During the summer, Jonathan and his buddy rode their motorbikes from Toronto to Colorado, Utah and Arizona. The plan was to ride as fast they could (within legal limits) to Colorado and then explore Colorado, Utah and Arizona. I flew to Denver and met the guys in Boulder. There was no way I was going to endure being a passenger for 3 days of non-stop riding.
Being a Passenger on a Motorcycle Trip
I hopped on the back of Jonathan’s bike in Colorado and immediately realized that I will never go on the back of a bike again. The discomfort of sitting on a tiny backseat was intensified by 30 pound backpack that was strapped to my back. I also added a garbage bag to repertoire in order to hide my belongings from the rain. While the garbage bag did keep my stuff dry, it also acted as a sail adding even more weight. That time on the back of a bike made me realize one thing. Next trip, I will be ripping through the mountains on my own motorcycle.
Having a passenger wasn’t ideal for Jonathan either. He could not lean as hard on certain corners, he was cramped in his seat. I just never seemed to grabbed the proper areas of the bike. My primary job, aside from not moving, was to hike up to vantage points and document the journey. That was a welcome break from sitting in the same position for hours.
Exploring the Southwest
Going through Colorado was cold and rainy. There was still snow at the top of the mountain passes. As soon as we descended down to Utah we were met with dry heat, which dried us out nicely! Lack of trees also meant that there would be no wildlife sneaking around, though we did meet a motorcyclist whose BMW was destroyed after a collision with a turkey vulture. There was plenty opportunity for mountain biking and hiking to break up the motorcycling days.
Cycling Touring vs Motorcycle Touring
I have done four cycling tours, this was my first motorcycle tour.. The biggest differences is the speed at which you cover distance. That is a great perk if you are exploring places that are far apart, but you don’t necessarily get a chance to soak in your surroundings. You are nowhere near as exhausted at the end of the day. Yet there is no justification to eating a lot of food, you’re just pigging out not fueling up. It is still a great way to travel but next time on my own bike!