Friday, May 17, 2024
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Ride 50at50 – A midlife crisis. The photos

The 3 Amigos. Adrian, Andrew and David have known each other since school and have travelled the world together. Quite a lot of that being on or around motorcycles. For their 50th birthday year something epic was in order.

Route 66 seemed a little predictable so they looked for something a little different. Riding the old Pony express trail, now Route50 from Washington DC in the East to San Francisco in the West, there was sure to be plenty of laughs, considerable mucking about and probably some bitching and moaning.

Along the way they saw some cool shit and met some interesting people and oh yes, there was the bikes, some drama and a whole lot of booze.

What could possibly go wrong? 

Once again underestimating our timings we found ourselves in the middle of nowhere leaving us with a night ride to remember.

The guy in the gas station warned us of the danger from deer on the road. They will run across or stop without warning. If they are stopped on the road they might break left, right, away from you or, run directly at you. These animals are big and will kill you if you hit them.

With little options available to us and 50 miles to the nearest available rooms, we geared up and hit the road. 

Route 24 Loa UT - Finding a hotel
Route 24 Loa UT – Finding a hotel

The Indian was on its last legs. It had broken in Monument Valley a few days back and had had to be push started. We called ahead to try to arrange to get the problem sorted. At this point, it looked as if the adventure might be over.

Ride50at50 - Bonneville Salt Flat UT
Ride50at50 – Bonneville Salt Flat UT

This the control tower which I think might still be in operation. It’s the airbase where American B17 bomber crews trained before the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A strange and desolate place surrounded by beauty. More recently used as a movie set for Con Air and Independence Day amongst others.

Wendover airbase UT - The control tower
Wendover airbase UT – The control tower

This was the airbase where American B17 bomber crews trained before the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A strange and desolate place surrounded by beauty. There are lots of abandoned buildings on the site which I believe were used to house the huge teams that were once based here. The dry climate means they are decaying quite slowly but as they are cool and shady did make me worry a little about snakes and the like!

Wendover airbase UT - Was used as a movie set for Con Air and Independence Day
Wendover airbase UT – Was used as a movie set for Con Air and Independence Day

I set out well before dawn to ride to view Monument Valley. It was one of the most memorable sunrises I have ever seen but boy, was it a cold start. Setting off just after 5am and wearing pretty much everything that I had to fend off the just above freezing cold.

Daytime temperatures well above 46c (115f) Just as the colour started to come into the sky, I was joined by a guy who had been travelling in a van with and his dog for the past 3 years. We sat and chatted about life while the day did its thing.

He brewed us a coffee while the doggo sniffed about. One of the chance encounters that prove people are good and we live in a spectacular place. 

Ride50at50 -  Mexican Hat UT
Ride50at50 – Mexican Hat UT

Having grown up on a diet of American movies and TV American cars from the 70’s and 80’s have always been interesting. We couldn’t help but stop and have a mooch about.

It was a bit of a shock when the very ferocious dog and rather angry man came out to confront us. He of course only knows Brits as the ‘baddies’ in American films so it was a bit of a task to convince him we were just interested in having a look and NOT world domination!

We encountered this so much during our ride through some of the smaller places. Some Americans just don’t know much about other cultures and no, England is not that close to Australia.

Wendover airbase UT. This was the airbase where American B17 bomber crews trained
Wendover airbase UT. This was the airbase where American B17 bomber crews trained.

We had swam in the Atlantic Ocean at the beginning of the trip in Ocean City MD after a memorable few weeks we eventually reached California where we swam in the Pacific.

Ride50at50 - Bolinas Bay CA.
Entry #05 – David Berman – Ride50at50 – Bolinas Bay CA [RnT Story Contest – 1st Edition]

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  1. Coast to coast is a trip I’ve always wanted to do myself. Truly amazing travel photography and very fun read. What’s next for the Three Amigos?
    Waiting patiently for the next installment.

    • There is so much to see on either coast and that is superb but once you get into the interior, and that can be sometimes no more than 100 miles, it is so different. The people are different but mostly incredibly nice and welcoming. Keep an eye out for the video of this trip and who knows, The three amigos might just be visiting Sri Lanka!

    • Thank you so much Carl. Keep an eye out for the video. there are thrills and spills a plenty (only drinks were spilled) Hard to take bad pics of my very photogenic buddies and the landscapes kinda did most of the heavy lifting for the rest.

    • Thank you so much Kevin. Keep an eye out for the video of the trip coming soon here. It was much more like long bitching session way round but thats what happens when you get 3 old geezers on motorbikes!

    • Dude. I couldn’t have done it without you buddy. you are the reason I choose to travel by motorcycle. You took your test in such a short time in order to ride50at50 and that in itself is another story.

    • Hey thank you Jeff. It was certainly an adventure and an experience. The video will be showing up sometime soon and guess who is guest starring in it?

  2. A great story that I followed as it took place, anxiously awaiting the next episode. The boys passed through my home town and stopped at Blip, my favorite coffee/motorcycle stop.

  3. What a great thing to have done. You’ve made me miss my motorbike days…
    A really beautiful set of photos and nicely written journal of you epic journey. I hope you were imagining yourself being in Easy rider for at least some of the time.

  4. Great write up, please make a proper book of it! Very enjoyable and very funny! Your pictures are also amazing.
    Don’t you wish you could film every single minute of a bike trip (then edit it) because so many things happen along the way? I do!
    I hope you get to Sri Lanka, I’d pay to read/hear the stories that follow that trip!
    Loads of luck!!! 🙂

    • Thank you Jane. There is in fact a film that should be coming here soon. There is drama, and excitement. Well, a little bit of that but its mostly just me and my 2 best buddies documenting the fantastic journey. I really hope you like it and i really hope others do to because I’d really like to be able to tell a story in Sri Lanka. I went there just after the 2004 Tsunami and we raised some money to rebuild a school. I often wonder how the children we met, especially the little girl who lost her parents and little brother is getting on.

    • Thank you Robin. You are very kind. Keep a look out for the video. If you like a bit of drama, grab some popcorn and sit back for 30mins of not quite Charlie Borman quality journey. It is fun though.


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