American Skid Marks
Setting out on a great American motorcycle roadtrip.

Let’s Get To Planning

OK, so quite a few things happened before I ever started this blog. I’ve been planning for close to a month now and in the next few posts I’ll try to document what I’ve already done.

The first thing I did was to brainstorm some ideas. The second, was to freak out. Allow me to elaborate:

In manic conversations with friends I laid out my intentions to ride around the U.S.. Every time I told a new friend a new idea for the trip would pop into my head. A few of my friends, clearly drawn in by my mania, began to contribute their own ideas.

“I can create a website devoted to the trip and document it. I can plan out my route and anounce when I plan on being on a particular stretch. I can invite riders who live along the route to come ride with me for a few miles. I can post photos from the road.”

“Why don’t you use the Google maps API to create an interactive route map on the website? Folks could follow allong and you could have links to photos that you took in a particular spot.”

“I could bring a video camera and document the whole thing. I could interview people that I met allong the way. Maybe I could come up with a theme for the ride; something that transcends just riding around the country. Heck, if I get enough good footage, maybe I can even produce a documentary about it.”

And on it would go. Each conversation would yield a new addition to the “Hey, how about THIS” list. It was a giant stew of ideas and as the list grew longer it became less and less manageable. I started to get overwhelmed and scared. There is NO way I can pull all of this off.

“I mean, I know nothing about web site design. I don’t even own a video camera. How the hell am I going to pay for all this? Hey, aren’t I supposed to be looking for a job and furthering my career? Oh, crap …”

Breathe in. Breathe out. Focus your attention on your breathing. In. Out. In. Out. Quiet your mind. In. Out. Slowly, through the nose.

Yeah, I’m a bit of a spaz.

Let’s break this thing down. How about organizing things into “Must Do”, “Would Like To Do” and as they call them in the software biz “Stretch Goals”?

I realized that the only thing that I must do, is to do the damn ride. Everything else is secondary.
So, I need to:

  • plan the route
  • get my bike working properly
  • get the right gear
  • get back into shape enough that my body will be able to handle the ride
  • make sure I have enough money to make this happen
  • ride

If nothing else happens, that will do. After all, this whole thing is really just about me and my bike and the American road.

Would like to do?

  • get some practice and training
    • get some miles on my bike
    • read both of David Hough’s Proficient Motorcycling books
    • take some riding classes and practice everything that I’ve learned
  • document the ride
    • photos
    • video
    • blog
    • web site

All of these things are nice, but not strictly necessary.


  • create a theme for the ride (I have an idea in mind, but, more on that in a later post)
  • create an interactive web site for anyone who wants to follow me.
  • compile a documentary style video or series of clips to post on line.

There are more items in the latter two lists, but these are the things I’ve decided to focus on for now. I’ll be documenting my progress as this blog unfolds.

When I put this blog out to the world, it makes this thing feel real. Like, there’s no going back. Frankly, it’s all a bit scary.


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