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

USA ROAD TRIP, DAY 19, 20 AND 21

14 November 2012 | News

by Gary Inman

Day 19: Cruso, NC to Waynesboro, VA
Day 20: Waynesboro, VA to Harrisburg, PA
Day 21: Harrisburg, PA to Newark, NJ

I’m parked in a lay-by on Skyline Drive, a scenic toll-road that runs for 110 miles through the Appalachian Mountains. We, myself and tour leader Nick Sanders, have been stopped by a Park Ranger who is armed and visibly angry.

Do you know what the speed limit is on this road?
35 miles per hour,’ says Nick.
That’s right. And do you know how fast you were going?’ wonders the Ranger.
40?’ says Nick, hopefully.
68!’ shouts the lawman. ‘Now I’ve had a lot of bikes speeding through here today, but you are by far the fastest. I could have these bikes towed away and crushed and have you put in jail for that speed.

We stare at our shoes. The ranger walks back to his car. Then returns. He tells us that he’s not going to give us a ticket. This is some kind of miracle. I might be because my bike has an English registration plate on it. Perhaps he can’t be bothered with the paperwork or he likes the look of us. I don’t know what it is, but we know it’s our lucky day. Nick and I both pull on our helmets, trying as hard as we can not to smile and rejoin the beautiful Skyline Drive. We have one mile of the park to go. It’s the only mile we ride at 35mph.

The trip is nearly over. Yesterday was another damp slog, while tomorrow is an early start and a 140-mile hop from Pennsylvania, past New York to the dock at Newark, New Jersey. We’ll park up the bikes and stand around for three hours waiting to load them in a container for their return to the UK, then get an expensive taxi to the airport.

This trip has been unforgettable. I’ve covered 13,000km (over 8000 miles), and ridden through 24 of the lower 48 states. With 12 other riders from England, Wales and Ireland, I’ve ridden from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back to the Atlantic.

And I already want to do it again…

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

by Gary Inman

Day 19: Cruso, NC to Waynesboro, VA
Day 20: Waynesboro, VA to Harrisburg, PA
Day 21: Harrisburg, PA to Newark, NJ

I’m parked in a lay-by on Skyline Drive, a scenic toll-road that runs for 110 miles through the Appalachian Mountains. We, myself and tour leader Nick Sanders, have been stopped by a Park Ranger who is armed and visibly angry.

Do you know what the speed limit is on this road?
35 miles per hour,’ says Nick.
That’s right. And do you know how fast you were going?’ wonders the Ranger.
40?’ says Nick, hopefully.
68!’ shouts the lawman. ‘Now I’ve had a lot of bikes speeding through here today, but you are by far the fastest. I could have these bikes towed away and crushed and have you put in jail for that speed.

We stare at our shoes. The ranger walks back to his car. Then returns. He tells us that he’s not going to give us a ticket. This is some kind of miracle. I might be because my bike has an English registration plate on it. Perhaps he can’t be bothered with the paperwork or he likes the look of us. I don’t know what it is, but we know it’s our lucky day. Nick and I both pull on our helmets, trying as hard as we can not to smile and rejoin the beautiful Skyline Drive. We have one mile of the park to go. It’s the only mile we ride at 35mph.

The trip is nearly over. Yesterday was another damp slog, while tomorrow is an early start and a 140-mile hop from Pennsylvania, past New York to the dock at Newark, New Jersey. We’ll park up the bikes and stand around for three hours waiting to load them in a container for their return to the UK, then get an expensive taxi to the airport.

This trip has been unforgettable. I’ve covered 13,000km (over 8000 miles), and ridden through 24 of the lower 48 states. With 12 other riders from England, Wales and Ireland, I’ve ridden from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back to the Atlantic.

And I already want to do it again…

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

Read more

 
 
 
 
 
 

USA ROAD TRIP, DAY 18

06 November 2012 | News

by Gary Inman

Day 18: Jackson, TN to Cruso, NC

While this trip has been, and continues to be, an incredible experience it’s now the longest I’ve been away from my wife and kids and it feels like the best roads and sites are behind us. Packing the bike up at 6.15am knowing there’s a day of rain ahead is not much fun. Today I leave ahead of everyone else, because I’m making another detour, this time to visit a record shop in Nashville.

It’s more Interstate and the spray coming off lorries is blinding. By the time I reach Nashville, at 10am, I’ve already seen the aftermath of three bad accidents: a car on its roof, another smashed into the central reservation.

The shop I want to visit isn’t any old record shop, it’s Third Man Records and belongs to Jack White, formerly of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and now performing solo. It’s a tiny store, that only sells his record label’s own records, but it’s still a special place and well worth the detour. I leve with four 7-inch singles.

I rejoin the Interstate and not long after Keith, an Englishman policeman who is on the trip, appears next to me on his huge BMW Adventure. For a policeman he rides like a lunatic. I tuck in behind him as we hurl along the highway. We’re overtaking everything, abusing the speed limit, taking risks. We’re doing it for two reasons. Being the quickest thing on the road puts you in charge. Dawdle along and the articulated trucks, that do 80mph and don’t slow down for anything, are overtaking you, obscuring you in a cloud of soaking spray and pulling in when they want. We want to be in charge.

The other reason we’re riding this fast is to get this hellish day over as soon as possible.

The rain stops for the last 50 miles of the day. We arrive at the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground, North Carolina. We were supposed to be camping, but the organisers of the trip cancelled it and booked the cabins for us to stay in instead. After a hot shower, the rain catches up and is so heavy it floods the campsite. I could kiss my Dainese boots (ST Tour Torq Goretex). They’re the only pair of boots, out of the 14 pairs that braved the weather today, that didn’t leak.

At 7pm, the onsite canteen cooks up freshly caught trout and homemade apple pie. It’s an incredible meal in a great setting. Just when I thought the trip was on a downer, I’m back on a high. I run back to the cabin, crawl into bed and fall asleep listening to the rain hammer on the roof of the cabin. I can’t even imagine being in a tent tonight.

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

by Gary Inman

Day 18: Jackson, TN to Cruso, NC

While this trip has been, and continues to be, an incredible experience it’s now the longest I’ve been away from my wife and kids and it feels like the best roads and sites are behind us. Packing the bike up at 6.15am knowing there’s a day of rain ahead is not much fun. Today I leave ahead of everyone else, because I’m making another detour, this time to visit a record shop in Nashville.

It’s more Interstate and the spray coming off lorries is blinding. By the time I reach Nashville, at 10am, I’ve already seen the aftermath of three bad accidents: a car on its roof, another smashed into the central reservation.

The shop I want to visit isn’t any old record shop, it’s Third Man Records and belongs to Jack White, formerly of The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather, and now performing solo. It’s a tiny store, that only sells his record label’s own records, but it’s still a special place and well worth the detour. I leve with four 7-inch singles.

I rejoin the Interstate and not long after Keith, an Englishman policeman who is on the trip, appears next to me on his huge BMW Adventure. For a policeman he rides like a lunatic. I tuck in behind him as we hurl along the highway. We’re overtaking everything, abusing the speed limit, taking risks. We’re doing it for two reasons. Being the quickest thing on the road puts you in charge. Dawdle along and the articulated trucks, that do 80mph and don’t slow down for anything, are overtaking you, obscuring you in a cloud of soaking spray and pulling in when they want. We want to be in charge.

The other reason we’re riding this fast is to get this hellish day over as soon as possible.

The rain stops for the last 50 miles of the day. We arrive at the Blue Ridge Motorcycle Campground, North Carolina. We were supposed to be camping, but the organisers of the trip cancelled it and booked the cabins for us to stay in instead. After a hot shower, the rain catches up and is so heavy it floods the campsite. I could kiss my Dainese boots (ST Tour Torq Goretex). They’re the only pair of boots, out of the 14 pairs that braved the weather today, that didn’t leak.

At 7pm, the onsite canteen cooks up freshly caught trout and homemade apple pie. It’s an incredible meal in a great setting. Just when I thought the trip was on a downer, I’m back on a high. I run back to the cabin, crawl into bed and fall asleep listening to the rain hammer on the roof of the cabin. I can’t even imagine being in a tent tonight.

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

Read more

 
 
 
 
 
 

USA ROAD TRIP, DAY 16 AND 17

31 October 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

Read more