Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Road

View Larger Map

This summer I’m going on a solo motorcycle road trip from one side of America to the other and back again. I’m starting in our nation's capitol and heading due west to San Francisco. From there I turn right to Seattle then hang another right bound for DC.

My guidelines are:

  • sleep under the stars as much as possible.

  • stay off the major interstates as much as possible.

  • take the picture whenever it presents itself.

  • capture and post as much of this adventure as possible via pictures, twitter, gps position.

  • Take it all in.

I want to make the most of this trip.

For the 4th bullet I’m going to build a website where I can post pictures and video from the road so everyone can see what I see. I’ll also post my geo-position in real-time or near real time as well as my twitter updates.

Should I get an iPhone and use Google Latitudes for the positioning?

Do I need to schlub a laptop with me?

What’s the best one-man tent for this?

For the last guideline bullet, what are the must-see attactions along my route? By must-see I mean everything from awesome pancakes to national treasures.

Please give me your insight and advice via comments, email, or twitter.



I learned via IM that I must see Pike's Market and Jimmy Hendix's grave in Seattle. Will do!


  1. I would set a goal.....see as many people as you can.....since you are on the VTXcafe site, I would see who you can mooch, er stay with, as you go along....I live in NE Ohio and would be willing to let you stop at my place......Jeff, aka, "epiphysis"

  2. I too have a VTX and am wanting to do a solo cross country trip this year. I recently lost my job in corporate America, so this is a good time to do it. When are you planning to go? I am wanting to hit some of the big national parks out west...not sure how long I need to wait until the snow melts! I'm thinking April or early May may be my target. :)

    Good luck planning the trip. I am also in the DC area, so I will look forward to watching your journey.


  3. Hey Anon, I'm planning to go in July. I haven't nailed down my exact route yet but I've gotten lots of great suggestions. I plan to see lots of parks also.

    Looks like you'll leave before I will. you should make a quick blog and put up some posts from the road. I'd love to read it.

    i think I've decided on what luggage to get. Gonna post it to the blog soon.

  4. Hey Michael,

    It's Mark aka Anon. Who may be July before I can do it! It all depends on how long I stay jobless. If I get an offer soon, I may try to squeeze it in before my start date. If no jobs appear, I would like to wait until early summer too so I can go further north without having to brave the cold.

    I am also looking at luggage. Also considering an upgrade to hard bags. Let me know what you decide to get!

    To prep the bike in the event that I can go soon, I recently ordered a a Memphis Fats windshield and lowers for the the VTX, but I can't seem to get rid of the buffeting. I think I may be crazy to do such a long trip with no shield, but after 75 miles of having my head vibrating, a little wind to the chest and clean air on the helmet seemed like big improvement.

    You should check out Mad Maps. They offer some maps for bikers with scenic routes.

    If I am able to do this, I will definitely build a blog and upload my gear and route recommendations, as well as pics.

    What model X do you have?

  5. Hey Mark, I ride a 2007 1300R. here's a pic of it:

    I considered the hard bags when i bought my saddlebags. I ended up getting the US Saddle bags mostly becuase of price, although they weren't that cheap.
    I like the look of hard bags though, plus more weather resistant.

    I hear what you're saying about the windshield. I think I am going to get a smaller one that's just big enough to keep some wind off my chest and give me someting to duck down behind once in a while.

    Thanks for the tip about Mad Maps. I'm definitly getting that. Maybe i will plan my whole route based on it. They have one for cross country via the north road.

    have you looked at a tent and other camping gear. A friend turned me on to where you can rent gear for a month of more. Cheaper than buying but then you have to make sure you don't destroy it.

  6. Hi mate, stumbled across old thread about using North Face Duffel as a luggage bag on motorbike. I have a Triumoph Tiger 800 and doing a pretty basic three day trip with some mates, out of Sydney, over to country area. Was toying with buying speciality luggage accessory for my bike - not hard panniers but some of the soft options Triumph make - but then just wondered if i could save myself even more and just get a smallish Nroth Face Duffel. How did you go? Did you end up using one? Cheers Dave (Sydney)

  7. Yes the north face bag worked great. It has many loops and such to use to attach it to the bike, plus it's mostly water proof.
    I definitely recommend getting one instead of some overpriced motorcycle bag.

    If you don't mind, give me your honest opinion on this bike.

    It's my design for a Honda CB550 I'm having built.

    Thanks man, and have fun on your trip.