Sunday, May 18, 2008

Why an Old Truck?

People always ask, "Why do you ride?" Ask a hundred riders and you will get at least 95 different answers. So, I thought about it and the reason I ride is a 1960 Ford truck. When I was about 11, Dad brought home a truck kind of like this one. Ours was red and white, six cylinder, three on the tree, and I don't think the oil was ever changed in it. All it ever did was run and get you there and back. It was the vehicle I first drove as a licensed driver.

But, that doesn't answer how does this relate to me riding a motorcycle. In the old days kids were allowed to ride in the back of trucks. Yes Virginia, before the government had to protect us from ourselves we would all jumped in the bed of a truck and our parents would offer an obligatory yell to sit down. We would hang our heads over the edge and feel the wind blowing into our faces. Or, we would fight to be the one leaning against the tailgate to have the wind blowing on us. Cold in the winter and hot in the summer, that wind helped set the seed to wanting to ride a motorcycle.

That also brings me to my summer riding plans. I read a story about a guy who rode a motorcycle to Alaska when I was 10 years old. I have never forgotten that story and have dreamed of one day myself riding to Alaska on a motorcycle. Monday, June 9Th will be the start of my one day dream ride to Alaska. These 45 years later I won't face the same obstacles that guy had because the roads are paved and maintained year round. I tend to remember the roads way back then being mostly gravel and/or mud.

My route will take me through Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, British Columbia, Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. All states and Providences of Canada I have never ridden in. I thought about just going to Juneau, but decided that shouldn't be enough to qualify as riding to Alaska after waiting for 45 years. I will do the loop that includes Fairbanks and Anchorage. I need to research Valdez a bit more and decide if I will add that as well. My plan is to be gone about 30 days, solo, on this ride. Three weeks from tomorrow. After waiting for 45 years three weeks shouldn't be that long to wait, but I wish I was leaving tomorrow anyway.


  1. Alaska is on my short list of places to ride to soon. I was raised a Truck drivers son and as a result, I believe that I inherited his yearning for the road. I've managed to ride the entire lower 48 and most of Canada, yet Alaska continues to elude me. I envy you.

    I found you off Dan Batemans (Irondad) site and I drop in occasionally to read, just letting you know that I'm here.


  2. Welcome Earl and feel free to stop in any time. I plan on posting daily on the Alaska trip. Two weeks and counting.

  3. Looking forward to your posts. I'm looking at it the other way i.e. from Alaska south.