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@strick avatar
UTC

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2021 Ducati Multistrada 950S
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@strick avatar
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UTC quote
Hello!

Recently I rode my motorcycle on Route 50 from Maryland to Sacramento, CA. I got the idea from MV member Treppenwitz as he did this ride when he turned 50. I mentioned Trepps trip to my wife calling it "50 at 50" and she told me to go for it. Once I had her blessing (happy wife, happy life!) it was time to plan.

I started planning a year out from my tentative leave date. First thing I did was call my best friend D and ask him to come along. He is turning 50 this year too. He was in immediately. We planned 300 mile days give or take with time built in to see National Parks and to ride some great roads in Colorado and Southern Utah.

After leaving Maryland and heading out on Route 50, I met up with D in Kansas City MO and we continued on 50 with a small detour in Colorado to ride some awesome roads then back onto Route 50. Once we got to Sacramento we rode down the Pacific Coast Highway to San Diego then back east through Arizona, Utah, Colorado and then Route 70 back to MD.

My longest motorcycle trip was 7 days. So 3 weeks was a little daunting at first but with proper planning everything worked out in the end.

In no particular order:

Let someone, loved one or friends/family, know your riding destination for the day. I would send my wife a text when we stopped for lunch or gas. I also put up posts on Instagram to let family and friends know I'm OK and to share the experience.

Sunscreen. Bring it, use it. I got a ridiculous tan on my nose and cheeks from my sunglasses and helmet riding into the sun.

Clothing and laundry. Merino wool. Keeps you cool in the heat and warm in the cold. It does not stink easily and I could wash it in the hotel sink and hang dry. I brought 4 pairs of exofficio underwear - wear a pair, get to hotel, wash in sink, hang dry and throw on another pair in the morning. Repeat. My T-shirts were WoolX merino wool. Two shirts. Wear one Mon, wear the second Tues, first one again on Wed etc. I could get about three days of wear before they started to smell. Wash shirts in sink lay flat to dry. They dry overnight. Same with the socks 4 pair wash every few days. Worked great for me.

We stayed in Hotels on this trip. Hotel/Motel ranged from $40-$90 a night. Most places had breakfast included, so no separate stops for breakfast.

For lunch we stopped at Subway. Safe food, safe travels. Did not want an intestinal disturbance on the road. Dinners were whatever restaurant was closest to our hotel for the night. We ate a lot of Mexican food for dinner.

I have a 2nd Gen Ipod Shuffle with Shure 215 earbuds that I use for tunes on the road. That little shuffle has been with me through heatwaves and monsoons and it will not give up. It has a terrific battery life and I can clip it to my jacket.

Wave to fellow motorcyclists and children in cars. Kids laugh and wave back and then Mom or Dad in the car will usually wave too!

Accept the kindness of strangers. I had some chain issues in Kansas and we stopped in front of the only house with shade and the owners Jerry and Denise came out and asked if they could help. They gave us waters and when we were about to leave Jerry says we cant leave his wife is making us tostadas. They were delicious! They were very kind people who didn't have much but freely shared what they had with us.

Carry basic tools, a jump starter and a tire plug kit.

Motorcycle shops will move you to the head of the line if you are on a road trip. Thank you to Apex Sports in Colorado Springs for getting me a new chain and back on the road within an hour.

Invest in a Parks Pass if you plan on stopping at National Parks. Cost $80 annually. We visited 9 National Parks on this trip. The pass more than paid for itself. Most parks cost $30 for a motorcycle.

Hard wire your GPS/Phone. My Garmin is not hard wired to the bike and when the batteries died I had to find a safe place to pull over and change the batteries. I now have my bike set up so I can plug in my phone and use google maps. Much easier. When it rains I can use my weatherproof garmin gps.

People will talk to you at gas stations and lunch stops. Take the time (if you have it) to talk to them. A lot of people want to hear your story or tell you their story. Where you from and where you headed was a popular topic among motorcyclists.

Watch your speed in small towns. There were a lot of speed traps in smaller towns.

I had a GoPro mount on my helmet but it broke in California. I missed a lot of good footage from the Pacific Coast Highway. Bring an extra mount if you plan on filming your travels.

We ended up riding around 300 miles most days with a few 500 mile days in the mix. All in all I rode 7247.4 total miles round trip in 3 weeks.

Most importantly. Have fun!

Thanks!



Edit to add photo link:

https://www.flickr.com/gp/rpstrickland/iEL17p
⚠️ Last edited by Strick on UTC; edited 2 times
@rrider avatar
UTC

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@rrider avatar
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UTC quote
Thanks for the inspiring post, sounds like you had fun!

About the clothes - merino wool is great, mayby the best indeed. For warm weather riding I've also used thin, synthetic sports wear ment for running: breaths (the good ones) and is super, super fast to dry after washing. Requires quite good fit thought to be comfortable.
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@fledermaus avatar
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UTC quote
Great info.....and belated happy 50th!
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Grumpy Biker
1980 Vespa P200e (sold), 2002 Vespa ET4 (sold), 1949 Harley-Davidson FL
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UTC quote
Sounds like an AWESOME adventure! I've ridden most of US 50 over the years, but never in one contiguous journey. Long leisurely motorcycle rides are my favorite way to burn a few weeks. I've done many 2-week long trips and 2 6-week long trips. The longer trips are packed with memories.

You did a great job of capturing many of the important aspects. When you head off on a long trip, it's easy to over pack because you will be gone for so long. I like your suggestions for rotating through the cloths. I personally opt for taking more tools and less changes of cloths making a system of rotation very important Laughing emoticon

The people you meet on the road are amazing! On my last 6-week journey I encountered an electrical problem as a gas station in a little town in Arkansas. I pushed the bike away from the pump into a shady spot and unpacked a few tools. Within 5 minutes a guy stopped and asked me if I needed anything. I hadn't packed a basic multi-meter and told him if he had one of those it would sure be helpful at tracking down my wiring short. He jumped in his truck and was back within 10 minutes with a multi-meter. I found the short to be in the kill switch which I quickly by-passed and I was on my way with a total delay of only about 30 minutes. In general, people have good hearts and they want to help when they can.

Throw up a link to your photos if you're sharing them. I'd love get the visual experience!

-Craig
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Hooked
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UTC quote
+1 on the pics
Sounds awesome. Definitely post pics!
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
That is a great "teaser" - hope you will post some photos and write a bit about some of your stops.
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UTC quote
Sounds like so much fun. I wish I had the time to do an adventure like that. Good for you. Thank you for sharing and happy belated birthday.
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UTC quote
I've done several multi week trips and agree with one change. I can't wear wool next to my skin so I wear either heat or cool gear designed for backpacking.

I will add bring some shoes besides your riding boots and a swim suit. After a long day in hot humid weather a jump in a hotel pool feels really good. A pair of leggings, loose pants or shorts also makes a pleasant change at the end of the day.
OP
@strick avatar
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UTC quote
RRider wrote:
Thanks for the inspiring post, sounds like you had fun!

About the clothes - merino wool is great, mayby the best indeed. For warm weather riding I've also used thin, synthetic sports wear ment for running: breaths (the good ones) and is super, super fast to dry after washing. Requires quite good fit thought to be comfortable.
RRider - It was fun! I never thought about wearing sports wear on the bike. Thats a good idea. Thanks.
fledermaus wrote:
Great info.....and belated happy 50th!
Thank you my friend!
caschnd1 wrote:
Sounds like an AWESOME adventure! I've ridden most of US 50 over the years, but never in one contiguous journey. Long leisurely motorcycle rides are my favorite way to burn a few weeks. I've done many 2-week long trips and 2 6-week long trips. The longer trips are packed with memories.

You did a great job of capturing many of the important aspects. When you head off on a long trip, it's easy to over pack because you will be gone for so long. I like your suggestions for rotating through the cloths. I personally opt for taking more tools and less changes of cloths making a system of rotation very important Laughing emoticon

The people you meet on the road are amazing! On my last 6-week journey I encountered an electrical problem as a gas station in a little town in Arkansas. I pushed the bike away from the pump into a shady spot and unpacked a few tools. Within 5 minutes a guy stopped and asked me if I needed anything. I hadn't packed a basic multi-meter and told him if he had one of those it would sure be helpful at tracking down my wiring short. He jumped in his truck and was back within 10 minutes with a multi-meter. I found the short to be in the kill switch which I quickly by-passed and I was on my way with a total delay of only about 30 minutes. In general, people have good hearts and they want to help when they can.

Throw up a link to your photos if you're sharing them. I'd love get the visual experience!

-Craig
You are absolutely right Craig, there are a lot of helpful, wonderful people out there. I really enjoyed talking to strangers from all walks of life.

If I was riding your bikes I would bring more tools too! Razz emoticon

I ride a Honda so shops are plentiful if I had bigger issues other than a chain. I edited my first post to include photos. Thanks for the kind words.
Karlsbadd wrote:
Sounds awesome. Definitely post pics!
Thanks! Photos are posted!
Captain Jim wrote:
That is a great "teaser" - hope you will post some photos and write a bit about some of your stops.
Thank you. Photos are in the original post.
TroutBum wrote:
Sounds like so much fun. I wish I had the time to do an adventure like that. Good for you. Thank you for sharing and happy belated birthday.
Thank you for the Birthday wishes TroutBum!
cdwise wrote:
I've done several multi week trips and agree with one change. I can't wear wool next to my skin so I wear either heat or cool gear designed for backpacking.

I will add bring some shoes besides your riding boots and a swim suit. After a long day in hot humid weather a jump in a hotel pool feels really good. A pair of leggings, loose pants or shorts also makes a pleasant change at the end of the day.
Hey CD, I forgot to mention that I pack a swimsuit every time I travel. My wife turned me onto that one. My riding shoes are just as good off the bike so I didn't bother with another pair. But that's a good suggestion if we were doing a lot of hiking and off bike activities.
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Thanks for adding the photo link - great!
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UTC quote
So fun!

You were so close to me if you went from Sacramento to the PCH by way of 80. Probably split through my town (Vacaville).

Sorry I missed you!
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UTC quote
Very inspiring - thx for posting!
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UTC quote
Love those photos, Strick. 8)

Got me thinking. I flipped over to 64 this year. Wonder if there's something age-appropriate coming up in the next year or two? Nerd emoticon
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UTC quote
fledermaus wrote:
Love those photos, Strick. 8)

Got me thinking. I flipped over to 64 this year. Wonder if there's something age-appropriate coming up in the next year or two? Nerd emoticon
Well, on the highway theme, US 65 runs from Albert Lea, Minnesota to Clayton, Louisiana following the historic Jefferson Highway route that stretched all the way from Winnipeg. (Wikipedia)

How about it, Yooper Loop gang? 8)
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UTC quote
Thanks for the story and the picks. Sounds like a great time!!

Miguel
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fledermaus wrote:
Love those photos, Strick. 8)

Got me thinking. I flipped over to 64 this year. Wonder if there's something age-appropriate coming up in the next year or two? Nerd emoticon
Of course, You should ride cross country
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UTC quote
Thanks for the report.
Iamthegump wrote:
fledermaus wrote:
Love those photos, Strick. 8)

Got me thinking. I flipped over to 64 this year. Wonder if there's something age-appropriate coming up in the next year or two? Nerd emoticon
Of course, You should ride cross country
Every "speed limit" year requires a major ride...or two or three.
Quote:
Take the time (if you have it) to talk to them. A lot of people want to hear your story or tell you their story.
This is one of the most important tips. Listening is as great as telling and you will meet some fantastic people.
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Molto Verboso
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UTC quote
Great trip and wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing.
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UTC quote
Nice trip but curious how you found the bike for the trip. I have an NC and find the seat a bit uncomfortable after 200 miles, it might just be me but I think a few folk have issues. My other gripe with the NC is wind noise, it will cruise effortlessly at 80mph but I just find the wind noise unbearable so I tend to cruise at 70. It's a shame really because the bike still returns 80mpg while riding at 80mph.

I think the NC is a brilliant bike but it just needs a few little changes. That seat and the wind noise should definitely be looked at. It should have a low maintenance belt rather than a chain. I also find the very comprehensive information display downright confusing. I'd like to meet the guy that came up with the low fuel warning that flashes between light grey and dark grey - utterly useless. I also find the controls for the info display very unintuitive. My bike has been showing the wrong time for a while now because I just can't be arsed to find the manual to work out how to change it. I like the NC a lot but it's just these little things that I find annoying.
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UTC quote
What a wonderful way to celebrate a big birthday!

Thank you for taking us along through your descriptions and photos.

Well done!
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... I have no words to express my wonder ... they are evocative places, especially for us italians who see the environments of the "american dream".
The photos are beautiful and even the themes they express make them look like they talk to the viewer.
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eeeee bip
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Bing
It looks awful.

I don't know why you bothered.

Bill x
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UTC quote
You made it to the baseball museum in Kansas City... so jealous.

I had a half cross country trip planned when I was 36, but life got in the way like five different ways. Never did hit the open road, sold the Honda, and my P200 is hardly a cross country machine, even though some use it on cannonballs.

Wonderful pics, though captions would be helpful (is that lincoln's log cabin?).
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UTC quote
Glad the trip turned off so well. Now, plan another one and don't tie yourself to one highway? I am from Kansas and 50 isn't my fave road to cross on, 36 or 24 are better IMO. The riding gets much better when you ride in weird directions, looking for that twisty route many car drivers complain about. Do as only a rider would understand.
here one of my main spots to ride and not so far from your locale: www.ridevirginiamountains.com. You''ll see day trips radiating from Marion, VA of ~ 200 miles each and the riding is way better then US50!

I have never been to the baseball museum in KC.
But I'll share this- my Dad played pro baseball and we did KC Negro league games before the KC Athletics came in from Philadelphia. I saw players like Larry Doby play there-got his autograph too. The players walked off the filed and through the stands beside kids like me. I was set to get Ted Williams to singn my paper and got so nervous my bashfullness took over and I couldn't talk to ask him, him right beside me. I've continued with the Royals to this date. I get asked why the Royals T-shirts real often as I live in Reds area-that is until the Royals bought the nearby minor league, Lexington Legends. I have been to the baseball museum in Birmingham, AL which is excellent! One of our sons lives there and took us over one day. Their live display of the famous pitcher, Satchel Paige is interactive and was especially neat for me as I saw him play in KC when Charlie Finley tried bringing in old time players as a fan gimmick of sorts. Sal was no gimmick but age was then far beyond logical for the big leagues.
⚠️ Last edited by Kantuckid on UTC; edited 1 time
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UTC quote
Amazing photos! Thanks!

-Craig
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UTC quote
Great thread and so very insightful. Had a nostalgic feel of Jack Kerouac to it - Lessons from the roads less travelled".

THANK YOU
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UTC quote
Awesome, and belated happy 50th!
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UTC quote
Great trip,
Great photos,
Great birthday,
and a special shout out to your Great wife!
Thanks for sharing the experience!
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UTC quote
The photo of the grain elevators looks like it came from Kansas. I found the stretch of US 50 between Emporia and Dodge City really interesting. It seemed like there was a grain elevator (and a tiny town) every 7-8 miles like clockwork. If I recall, there is also a train track running along the north side of US 50 for most (if not all) of that stretch. The last time I rode that bit of US 50 was back in 2003. Each one of the small towns had 3 things in common. 1) The grain elevator. 2) A mini-mart w/ gas pumps. 3) A Pizza Hut. #3 struck me as odd, because even by 2003 Pizza Hut had largely turned into a delivery only place (at least in the south west US). But these were the old style Pizza Hut restaurants.

The spacing of the grain elevators at 7-8 mile intervals must have something to do with how much grain will be brought to each elevator by the local farmers, and how much grain can be hauled by a typical train.

-Craig
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UTC quote
Sight
I think that all I saw in Kansas. Fields, farms and grain silos for hours and hours.

The last time I was there I saw a silo that had burst and a farm that was on fire.

Bill x
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UTC quote
Awesome trek! Love the photos, especially the lonely places 8)

Thanks for sharing!
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UTC quote
Strick, your photos are amazing. Nice pictorial of your adventure.
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UTC quote
Fantastic trip and pics.
Thanks for sharing.
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Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@web-tech avatar
2008 MP3 500, 2013 BV350, 2020 Vespa Sei Giorni, 2008 Vespa S150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 8951
Location: Ashburn, Va. Home to the Internet
UTC quote
Re: Sight
Bill Dog wrote:
The last time I was there I saw a silo that had burst and a farm that was on fire.

Bill x
Must of had a roof leak, if the grain gets wet it will swells and bursts the silo.
OP
@strick avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2021 Ducati Multistrada 950S
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3452
Location: Columbia, MD
 
Ossessionato
@strick avatar
2021 Ducati Multistrada 950S
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3452
Location: Columbia, MD
UTC quote
robinm wrote:
Nice trip but curious how you found the bike for the trip. I have an NC and find the seat a bit uncomfortable after 200 miles, it might just be me but I think a few folk have issues. My other gripe with the NC is wind noise, it will cruise effortlessly at 80mph but I just find the wind noise unbearable so I tend to cruise at 70. It's a shame really because the bike still returns 80mpg while riding at 80mph.
robinm - The first thing I did was replace the seat with a Seat Concepts brand seat. The stock seat is a torture device. The Seat Concepts seat is much more comfortable and removes the forward slope of the original seat. The wind noise was solved with a Madstaad adjustable windscreen. They are pricey but worth it. I have mine set so I just look over the top of it. Takes the wind off my chest and is a bit quieter. Best mileage was 77 mpg with a tail wind. Worst was 55 with a headwind in Kansas. Averaged about 68 mpg. Not bad at all.
dmpawley wrote:
So fun!
You were so close to me if you went from Sacramento to the PCH by way of 80. Probably split through my town (Vacaville).
Sorry I missed you!
Me too. It would have been very nice to see you Dean! Next time.
Attila wrote:
... I have no words to express my wonder ... they are evocative places, especially for us italians who see the environments of the "american dream".
The photos are beautiful and even the themes they express make them look like they talk to the viewer.
Thank you so much Attila - This means the world to me. Seriously, thank you.
Kantuckid wrote:
Glad the trip turned off so well. Now, plan another one and don't tie yourself to one highway? I am from Kansas and 50 isn't my fave road to cross on, 36 or 24 are better IMO...

I have never been to the baseball museum in KC.
But I'll share this- my Dad played pro baseball and we did KC Negro league games before the KC Athletics came in from Philadelphia. I saw players like Larry Doby play there-got his autograph too. The players walked off the filed and through the stands beside kids like me. I was set to get Ted Williams to singn my paper and got so nervous my bashfullness took over and I couldn't talk to ask him, him right beside me. I've continued with the Royals to this date. I get asked why the Royals T-shirts real often as I live in Reds area-that is until the Royals bought the nearby minor league, Lexington Legends. I have been to the baseball museum in Birmingham, AL which is excellent! One of our sons lives there and took us over one day. Their live display of the famous pitcher, Satchel Paige is interactive and was especially neat for me as I saw him play in KC when Charlie Finley tried bringing in old time players as a fan gimmick of sorts. Sal was no gimmick but age was then far beyond logical for the big leagues.
Excellent ride suggestions and link Kantuckid and more importantly, THANK YOU for sharing your amazing stories with Larry Doby, Ted Williams and Satchel Page! WOW! To see those legends of baseball must have been incredible!

Thank you everyone for your kind comments, stories and birthday wishes. Clap emoticon
@fledermaus avatar
UTC

Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS (on the bench) 2017 BV 350
Joined: UTC
Posts: 12109
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
 
Veni, Vidi, Posti
@fledermaus avatar
2007 LX150 2015 GTS (on the bench) 2017 BV 350
Joined: UTC
Posts: 12109
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
UTC quote
lostboater wrote:
fledermaus wrote:
Got me thinking. I flipped over to 64 this year. Wonder if there's something age-appropriate coming up in the next year or two? Nerd emoticon
Every "speed limit" year requires a major ride...or two or three.

It was just like there must be some appropriately iconic numbered highway for say, age 66.... Nerd emoticon
UTC

Hooked
Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 122
Location: USA
 
Hooked
Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 122
Location: USA
UTC quote
Great trip, thank you.

I hope everyone who "always wanted" to do something like this will take inspiration and do it. The US is a great place to visit and the people are much friendlier than the news would have us believe.

Do not wait-just go!

This means you too, Attila.
@kz1000st avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
Dongfang 170cc, CF Moto Fashion 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1891
Location: Hyde Park, New York
 
Molto Verboso
@kz1000st avatar
Dongfang 170cc, CF Moto Fashion 250
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1891
Location: Hyde Park, New York
UTC quote
There's nothing like a two wheeled conveyance and the open road. You see and feel a lot of the world.
UTC

Hooked
Aprilia Scarabeo 500
Joined: UTC
Posts: 130
Location: Florida
 
Hooked
Aprilia Scarabeo 500
Joined: UTC
Posts: 130
Location: Florida
UTC quote
Inspiring trip to say the least. Hoping one day I'll be able to make a worthwhile trip such as this on a scoot. Awesome trip and awesome pictures. Thanks for sharing.
@sledge avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2317
Location: Adelaide
 
Ossessionato
@sledge avatar
GTS 300 HPE
Joined: UTC
Posts: 2317
Location: Adelaide
UTC quote
fledermaus wrote:
Got me thinking. I flipped over to 64 this year. Wonder if there's something age-appropriate coming up in the next year or two? Nerd emoticon
"Not 69 again!", as the actress said to the Bishop.
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