Questions From The Road

Wherever and whenever we stop, even just for gas or to stretch, people approach us. It’s probably the amount of stuff we have on the bike. We’ve actually watched people slam on their brakes when they see us mounting up, just to watch Diana get on the back of the bike. I think they are convinced that there is no way someone could possibly fit in that space between me and all that stuff. Mostly though I think the large amount of gear and two “old” people on what appears to be some sort of large dirt bike seems to make people curious. It could be that they expect motorcyclists our age to be on a Harley, or a Gold Wing, or maybe an RV. And of course the Texas license plate attracts a lot of attention.

So here are the top two questions we get from random people:

1. By far, the top question is: “Did you ride that all the way here from Texas???”

Okay, it is around two thousand miles or so from home to the Seattle area, although we’ve done almost eight thousand miles to get here. And it is half way across the country. So for many people, I guess that’s a long way to travel on a motorcycle. On the other hand, having already ridden the equivalent of one and a half times around the equator on the last trip, through 34 countries and across four continents, our trip to the Pacific Northwest seems like a ride to get coffee. It’s hard to explain this to someone at a gas station that just happened to see the Texas license plate, so usually our answer is simply “Yep.” And often that’s the end of the conversation. Sometimes they look at Diana and say “You’re brave.” I’m not sure how to take that, personally, but I’ll give her credit for being brave enough to be stuck between a lot of luggage on the back of a smallish motorcycle, with no real control over her destiny.

2. The second most popular question so far is: “Is that your dog on the back?”

Yep. Fur Real. Multiple people have asked if that’s our dog strapped to the bag on the back of the bike.

To be fair, if you just glance at it as you drive past, I could see how you could think that. Sometimes the straps make the outside corners stick up like little furry dog ears. But no, we do not have our dog bungee corded to the back of the bike. Nor did we stop and adopt a piece of road kill. We started the trip with a piece of sheepskin that we bought at IKEA to use as a seat cover, but Diana kept sliding forward on it, so after just a few days we took it off and strapped it onto the gear bag. And it’s ridden there for most of the trip, getting filthy in the process. I’m not really sure why we’re still carrying it. I’ve used it a couple of times as a seat cushion on a campground picnic table bench, but otherwise it has served no purpose. Other than a source of amusement to us and others.

I’m sure that as we continue, the list of questions will get longer, and I will update this post accordingly.

4 thoughts on “Questions From The Road

  1. Kyle said you were on the move again…. Does COVID have international travel closedown? Plenty to see here in the US, just isn’t the same, safe travels

    • Yes, and yes. We have been hanging out in the Northwest, waiting for Canada to open, since late June. At least now it looks like we can enter Canada beginning August 9th. We’ve decided that due to the on-again/off-again nature of European borders, and the ongoing closures of Asian borders, that we will stay in the US this year. As you said, plenty to see in our own backyard, but we are longing for Europe and Asia.

  2. Yep, #1 seems to be a standard opening line between the motorcyclist who has strayed afar and the general population who would never consider long distance motorcycle travel or perhaps longs for the experience themselves. The frequency of the exact phrase being so widely used makes me wonder if it is some sort of weird hardwired reflex response greeting. The fact that this greeting is virtually always coming from a friendly, chatty person leads me to believe it is just the motorcycle specific opening line to start a conversation. On the order of, “Good Morning, How are you?”… or in my case, “Are you Larry David?”

    Further study required.

    • I will now be spreading the news that all should initially approach you with the “Are you Larry David?” opening line. 🙂

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