USA Road Trip 3 – Coast To Coast 2018

Free-styling it across the U.S. on an Electra Glide

The planning and organising is now in full swing for our next adventure in America. Next year Me, Kate, my bro Roly and the fabulous Babs will be riding from Daytona Beach, Florida to Santa Monica, California. No tour leader, no support vehicle, no suitcases, just two Electra Glides and four people taking only what they can carry on the bikes winding their way across America.

Every year at the end of the Florida bike hire season Eaglerider need to relocate a large number of motorcycles to California for the start of the West Coast hire season. Normally they would load them into trucks and drive them east to west. But our friends The Lost Adventure had a brilliant idea a few years ago and convinced Eaglerider to hire the bikes at a discounted rate and let people ride them across. So began the annual Coast To Coast Run.

What’s the catch? Well, you have to deliver the bikes on a certain date and have two weeks to do it. You sort your own accommodation, pay for fuel yourself and plot your own route… This is not an organised tour, we carry our own bags, fill our own tanks, and pull our own weight. This Road Trip is about every day being an adventure, only having a rough idea where we’re headed, looking at the sky, unfolding a map and picking out a twisty, scenic ribbon of tarmac and riding it.

We’ve booked cheap flights with Norwegian Airlines to get us to Florida and a flight back from Los Angeles after the bike has been delivered.

We have a cheap hotel on International Drive booked for a few days to acclimatise (a bargain £50,00/night) and Bab’s has booked our hotel for our first night of the actual bike trip… more about that later.

So, what is the actual plan for the route? We have a number of places we would like to visit but nothing is “set in stone”. We collect the bikes from the Eaglerider depot in Orlando. The plan is to ride to Daytona Beach to jump in the Atlantic Ocean and then up the east coast to St. Augustine for the night in a fabulous hotel over looking the San Sebastian River booked by Babs.

The following day we start heading west and aim to be in the capital of Florida – Tallahassee for our second night … and so for the next couple of weeks we’ll head west through Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and ending up in California visiting New Orleans, Galveston, San Antonio, Abilene and Roswell (yes, that Roswell in New Mexico) amongst others on the way.. including the worlds biggest Harley Davidson dealership in Scottsdale, Arizona.

A trip of about 3500 miles in 14 days…… with a day off in New Orleans to soak up the French Quarter atmosphere of Bourbon Street.

We will, of course, be jumping in the Pacific Ocean when we arrive on the west coast…

We are so excited about this road trip, it’s going to be a blast……..

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A Collection of Wild West Videos

I wore a helmet cam on this holiday of a lifetime, and whilst watching seemingly endless videos of scenery flashing by is no ones idea of fun I would like to share some with you.

Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride

Included in the tour was a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. The canyon from one mile up is an amazing sight. Here’s a quick video of us approaching the southern rim and flying above the Colorado River.

Monument Valley

One of the most amazing landscapes we visited was Monument Valley. This area has been the backdrop of so many westerns and big budget films that it almost felt familiar. This was our ride towards this iconic scene.

Moki Dugway

The Moki Dugway is a loose dirt & gravel switchback road carved into the face of the cliff edge of Cedar Mesa.

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It consists of 3 miles of steep, unpaved, but well graded switchbacks, which climb over 1,000 feet from the valley floor near Valley of the Gods.

I felt quite a sense of achievement riding a 111 cu.in. Vee-Twin American cruiser up this roadway. My Triumph Tiger 800 XRT might have been a better choice of bike to attempt this climb, but I made it. Look out for the cones at about the 4 minute 35 second mark where the road has fallen away…….

Zion National Park

Day after day we were constantly “Wowed” by the changing scenery. We thought nothing would beat the sights of the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley until we entered Zion National Park. This video shows us driving through the 1.1 mile tunnel cut into the mountain emerging to a stunning canyon (the tunnel footage has been set to double speed) . The second half of the video (excuse the poor editing) is us riding through the gorgeous sandstone rock formations.

Bellagio Fountains – Las Vegas

During our day off in Las Vegas we just had to visit the Bellagio and watch their famous fountains.

Death Valley

It took us about 90 minutes to ride into and out of Death Valley. The searing heat of 104 Degrees Fahrenheit and unrelenting sun made it hard work. As you can see from my video there is no respite and the ride is to be endured rather than enjoyed. Looking into the distance you can see the road disappearing. At least we can now say we have ridden through Death Valley…

Tioga Pass – Yosemite Hailstorm

In complete contrast to the previous days ride through Death Valley, 150 feet below sea level, we had climbed to 8000 feet above sea level and found ourselves riding through snow lined roads.

The weather changed quite suddenly as we rode through Yosemite National Park. Going from cool but bright and sunny to a freezing hailstorm. You can see and hear the hailstones hitting us and the bike.

Riding over the Golden Gate Bridge

Nothing more to say really… this is us riding over the icon that is one of the wonders of the modern world. It was cold and blustery riding over the bay…

Bixby Bridge – Pacific Coast Highway

There was one bridge that I was looking forward to riding over whilst travelling down the Pacific Coast Highway. And that is Bixby Bridge in Big Sur.

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Unfortunately I completely missed it… I rode over it without it even registering. I even asked Vance the tour guide when we were riding over it and his reply was “we’ve already done it..” Probably a good job as Kate hates heights and curves, and this bridge has both…

But once I started reviewing the footage from the helmet cam I found this video of us travelling over the famous Bixby Creek Bridge.

I filled two 32GB memory cards with footage during our two week, 2494 mile journey and a great deal of it was through absolutely stunning scenery. My particular favourite riding was through Yosemite and around the June Lake area. Which reminded us so much of Snowdonia in North Wales.

EagleRider Photos

We’ve been given access to the EagleRider Dropbox where Ken & Vance from EagleRider posted their pictures.

So I thought I’d create a gallery of a few of them from the tour.. click on the images to open a larger view..

Thanks to EagleRider, Ken and Vance for the photos…

 

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