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CALIFORNIA OR BUST II

 

 

This editorial type content can seem self centered to me and I must admit sometimes I'm bashful talking about my coast to coast antics, but the facts are I want to inspire others to take the epic journey and ride coast to coast. Its a cathartic action every time you ride from sea to shining sea and even if you can only do it once in your life, you should! I just did 75 days on the road but it can be comfortably done in 10 days on a shoe string budget... you just have to make up your mind to do it. The seat time and the movement through space and time on a motorcycle has a healing property that's hard to describe. It's one of them things you just have to do to fully understand. 

 

 

I was on the fence about what bike to take this time, having done it last year on a 10 foot long kick only chopper (The Cheesy Banana) I was back an forth about riding my mostly stock DYNA (aka The Dirt Glide) After talking with Walter from Kick Start Cycle I decided to take my more practical sled heeding his words "you ain't got shit to prove bro, take the push button"! So I packed up the Dirt Glide and road from Columbus to NYC for the departure party. I wanted the full monty, a classic NYC to LA ride, arriving in LA in time for the El Diablo Run. With plans to disappear into the chopper underground and visit the Redwoods in the 30 days between the EDR and Born Free. The plan worked flawlessly and I made a ton of friends along the way. 

 

 

As is customary for me the trip was not with out mechanical mishap. I sheered my rear sprocket right off the hub in PA and about 50 miles into the EDR after riding 3000 miles to get there the electronic control module on the Dirt Glide shit the bed and its not something you can fix on the side of the road. So much for my thoughts that the push button would be more reliable... ... I was disappointed but quickly decided I would do the run in a chase truck. I didn't want to hold anyone up with the bike in tow at the boarder so rather than hog up trailer space I stashed the bike in a storage unit. A little bummed out I hitched a ride in a purple 1970 Ford Econoline chase Van.

 

 

Making fast friends with its owner Elton who was riding his XS650 while his bro Vaugh Solo was handling the van driving duties. The van had ERD 2013 and "Bike & Human repairs" written on the sides and as it turned out it was an awesome way to do the EDR. We helped stranded dudes with gas or tools and handed out cold beers all the while high on gas fumes from the open fuel containers in the back of the truck. Our little group grew as two of the Greasy Dozen Builders Shane an Dusty from The Chopping Block linked up with me in San Felipe. The trip progressed and we became affectionately known as "The Purple Van Pirates"

 

 

After the EDR I was back on the road in a day with help from Shane and Dusty to retrieve the bike from its desert storage spot. From there I partied with "Red Solo Cup" Sean and Rob in Long Beach and rode up the PCH to see the Redwoods.

 

 

Spending 10 full days alone in the woods writing and contemplating life, before heading back down the coast to party like rockstars at Born Free 5 and meet Dale who road in from Ohio to do the ride back with me. After Born Free we partied for a few more days in Long Beach. I rode straight shot 2600 miles in 2.5 days to the Low Brow Get Down for the closing chapter of this epic journey. I even managed to fit in a stop at Pinned on my way to Cali, Hell On Wheels in-between the EDR and Born Free and AMA Vintage Days at Mid Ohio to reunite with old friends. It was not easy to hit this many events but it was worth every skinned knuckle and back ache. I think I'm officially addicted to long distance riding and grassroots events. 

 

 

I could write volumes about this trip, instead I think I will let the pictures do the talking and take this opportunity to throw some appreciation out.

 

 

I want to thank Elisa and Bobby from Indian Larry Motorcycles and Walter from Kick Start Cycle Supply for throwing the departure party so I could ride NYC to LA this time around. Along the way there are far too many people to thank but I'll try... Curtis for putting us up in NYC, my old buddy Loic for riding in from Montreal to see me off and insisting that I see a Mets game before leaving, Tim from OBB for doing the Columbus leg and keeping things running smooth with orders while I was on the road, Matt from Brass Balls Cycles for fixing my sheered sprocket in PA, Bill, McGoo and Mike D. at Biltwell for having Old Bike Barn as a sponsor on the EDR and being all round classy dudes. David and Sean at Burly Brand for lunch, parts, a place to work, and gabbing into the night. My friends at progressive for the free shocks and instal on the Dirt Glide, Sean and Greg from 710 Speed Shop for putting me up and keeping it interesting. Mike 47 for a warm welcome an laughs on the first night of the EDR, Heavy Jeff and Dump Truck for the night of debauchery that ensued in Murrieta. Paul Cavallo from Spitfire Motorcycles for a great steak dinner and graciously donating a new girder for the Cheesy Banana rebuild. Aarron for putting me up after Hell On Wheel and Johnny from Asphalt Squadron for a killer welcome to Cali BBQ. Louis Soto for a kick ass Greasy Dozen party in Riverside, Dave and Jen at Cerberus Motorcycles in San Diego for tire installs, bitching food, and a night of punk rock rowdiness bringing us out to see and actually meet Punk Rock legend Billy Bones from the Skulls. Cody Adams from Hot Rod rubber for entertaining us all by the fire at BF5. Kyle and Tyler at Lowbrow Customs for a sweet party and that custom painted bottle of rum. Marc for riding company on the way down and my bro Dale for being great company on the road home, momma Bear for coping with her worries and all my family for understanding my wondering soul, my brother Billy for holding down the fort at OBB, my lady Little C, and her folks Pat and Tom for their support.  

 

 

Last but not least all the kind folks that gave me a place to sleep or a hot meal and cold beverage. I believe if you have faith in the road things tend work out.
Get on your bike and use it for its intended purpose! Even if you can only do a few days... get a road trip in this season you won't regret it.

 

 

The time to ride is now. 

 

-Bear

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Commented on 8-5-2013 At 08:43 am
 

Looks like it was epic! I hope I can make a cross-country ride one day. Great Job!

Commented on 8-5-2013 At 09:15 am
 

That's awesome man!!

Commented on 8-5-2013 At 03:01 pm
 

I've heard of living the life, but this is some next level stuff, Bear! Hoping to do a Cali trip at some point in the future. Nothing like this of course, but it would be some good adventure for sure.

Thx for sharing.

Commented on 8-5-2013 At 03:47 pm
 

Thanks for sharing Bear. Glad you had a safe trip!

Commented on 8-5-2013 At 09:57 pm
 

Good stuff, very inspiring!

Commented on 8-6-2013 At 04:33 am
 

Amazing trip!!!! Must have been incredible.
Next year buy a real camera though, Features shouldn't have any cell phone shots.

Commented on 8-6-2013 At 08:07 am
 

@WingNut Let me say I put great thought into wether I should use some 8 mgapixel cell phone cam pictures. Given the real time nature of the story I felt "REAL LIFE" shots, many taken at spur of the moment from my seat (when camera gear was stowed) gave a more authentic flavor to the story and that people would get that. We had discussed putting a disclaimer note at the end of the text saying something about the shots but figured readers would smart enough to get that this is literally a seat of the pants feature.

I'm all about ultra high quality pictures for features and Lisa has a pretty high standards in this regard as well. Congrats on being able to identify some of these from the road shots as "cell phone pictures" Its not a bike feature bro... and this is not an excuse I stand behind the decision that I wanted to share as authentic a version of my living it experience and that meant a few cell phone shots brother.

-Bear

Commented on 8-6-2013 At 08:28 am
 

Great photolog of your sweet ass adventure!!

Commented on 8-6-2013 At 11:19 am
 

great story man! EPIC!!!

Commented on 8-6-2013 At 06:38 pm
 

It was great meeting ya' Bear, we had some good laughs-n-suds! However, next time the Cali-BBQ will be my world famous tr-tip in lieu of burgers. Like I said before, you always have a place to stay in the Inland Empire. Looking forward to ya' coming down again, and hope to make it up to your side some day. Keep up the great work!
Peace-n-Grease
JW
A/S

Commented on 8-7-2013 At 01:22 am
 

Sorry if I got you worked up bud. I understand exactly what you mean and what you were going for. As far as common sense and smarts is concerned, come on, this is a group for people that take safe relaible machines and try and kill ourselves! Seriously through, the trip looked amazing. One that all dream of and few actually get to do. Make sure next year to include more photod of your feet lounging snd photoe of everything you eat.
just fucking with you!

Commented on 8-7-2013 At 01:41 am
 

Jealous. I need to get on one soon. Great pics., Thanks for sharing

Commented on 8-7-2013 At 10:46 am
 

@wingnut LOL "worked up" not really bro, certainly not about shit on the interwebs... I just like to call apples apples and frankly your comment "Next year buy a real camera though, Features shouldn't have any cell phone shots." was pretty trollish and left me stating the obvious so others did not think the same.

As for shots of my feet I'll cut you a deal! Send $100 via Pay Pal to bear@oldbikebarn.com an I'll send you a secret stash of photos of my feet in different shoes and boots and a couple of barefoot ones too that should help with your foot fetish.

Just fucking with you back LMAO

-Bear

Commented on 8-7-2013 At 06:07 pm
 

I left on this trip spur of the moment on a solid bike with a ton of hard miles. I had a run in with what I am pretty sure was a serial killer sheriff in Kansas, got caught in a tornado and hail storm, lost a stator in Arizona spent 10 hours in the desert 50 miles from anything, crossed death valley on the record high temp day, wrecked the bike in BFE Cali, spent a night in the hospital.
HAD A FUCKING BLAST met some really great people. Partied like a teenager. Got a lot of help when i needed it which i am not used to taking and appreciated beyond belief. I cant even put into words how epic it was. I cant wait to do it again.
JUST PACK YOUR GEAR AND DO IT

Commented on 8-7-2013 At 06:34 pm
 

Dale I still say the measure of a man is how he reacts in crisis... and brother you took that cash and hamburger hands in stride. I was impressed! Glad you made a speedy recovery too. I hope you can join me for California or Bust III NYC to LA again next year. -Bear

Commented on 8-7-2013 At 07:13 pm
 

Great story brother...glad you made it safe...come back out again and my house is your house again...

Commented on 8-11-2013 At 05:03 am
 

That's perfect!

Commented on 8-20-2013 At 06:13 am
 

great photos and story of every riders dream.

Commented on 8-25-2013 At 05:50 am
 

This is an awesome story with great photos!

Hoping to do something like this when I get home from this here deployment...not across though, just up and down the east coast. lol.

Just need to get that basket case in my shed un-basketed....

Commented on 1-14-2014 At 03:55 am
 

...you forgot the police checkpoint and just beating the torrential rain before riding into Queens...hope to see you guys again this year!

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