So the usual final roundup….
What’s the verdict?
Ultimately it was disappointing not to be able to go into Canada and to miss the New England states due to returning home early. I was talking to Gloria and I think that I am ‘over’ touring in the US, I mean I have visited almost every state now and indeed it has been a fantastic experience each time, but less so this tour. Maybe the restrictions etc. just made it less enjoyable than in the past. Of all my travels in the US, the best tour was the first, I guess I just did all the ‘iconic’ stuff the first time and the rest has kind of paled in comparison. Having said that, I would like to return at some point to visit the ‘New England’ states, but no more coast to coast routes I think.
I can never over state the wonderful memories I have of the American people, they are on the whole some of the most friendly, welcoming, warm and hospitable people I have ever met. I have not had one incident of homophobia or misogyny, never an argument or indeed disagreement with anyone, (except that arsehole in the flea pit motel, N. Redington Beach, Florida) and I have met many hundreds while I have been there. They are unfailingly courteous and indeed the biker community is like nothing else in the world and I am eternally grateful to all.
I just think my capacity for long distance touring has waned, maybe it’s age, but I don’t think I will be riding such enormous distances in the future. I imagine a more restrained approach in a specific area rather than haring across whole continents. I would still like to ride in New Zealand and to some extent Australia, whether I ever do is debatable, maybe I’ll focus on Europe, but make my tours bite size!
Total distance ridden – 6733 miles
Flights – This is painful…. total £2355.83 of which £843.05 was cancelled non-refundable flights, but I did get my British Airways flight from New York to London for £393.21 refunded so actual spend was £1749.04… still ouch!!! Takeaway, don’t book on cheapo flight deals, they are never cheap and if you need to change your plans you are completely stuffed!
Other travel – Bike Hire Mexico City – £215 for 3 days. Uber and Taxi’s £227.77 – Car Hire Mexico £311.32 for 5 days
Bike Insurance – £208.26
Travel Insurance Worldwide – £318.00 for 3 months cover
Accommodation – Total cost £1116 average £39.85 per night. I stayed in paid accommodation for 28 nights including Mexico. All my other nights were either with friends or the fantastic Bunka Biker hosts, just unable to thank them enough.
Food – Don’t know, didn’t keep track of it
Fuel – Always paid cash… a full tank was around $10 which was roughly 100 miles before switching to reserve so an average cost of $25-30 per day.. working on a $1 a mile then total fuel is approximately $6733.. very expensive compared to previous tours.
Huge thanks to James in LA, I am so relieved I don’t need to work out where the fuck all this money came from.. clearly maths is not my strong suit; the cost of fuel was more like 10c a mile so total is actually in the region of $673…. whew!!!
Toll Roads – San Francisco bridges toll .. €10.50; still waiting for other tolls to roll in, did try to check online, but too complicated.
Shopping – myob still
The Pacific Coast Highway 1 and Highway 101 from San Bernadino, California to Port Townsend, Washington.
Without a doubt the ride from Wisdom to Belgrade Montana, just because of the wind and fleeing a massive thunderstorm.
Every stay with a Bunka Biker host was excellent, however my most heartfelt thanks must go to Terra and Walt Gusler of Billings Montana for going above and beyond… just kindness and hospitality unmatched.
I must also say a huge thank you to James and Colleen in Los Angeles for their support throughout the whole process and indeed Jackie and Chris in Rochester, New York for their understanding and patience.
Interestingly this goes to both my first and last paid stay in the US, firstly AirBnB in Oakland, California and a Booking.com homestay, (similar to AirBnB.. i.e. not a motel), in Newark, New Jersey.
Favourite Place Visited
Again have to mention a few places…
Chichén Itzá – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chichen_Itza
Cocoyán in Mexico City – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyoac%C3%A1n
Jedediah Smith Redwood Park – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedediah_Smith_Redwoods_State_Park
Fort Casey – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Casey
Leavenworth – see Cascades link
Mount Rushmore – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Rushmore
HD Museum, Milwaukee – https://www.harley-davidson.com/gb/en/museum.html
Least Favourite Place Visited
Not sure I can decide really, I guess the huge open prairies of the mid north states, i.e. South Dakota, Idaho, Nebraska, Ohio, Iowa would be the most likely candidates, just really flat. Having said that there were interesting aspects in each such as the Badlands, (https://www.travelsouthdakota.com/explore-with-us/great-8/badlands), but would not be in a hurry to go back again.
What I Would Do Again
I think I am probably never going to return to the USA, not for a major motorcycle tour anyway, but Bunka Biker is world wide so I would possibly use that resource again.
What I Wouldn’t Do Again
I don’t think I would buy a bike again, I’d either hire or ship my own. At this moment in time I am not envisioning going on a 2 month tour ever again, I think by the time I am ready and have enough money I will be either too old or tired for anything that long, but never say never Pádraigín.
What to Remember for the Next Trip
DON’T BOOK FLIGHTS VIA CHEAPO WEBSITES!
DON’T Use credit cards at all if possible!
DON’T bloody overpack!!!!
Update – just got my mobile phone bill and it has cost me over £700 in roaming charges over the two months, tried to get this reduced, but have had to pay it so must remember never to use the phone for routing again… grrrrrrr