Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

15 Grand and 15 Miles

February 2005

According to the U.S. DOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2003 the 5.37 million motorcycles registered nationwide traveled a combined distance of 9.54 billion miles. This suggests that the average American motorcyclist logs less than 1,800 miles of saddletime annually, which is less than 150 miles a month.

150 miles a month? I usually cover more than that in a day! No wonder I get those odd looks when I mention that 2,500-mile maintenance is a monthly ritual for me….

Anyway, our warm tropical climate and endless summer sunshine make South Florida a year-round biker’s paradise. Aside from occasional showers (and a hurricane or three), almost any day is a good day for cruising over to your favorite beachside bistro, and the four counties of Southeast Florida (Palm Beach/Broward/Miami-Dade/Monroe) offer what may be the most scenic assortment of biker-friendly watering holes this side of Sturgis. Yes, bar-hopping through Buffet Country can be a real blast, but there is a lot more to motorcycling than that. As the helmet sticker reads, “15 GRAND AND 15 MILES DON’T MAKE YOU A BIKER.”

Sooner or later, hopefully, you are going to want more from your biking experience than Sunday’s bucket, band and free buffet. Next will come runs across the Everglades, or down to the Upper Keys … followed by Key West Poker Runs, circling the “Big Water” of Lake Okeechobee, and of course north to Daytona or Leesburg for BikeWeek and an “I Rode Mine” pin. So much for 150 miles a month!

I’d like to think that most of us are willing if not eager to extend and enhance our riding experiences at least this far … and then some! In future columns, I will provide you with ample reasons to consider long distance riding, and plenty of resources to help you reap the rewards of LDR. Many of those will be Internet resources, which can be accessed from your browser by means of their Uniform Resource Locator, or “URL”. A URL contains the name of the protocol used to access a resource, a domain name that identifies a specific computer on the Internet hosting the resource, and a pathname to the resource itself. On the Web (which uses the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, or HTTP), an example of a URL is …

… which specifies HTTP protocol, a computer named “”, and a web page whose pathname is “/index.php”. Another URL (or “web address” in common parlance) is that of the source for the statistics used above:

Want to see more? Put these URLs into your browser address bar and click “Go”.

Until Next Time … Ride Long, Ride Free!