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Atlanta Onward


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The trip to Atlanta was truly an escape from the cold and snowy NorthEast.


As it turned out, much of the trip itself was as cold as the place I left. But 18 hours and almost a thousand miles later, Atlanta greeted me with its warmer climate and my friend Joni who I hadn’t seen in a long time.


We rang in the New Year together.


That’s one of those Harley beanies on my bean. I carry it as a spare because it takes up almost no room-- which is about how much room I had traveling without side bags. Joni was wearing my Nolan Flip that day.133692-beanie.jpg





New Year’s morning I said goodbye to Atlanta and headed West.


Orginally the plan was to rendevous with Erik Outlaw (Junglenutt) around Jackson, Mississippi and head west together. But when Erik was ready I wasn’t. And when I was ready, the temps had dropped and Erik’s heated vest had not yet arrived. Hopefully we will ride another day.


The new plan was to make Dallas (782 mi) or even push for El Paso (1417 mi) -- weather and soul permitting.


The predicted rain starting falling just out of Atlanta and continued for several hours. The early morning temps were cool but nothing like the trip down from NYC.


Riding in cold weather stirs up the appetite. Flapjacks, eggs, bacon, toast, homefries and coffee for breakfast in Alabama. I ate an hour later…and an hour later…and…smile.gif133694-bfast.JPG


Back on went the Helmet Hoodlum and duct tape for my helmet. Note my new seat cover. It’s an old hobo trick – cardboard for warmth. Worked great…comfortable too! Sargent/Russell—watch out. smile.gif




Note to self: Put on the warm stuff before you get cold. Second note to self: Never ride with a (expletive deleted) Nolan flip helmet in the cold again. smile.gif


Route 20 West Awaits.



Hello Arkansas



Continued in next post…




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At my second eat stop there was a sign on the wall that admonished against foul language. I’m sure DB and Fernando would have approved. smile.gif133712-curse.JPG


This must be Texas.



Nothing but Open Road



I was feeling pretty good when nearing Dallas so I set my sites on El Paso. That’s when the wind kicked up.


I’ve ridden in heavy winds before but this 40-50 mile blow with higher gusts was just plain silly. I rode it for about an hour in the dark before pulling into Dallas for the night. The next day a trooper told me semi’s have blown off the road in those conditions..


It was so windy in fact that I had to pass up two motels that didn’t have protected parking. Earlier, getting gas, the Busa almost blew off the sidestand.




The next morning the winds were still kicking but in the more manageable 25-35mph range. The roads were wide, straight and open and I was making good time, maybe a little too good. That’s when I met the clean-cut trooper from Big Springs, Texas. smile.gif


After as pleasant a conversation as it could be under the circumstances -- in which we discussed the winds, the weather and bikes (he was curious why I chose the Busa as my cross country ride) – - he then handed me that official looking piece of paper with instructions. I’m sure many of you know the drill.


Approaching El Paso. The sunset seemed to last for hours. Awesome!






Spent the night in El Paso and woke up early for the Phoenix leg. At 6:30 in the morning, the temp was 28 degrees and the

the seat of the Busa was covered with a thick frost. I was starting to doubt if I ever was going to make that escape from the cold NorthEast. smile.gif


This is improved version of my hobo seat. I call it the "U.S.A. Today Edition." I first started out with the "NY Times Edition" but for some reason the Busa kept pulling to the left. 133723-paperseat.JPG


Continued in next post…



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I decided to chase ‘rabbits" to Phoenix rather than ride exposed and risk another highway award.


My first Rabbit was a fast red SUV traveling at a steady 110 mph. I tucked in behind and rode him for about half an hour when I spotted a Leo on the hill – too late to do anything but curse.


I immediately slowed down and held my breath. Sure enough, the dot in the distance became bigger and bigger as the Leo screamed toward us. His flashers came on, but only after he passed me. It was rabbit soup!


The next Rabbit was a fast Ford Lobo also doing triple digits. I followed him for more than an hour until my low gas light came on..


A few more rabbits later after and I was starting to close in on Phoenix. As my destination came closer I became elated and saddened at the same time. Elated because a long, hard trip was almost over, and saddened for the same reason.


Somewhere between Tuson and Phoenix a strange sensation came over me. At first I wasn’t certain what I was experiencing. But then I realized it was the warmth of the sun.


As fast as you can say "sunshine" the temps rose from the 40’s to the 50’s into the 70’s. I started to grin. I HAD FINALLY MADE MY ESCAPE FROM THE COLD NORTHEAST. WOW!


As soon as the temps hit around 70, I stopped to peel off the layers of winter.


From left to right: EMS Bergelene thermal underwear bottoms, Sport Hill running pants, CycleSport gortex rain pants; old pair of ski pants; EMS Bergelene thermal top; Gerbing heated top; leather jacket; CycleSport gortex rain top; helmet hoodlum; duct tape; Gerbing heated gloves; U.S.A. today; duct tape.


Leaving the reminders of winter strapped to the back seat, I rode into Phoenix with t-shirt, jeans, leather jacket, and summer gloves. And for the first time in a very long time, the air through that leaky Nolan Flip helmet felt just wonderful!


First stop was Apache Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki for my 4K mile service. Standing with me is my good man Jessee. He took me in with less than two hours notice.



When I left Apache Honda, my Busa was sporting a pair of Joe Rocket soft Saddle Bags. Big enough when expanded to hold a full-face helmet. I’ll make a tourer out of MS Busa yet!





I arrived at my brother’s house around 5 PM -- the picture came out much darker than it was.


Surrounding me are brother Richard and his wife Barbara and son David. Missing is my niece Lisa who went back to college that morning. (Two days later I would see my Aunt, Uncle, and a whole lot of cousins and their children.)


A few hours later my cell phone rings while shopping in CostCo. It’s ArizonaAl from BMWRT.com wanting to know if I want to go for a ride the next day. "Sure Al…gee..I haven’t ridden in a long time…laugh.gif why not…


The next morning I follow Al and his RS hoons out of the city and up into the hills in quest of some fast sweepers. Considering that the only fast sweepers we have in NYC are non-union janitors I thought I did well considering -- but no better than mid pack with Al and another of his hoons exchanging the lead in the triple digits. Of course the Busa later took its revenge on the long straights and it was a fun ride for all. Lunch was Mexican and the food was delicious! Thanks Al for a great day!



From left to right is Russ Lambert (RussL), Al (ArizonaAl), myself, and two more RS riders. Hey…what’s with all those red RS’s !!! This picture was taken in Miami, Arizona although I swear I never saw the ocean.




I have crossed the country many times but only three times over land.


The first time was with my father and brother when I was just a kid. The trip took about six weeks as we wound our way from one state to another. It was one of those father and son trips that I will always remember.


The second trip was in the late 60’s when I hitch hiked from NY to San Franciso. It was pretty non-stop, sleeping in the back of cars or the cabs of trucks. The stories, the characters along the way…amazing.


And then, of course, this trip.


All three crossings were special in their own way. There is something about spanning this great country of ours that is pure magic. This is a vast land that we should be proud of. I found myself spontaneously humming "America the Beautiful" and "This Land is Your Land" a number of times when crossing the great Texas plains and Arizona desert. The words, "you can see forever" truly come alive.


Some people may ask how much can you really see in just a three or four day trip across the country. Well, you can see a lot, but as important as what you see, it’s what you feel.


For those who haven’t made the overland journey, try and find the time. Do it by bike, by car, by motorhome…doesn’t really matter, just do it.




My dad past away little over a year ago after a long struggle with his heart.


While he never rode a motorcycle, he always loved traveling the highways and would think nothing of getting up at 4 AM and driving from Long Island, NY to Stowe, Vermont, or even to Canada, for just a single day of skiing – and this was before there were superhighways all the way up. Even in his 80’s, he and my mom would drive the car down to their place in Florida because it was their favorite way to travel.


My dad would have enjoyed this trip, and I felt his spirit with me on much of the ride.



Read about my NYC to Atlanta trip.










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Superb. Everything about it...superb. I've done that Dallas-to-all points West about a bazillion times in the car...the sunsets west of El Paso are unreal. I never seem to get bored even though it's a very very LOOOOOOONG drive. On the bike, it's even better. I did my SS1K across I-8/10 and the time just flew by. I couldn't believe I had spent 18 hours with the bike (16.5 hours riding)...it felt like just a couple of hours. The desert has a majical quality that really just defies description. You just have to be there...and you either get it or you don't.




See you down the road.

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Your trip and posts are bringing a bright moment in a dreary winter to riders in the Northeast. Keep 'em coming.


ps .. I'm so pleased to see the 'busa slowly turning into a rat bike. You go, hobo!



Chris (aka Tender Vittles),

Little '77 KZ400 in the Big Apple

Black '99 RT for Everywhere Else, such as...color=green>


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mjames said: I call it the "U.S.A. Today Edition." I first started out with the "NY Times Edition" but for some reason the Busa kept pulling to the left. LOL!!!!!!


*&^% good trip Michael! Next time, I'm going with you (just don't tell my wife.) Ride back safely. Hope to see you soon, but not too soon.

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Congrats James - incredible. Absolutely incredible! My favorite pic is the one with all the winter gear lined up on the side of the road. Wow.


About 4 hours west of Phoenix on Interstate 10 is Palm Springs - if you need to do some more thawing out. The door is open and I'd leave the light on for ya!

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Why the @!$#$#$%@#$#! am I sitting here in front of my computer reading about your trip?!?!?!?!?!? I should go out and do this myself.... I think I will!


Thanks for sharing your trip.... this was very enjoyable reading..

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About 4 hours west of Phoenix on Interstate 10 is Palm Springs


Tony, I think I'm heading that way and then up to Santa Cruz. Maybe I can catch you on the way there or back. Check your private mail.

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70 Degrees? what's that like? frown.gif

It's nice knowing somebody escaped this winter were having!

nice ride tale thanks for sharing.

Don't come back yet, everything is still frozen! Wait 'till spring laugh.gif

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It definitely does my heart good to read about your trip. I, too have gone Coast to coast as I lived in Torrance CA. for 17 years. Now I'm in CT.


Doing that trip on a MC is on my list of things-to-do.


Thanks for your efforts that keeps us smiling.


Stay focused and ENJOY.

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Most Excellent!


Wish I was there...


Seen any Roadrunners yet?


If you can check out Yosemite. With snow on the valley floor it's awesome.


Ride on (and on)

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Now THAT'S the way for a New Yawker to start a new year!


Great write-ups of a great looking trip on a great bike.....Ride On!

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Tomorrow I'm off to Santa Cruz. I want to thank all of you who have written here or sent me private mail. Thank you for your kind words.


I wish I had more time to respond at length and meet more of you, but

soon I have to turn the stealthy nose of the Busa East and head home.


Thank you ArizonaAl for being my Phoenix daddy and going out of your way to set me up with your fantastic ear plugs and a lot more. You are one very nice and very fast hoon. Thanks Dtool for your kind offer and concern about those dang Santa Ana winds. Russell, Tony, Doug, Jerry -- I hope things work out so we can meet before I leave the area. And thank you David and the moderators for all your efforts in keeping this very rich board going.

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What a great story of your trip! The pictures really made me feel like I was there too. Thanks.

My wife & I usually spend 2 weeks out of the year on the road (on our bikes) so we know the feeling you're having. We love it. Some people go to Cancun,some to Disneyland. For us,we go where the road leads us when we wake up that morning. This year (03) (if money allows us that is) we plan to go back east and north. Pa.,West Va.,Carolinas,And Deals Gap for sure,Tenn.,Ky.,Ark.,And back home. We do have a weekend barbecue with friends planned for KenLake Ky. this summer too. 1 day over,(6something) and 1 day to eat and visit and 1 day back.

Anyway,you have a safe journey back home and keep the pics and story comming.....Ralph

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Great tale, great pics, thanks for sharing it. Once day, when I get closer to your age and have time for this kind of tom foolery (sp) I hope to do similar things.

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Left sunny Phoenix Arizona for Santa Cruz around noon. Hey, where’s the sun.smile.gif



Leaving with me are several new purchases: Joe Rocket soft bags, Sony Cybershot digital camera, Valentine 1, Arizona’s Al’s earplug/music system, Sony I-Pod, Gerbing heated pants (packed) and Zero Gravity Sport Tour Windshield (packed.)

By the way I’m in the advertising business. Anyone need some good creative work? I think I’ll need a couple of new clients to pay for all this stuff. laugh.gif


Interstate I-10 West…The road to the city of Angles.



Clouds followed me all day long and so did the rain.



Tower, do I have permission to take off?






Wating for daddy to finish pumping the gas.



Gray days can be beautiful






Getting ready…



to lane split—and for once it’s legal cause now I’m in Californiasmile.gif



Had dinner at Denny’s somewhere between Los Angelos and Santa Cruz. But between chicken something or another and cheesecake a thick fog rolled in and I found a bed for the night.


I’ll be spending the next day or so with a client in Santa Cruz. Thanks again ArizonaAl for acting as phone tech support for a speedy Valentine1 installation. The earplugs worked great aned istening to Meatloaf’s "Bat out of *&^%" on the IPOD at 110mph is something…so is lane-splitting to Beethoven. smile.gif


KTM Doug…hope it works out together with you and Stongbird tomorrow morning.


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Arrived Santa Cruz this afternoon in a warm downpour. Earlier temps in the day were as low as 38 degrees in the Valley along 5 North.


Spectacular scenery along the way, especially 156 West and then a very twisty mountain pass road to Route1. Wish I could have taken the pass faster but it was wet, unknown and I was tired. Plus the guy who showed it to me said it was known for motorcycle accidents. I rode with the car traffic more or less. May go back tomorrow if things dry out. The best pics are in my head as packed the camera away after it started raining. I'll post some of the rest later. California is one beautiful state. Glad I didn't ride this leg last night as planned. Not only would I have missed the scenery but it could have been one tricky ride in the dark.

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Left my Santa Cruz client early this morning. Stopped at local Suzuki dealer to switch windshields. Bought two pair of cheap gloves that proved to be worth what I paid for them. Rode through meandering rain-forest highway 17 to meet up with KTMDoug. Later bought another pair of cheap gloves—some people never learn.smile.gif Possibly meeting up with Cory (Strongbird) later who lives in area. Heading south later tonight or tomorrow.


KTM Doug’s garage in Livermore, CA. Busa in foreground. Luxury Red Road King in middle. New Capri Blue K1200RS in background.

135693-doug.JPG Conference call at Livermore House of Pancakes between KTMDoug,


Mjames and the boys at NY bike show, including PeterScottNJ, Brian and Francis. (Recreation)



Doug and his lovely wife Linda in the Livermore home.





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On his "Around the World" journey, mjames found time to stop by and share a little lunch. He's still smilin after all those miles on the "BUSA". I also got a little lesson on attaching pics. Thanks Michael! I t was nice to meet you.


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Friends have told me I am always in a fog. They were right this day on CA’s notorius I-5. This is how it looked on route to meet up with the gang at Palm Springs. 136589-fog.JPG


Then it got worse.



Wouldn’t it be nice if the whole world was a friendly as truck stops?



It was all your could eat and so I did. This is my first helping.



Big guy at 9 0’Clock. Biggest guy at 12.



Who is that guy?



Who is that guy?



That’s Russell/Lisa, Tony/Kim and Daryll heading for the Bynum Busa test run. 136605-following.JPG


The group once again. (L to R: Angel, Mjames, Bounce, Biggest guy, Onedae, Cool Tony, Kim)



Thanks guys for taking the time to meet me on the road. A great afternoon.


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Great stuff Michael - love the 'caravan' shot heading out of town. Nice staggered formation. Really felt comfortable with all of you guys as I don't ride with groups (more than one other bike) that much.


Looking at that shot... did I by chance leave my turn signal on? laugh.gif




Russell was behind me - maybe he'll remember.


Again, it was great to meet up with all of you.

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Looking at that shot... did I by chance leave my turn signal on?


Tony, if I remember correctly, you left it on for only a few seconds after the turn. Then you turned it off.

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Awesome trip and ride reports. Great to meet you in Palm Springs. I hope your ride back home is safe and relatively warm and dry. I keep promising myself to do the same thing one of these days but life keeps getting in the way. Maybe soon.

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Great trip!!cool.gif I look forward each day to the next series.


I feel like I've been along for the whole trip so far. Great pictures. Wishing you continued sucess both with the bike and weather.


I just received a note from my cousin on Cape Cod asking when I was coming back to visit. You've given me the courage to plan on going in the future. BTW he said the beaches are not crowded at all now.smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif


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I see how there are those multi car pile ups now.


The real problem is that the lunatics still try to go 70mph nose-to-tail in that soup.

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Leving Phoenix tomorrow early (Wednesday).


Weather looks clear to Dallas if I giddiyup. After that mom nature calls the shots -- but if I don't make it home in 3-4 days my catsitter friends have threatned to eat the cat. smile.gif Also the Busa has a new look. I'll try and post some pics from the road.


Feeling sad leaving the West, but looking forward to going home.

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MJ Update. Just got a call from MJ in Deming, New Mexico at noon today(Eastern time) to say his bike had died when he pulled over for a stop on his return journey. He will post some pics with skins stripped off checking for problems.


The local Susuki Dealer came to the rescue and they jump started the bike. Guess all the electronics and heated gear are too much for the Busa Battery and alternator. Those engineers probably never figured there would be a guy like MJ pulling off a cross country trip.


So while at the store he was getting fitted for some Joe Rocket Ballistic 4.0 pants(I love mine)and a set of jumper cables which I suggested.


Weather forecast is gonna hold him up a bit in Texas cause of some sand/wind storms. He is trying to make it home to NYC before the next round of winter sotrms hits us lon Friday.


Good Luck MJ


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Yep,the weather here in Oklahoma has turned cold again. But not the storm they were predicting,but only a dusting of snow tonight. ( WED.) Thursday may be worse,but it is clearing. I hope it does not follow MJ all the way home...

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Thanks Jim for helping out and posting. Here’s the whole shabang!


Original plan was to leave Phoenix 4 AM and giddiup to Dallas to stay ahead of the weather. Woke up earlier and left at 2:30AM – so the revised plan was to ride night day and night into Atlanta and really get ahead of the weather. What do they say about best-laid plans. laugh.gif


2:30 AM Phoenix. The Busa has a new look. 137870-DSC00199.JPG

Gone are the ugly and PITA Joe Rocket saddle bags. In place is a very cool system by Ventura Racks in England. I bought these from a local guy who only used them for a week – that’s when his pal smashed his Busa riding around the block. laugh.gif To check out the Ventura System: [link]http://www.ventura-bike.com/english/products/pack_system/index.html[/link]


Beautiful Sunrise approaching New Mexico



Pulled over to fiddle with my sound system which is getting more complicated by the day. Busa says ENOUGH to all those wires sticking in her and shuts itself off. Won’t start. Won’t even wink her lights. Busa is pissed off.


This is how Busa looked after I called the New York dealer for instructions. They said problem was probably the main fuse for some reason buried in the middle of the Busa Of course, it wasn’t the problem but I got a lesson in taking the bike apart.



This is where it all happened. Akela Flats. Somewhere between Denning and Las Cruces NM. 137868-akela%20flats.JPG


Akela Flats is about 30 miles from the Mexican border. Border patrol agents passed every ten minutes or so and offered to help. In fact, lots of people stopped by. New Mexico is one friendly place.


Then these fellows happened by. 137877-helpers.JPG

Two electricians, luck would have it. They pulled out all sorts of electrical devices and special tools. Eventually the consensus was I had a fried battery. Of course, no one had a jumper cable, but in the meanwhile I had called Las Cruces Motorsports, a Suzuki dealer about 30 miles away.


This is shot from the front seat of the Las Cruces Motorsports tow truck.137878-backonroad.JPG

Busa is tied up and sleeping in the back.



This is Brian, the service writer and a real hero. He gave me first class treatment all the way, and said he’d do everything to get me on the road. And he did.


Las Cruces checked out the entire electrical system and ended up replacing the battery. Suzuki warranty covered everything but the two. Charge for one hour of towing: $20.


But where did they put the Busa? Oh…there she is…I didn’t recognize her because they even gave her a wash. laugh.gif137880-can%5C%27t%20recognize.JPG


Later Brian took me aside and asked me what I had plugged into the battery. Well…let’s see: Gerbing top, bottom, radar detector, satellite radio, that’s it. Well…apparently it was too much. He then suggested I get a volt/amp meter and see what is drawing what when I return to NY. This I will do and in the meanwhile it looks like only the Gerbing top will get plugged in.


And that’s where the new Joe Rocket ballastic 4.0 pants come in. Bought a pair while waiting for the repairs. Rode with them from Las Cruces to El Paso where I am spending the night. Very comfortable…excellent quality and hopefully very warm.

Also very reasonable at $140. The Gerbing heated pants get returned for many reasons but that’ another post.


So the plan was to ride about 1500 miles to beat the weather and I ended up doing less than a third. But on the bright side I met a bunch of friendly and interesting people, got what appears to be an excellent pair of riding pants, had a hearty road house lunch, and took a short but great ride from Las Cruces to El Paso basking in the warm afternoon sun. (It was in the 30’s all morning until Daybreak) I also found a very biker friendly motel in the El Paso Best Western: "Just ride your bike up on the walkway" the receptionist said, and so I did. All in all, a very good day. 137887-motelfriendly.JPG Footnote: I later learned that there were heavy sand/dust storm warnings out all day between El Paso and Dallas. They didn’t show up on my morning weather check. Maybe the Busa knew something after all.smile.gif


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I kneel at your feet, oh ye traveller of miles. Place your hand upon my pate and forgive me my pretensions to being a rider.


To the moderators: I hereby suggest that James be dubbed with the moniker "Hardcore."





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Hey, he's already a ledgend in his own mind, so making his head swell anymore and his new helmet won't fit for the trip home. LOL

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Pilgrim: I kneel at your feet, oh ye traveller of miles


Does this mean I can’t take the plane home and ship the bike? laugh.gif


This is the Interstate map I’m looking at this morning. I’m in El Paso—just northwest of where I-20 and I-10 intersect.


Yellow in these parts usually means high winds and/or dust storms. Red is pretty much stay off the roads for bikes – very high winds, snow, ice, etc.


Anyway, thanks for all the encouragment. I actually planned only half the trip--just forgot I would have to ride home. smile.gif


Well…got to go…but having trouble getting on the new Arai helmet…it fit pretty well in the store…dang...


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