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 » Virginia » Fairfax February 28th 2014

The longest day yet both in hours and miles and consistently the coldest with the temperature not going over 35 degrees the whole day. Definitely an endurance ride today mostly on Interstate 81 up the Appalachian Great Valley a route travelled since pioneer times and before. The BMW performed flawlessly as I thought about those covered wagons bouncing over the terrain. I guess that is progress. I was surprised how quickly I entered VA and yet how far I had to go. VA is a bigger state that I thought and I always wondered why it was considered southern. Another geography lesson. When I hit I66 there were place names I recognized and I knew I was only about 60 miles away, but there was more snow lying around here and I started to have a ... read more

North America » United States » Tennessee » Harriman February 27th 2014

It was Interstate all the way today with two friends I30 and I40. Certainly less interesting that the secondary roads that take you through the towns with their own special character. On the Interstate there is only one personality - fast food joints. Gourmet truck stops now there is a bad idea. Wisked through Memphis - never realized it was on the Mississippi (which I still can't spell). My geographic upbringing in South Australia leaves me lacking. Thought of Elvis and pushed on. The highlight today was lunch as a hole in the wall hamburger joint off the highways called Sandy's Hamburgers. Seemed to be run for locals by a few of the local ladies. Had a nice chat with local folks at two tables. One fellow had such a thick Tennessee accent I could only ... read more

North America » United States » Arkansas » Little Rock February 26th 2014

With the pecans behind me it was time to set off. But wait it was 21F without the wind chill. Having decided to leave the cosy hotel with the clerks best wishes - "you all watch out for deer and ice" I spent every fiber looking for ice and deer. Every suspicious bush was a deer and with a well worn route 82 it was easy to imagine that shiny blacktop was ice. But fear is inversely proportional to the square of the time that elapses when nothing bad happens, so in no time I was speeding along. Yes it was cold, very cold, but looking like a butterball with every item of clothing I have on it was bearable. The scene was a mixture of grey steel skies and brown-yellow earth that looks like life ... read more

North America » United States » Texas » Henrietta February 25th 2014

Left Roswell with not a UFO in sight - too cold I suspect for aliens as the temperature was down to 37F. Quite a surprise since the temperature reached 85F in the east of California and had been a pleasant 65-75F for most of the rest of the trip, but as we shall see just the beginning. We headed east on 380 towards Lubbock, but had to stop in less than an hour as the cold had begun to seep in. Rob and I made a nice pair standing in the gas station convenience store with hot chocolates giggling in our shivering hands. Clearly this was going to be an issue. It was then, for me at least, that one of the best investments I had ever made came into play - the heated jacket. As ... read more

North America » United States » Arizona » Tucson February 24th 2014

A significant part of today was spent on Interstate 10. While the road was not that interesting the events were. We started off from Tucson under partly cloudy skies - high bolt gray clouds that provide for interesting light and fortunately no chance of rain. As you can see from the picture my R&R - for mates Rob and Rik were raring to go at 8am this morning and my organized travel bag was ready to be stuffed into the trusty BMW pannier. The big plan starting out was to stop for lunch in Deming NM. Nothing unusual there, excerpt that it was to be the best Indian food in the southwest and served from a truck stop no less. You need something to look forward to when you have a long ride ahead. It was ... read more

North America » United States » California » San Diego » La Jolla February 23rd 2014

The emotion associated with leaving people and the place that you have lived for the past 20 years is of course huge, but this blog is not about that personal side of events, but rather about what comes from motorcycling to clear ones head for what lies ahead in life. This blog is about a 2500 mile motorcycle trip and what happens on the way. Its about the sheer joy of motorcycling through the ups and downs that occur on any long trip and the people that share that trip with you. The trip today is all about route 8 east which I joined from route 67 having left Poway (where I live for now) by what I would call the back route - that is away from the coast. It strange to be traveling the ... read more

Europe » Austria » Salzburg August 17th 2010

What a difference a day makes. There is a song in there somewhere. Woke up to a drizzle and skies that looked like it would not let up. With an unsatisfying breakfast to match the hotel itself, I took off in the rain in a bit of a funk. Something to do with the weather and the trip coming to an end, I suppose. The mountains were left behind within an hour, as was the rain, but not before it had seeped through my semi-waterproofs. Overall I was lucky as to how little bad weather I encountered on the trip. I planned on being back at the bike shop by 3:30pm and that was exactly when I arrived. No need for a time difference to save me, but otherwise it was all in the spirit of ... read more

Europe » Slovenia August 16th 2010

Today was a day that every motorcyclist dreams about. If your idea of heaven leans more towards alpine settings that tropical islands then you were in heaven. Crossing through the center of Slovenia and the slightly western side of Austria I decided Slovenia was heaven and Austria were for those who had committed only one or two minor indiscretions in their lifetimes. It had rained over night and there was now a mixture of sun and clouds with that freshness that seems to last all day. Being Sunday it was quite out. Funny thing on trips like this days have no meaning, yet Sunday still holds something special. Perhaps it is to ride without guilt (some of us feel guilty if we are not working all the time). Guilt free and amidst the most amazing ... read more
The Castle from the Lake
Salzburg Old Town

Europe » Croatia » Central Croatia » Zagreb August 15th 2010

I think what attracts me to these crazy trips is the element of survival. I made it to my sister’s wedding - the mission; now the trick is getting back unscathed. Along the way there are complexities to test those survival instincts. All sounds a bit dramatic I suppose, but that is how it feels. Today’s complexities have to do with how far to travel and how to deal with money and gas. Today was a trip covering three countries. Heading west out of Bulgaria, into and across Serbia and then into Croatia to its most western part, the city of Zagreb. A lesson in this kind of travel is have more Euros. Before I left home and I was sifting through my large bag of foreign currency and coins (don’t ask me why we keep ... read more

Europe » Bulgaria » Sofia City » Sofia August 14th 2010

As they used to say of the roach motel “you can check in but you cant check out.” In Istanbul it seems it is easier to check out than check in. After a few days to orient myself to the place and the fact my sister lives in the western suburbs and I was heading west, it was a breeze compared to the arrival nightmare. So I was off across the peninsula that effectively connects Europe to Asia in the south. The waters of the Sea of Marmara were off to the left. Almost an inland sea it connects to the Agean Sea which then connects to the Mediteranean. I never did (or have) seen the Black Sea which was somewhere off to the right and somehow registers as a big disappointment. Don’t ask me why. ... read more
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia
Statue of Sophia

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