Last year I did a ride report on my first long ride, a swing through western Canada (where I was born and raised). I had been riding less than a year at the time, and started riding after reading Neil Peart's book, "Ghost Rider". This thread is posted on Advrider.com and is called "Hittin' the Note" , after the title of the Allman Bros. latest release.
This year I decided to call my trip report "For What It's Worth", after the Buffalo Springfield song written and sung by Stephen Stills (I am probably giving away my age somewhat).
Most simply, I departed Ottawa, drove south to Syracuse, and turned right. And kept on going. The states pass very quickly on the I-80. The tolls were a little inconvenient, however I kept a few small bills in my tankbag at easy reach, which I used several times. Every state seems to have its toll portion, at least until you get to about Iowa or so. The posted speed limit reaches 75 mph once into Nebraska.
I was very impressed with Cleveland, and the nice drive along the waterfront, Lake Erie. I also really enjoyed crossing the Mississippi at Davenport. Later in my trip, on my way back east, I met a nice couple from Davenport, at Foothills BMW in Denver. They were each riding their own bike. And it seems that the Presidential runners seem to like Davenport too!
Next time I would avoid Chicago during the morning rush hour. It reminded me of my experience driving in downtown Birmingham, England, in rush hour, on "their" side of the road! That feeling of hoping that you will make it, and asking yourself why you are really doing this. Buffalo was similarly a challenge.
Being from Canada, a rider without a helmet is unheard of. But from about Pennsylvania on, thats all I saw. Harley riders, hundreds of them, not a helmet amongst them. As an ATGATT type, this really took me aback. I'm not passing judgement, it's just that it reminded me of when I moved from Saskatchewan to Ottawa, Ontario in 1969, and saw helmetless riders in Hull, Quebec. It had never crossed my mind up until that point that you could actually do such a thing.
I didn't see a BMW until much later. But I did see some great wide open vistas. As a prairie boy, the big sky feels like home. On a bike, you really are part of the "frame". Big sky just pulls you that much further into it, like being in your own movie. Here are a couple of shots from Wyoming, west of Laramie.