Trip Start Jan 31, 2011
71Trip End Jul 10, 2011
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We also developed a love of motorcycles from when we first met. Greg was a dashing 18 year old biker riding a 100cc Suzuki. It was his second bike, having crashed his 250cc Yamaha roadbike at 17 before we met. Bugger! After marriage and before kids, we had several bikes. Another 250cc Suzuki roadbike followed then a 550cc Suzuki GT, a 750cc Honda F2, all of which we rode together; Greg as the pilot & Kerrie the navigator. Our last bike for what would turn out to be 20 odd years was a 125cc Yammie ag bike that Greg rode to work when we were a struggling young couple with kids and could only afford the bike as cheap second transport. As the story goes, bikes went, the second car came and we settled into urban utopia, Greg as an Army officer and Kerrie as a 'domestic engineer' and part time teacher whilst the kids were young and then into permanent teaching when our three kids (Stacey, Stephen & Stuart) were all at school.
A vagabond existence with the Army to be sure, with the excitement of new destination and new job every couple of years, but one definitely missing something as we tranversed our 30s and 40s. Having ditched motorbikes in our late 20's for the safety and security of the second 'tin top', in all that time, we never lost the calling, looking wistfully at the sights and smells of those of us lucky enough to still be travelling on two wheels. But 'common sense' ruled; or did it? What is 'common sense' anyway? Why should we hanker after the smell of two stroke oil, the feel of wind in the hair, (although for Greg this had long since ceased to be an attraction as he is folickly challenged), that sense of freedom that motorcycling delivers?
We knew that 'common sense' often gives way to more base needs; that of the spirit of adventure and philosophy of "you only live once" - so bugger with practicality and common sense. With this rekindled passion in the back of our minds we attended a car expo in Brisbane in early 2004 with our daughter Stacey and her husband Brett where Greg sat on a Yamaha XVS 250cc cruiser. We were born again! The Yammie lasted six months, followed by the bike of our dreams, a Harley Heritage Soft Tail Classic.
We started off small, overnight stays after rides from home at the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast, then broadened our horizons to several weeks away at a time to ride The Great Ocean Road and take in the Phillip Island MotoGP. We also decided that since we were relatively debt free, with no mortgage, the kids off our hands, with double income and in our early 50's in pretty good health, that our life was an oyster and there to be lived. We love travel and decided that between the ages of 50 & 60 we should shout ourselves an overseas holiday every two years. We started off with Canada, the USA & the UK in 2004, followed by New Zealand on a hire bike for 15 days in 2006, then to Europe & the UK in 2007 for 8 weeks when we shipped with Dave MLLIGAN from Get Routed and again with Dave in 2009 when we shipped our bike to the USA, this time for 12 weeks. It was whilst in Las Vegas near the end of our 2009 trip that we began planning for 2011. A plan was born!
So by the 11 September, 2009 we found ourselves in Las Vegas, USA about 10 weeks into our 'Lanes Across America' trip with only 2 weeks to go. At breakfast in The Luxor this morning Greg started drawing on his paper place mat.
Europe, here we come in 2011!