know roughly where it goes. While I may not know exactly where the road ends up I will remember whether or not it will hit another road I might use to further my trip.
Come morning I drop my phone in the saddlebag, I put my butt in the saddle and roll the throttle back. Do I get lost? Absolutely I do, but that’s the beautiful part of the journey. Some of the most amazing places I’ve ever been I arrived at while lost. Some of the coolest people I’ve ever met I met when I stopped to ask for directions.
Traveling on a motorcycle isn’t about the ride. It isn’t about the trip. It isn’t even about the destination. It’s about the journey, the experience and the memories you will carry with you for the rest of your days. So get on your scooter, get lost, have a blast, but most of all, live a life full of excitement and wonder…or wander.