What is 60? The number of seconds in a minute, the number of minutes in an hour, the pounds my doctor told me to lose. 60, is the non-metric speed limit on most roads, the best decade for rock and roll and would be the number of candles on my next birthday cake, if I was having cake, but I won’t be around to celebrate.
My wife, make that young wife, Scooter, turned 50 last fall and to avoid any surprise parties spent three weeks biking across 800 km of northern Spain, the hard way. She rode a bicycle. She tells me that brownie points have no shelf life, however, I think not because it was either the points I earned by not destroying the house while she was gone or guilt that she may have felt for leaving me behind, but she suggested that we take a ride around American. I say we, but her version is I ride to Phoenix alone while she flies there and then I show her around the city on the bike. I then ride to Charlotte, NC where she will join me again for a weekend and then I ride back across the heartland and home.
I would prefer to have a ridding buddy but like my wife, most my friends simply responded with the phrase, “Are you out of your frigging mind?” Or something to that effect.
The first decision was do I take the BMW, K1200LT with the heated seat and grips, tons of storage and all the comforts of home or do I take the Boulevard C90T, an all black and chrome cruiser that looks great and helps me pass for a younger 58 or 59? I was waffling when the local Suzuki Dealer suggested he would take them both on trade for a new 109 dressed up for the road and Scooter said, “Go for it.”
Now to choose a route, my riding vest has a map of Canada and the US patch with only the west half colored in, so part of the decision is how many new states can I ride through in three weeks. I will be starting in Grande Prairie, Alberta and riding home after work 630 miles (1000 km) to Kelowna, BC where I pick up my supplies then head south through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and into Arizona. After a week of visiting friends and showing Scooter around I will head east through New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and finally North Carolina. I will rest there for the weekend and color in 14 states. The problem is I pass by so close to Arkansas and Oklahoma perhaps I should detour. The ride home will be through Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wyoming and home. Eight more states but also so close to Minnesota, Iowa, and Indiana. I could add three or four more states, what is a guy to do? Should I be happy with 21 states in 21 days or go for more? Follow me around America and find out here!