Recently I read an article from another motorcycle "rider" who went to Sturgis. At the start of what would be several pages long there was a picture of him riding his touring bike with a big smile and the other "riders" that would join him on this cross country trip. I should have known where this was going by their complete lack of any riding gear but I read on. There was the cookie-cutter description of things like freedom, the wind in their face, being an individual..bla, bla then came the part where he gets a few hours into the ride and stops at a friends house to load his bike on a trailer for the rest of the trip. Wait, what? He is loading a TOURING bike on a trailer to spend the rest of this "life changing trip" in a truck? That's like buying an RV and then getting a plane ticket to an RV park a few states away.

I saw there were loads of pictures in his article taken from the comfort of the back seat of a moving truck. Sad. I had to throw the whole thing in the trash before I lost my lunch. It was only a 1,300 mile trip! That is not very far at all. There are real riders out there who do that in a weekend or shorter just to get out of the house.

I am far from the king of riders out there but I can assure you I know what a motorcycle is for. IT'S FOR RIDING! They should have a special jail for someone who trailers a bike for travel. It should be cold, dark and be filled with lots of angry, old skunks.

Now that we have that out of the way, here are some of my motorcycle travel pictures. Where I actually ride from one place to another and see cool things and meet nice people. I hope you get out there and see the world also and make your own pile of cool pictures of the places you rode to.



This is Tenby in Wales and their famous harbor. It was tough to get this picture because to the right they are filming a TV show and members of the crew keep walking in front of the camera. The tide here is really severe and in a few hours......




All the boats will be sitting in the mud. Time to go find a place to stay and unload the gear. It is also time to take a day off from riding and get out on a boat.



Ducati at Galveston
Spending the day on Galveston Island, Texas.





Just finishing a long dirt road somewhere in England. Back to pavement! I am wearing a waterproof Aerostich riding suit. The bike is a Suzuki Bandit 1250. The hard bags are great for keeping my gear dry during the expected rains over the next few weeks.



alcan
In 1993 I left Texas and went all the way to Valdez, Alaska. It was a full year later when I returned home. Here is my little 600cc bike loaded down with the tent and sleeping bag at the start of the Alaska Highway in Dawson Creek, Canada. This road takes about a week to cover.


lyle
Very few people know how skilled Lyle Lovett is with motorcycles. He isnt one of those famous people who just own a bike and want to bee seen on it. He really rides well and knows alot about the skill of motorcycling. Here we are at a charity event. The first time I met him we were both at a gas station near Conroe, Texas fueling our bikes. We both had our helmets on so I didnt know it was him. We rode together for about an hour and then at the next stop we talked about bikes for an long time. He is a credit to the motorcycling community.



watson lake
This is the Sign Post Forest in Watson Lake, Yukon, Canada. It is much larger than what you can see here. Nobody told me we are supposed to steal street signs and take them to Canada.



mexico
In Mexico on my Honda Valkyrie. I almost ran out of gas while crossing the King Ranch on my way to the border. That big six cylinder engine with six carbs drinks fuel like crazy if you ride hard. I try to park in places that have guards watch the vehicles and make sure to tip them well.



graceland
A visit to Graceland on my FZR600. Although the seat is harder than an ironing board I had a great time riding this bike from Houston and back. This bike deserved a better ending than some squid gave it.



zero
Ground Zero in New York City. As a personal challenge I spent the entire day riding up and down the streets of NYC to see if I could handle it. No problem.



yzf600
My old YZF600 in front of Thunderbird, a fully restored B-17G that I flew in for several years out of Galveston, Texas. Those were good years riding to work on this bike and then working and flying in this beauty for work.




Somewhere in Chicago.




The tent is up for a few days in New Jersey. I always use a two-person tent. That gives me room to store the riding gear each night.




Oklahoma City Memorial




Inside a Texas state park.




This may not look like an interesting picture but this little bike was just unloaded of all the gear on the last stop of the last day of a 6000 mile ride from Valdez, Alaska to Houston. The brown mud on the pipes is part of the Alaska Highway in the Canadian Yukon. Some of that mud is still on the bike after all these years. The day before this picture I did over 800 miles of riding in one day on this bike.



crater lake
Crater Lake in Oregon with a nice group of guys I didnt know who let me stay at their campsite and eat their food when they saw me arrive too late to get a campsite for the night. I ran into them a few days later in California. This is what makes travel on a bike so great.



valdez
One of the many waterfalls just outside Valdez, Alaska.




Packed and ready to leave the Grand Canyon. An hour later I saw very heavy rain ahead so I pulled over to get into rain gear. While doing that, the bike fell over and slid down a hill while upside down. I saw my precious fuel pouring out of the tank but didn't have the streangth to upright the bike until I cut all the straps holding the bags on. My pants endend up soaked in gas when picking up the bike and the slightest spark would have made me a real crotch rocket. Oww, it burns! That night was the only time I stayed in a hotel on a 12 month trip.




My favorite charity ride each year is the Ride for Kids and raises money for research of childrens brain tumors. I think this is the 15th year for me and the turnout gets better every time.



Hawaii
Riding in 1977 on a Benelli moped.



FZR at Lackland
Parked in front of the place I did my basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. We used to gather in the shaded area under the building, get yelled at for a few minutes, then go excercise for an hour before breakfast.



Schwantz at USGP
So...the name Kevin Schwantz doesn't mean much to most people but if you know about motorcycle racing the guy is a legend in the sport. A former world champion and a fellow Texan, he is still active behind the scenes. In 1994 I rode to California to watch him race at the famous Laguna Seca track. The hyper powerful bike he used at the time used a two-stroke engine and after a few laps of each race you could actually feel a thin layer of the fuel/oil mix on your skin. Not long after I took this picture, Kevin had a serious bike failure and was spit off during a high speed section of the track. If I remember right, he was going around 175mph. After he was done sliding he walked back to his pit area. A great testiment to what riding gear can do for us. Its funny how many clueless street riders say that gear wont help at all during a crash so they never wear any.

I recently talked to him about that race and he said simply that he was not having a good day.




Here is Kevin Schwantz at a charity ride in Houston.




This is the only flying B-17 in Europe and was outside being preped for an airshow the following week. The public isn't allowed to go inside but they were nice enough to let me cross the fence to get a picture next to it but to go inside and look around. This bomber has a sister in Texas that I spent many years working on and flying in. The mechaic on the ladder is one of the few people to work on both the B-17's.


With the B-17 behind, I set up the tripod for a picture and then back to the ride.



Alabama Shark
A quick stop at an Alabama coastal gift shop. Extra tacky fun.




After a 400 mile day of riding here I am at the border. Now to find a place to eat.



Wisconsin
I'm not sure where I am on the FZ1.




Time for a short break and a picture in Scotland. Today will be 11 hours of riding.




When I pulled over to climb a hill for a photo I noticed that this road cut right through a golf course. Just to the left out of picture is a place to tee off. This is the town of Selkirk, Scotland.



For a few hours the road passed back and forth over the border between England and Scotland.




Its cool that all the signs here will be in Welsh and English. Another 400 mile day here with much of it on narrow farm roads.




On the road again on my way to Tenby, Wales.





The streets were very narrow and steep. It seemed like everywhere I wrode it was uphill. You can tell the locals from all the visitors by how they are breathing while walking up these streets. Im glad this was a one-way street or I would have had to ride into a house to avoid a delivery truck.




Sometimes roads just are not wide enough for everyone and the little guy has to pull over or get run over.




I can't even remember where this is other than on the way from Texas to Florida. I think in Mississippi or Georgia or Alabama or....



The famous Round Top Cafe in Texas with my longtime friend Jeff and his new bike. This was part of a 375 mile day.




I made a stop at the Pentagon to see the repairs being made after 9/11. I rode in to their parking lot, pulled out my camera and within seconds armed soldiers were all over me. They told me to put the camera away so I did and rode out to the street where I was allowed to get this picture.




Making a stop at a nice Welsh beach. It was a little bit of a challenge since many parts of the road there were covered in sand drifts over a foot deep. I was running low on gas and did not know the GPS I had was programed to avoid toll roads so it said the nearest gas station was really far away. I never in my life made a bike go so far on a gallon of fuel. I did run out of gas but was so close to the station that I coasted up to the pump.




While down on the beach I set up my camera on the tripod and set the timer for a picture. Just as I got in place a sudden gust of wind knocked over the tripod and the camera went right into a puddle of salt water and sand. I had to take the whole camera apart to clean it out. Nice picture.




A nice shady spot next to a stream to take a break.



Guggenheim
Checking out the great museums in NYC.




Just arrived in the capital of Wales, Cardiff. It's a big city with tons of stuff to do. Guess what, they have a castle too. I ducked into an art gallery and the nice ladies there gave me directions to all the cool things to see in the area.




I put my helmet and gear down and mounted the camera on a tripod again and set the timer for a picture and a French tourist walked right in front when it clicked. She felt bad about it so took some pictures for me. This is the inside of a castle.





One of the pictures she took for me. After that I went to the top of this tower to see what the view would be like.




There were clues here and there that the 2012 London Olympics were on their way to the area.




Look closely. This is a bridge that comes to you. The platform holds 6 cars and moves across the river while hanging from the cables above.
Watch this video I took of it moving to my side of the river once they saw my bike waiting.



This thing was amazingly smooth as we moved from one end to the other. I was worried the bike might fall over so I stayed with it the whole way across but it turned out that wasn't needed. I think the sign said this was built in 1909.



I believe there was a toll to use this if you were in a car but bikes were free. The operator offered to take me back and forth a few times so I could film it in action. Here I am holding the bike so it wont fall over.




We don't have roads like this where I am from. This one is not as wide as it looks in the picture with only enough room for a tiny car and a bike to pass. I would spend many hours a day on roads just like this and this was one of the very few straight sections were I dared pull over for a picture with the least risk of being hit by a local flying around the blind curves. Next time I need to get a video of riding through these roads.



How much did I not see on these roads because of the walls on both sides?



A very funny movie, Hot Fuzz was filmed on location in Wells, England.



Guess where I rode to?



The view behind the camera from the above picture is pretty nice too. Lets go check out that church back there.



This is really nice looking on the outside. I went in, made a donation and paid a small fee for permission to take pictures inside.




Back in Texas after a quick trip to Florida with my uncle where it rained all the time.




Got to Stonehenge too early and had to wait on a dirt road for the visitor center to open.




This is a cool hostel I stayed in while in London. Waaay up there at the top. It was a great base for a few day trips. Leave early in the morning and get back late.




Sitting in London traffic waiting for the light to change.
I parked on the side of the road at an intersection just to video it for a few minutes.




Time to ride in Paris like a local.



The tourist season has not started yet so it is easy to get a few pictures.
Take a look at this typical intersection.




Lets check out this place.




Hey look, it's a Paris taxi. Really.




An early morning picture and then back off to breakfast at a cafe.


So...now it is your turn. Go.