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Riding Dirty - A North American Motorcycle Tour

"If you don't do it this year, you'll be one year older when you do."
- Warren Miller

Since finishing a stint in the Marines, I've always taken my free time very seriously. For this reason, I've never been able to work or take classes during the summer. I just can't bring myself to stay in the Midwest when there's so much I haven't seen. I bought my first bike in 2007 and that summer rode it from Indiana to Colorado, where I randomly bumped into Cyrus at a campsite. He was on a custom chopper he'd made and we became quick friends, staying in touch over the next several months.

One day I got an email from him saying we should plan a trip for the following summer. This started as a ride to Cali, up the coast to Washington and across to Montana, back to Colorado. Then we considered taking a ferry from Washington to Alaska and riding back. Turns out that would cost around $600 each, so that wasn't happening. Looks like we'll be riding both ways.

Dirty Hippies.

I left my home in Lafayette, Indiana on May 21st. It was a cold ride to Peoria, Illinois where I met friends at the Summer Camp Music Festival for three days of camping and live music. We saw George Clinton, Flaming Lips, Blind Melon, moe, and lots more.

My girlfriend rode with me from there to Denver. We took it slow, with a stop at Long Branch State Park in Missouri, then took route 36 west through a very cold and wet Kansas countryside.

I was slightly under prepared for this type of weather. For gloves I was using my old military leather shells and cotton inserts, which didn't work out so well. I had my old combat boots, a pair of waterproof hiking pants and a cheap leather jacket that was a size too small. Apart from that I had a few light layers which I had to split with my girlfriend since she didn't have much of her own. I knew I wasn't entirely prepared for Alaska, but I was just happy to be on the road, heading somewhere new.

My Jezebel. 2005 Honda VTX 1300C

We spent a week hanging around Denver, seeing friends and doing some hiking before I finally rode to Montrose, CO and met Cyrus at his place. We made some last minute preparations, including changing the final drive oil on my bike and piecing together the 01 Harley Road King that Cyrus had rebuilt for the trip.


Chopperjake says:

Awesome article!!! Very inspiring and sounds like one helluva good time.
Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 11:26 AM

DrAlloway says:

Excellent !

June-July 2010 I started on US-50 in Ocean City Maryland. Put my rear tire in the Atlantic Ocean and rode US-50 all the way to San Francisco where I put my front tire in the Pacific Ocean.

Then up the coast into Canada; back into Washington State; and home on US-2 along our northern border.

60 days, camping and cooking, just over 12,000 miles.
Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Puddlejumper says:

Great story telling. It is an adventure you will remember your entire lifetime. My husband and I are both retired Army and from one vet to another, thank you for your service. Not many are willing to risk all as you did. Well done and welcome home. Keep those wheels turning!
Fri Dec 9, 2011 at 9:13 PM

NC_En4cer says:

Awesome story bro. I enjoyed reading about your adventure. That's my kinda riding. Great trip and pictures.
Fri Aug 26, 2011 at 11:34 PM

tortuga-mike says:

Great trip...Great story!!! I'm leaving Afghanistan in June, will start my trip in Aug...I plan on taking
about two months also, but I'm going all the way up to Prudhoe Bay, and down to Anchorage, threw Fairbanks, and maby a ferry one way there, and drive the other way...THEN, I'm doing the 4 Corners Tour, with the Great American Motorcycle Adventure together, and plan on hitting all 49 states before I'm finished.

Starting at Fort Hood Tx, and Ending in San Diego, Ca. But probably have to go it alone. Should still be fun!
Mon Apr 18, 2011 at 5:35 AM

UtahDave2 says:

Great read - I've ridden from Alabama to Utah via South Dakota and Yellowstone, and need another long trip. You have inspired me. I've been chained to my desk for too many years.
And, most importantly, THANK YOU for your service to our country! We have the freedom to be able to ride because of you and all of those like you. An Air Force vet.
Mon Mar 28, 2011 at 6:35 PM

SoapSuddzin says:

I was at a point where i was debating getting out of the service. ive loved every minute of it but am ready for a change. reading this article was a great influence. to be able to go out whenever without having to take leave. awesomely inspireing. thank you for serving.
Go Boilermakers!
*indiana born and raised
Wed May 19, 2010 at 9:47 AM

jwittner says:

Really great travel log Trevor - truly inspiring. Thank you.
Tue Apr 13, 2010 at 10:45 AM

trev1300 says:

Thanks for all the comments guys, I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Check out the video at:

I'm riding the Dragon in TN next week, and might be heading to Mexico this summer; best of luck to everyone taking on their own adventure.
Tue Mar 9, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Nowheels says:

Awsome, reminds me of Redline America
check it out if you haven't yet. Definately worth it.
Sat Feb 13, 2010 at 10:53 PM

davidtn says:

Excellent, excellent, excellent!'

I'm riding from Key West Florida to Homer Alaska this June and I vicariously already made the trip thanks to your great article.
Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 7:21 PM

kshief50 says:

I had many such adventures thirty+ years ago. Well told on your part, live large. I'm thinkin perhaps I have one more left in me. Don't get chained to the wants of life, it will destroy your best. Ride, Ride, Ride!!
Thu Jan 21, 2010 at 9:29 AM

Doc2nd2 says:

Im glad you got the opportunity to pull off an epic ride like that. I try to do that every couple of years. And now you have fired me up for my next ride! Very well written, I could relate with the different aspects of your ride as I am sure others can too. I often felt as if I were on the road with you guys. Im old Army and want to thank you, from one soldier to another, for your service. It seems vets really can appreciate the freedom of an epic ride for what it REALLY is, a chance to enjoy the freedom that we fought for and our buddies died for. Ride safe, ride long and always remember to ride for those who can't.God's speed brother.
Sat Jan 16, 2010 at 9:08 PM

zgun says:

Again, a great story. As I wait here in Georgia to get thru one of the coldest winters on record, I dream about getting on my new Yamaha vstar 1300 and doing something like this. I am glad you were able to do this after serving time in Iraq. Welcome home!
Tue Jan 12, 2010 at 9:42 AM

mitrocop says:

A buddy of mine and I are in the planning stages of an approx. 6-week trip from Charleston, SC to Denali park in AK and back, with lots of off-road routes through the wild wild West.

Great story - thanks for the insight on good stops through Canada, it gives us food for thought before we head out later this summer. Keep on with the Roads Less Traveled, they're definitely WORTH it!

*BTW, we are leaving my Honda VT800 and his HD Road King at home for this long ride - we're guessing about 10k+ miles roundtrip - and taking our new BMW dual sports bikes instead...F800GS & F1200GSA, respectively. Don't think our road cruisers would handle the trip as well as the Beemers. Also hope to post a good story & pics like yours when we make it back.
Thu Jan 7, 2010 at 6:50 AM

DonutmanBob says:

Just wanted to say what a great read. I've ridden further in one day but the riding conditions were about as perfect as could be. P.S. I hate being cold and wet!
Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 9:14 PM

BDKrivit says:

Nice job, dudes.
Sat Nov 28, 2009 at 3:13 AM

larrykennis says:

Thanks for the ride friend. Felt like I was with you.
Sun Sep 27, 2009 at 4:53 PM

redhogg says:

Sounds like the trip of a lifetime. It's been on my list of trips I want to take but will have to wait until retirement for the time needed but your story rekindled the fire.Great story and pictures, Thanx
Sun Sep 13, 2009 at 7:22 AM

Teehaml says:

Absolutely fantastic journey! Memories for your later years. Keep riding and ride safe!
Sat Sep 12, 2009 at 6:02 AM


Dude, thank you so much for the temporary escape from my desk. I am an Army vet and a native Montanian so I didnt have a very hard time relating.
Mon Jun 29, 2009 at 5:28 PM

RoadGlider06 says:

Ride on Marine and great story! Semper Fi!
Mon May 25, 2009 at 8:01 AM

SocialOutcast1313 says:

Looks like fun. Reminds me of what I have been cooking up in my twisted head for after I get out of the Navy in a year....
Sat May 23, 2009 at 4:07 PM

felon says:

Outfrickin'standing!!! great journey, people, scenery, pictures, a brother to do it with and I'm sure lessons learned for the next ride!
Wed Apr 8, 2009 at 11:16 AM

troy30455 says:

Great story, Great trip. That makes me want to pack!!!
The pictures were awesome. Hope to read some more of your adventures.
Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Anonymous_Motorcyclist says:

I'm inspired - well done
Tue Mar 31, 2009 at 5:32 PM

biskitdg says:

I hope to get the chance to do a ride similar to this one day, after reading this it might be sooner than I planned! :) Loved the article.
Mon Mar 30, 2009 at 5:43 AM

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