When I’m not working… I’m having even more fun!

Oregon high desert on US 95

When I’m not implementing the latest comp plan, GTM strategy or process improvements for a software company I enjoy riding my motorcycle.  I used to ride when I was in high school and college but put it on hold for some number of years  while the kids were young.  It wasn’t until I took a job in Silicon Valley that it emerged as a viable commuting alternative for the 120 mile round trip from my home in El Cerrito.  There are HOV lanes which allow motorcycles on most of the routes between home and SV.  California also allows motorcycles to navigate between cars (called lane splitting) when in congested traffic.  I bought a BMW K1200LT; a very large touring bike because of its comfort and protection from the elements.

 It wasn’t until a year later that I discovered the motorcycle model I picked was a favorite of long distance motorcyclists.  Yes, there is a group of folks who ride just for the challenge of covering large distances and they are appropriately called the Iron Butt Association.  To qualify to join this group you need to ride 1,000 miles in 24 hours and document the ride with witnesses and time stamped gas receipts.  Worldwide there are over 50,000 members in the IBA.

www.ironbutt.comI remember thinking that 1,000 miles on a motorcycle would be a daunting task but the challenge was irresistible! I spent weeks planning my first 1,000 mile ride with 2 long rest stops at family’s homes along the way.  Since then I have been successful in several IBA certified rides: Canada to Mexico in 24 hours, San Diego to Jacksonville, FL and back to San Diego in 100 hours, and the most difficult was two 1,500 mile days in a row (3,000 miles in 48 hours), called a back to back Bun Burner Gold.  I call it crazy brutal.

I have also been active in a charitable organization that holds annual motorcycle conventions at resort venues in the United States offering great riding opportunities.  This has allowed me and sometimes my wife to ride through some of the most beautiful “fly-over” country most coast dwellers never see.  It’s been over 10 years since my return to riding and I have now ridden a motorcycle in all 50 states and 3 Canadian provinces covering over 300,000 miles.  I rented a bike in Hawaii but I rode to Alaska!

Please enjoy the photos of a few of my exploits below…

Barbara and I in front of the convention venue in 2006

Western entrance to Lolo Pass in northern Idaho

Site of the annual long distance rider dinner

Truck stop in Laramie, Wyoming in June. A late winter storm like this is a reminder that the continental divide is only a few miles away!

Barbara and I just north of Jackson Hole, Wyoming

New bike, same model, in front of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Southern Utah, the most beautiful area in the USA, IMHO

State Rt. 1 north of Fort Brag, California with friends Dave and Rob

Death Valley during White Stag Rally in January 2011

Barbara and I near Big Sur on the Pacific Coast.

 

One Response to When I’m not working… I’m having even more fun!

  1. Adrian Hurel says:

    Aside from the iced-up motorcycle picture, these pics really make you feel like donning your leathers and hitting the highway. It’s been a while since I stopped riding. Like you, young family together with a rightfully protective wife.

    In case this is remotely interesting, I’ve had a wide variety of motorcycles so far (note the open-ended nature of that comment). I started off with a brand new Suzuki RV50 that my father won in a raffle, I was 16 at the time and living in Germany. It was known as a ‘fun-bike’ with extra wide tyres and smallish wheels. Of course, 50cc didn’t allow too much fun, but a great introduction nonetheless.

    Then, a year later and after passing my motorcylce riding test back in the UK, I bought a Suzuki X7 – at the time the fasted 250 production bike on the road…displacing the Yamaha RD250. I had that bike till it was stolen a year later and remember lots of close calls as we used to race each other at every opportunity – crazy but true, but I was also only 17.

    I was then given, yes given, a Honda 250 Dream by a friend of mine that was emigrating to New Zealand – I enjoyed the smooth four cylinders for a few years before giving it to a friend of mine who had just blown up the engine of his MG Midget and had no other form of transport.

    Then that was pretty much it until I was in my 30s and living/working in Dubai – there was a big Harley Owners Club out there, so guess what? That’s right, I never thought of myself as the rider of a HOG, but I fell into the group. I can still see why so many people love Harleys, but it wasn’t for me. I don’t have a motorcycle right now, but the two I keep an eye out for are both BMWs – one’s the K1200S, and the other’s the R1100S…never ridden either, but I just love them. That’s the thing about bikes, like most bikers, they’re just lovable objects that you can ride at high speed – (not sure how that comes across but I hope you get what I mean)

    Long live the motorcyle and all who ride on them!!

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