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Renzo Giust
I Dainese Me
Nico Cereghini
Italian Legendary Tour
Gary Inman
 
 
 
 
 
 

USA ROAD TRIP, DAY 16 AND 17

31 ottobre 2012 | News

by Gary Inman

Day 16: Amarillo, TX to Fort Smith, AR

Stewart’s Triumph Tiger Explorer signals to pull off the highway. It’s started to rain and Stewart left our Texas hotel in just his jeans and jacket. Now he’s on the hard shoulder of the off-ramp, doing the one-legged tango trying to get his waterproof trousers on without taking his boots off. It takes him five minutes to change and find his waterproof gloves. Rain is spotting my visor and the sky is full of bruised clouds. Just then a Harley riders passes in front of us and waves. He’s wearing a leather waistcoat, open, and a pair of jeans, no helmet. He does have the blubber of a walrus, but nonetheless we all suddenly feel over-dressed and a little bit wimpy.

Today’s ride takes us along the top of Texas, right through Oklahoma and into Arkansas.

There are few distractions to glimpse at the side of the road. The most memorable is Yukon, a town shouting , loudly, about being the birthplace of country star, Garth Brooks. That was a highlight. It is that kind of day.

Other than that the day is one of those where we just have to cover miles on boring roads. It’s impossible to cross a continent twice in three weeks and not have a few days like this.

Our mood lifts when we ride through the town of Fort Smith, Arkansas, our overnight stop. It’s Saturday night and the main street has a couple of good-looking bars. I keep following the Garmin to the hotel and end up at a dump on the wrong side of the tracks. After 700km of boring interstate this hotel, we’re now 13km from the town centre. We book a cab (there’s one company in the whole town, with four or five cars. Our taxi is so filthy Stewart is trying to levitate in the back. The driver’s baseball cap needs an oil change), and head straight back to the town. It turns out to be one the best nights of the trip – hot Cajun food, too many beers, live band, weird locals – great ingredients for a long day’s road tripping.

*******

Day 17: Fort Smith, AR to Jackson, TN

I roll out of bed at 6.15, pull on my trousers, stuff everything back into my bags and start carrying them out to the bike. It’s still dark but, as usual, there are already a bunch of riders all kitted up and ready to leave. Today, there more than usual because the route takes us right past Memphis and most riders want to make a pilgrimage to Gracelands.

I’ve visited Elvis’s mansion in the past, so I head for another Memphis rock and roll landmark I prefer, Sun Studio.

Sun Studios is the birthplace of rock and roll. It’s the place where the song most people agree is the first rock and roll tune – Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats - was recorded. And, though it is a museum and gift shop, Sun is a still a working studio where bands, including U2, have recorded.

What makes Sun so brilliant is the enthusiasm of the tour guides. They give their spiel five or six times a day, but still summon up the love and enthusiasm for the place, the people who recorded here and the music they made. When you read the list of greats who were given a break by Sun Studios boss, Sam Perkins, it’s easy to understand why the tour guides love it here: Howlin’ Wol, BB King, Rufus Thomas, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and, of course, Elvis Presley.

When we climb back on the bikes, the heat and humidity of Memphis engulfs us. It’s not helped by one of the riders with us losing his key and spending over an hour searching for it including all over the studio (he’d put it in his girlfriend’s pocket – that a good reason not to wear matching jackets).

We eventually cross another state line into Tennessee. And with it, the finish line comes ever closer.

Gary is riding from New York to California and back to New York with www.nicksanders.com

by Gary Inman

Day 16: Amarillo, TX to Fort Smith, AR

Stewart’s Triumph Tiger Explorer signals to pull off the highway. It’s started to rain and Stewart left our Texas hotel in just his jeans and jacket. Now he’s on the hard shoulder of the off-ramp, doing the one-legged tango trying to get his waterproof trousers on without taking his boots off. It takes him five minutes to change and find his waterproof gloves. Rain is spotting my visor and the sky is full of bruised clouds. Just then a Harley riders passes in front of us and waves. He’s wearing a leather waistcoat, open, and a pair of jeans, no helmet. He does have the blubber of a walrus, but nonetheless we all suddenly feel over-dressed and a little bit wimpy.

Today’s ride takes us along the top of Texas, right through Oklahoma and into Arkansas.

There are few distractions to glimpse at the side of the road. The most memorable is Yukon, a town shouting , loudly, about being the birthplace of country star, Garth Brooks. That was a highlight. It is that kind of day.

Other than that the day is one of those where we just have to cover miles on boring roads. It’s impossible to cross a continent twice in three weeks and not have a few days like this.

Our mood lifts when we ride through the town of Fort Smith, Arkansas, our overnight stop. It’s Saturday night and the main street has a couple of good-looking bars. I keep following the Garmin to the hotel and end up at a dump on the wrong side of the tracks. After 700km of boring interstate this hotel, we’re now 13km from the town centre. We book a cab (there’s one company in the whole town, with four or five cars. Our taxi is so filthy Stewart is trying to levitate in the back. The driver’s baseball cap needs an oil change), and head straight back to the town. It turns out to be one the best nights of the trip – hot Cajun food, too many beers, live band, weird locals – great ingredients for a long day’s road tripping.

*******

Day 17: Fort Smith, AR to Jackson, TN

I roll out of bed at 6.15, pull on my trousers, stuff everything back into my bags and start carrying them out to the bike. It’s still dark but, as usual, there are already a bunch of riders all kitted up and ready to leave. Today, there more than usual because the route takes us right past Memphis and most riders want to make a pilgrimage to Gracelands.

I’ve visited Elvis’s mansion in the past, so I head for another Memphis rock and roll landmark I prefer, Sun Studio.

Sun Studios is the birthplace of rock and roll. It’s the place where the song most people agree is the first rock and roll tune – Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats - was recorded. And, though it is a museum and gift shop, Sun is a still a working studio where bands, including U2, have recorded.

What makes Sun so brilliant is the enthusiasm of the tour guides. They give their spiel five or six times a day, but still summon up the love and enthusiasm for the place, the people who recorded here and the music they made. When you read the list of greats who were given a break by Sun Studios boss, Sam Perkins, it’s easy to understand why the tour guides love it here: Howlin’ Wol, BB King, Rufus Thomas, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins and, of course, Elvis Presley.

When we climb back on the bikes, the heat and humidity of Memphis engulfs us. It’s not helped by one of the riders with us losing his key and spending over an hour searching for it including all over the studio (he’d put it in his girlfriend’s pocket – that a good reason not to wear matching jackets).

We eventually cross another state line into Tennessee. And with it, the finish line comes ever closer.

Gary is riding from New York to California and back to New York with www.nicksanders.com

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USA ROAD TRIP, DAY 14 AND 15

16 ottobre 2012 | News

by Gary Inman

Day 14: Grand Canyon, AZ to Chama, New Mexico
Day 15: Chama new Mexico to Amarillo, TX

While I had all the kit for riding 13,000km (8000 miles) in three weeks- new Dainese Gator Evo Gore-Tex suit, old Dainese gloves and new Dainese Torq Tour Gore-Tex boots (the best riding boots I’ve ever worn) - I’d sorely under-prepared when it came to five nights camping scheduled for this trip. Instead of the air mattress everyone else had packed I had a cheap foam rollmat. I was used to nice, lush European ground, not the bare, cold, high altitude campsites of North America. I’d already chickened out of one night and stayed in a hotel (-6 degrees C didn’t sound appealing).

So, it was no surprise I didn’t get a good night’s sleep in the Grand Canyon campground. It was more of a relief than a problem to rise at 4.30am to ride the few miles to the South Rim to watch the sunrise.

After seeing the sun paint the valley a thousand shades of brown, there was a big day of riding ahead. Along the rim of the Grand Canyon, out of Arizona, through the Painted Desert, into the Navajo Nation, through Monument Valley and into New Mexico.

The buttes of Monument Valley are still beautiful and mesmerising despite feeling like I’ve seen them a thousand times in adverts and photographs. The road, as straight an arrow, bisects the red desert and heads towards Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona meet at a geometrically neat point.

After the heat of the desert, the last hour or riding in the cold and dark dragged. I was riding with the tour organiser, Nick Sanders, Ian on his old Triumph, Stewart on another Super Tenéré and the newlyweds, Alex and Jenny on their KTM Adventure. Speeds rose. All we wanted was a hot shower and hot food. We got it in the tiny town of Chama, New Mexico. The best steak of the trip.

The next day was split into two halves. The first was on the two-lanes of New Mexico, where we saw huge tarantulas crossing the road; the second half was 250km on the I-40 interstate, directly west into Northern Texas and the overnight stop in Amarillo, Texas.

Gary is riding from New York to California and back to New York with www.nicksanders.com

by Gary Inman

Day 14: Grand Canyon, AZ to Chama, New Mexico
Day 15: Chama new Mexico to Amarillo, TX

While I had all the kit for riding 13,000km (8000 miles) in three weeks- new Dainese Gator Evo Gore-Tex suit, old Dainese gloves and new Dainese Torq Tour Gore-Tex boots (the best riding boots I’ve ever worn) - I’d sorely under-prepared when it came to five nights camping scheduled for this trip. Instead of the air mattress everyone else had packed I had a cheap foam rollmat. I was used to nice, lush European ground, not the bare, cold, high altitude campsites of North America. I’d already chickened out of one night and stayed in a hotel (-6 degrees C didn’t sound appealing).

So, it was no surprise I didn’t get a good night’s sleep in the Grand Canyon campground. It was more of a relief than a problem to rise at 4.30am to ride the few miles to the South Rim to watch the sunrise.

After seeing the sun paint the valley a thousand shades of brown, there was a big day of riding ahead. Along the rim of the Grand Canyon, out of Arizona, through the Painted Desert, into the Navajo Nation, through Monument Valley and into New Mexico.

The buttes of Monument Valley are still beautiful and mesmerising despite feeling like I’ve seen them a thousand times in adverts and photographs. The road, as straight an arrow, bisects the red desert and heads towards Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona meet at a geometrically neat point.

After the heat of the desert, the last hour or riding in the cold and dark dragged. I was riding with the tour organiser, Nick Sanders, Ian on his old Triumph, Stewart on another Super Tenéré and the newlyweds, Alex and Jenny on their KTM Adventure. Speeds rose. All we wanted was a hot shower and hot food. We got it in the tiny town of Chama, New Mexico. The best steak of the trip.

The next day was split into two halves. The first was on the two-lanes of New Mexico, where we saw huge tarantulas crossing the road; the second half was 250km on the I-40 interstate, directly west into Northern Texas and the overnight stop in Amarillo, Texas.

Gary is riding from New York to California and back to New York with www.nicksanders.com

Leggi tutto