Going on your honeymoon, leaving the country for the first time or taking a detour and discovering new country, there is always that one moment that grabs you and takes your breath away. This defining moment allows you a new perspective on life, a renewed appreciation for our planet and gives you a chance to join in a celebration that lifts the spirits and feeds the soul.

The ‘moment’ may be different, the experience unique, but the emotion is by and large, the same for everyone.

After reading our Why Long Motorcycle trips are Good For You, here is what real life riders said about that ‘one moment’ that changed everything 

 

The Unforgettable Landscape –   “…the most majestic views I have ever seen.”

Ted Van De Perre’s moment came at 11,000 feet      

“Mine was on a cold dreary day at Red Lodge, Montana. Against the advice of several locals and fellow riders, we decided to tackle Beartooth Pass. When we departed Red Lodge, it's was very cold raining and a mist that penetrated any opening in your clothing. As we climbed, the weather slowly improved and about half way up we even saw patches of blue sky. We finally hit the summit ( 11,000 feet ) just as the sun broke through and presented to us one of the most majestic views I have ever seen. Snow capped mountains as far as the eye could see. The brilliant sun reflecting on the snow all around us was unforgettable. A moment in time I will never forget. If you ever have the opportunity to do Beartooth just do it. You won't be sorry.”

 

Therapeutic Rides –   “Riding is the best therapy ever!”

Dave found better therapy on his bike than on a swanky hundred dollar an hour couch 

“My experiences have been the same. I have enjoyed trips down the west coast of the US and throughout most of northwestern US and British Columbia. Parts of South America are on my bucket list. I will be attending Wing Ding in Montana this fall on my 1984 Gold Wing and will turn that into a week or more on the road. Riding is the best therapy ever!”

 

 

 Random Impulsive Moments –  “We had no destination in mind,”

Life is a collection of unplanned random moments, and they become memorable if you have someone special to share them with. Here is what Jeff Kelly has to say

“My wife and I have just returned from a month long road trip. We did it on one bike and camped out as well. What you wrote is true. The experience has been sensational for both of us. We had no destination in mind, just figured it out the night before. Such a great way to see the country and the world. We would both do it again in a heartbeat. Pack well and don't scrimp on things. Just get the best you can afford and remember, you can always mail it home. Enjoy the ride.”


Meeting New People –  “…it is amazing how many people walk over…”

One of the best things about motorcycle trips is how approachable they make you to strangers. Rick, here, had a similar experience, 

“One of the great things about riding a bike on a long trip is the people you meet. When you stop for petrol, lunch, the lookouts, it is amazing how many people walk over and ask where you came from, where you are headed and offer advice. If I drive in my car, I am sealed off from the environment.”


Soul Food  “Feeds the soul!”

For some, long motorcycle trips are an obsession – something they can’t do without. It feeds their soul. Take Veronica for instance, a 68 year young rider, 

“At 50, for my b'day, I took my first solo, 4 day, trip including 8 hours on a ferry to northern Michegan from WI on my 750, 4 cylinder, Magna. Since then I rode to Colorado with two other women to a national women's biker conference where we met up with our riding group from WI , with the intention of riding to the 'four corners'' and back, when I decided to break off and ride alone through Wyoming to S. Dakota, riding back to WI via Minnesota. Have ridden solo around lake Michigan from Madison, WI, solo around Lake Superior through Canada with another ferry ride to Milwaukee from Michigan, another 22 hour round trip up along Lake Superior and back alone, and 6 days round trip alone to New Hampshire and back to WI. For my 58th birthday I spent 2 weeks with a friend living on Oahu, Hawaii, rented a 900cc Triumph Bonneville for three days to ride the island solo, making an entire island periphery trip the day of my birthday. I enjoy group riding from time to time, like long. Intense paced, windy back road day trips with a women's group (occasional a male partner joins us) but nothing beats the freedom and exhilaration of choice and self determination when taking long solo trips. I had a bad accident a few years back (locally), 4 days in intensive care, got out... Took insurance $$ and bought another bike. Currently 68 years old with no intention of stopping riding any time soon. Feeds the soul!”

 

Reliving Precious Moments –  “… Some of the best times we had in our 49 years together.”

For Butch Thompson, going on a trip is about reliving old times and creating special memories. 5 years after losing his wife, Butch decided to get back on. Here is what happened

“My wife and I rode from Houston Texas to Alaska three times in the early 90's and in do so we rode every state west of the Mississippi river, Some of the best times we had in our 49 years together. I lost my wife 5 years ago so this passed summer I made up my mind to ride again at 71 so I found a low mileage Goldwing and I will be on the road again this spring. It get's in your blood and for me was something I could never get away from. Safe riding everyone.”

 

 Experiencing Freedom –  “… being on a bike and on the open rode, its freedom at its best”

Long trips, especially those on motorcycles can be liberating. Ron Deitch got to experience this freedom, here is what he has to say

“ive rode over 350,000 miles in my life time, ,1550 miles in 23 hrs straite in 1 day and rode 85,000 miles with my daughter on a 1993 Gold wing and now have had 2 Harleys, their is nothing better than being on a bike and on the open rode, its freedom at its best”

 

 Changed Person –  “32 days later I returned. I'm sure a different person.”

Brick came back a different man after his road trip

“I found this to be true in 1976 7 of us were going on this road trip. Departure day... I left by myself. The best thing I ever did for myself. 32 days later I returned. I'm sure a different person. It was just the best!”

 

 Living in the Moment –  “The memories pile up as fast as the miles it seems.”

Living in the moment is perhaps what ‘Dweller’ achieved on his trip,

“I have taken three 1-week trips now and they have become the highlight of my year. I find myself thinking about the next trip within a couple weeks of getting home and have to force myself to focus on the "now" again until the time is right to start planning. I have had many many hours in the saddle rolling through parts of the country I did not know existed. The memories pile up as fast as the miles it seems.

The two best things I did were getting back into riding, and road tripping with friends.”

 

Learning to Deal with the Unexpected –  “they also teach you to approach the unexpected with an open mind”

Running out of gas, having bike trouble, losing your wallet, be prepared to expect the unexpected. Take Goober McNutly for instance, here’s what he says about long motorcycle trips 

“They also teach you to approach the unexpected with an open mind. I've been stranded a couple of times, but nearly always something good came of it before long.”

Whatever the reason for going on a long motorcycle trip, one thing is for certain – you learn more about yourself from these trips than anything else in life. So get out there and let the journey teach you!