“They have the World Series of American football, although they’re the only ones playing it.” “The poor bastards pay $5–$13 for a beer in a restaurant and think beef jerky is something nice to eat.” Google “biltong,” which is now available in the U.S., you’ll thank me later, and yes, paying that for beer is a human rights violation, in my humble opinion.
Nevertheless, the media is guilty of creating many mistaken perceptions about countries, something we’ve discovered to be true in almost every nation we’ve visited. The same came to pass for the U.S. What we found was a country we fell in love with during our nearly six months there, and most of the proffered opinions were rubbish.
As we were sitting in the BMW workshop of our friend Hank, in the bloody hot, small town of Dilley, Texas, he slapped a few Butler BDR maps on the table while sucking on iced tea. These are about the best way to plan where to ride, he said. With added suggestions from the local gamut of adventure riders, those maps became our go-to for route planning. After buying two low-mileage Suzuki DR650s in San Antonio and rigging them for the long run to Ushuaia at the southern tip of South America, we hit the road at the beginning of summer.
Riding from Texas’ Big Bend National Park, north toward New Mexico, the images of old westerns with their dirty, dusty, and sweaty cowboys came to mind. You quickly fall in love with the tiny, bucolic one-horse towns, each with its unique charisma. Not to mention the small diners, with their incomparably great food. If we weren’t careful, the DRs would not be able to carry the husky bodies we were busy growing. Those towns still have the seductiveness of times gone by, and some are as rough as a bear’s arse. The chummy, chatty folk are a treat, from fuel stop attendants to interesting characters we encountered in quirky, dodgy bars. Conversations always ended with smiles and suggestions of places to see.
The summer heat was unbearable at times, but our friends did warn us that the sun at that time of year could boil your brains from early morning. Lucky for us, Americans like their comforts, they know how to do things properly, and we were able to find some relief at service stations, buying ice for our CamelBaks and humongously large sodas with crushed ice to suck on while attempting to avoid brain freeze.
The plan was to curve through small towns, using as many backcountry and dirt roads as possible, to Wyoming. Advice to stay off the interstates was 100% appreciated. Our route crisscrossed to the west through Texas, up to New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, eventually turning around in Washington, where we pointed toward Mexico. We traveled over the mountains of Colorado, the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and the incredible roads winding from Wyoming to the state of Washington, a route of roughly 4,000 miles, covering some of the most scenic roads and landscapes the U.S. has to offer.
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DESERT ADVENTURE BIKE TRAINING
The Southwest desert is arguably one of the most uniquely scenic areas of the United States. Its vast majesty, laced with a network of roads of every kind, encompasses six states. These backcountry byways can take us to some amazingly beautiful and desolate destinations. The catch? They are mostly unpaved and many are technical, sandy, rutted, off-camber desert trails with stream crossings and frequently changing slopes. Wind and rain ensure that no two days will see the exact same conditions.
PEACE, LOVE & NAMASTE
A Venture to the Top of the World
WANNABE COWBOYS RIDE THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE
It was our first visit to the U.S. While indulging in stale airline snacks in cattle class on our way to Texas from South Africa, we had a good laugh about all the contradicting and varied opinions of the U.S. we’d heard.
2021 DUCATI MULTISTRADA V4
In many ways, the Ducati Multistrada set the bar for sport touring motorcycles when the first model rolled out of the factory in 2003. And while either you loved the ’80s sci-fi aesthetic or hated it, it was a game changer.
LOST IN BAJA(Sort of)
Passing Rosarito Beach on Highw ay 1 is the moment stress melts away. The headache of crowded southern California interstates, the border crossing, and the packed streets of Tijuana (with Google navigating, of course) disappear when you finally see Baja’s western shore for the first time.
GET ME TO GONDAR!
JOURNEY THROUGH ETHIOPIA
TRIUMPH TIGER 900 RALLY PRO
Long-Term Bike Review
When the Road Ends Lost in the Pacific
A film by Dylan Wickrama Distribution and production: Ride2Explore Available from: Journeyman.tv/film/7775 | iTunes | Amazon Video | Video on Demand Fees: Rent – $5 | Buy – $8.50
THE YOUNGEST TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD? JACK GROVES
In the age of electronics, hyper-communications, and convenience, it’s untrue that the world’s youth have lost the taste for adventure. There will always be an element within the human spirit that demands and grows from new life experiences—an instinct as old as Mankind. And you don’t have to look far to find it.
Alpinestars Tech 7 Enduro Drystar
Motocross boots have evolved considerably over the last 20 years, but that hasn’t been the case in the ADV segment, and we often have to sacrifice proper protection for dry feet. Meet the new Alpinestars Tech 7 Drystar enduro boot. We’ve been waiting for a boot like this for quite some time and, to this day, it still boggles my mind that it took so long.
This Wild Life
ONE MAN’S 92-MILE RUN OF GRIEF AND SELF-DISCOVERY.
This 2016 Chevy Silverado is a Dream Come True for Hector Marmolejo
HOW SMALL COMPANIES CAN GET BIG PR
Think you’re too small to get press coverage? You’re just not selling yourself properly
Cynthia Lummis, Crypto Queen Of The U.S. Senate
The Wyoming Republican explains why she’s long on bitcoin.
Just Keep Livin'
In the new year, Matthew McConaughey is looking beyond the pandemic—and movies—toward a much bigger picture. Could politics be his next frame?
An Overview of Hunting Reptiles for Survival
SHATTERED HIP CRIPPLES TRAGIC TANYA TUCKER!
Fight to walk after surgery
A Man and His Wall
When Donald Trump called for a big, beautiful wall, a guy from North Dakota named Tommy Fisher spent millions to build a 3-mile stretch along the Rio Grande. All Fisher needs now is for someone to buy it back
The story of Africans on this continent is longer and more varied than the version I was taught in school.
America's Friendlist Summits
Some high points require expert skill, a bit of luck, and probably some suffering. Not these. Here are 15 peaks—high on views, low on effort—that don’t play hard to get.