On the Road: From Buffalo to Idaho and Back

Two motorcycle riding buddies ride cross-country in 14 days

| April 2011

wes 18

A beautiful vista at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Motorycycle riding buddies Bill and Mike rode from Buffalo, NY, to Idaho and back in 14 days in June 2010, having fun and making memories all along the way.

Editor's note: The following story, submitted by Bill Hawley, is the first installment of a new feature called "On the Road." Plain and simple, "On the Road" is an opportunity for motorcycle riders to become motorcycle writers, and share the stories and photos from their favorite motorcycle road trips.  If you'd like to submit a story and photos for consideration, just e-mail MC Associate Editor Landon Hall with the subject line "On the Road." 

Not so long ago I’d joke about how I could truly count my best friends on one hand and still have a free finger to salute all of them. 

My buddy Mike Wrobel and I lost a couple of good friends within the last year and a half or so. We were sitting around having a beer and pondering the tenuous hold we humans have on our mortal lives. As little as two years ago, the four of us were all riding buddies. There were three when Bob left us. Now, with Laureen gone, it was just us two. 

The great moto-journalist Peter Egan wrote a column a while back about how to plan a motorcycle road trip and actually do it. We all make grand plans, but life (or sometimes even death?) will get in the way and they’ll never really reach fruition. So this was our inspiration: “Who knows what tomorrow brings?” 

Right then and there we took the first and most important step: Set a date and stick to it. Let nothing else get in the way. Mike had changed jobs, but made it a prerequisite in accepting the new one that he’d need to have those two weeks off. They kindly acquiesced. Following our trip he gave a slideshow presentation to his office staff about our most recent adventure. He tells me that many of his coworkers are now considering a motorcycle for the first time in their lives. If nothing else, our lives now have real meaning, as we’ve done something good for mankind.

June 11, 2010
I arrived to work the morning of the trip with my “rusty but trusty” 1980 Suzuki GS750ET loaded for two weeks on the road. One of my coworkers asked me whose bike I was riding, as he didn’t even recognize it with all of the gear. It did look rather more like a pack animal than a motorcycle. Quitting time arrived  at 4 p.m. and Mike met me in the parking lot at about 4:01 on his similarly configured 2001 Suzuki Bandit 1200 and we left Buffalo, N.Y. immediately, giggling inside our helmets like a couple of Japanese schoolgirls. We’d actually made our escape. Our first planned stop was near Madison, WI, where we’d camp for the first time.

6/23/2011 8:53:36 PM

What a great trip and put into such a great story! I've been everywhere that you went, but never on my bike and I'm extremely envious. Bill, you have a way with words. Not sure what your day job is, but I think you'd make a great journalist if your normal gig ever goes south. I need to follow your (and Peter's) advice! Phil

bike on highway

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