Observations from Days 0 & 1 of Motorcycle Road Trip USA Adventure!
- Motorcycling is cold. We followed everyone’s advice and got leather jackets, gloves, chaps (yes, leather), and we layered up, but the wind bites. Even when it’s warm.
- Puppy does not like motorcycling. Despite several practice runs, and time getting used to the sidecar, she spent most of Day 0 trying to get out with all her might. She was a little better today.
- Everything smells AMAZING. Unexpectedly, the best part about exploring the country on a motorcycle is the smells. Pine trees, a wood fire in someone’s home, freshly-cut grass, an Italian restaurant a quarter mile away, the earth. You smell it before you see it, and it’s so different from riding in a car.
- Motorcycling gear makes you feel badass. The jacket alone feels like it weighs 30lbs. And it’s stiff and full of armor and makes you feel tough.
- People treat you like a badass when you’re wearing motorcycling gear. This one might be in my head, but it feels different striding into a convenience store with your full moto getup than with regular clothes.
- Everyone loves the Ural. Little kids, grizzly dudes on Harleys, grannies, soccer moms, gas station owners, cops, car drivers at stop lights, everyone gets a kick out of this bike. We’ve probably gotten more smiles, thumbs ups, and waves on the road in two days then I have in all my years driving a car.
- Shifting smoothly is hard. But I’ve driven automatic transmissions all my life, so manual is all new to me. I expect to be an expert by the end of this trip.
- Traveling with a dog is hard. This one we expected, but finding hotels in busy areas that will take a pet and have vacancy for tonight has been a challenge. We hope to camp more once we get to warmer terrain.
- Motorcyclists have a secret code! It’s like a peace sign held 45 degrees down and away from your body. You give it when passing a fellow biker and they give it back (or return a simple nod of acknowledgement). On the road no one cares if you were a dorky Indian kid whose life once revolved around spelling bees and debate camp and the stock market club. On the road with your helmet on, you’re a biker and you’re part of the club. Jessa counted we exchanged 31 salutations with fellow bikers today in 4-5 hours of riding.
- New Jersey is beautiful. Who knew?