Two wheels and a motor ... or mobile life

Peggy's Point Lighthouse
Peggy's Cove NS

In August 2022, we completed a motorcycle ride around the perimeter of the USA and Canada. The trip included many roads, museums and destinations that have been on my “motorcycle must do” list for many years. In particular,

  1. I’ve always wanted to ride to Key West (so we did),
  2. Three states had been missing from my "ridden there" list—Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana (not any more),
  3. Debbie has never been to the Americade motorcycle rally (been there, done that),
  4. and I wanted to return to the Canadian Maritime since visiting on my Suzuki 750 in the mid-1980s (did, better than ever).

The trip statistics:

  • 17,656 miles / 28,414 kilometers (16,982 route miles excluding local travel)
  • 130 nights on the road, mostly in hotels
  • 23 US States and 9 Canadian Provinces visited

I have often wondered if there was any fact-based evidence that light colors and/or high visibility clothing on motorcyclists had any impact on safety. Well now I found some evidence. A 2004 study1 (data collected between Feb 1993 and Feb 1996) conducted in Auckland New Zealand by researchers from the University of Auckland and funded by Health Research Council of New Zealand and the Accident Rehabilitation and Compensation Insurance Corporation produced some meaningful results.

Russell's friend (Oatman AZ)

With the continuing COVID travel restrictions still in place, we set off on another social distancing USA motorcycle tour. This time a late March visit to Arizona on the, new to us, Kawasaki Versys 1000LT.

This turned out to be, on average, the coldest that I've ever experienced in southern Arizona. But, as you've no doubt heard, there is no "too cold", only poor choices in clothing, which we do not make. Enjoyed the trip.

See pictures here.

And the route map here.

Hotel Seven Crown Centro in La Paz

Another moto trip to Baja. This time the focus was on La Paz, where we spent five days enjoying the city and exploring.

We traveled on the Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT as a last second selection. Our Triumph Tiger 800 XC was carefully prepared and packed in the week leading up to the trip only to find, much to our surprise, the counter-shaft sprocket nut gone when we climbed on to leave. No idea how this happened. But, no time to fix. About 30 minutes later we re-packed onto the Versys and were off. One of the benefits of multiple bikes in the garage!

Ready to Ride

I was hoping that we would tour PEI and Nova Scotia by motorcycle in the summer of 2021 but COVID interfered. No entry was possible into Canada. So instead, we road to the New England states to visit family and stopped at many museums along the way.

Our initial target was Great Falls Montana to attend the BMW MOA Rally—an annual national event we've been to many times in the past. In the days leading up to the trip, we spent more than our typical time preparing and packing. There is a lot to consider when packing two people into the limited space on a motorcycle for a nearly two month long trip. When launch day finally arrived, we were up early in the cool morning twilight, quickly dressed for cool riding, rolled out the already loaded bike and hit the starter ... to hear a click and nothing more. Dead battery! Hard to understand why but there was no doubt. The battery had so little voltage that the lights would only illuminate dimly and the instruments computer(s) would not initialize.