Project 2012: Day 264

Day Eleven

It’s hard to believe that the adventure is all over. So much investment and effort goes into planning the trip. Then you’re into the trip, and doing something about the ride every waking moment. There’s no past, no future, just 100% in the now, for 10 days.

And suddenly, you’re on the I5, Route 73, I405, Exit 29B and looking for Motoquest Long Beach.

Can I just say, Interstate’s are for Cars!!

They’re horrible, slidy, noisy, manic, scary, wide, incredibly fast, dangerous things designed exlusively for vehicles that can bash each other, have air-conditioning, and don’t require balance. I.e. cars.

So the ride up from San Diego was fun, but not riding fun, just staying alive fun.


Due to planning (awake at 5:30 on the road at 6:30) and execution (um, I may’ve stretched the 70 mph limit a tad) I was at Motoquest by 8am, an hour early. So I’m dismantling cables and mounts I’d mantled on the bike, when I see an officer of the California Highway Patrol skulking at the BMW Motorrad Dealer next door.

Now I don’t know about you, but I grew up with stalwart adventure TV shows of GenX: Airwolf, Chopper 1, Knight Rider, The A-Team, MacGyver, and of course, CHiPs. The last was a show about the California Highway Patrol, and as a teenager, with a motorbike, there were times I could see myself being a motorcycle mounted cop. So here was my chance to meet one “in the flesh.”

Officer Weddel, a Training Officer for CHP, is a great guy. They ride BMW R1200KT’s (hence skulking at the dealer) and his job is literally to ride wherever he wants everyday. That’s not a bad gig at all really. Wonder if I’m too old to apply for the CHP 🙂


Then I met a colleague of a work friend, who just popped by because he knew I’d be in the area. Unfortunately my flight booked for 10am meant breakfast on the beach or at the club was out of the question.

Then Ariel arrived, and within minutes had in-processed the bike. We chucked my luggage into her trunk and headed 3 blocks to Long Beach Airport. The ride is officially over!

What an adventure. Nothing I expected! Everything I expected! And More!

I’d camped three times, couch-surfed twice, stayed with 3 hosts from the Forum (Tent Space Thread), in a motel once, and with friends once. At the end I’d filled up 17 times, at an average of about $14. Ridden 2,732.7m. Still only eaten 3 pepperoni sticks.

I got lost just twice. I say “lost” but really it was “took a wrong turn.”

Mostly my kit was pretty ideal. Below is a list of kit I used to ride, sleep, and connect daily whilst on the ride:

  • Aldi Torque Motorcycle Trousers
  • Motoport Jacket (godsend)
  • Shark Evoline helmet;
  • SMH-10 Bluetooth Headset (imperative)
  • Aldi Torque Gloves & once my DriRider Adventure winter gauntlets
  • Gaerne Aquatech G-Quad Boots
  • Overboard 60l Dry Duffel Bag
  • AndyStrapz Piggy Back Straps
  • Aldi Extreme Terrain Hiking Tent
  • Moon bag ultralight +8C sleeping bag
  • Kathmandu ultralight self-inflating mat
  • iPhone 4S
  • ContourGPS Helmet Cam
  • Flip Camera
  • iPad 2
  • Logitech Zaggmate Bluetooth keyboard
  • Canon EOS 550D SLR with 18-55mm & 55-250mm lenses
  • Velbon Tripod
  • SPOT GPS Messenger for Tracking, Check-in’s and (not needed) Emergencies

Of course there was other kit, but this is what I used every single day on the ride.

All That’s Left is Thanks.

My hosts in:

  • Port Angeles – Rainy, Jenna, and especially, Greg
  • Astoria – Brian
  • Eureka – Amy for popping by, and especially Travis
  • Santa Cruz (Scottdale) – Paul
  • Santa Barbara – Wayne and Diane

I have to shout out to Al, the Mad Virginian, riding states 19 through 21 with me. We had a blast. Motorcycling is best done with others.

The campsite volunteers, waitresses and waiters that served me, every motorbike that greeted me (i.e. every motorbike I passed), and people who just showed interest from a fleeting wave, to a deep conversation. Thanks.

To everyone back at home, and on the web, thanks for your support, encouragement, and comments. Over the next while I’ll consolidate photos and get them organised and on the web. Same goes for the video footage.

John Isenberg in Seattle, Ariel Krawczyk in Long Beach from Motoquest. Your professionalism, helpfulness, advice, and downright friendliness smoothed the rough edges of the tip.

My friends in Sydney, Seattle, and San Diego that put their names down as Emergency Contacts, and checked in with me online to ensure that I was ok. Sean, Phil, and others (you know who you are)

And lastly to my family, Leah, Em (back home in Aus), Amanzi & Charis (now here in Seattle), and my wonderful wife Lucy. Your trust, support, encouragement, and knowing that you were keeping tabs on my location freed me up to enjoy the ride. Thanks.

Holiday Time

So now I jump on a jet to Seattle, and vacation for the next three weeks 🙂