While the Interstate Highway system may be the quickest way to wheel from sea to shining sea, it certainly lacks the personality that most motorcycle travelers seek. On the other hand, the process of discovering small towns, local color, and scenic stretches can eat into those precious vacation days. Well, just because our bicoastal escapade is tempered with an expeditious reality doesn’t mean we can’t map out the best of both worlds.
Less than an hour after touching down at Ontario International Airport just outside of Los Angeles, we’re sitting astride a brand new Cross Country touring rig, compliments of our friends at Victory Motorcycles. Having ridden this machine and its sister model, the Cross Roads, on an earlier tour and press event in Texas, I know it’s the right mount for our impending coast to coast trek. The plush seat, relaxed ergonomics, and surprisingly nimble handling, perfectly compliment the bike’s smooth and soulful V-twin. Kathy, on the other hand, is a bit more skeptical. It’s mid-May, and her normally cycle-seasoned rear side is still a bit tender from a long, cold winter away from the saddle. Barely an hour in, she declares the copilot accommodations “really comfortable.” And with a discernable sense of relief on both our parts, we settle in for the northward ride to the Golden State’s capitol city and our rendezvous with a single stretch of asphalt that will carry us from the Governator’s backyard to the sandy Atlantic beach just a couple hours east of the West Wing.