Thanks to a fortuitous visit to friends a couple of weeks ago, we now have a holiday booked. A holiday which will be both a challenge and a great adventure: a real ‘bucket trip list’ holiday. As you may detect, I am quite excited about it.
We have now booked flights and put down a deposit on the trip, so I feel able to tell you about it.
But first, some background.
It all started a couple of weeks ago when we went to Surrey to visit my wife’s parents. We had a very pleasant afternoon and marvellous lunch in a pub called The Refectory in Godalming. The Refectory is a superb half-timbered building which was apparently once a cattle barn belonging to nearby Milford House. You wouldn’t know it though, as it has been beautifully developed using architectural salvage and is magnificent inside. The food was also very good and we all waddled out with our over-full bellies ready to burst.
As it happens, two of our very good friends moved to Surrey a few years ago and live just ten miles from my wife’s parents, so we had arranged to spend the evening with them and stay overnight.
Whilst we were there, in passing, they mentioned a holiday they were planning. “Wow”, we exclaimed, or words to that effect, “we’d love to do that, it sounds awesome!”
“Well why not come along?” they asked, “we only just found out about it, but weren’t sure you’d be interested.” Not interested? How could we not be interested?
And so we started planning, and before you know it we’d roped in another couple of friends too.
“But what is the holiday?” you cry; well…
Every March Daytona Beach in Florida hosts Daytona Bike Week – this year is the 73rd event. We’re not going to that.
But, because of Daytona Bike Week, all bike rental companies are desperate to get as many bikes as possible over to Florida as there is huge demand for them during the period. This is a problem for those companies on the west coast.
In order to cash in on this event, what they could do is pay to ship their bikes across the country, but that could be expensive. So instead what they do is offer cheap bike rental for anyone wanting to ride a bike across the country for them. So that is what we are going to do ready for next year’s event!
We are going to fly into Los Angeles, pick up our bikes – four bikes between the six of us – and ride them the 2500 miles to Orlando.
You get a choice of bikes, so I have requested a Harley Davidson Fat Boy: when in Rome…
We will ride across the southern states of America, from California, through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and skirting Georgia into Florida.
This is a pure road trip, averaging 200-300 miles per day, with just the odd day off for sight-seeing (a night and day in New Orleans is as far as our planning has got with that). We will have no support vehicle and will be eating in diners and stopping off at motels as we find them along the route.
I told you it was an adventure!
I am looking forward to this trip with some trepidation: I have not ridden long distances before. I’m therefore hoping for a dry summer so I can get some miles under my belt by way of practice.
What’s the worst that can happen…