Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Long Distance Riding

January 2005

Welcome to the first installment of Bikin’ and Bytin’ with Bruce™, a new monthly column for Wheels on the Road. Miami Mike has graciously provided this platform to let me preach about my passion–long distance riding–so long as I also pass on pearls from my profession–web design. Thank you, Mike! Now, let’s get started:

First, let’s establish what we mean by “long distance riding”. Michael Kneebone put 107,501 miles on his Yamaha Venture Royale in 1984. That certainly involved some long distance riding. Phil Mattson added 30,603 miles to the odometer of his Harley-Davidson FLHTCI in July of 2001. That’s LDR for sure! And last November, yours truly clocked 1,132 miles in 18 hours and 25 minutes on my H-D Dyna Convertible. I believe the Iron Butt Association will say that qualifies as well.

Staying in the saddle for a thousand miles or more is unquestionably LDR, but I can tell you first-hand it’s LDR to the extreme. We will have more to say about that in future columns, but we’ll also discuss distance riding in a more mainstream context. Although some enthusiasts will argue the point, for most of us “long distance riding” is a relative concept anyway, and that’s the way we will deal it: If your idea of LDR is crossing the country from coast to coast, I’ll share news you can use. And even if your riding range extends no further than a Key West Poker Run, I’ll have plenty for you, too.

Some of what I write will come from experience–my own, plus what I hope you will share with me. The rest will come from research–much of which is done on the World Wide Web (“the Web”) via the Internet (“the Net”). If you want to send me an email or check out my web references, you are going to need four things: (1) a computer; (2) Internet access; (3) a Web browser (preferably Microsoft Internet Explorer); and (4) an email account with either client software or a webmail interface. If you do not have these four things, I suggest you contact your nearest computer consultant–or teenager–to help you get them. If you do have them, I will do my best to help you get more out of them.

Until Next Time … Ride Long, Ride Free!