Philip Bourne


Philip Bourne

I am a motorcycle enthusiast with a beyond mid-life idea of undertaking a series of "Great Motorcycle Journeys of the World'

North America » United States » Utah » Monticello May 29th 2023

Fate played a hand again today and oh what a day of riding! It followed a not so good night. Getting up in the night, as one needs to do, I looked at my iPhone for the time. It was completely dead. A hard boot to no avail. I spent a restless remainder of the night thinking how the trip would be without the phone. Fiddling with it again when I was more coherent in the morning I managed to get it working. Such dependency. As it turned out where I was today it could have presented problems without a phone should something have happened. An issue when riding alone. The fate began at breakfast, no muffin, just toast. Chatting with two nice bikers from Austin, Texas about everything from a long ago girlfriend I had ... read more
The Million Dollar Highway as Seen from the Handlebars

North America » United States » Colorado May 27th 2023

As I was anticipating from previous crossings, it was to be a day of contrasts. From flat endless plains to ragged snow capped mountains. A rider's visual feast. Before heading out it was the Days Inn breakfast, thankfully not Fruit Loops but Raisin Bran. Kudos to the backroom folks at Days Inn for sculpting a muffin looking object from a piece of cardboard. Earlier in the trip I was chatting to a visiting German fellow and was actually embarrassed as we sat at breakfast. European hotels do so much better. As you might imagine Lamar does not have the top 15 things to do according to Expedia. Rather they say a popular place to visit are cities outside of Lamar. Not to be deterred I headed for the petrified wood gas station. You can't make this ... read more
Rio Grande National Park

North America » United States » Colorado May 27th 2023

Today was a day characterized by wind. No jokes please. More of that in a moment. The day started with a donut from a local donut store and a nice chat with a fellow who lived in the Oklahoma pan handle. Well I knew Texas had a pan handle, but Oklahoma, was he pulling my leg? Later in the day I happened to be pursuing a map of cattle trail routes, more on that too, when I saw indeed there is a thin strip of Oklahoma forming a handle squashed between Kansas and Texas. Frankly, it seems more like a true handle than the Texas wannabe. Enough about pan handle envy. I took a quick look at a couple of the major sites before leaving Wichita. The “Keeper of the Plains” is at the junction of ... read more
Entering Colorado

North America » United States » Kansas May 26th 2023

Fate has its say. Over breakfast at the Days Inn I met a delightful fellow, Rick, who hails from Kansas City. Our discussion was way more interesting than the breakfast. Two cereals, fruit loops and some sort of cubes that tasted exactly like fruit loops. Rick was attracted to my data science paraphernalia, sweatshirt, laptop stickers and hat. No outreach spared. Rick had worked both in manufacturing and pharmaceuticals as a data scientist before anyone ever heard of the term. Starting there I learnt of his life’s ups and down and the joy that comes from children making their own way in the world. I had similar stories to tell. We lingered long after I should have been on the road. It was then I realized these conversations were what makes the trip. Riding is fun, ... read more

North America » United States » Missouri May 24th 2023

Well “Go west young man” is in full swing, minus the young part. Started the day in early growth wheat fields as far as the eye could see. Headed to the south and west. Spent time on route 46 and later 146 through Vienna and on to the Mississippi. Weather continues to hold out in the high 70’s low 89’s. Just about perfect biking weather. More on the weather in a moment. Today the human and machine were not quite in sync. First a warning light on the headlight being out. A problem as you need to be seen. Assumed a loose connection as it somehow fixed itself. Thesymbol on the display was more concerning. In the modern world the bike’s maintenance manual is just a few swipes away. Low and beyond low oil pressure. Oil ... read more

North America » United States » Kentucky May 24th 2023

I woke up with a heavy heart and a heavy stomach. The stomach was a result of the first day on the job for the pizza maker in the Paintsville Pizza Parlor and a heavy heart because of the waitress that served the concoction. She and I got into the usual conversation over my accent. As the conversation progressed from “where are you from?” I of course said I was crossing the country on a motorcycle. She asked, “what on earth made me stop in Paintsville, there is absolutely no reason to stop here.” This made me sad. She lives there and yet could not say anything beyond the desire to leave it on her own motorcycle. That her desire was to leave on a Harley and not a BMW was not the point. The point ... read more

North America » United States » Virginia » Lexington May 23rd 2023

Covered 4 states on the first day. Okay it was 3 really as I left Virginia for West Virginia only to return to Virginia. Made me think of gerrymandering but its that Virginia heads far to the west and West Virginia dips south with one of its fingers. It was certainly Virginia’s day. So much beauty on the back roads. Living in it you would think it would become tiresome. But with miles of roads that follow babbling creeks and rivers and the backdrop of Appalachia and let's not forget the wild flowers. Incredible stuff aided by the Garmin GPS that allows you to adjust a slider effectively for beauty. The downside is the time beauty takes. But hey falling behind just adjust the slider and a new route appears with time and mileage from where ... read more

Meet Boo, my traveling companion.... read more

Went down to Wild Bills casino floor for a McDonalds coffee (only thing open) around 6:30am. In the vast floor with the usual array of blaring casino sights and sounds there was only one person in the whole place - I checked. He was asleep at a slot machine. At least I am not the only person on the planet. McDonalds coffee is a sort of liquid Soylent Green except it tastes of the cup, not of the alternative. I purposely wanted to leave early as the winds were supposed to gust to 40 mph later. The plan was to cut off I15 to Twentynine Palms, but as I closed in on the intersection my oil light went on and knowing there would be no gas that way through the Navajo reservation I kept going along ... read more

North America » United States » Nevada » Primm May 4th 2016

After an excellent home baked muffin and good coffee at the Escalalnte Outfitters (check out their liquor cabinet), said goodbye to the boys as we each headed our separate ways - Rob back to Tuscon via Death Valley; Rik to points southeast and me towards San Diego. 3 guys with PhD's in science, shared curiosity, similar senses of humor, willingness to be laughed at as well as with and flexible natures - it does not get better which made parting difficult. Knowing we will do it again keeps us all going. Continued along scenic highway 12 going west and while it was picturesque, it was not stunning. With Bryce along the way and the Bryce canyon to the left a number of miles away I would have expected more. Panguitch on Route 89 north was a ... read more

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