RTFM (Part 1)

Published by Liane Langlois on

Remember the Fun Moments

by R. Bruce Thomas

Ahh, March.

In like a lion, we can only hope it goes out like a lamb.

But, since we can't do anything about the weather, and it is still technically winter until March 19, there is nothing quite like curling up with a good book to pass the time until this snow disappears and we get out for that first ride (and I say that having seen bikes out in Edmonton regularly since Jan 31).

I just finished a really good book.

It is called Pushing Miles and in nearly 800 pages it takes readers on an unforgettable ride in the quest to set a Guinness World Record for longest team ride within a single country.

The authors are Wendy Crockett [American; 2001 Yamaha FJR (OZ) 2005 Yamaha FJR (USA)] and Ian McPhee [Australian; Yamaha Super Tenere (OZ), 2001 BMW R1100RT(USA)]. Knowing the challenge they had set for themselves it should surprise nobody that they are both accomplished long distance riders. Crockett is a six-time finisher of the "11-days, 11,000 miles" Iron Butt Rally (IBR) and, in 2019, became the first, and so far only, woman to win the IBR. She has ridden more than one million miles. McPhee has completed four IBR's and has successfully ridden over 100,000 miles in a calendar year. McPhee was also responsible for dreaming up the Alphabetical Capital Expedition (ACE) which the book documents. The ACE Tour had the pair of riders visiting all the Capital Cities in the six Australian States, the two Australian Territories, PLUS the lower 48 United States, Alaska, and Washington D.C.

Visiting the 58 Capitols would have been a big enough challenge but they made it a bigger challenge by doing it in Alphabetical order by State!

a kangaroo is cool to see but not something you want to hit

On, and did I mention they are both mechanics, with Wendy having multiple factory powersport certifications. Their skills would come in handy as the sub-title for the book is "A Chronicle of Motorcycles, Mayhem, and Mettle".

I don't want to spoil the fun but if you really want to know how to plan and survive a long distance motorcycle trip this book should be required reading. In addition to hospitalization and surgery for kidney stones they hit one cat, a deer, a kangaroo, and countless caterpillars. Three clutches got replaced along with one gearbox, three batteries, and 13 light bulbs. There were tire blowouts and a broken frame.

Lest you think they dwelt on all the preceding challenges (other than to detail how preparation and resourcefulness got them through the many unplanned events) they shared the fun they had and how much they enjoyed the adventure together and the chance it gave them to catch up with friends along the way.

And, while I can't imagine anyone else tackling a trip this big, the underlying components are what we should all aspire to. Great friends, great roads, great adventures, and living to Remember The Fun Moments.

Ride responsibly, and often.

Categories: News