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

20 posts written by: Gary Inman

Gary Inman
 
 
 
 

USA ROAD TRIP, DAY 14 AND 15

16 October 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

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USA ROAD TRIP, DAY 13

10 October 2012 | News

by Gary Inman

Day 13: Las Vegas, NV to Grand Canyon, AZ

It was unusual, but good not to wake up in Las Vegas with a hangover. The schedule allowed a rare late start, but most of the 14 bikes had left the car park, but the time I carried my bags to the Super Tenéré at 10am.

I rolled out of the car park with Alex and Jenny, the honeymooners, on their KTM Adventure and Stuart and Jim, both also riding Yamaha Super Tenérés. Despite having six, eight or ten lane roads, Vegas is often choked with traffic and the law that stops bikes from filtering through slow or stationary traffic seemed both cruel and pointless.

Eventually we escaped and hit the highway towards Hoover Dam. The art deco edifice is impressive, but the water level of the lake backing up to it gives fuel to the stories I’d heard about the problems this area is going to have if it doesn’t reduce its water consumption.

Back on the bikes we headed further into Arizona and took our first taste of the Route 66. I wasn’t that excited about riding on Route 66 and even my low expectations weren’t reached. The fading and peeling shells of the failed businesses were more intriguing than the kitsch tourist traps selling Made in China Americana to French tourists.

The late start, the regulars stops and the long lunch meant our group of four were still riding to the Grand Canton campsite as dusk fell. In England, it wouldn’t be a problem. But here, in the forested wilds on Utah, I was getting nervous. I’d been warned a dozen times about the wildlife emerging from the woods and colliding with bikers. Sure enough, ten miles from the campsite a huge elk starts to cross the road and Stuart and I thunder up on pair of 1200cc Yamaha. It looks directly into my eyes, rears up on its hind legs and turns to run back into the woods.

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

by Gary Inman

Day 13: Las Vegas, NV to Grand Canyon, AZ

It was unusual, but good not to wake up in Las Vegas with a hangover. The schedule allowed a rare late start, but most of the 14 bikes had left the car park, but the time I carried my bags to the Super Tenéré at 10am.

I rolled out of the car park with Alex and Jenny, the honeymooners, on their KTM Adventure and Stuart and Jim, both also riding Yamaha Super Tenérés. Despite having six, eight or ten lane roads, Vegas is often choked with traffic and the law that stops bikes from filtering through slow or stationary traffic seemed both cruel and pointless.

Eventually we escaped and hit the highway towards Hoover Dam. The art deco edifice is impressive, but the water level of the lake backing up to it gives fuel to the stories I’d heard about the problems this area is going to have if it doesn’t reduce its water consumption.

Back on the bikes we headed further into Arizona and took our first taste of the Route 66. I wasn’t that excited about riding on Route 66 and even my low expectations weren’t reached. The fading and peeling shells of the failed businesses were more intriguing than the kitsch tourist traps selling Made in China Americana to French tourists.

The late start, the regulars stops and the long lunch meant our group of four were still riding to the Grand Canton campsite as dusk fell. In England, it wouldn’t be a problem. But here, in the forested wilds on Utah, I was getting nervous. I’d been warned a dozen times about the wildlife emerging from the woods and colliding with bikers. Sure enough, ten miles from the campsite a huge elk starts to cross the road and Stuart and I thunder up on pair of 1200cc Yamaha. It looks directly into my eyes, rears up on its hind legs and turns to run back into the woods.

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

Read more

 
 
 
 
 
 

USA ROAD TRIP, DAY 11 AND 12

03 October 2012 | News

by Gary Inman

Day 11: Santa Cruz, CA to Ridgecrest, CA
Day 12: Ridgecrest, CA to Las Vegas, NV

Santa Cruz, famous for the eponymous skateboard and bicycle brand, had some of the counter-culture vibe I was craving. I met a photographer friend who used to live near the town and was back visiting relatives and we visited a bar full of roller derby girls. One day wasn’t enough, but waking to a shroud of Pacific fog made leaving town that little bit easier. I rode another 200 miles on the legendary, but busy Pacific Coast Highway before turning inland for a thrash into the baked interior of California.

We were supposed to be camping in Yosemite National Park but an outbreak of a killer virus had been traced to lodges in the camp, so we detoured to a night in the unmemorable town of Ridgecrest and an Italian meal no Italian person would recognise.

Death Valley was on many riders must see list. It’s another desert with another opportunistic gift shop in the middle of a great big nowhere. The Yamaha’s temperature gauge reached 40˚C at Badwater, the lowest point in the USA, 282ft (85.5m) below sea level. I’m glad I took the liner out of my Gator Evo jacket.

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

by Gary Inman

Day 11: Santa Cruz, CA to Ridgecrest, CA
Day 12: Ridgecrest, CA to Las Vegas, NV

Santa Cruz, famous for the eponymous skateboard and bicycle brand, had some of the counter-culture vibe I was craving. I met a photographer friend who used to live near the town and was back visiting relatives and we visited a bar full of roller derby girls. One day wasn’t enough, but waking to a shroud of Pacific fog made leaving town that little bit easier. I rode another 200 miles on the legendary, but busy Pacific Coast Highway before turning inland for a thrash into the baked interior of California.

We were supposed to be camping in Yosemite National Park but an outbreak of a killer virus had been traced to lodges in the camp, so we detoured to a night in the unmemorable town of Ridgecrest and an Italian meal no Italian person would recognise.

Death Valley was on many riders must see list. It’s another desert with another opportunistic gift shop in the middle of a great big nowhere. The Yamaha’s temperature gauge reached 40˚C at Badwater, the lowest point in the USA, 282ft (85.5m) below sea level. I’m glad I took the liner out of my Gator Evo jacket.

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

Read more