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In life, sometimes, we take bad habits; vices that consolidates with the passage of time, to which we are particularly attached and do not want to leave. One of them is the road trip that I usually do in June, on the saddle of my sidecar “El Andador”, with my two women: the ever-present wife, with whom we celebrate an important anniversary, and Princess Luna, my white little boxer, both lovers of the Harley rumble. This time we depart for Slovenija, a one-week short trip to discover this country, which is rich of history and warlike past.

This travel experience was born from a “random assemblage” of six people united by a single passion: travelling by motorbikeSo those six sinister characters (Fausto, Lucia, Marco, Serena, Marco and Vincenzo) goes to Los Angeles to enjoy a delicious French Dipped Sandwich from Philippe the Original, waiting to reach the Baja California (i.e. the Mexican California).

The Baja California Peninsula is a long strip of arid land that is colorated along the coast and around the river beds that are formed during the rainy season, bounded by the waters of the Sea of Cortez on the east side and by the Pacific Ocean on the west coast.

The Los Cabos region

Our adventure starts from the southern end of the Baja California, from the Los Cabos region – aka the “End of the Earth” being the last territory of the peninsula –  which presents a curious duality:

  • on the one hand the quiet San Jose del Cabo, that maintains the look and feeling of an authentic Mexican pueblo, with its central square, its narrow cobbled streets, its colonial buildings;
  • on the other hand Cabo San Lucas, on the opposite side of the “Corridor”, famous for deep sea fishing and for many bars that “pumping” blaring music.

It is with Stefano, an excellent local guide, that we visit one of the most popular places: El Arco, also called “Land’s end“, a big arch of rock that forms a sort of window on the ocean, along with cliffs and rocks molded from the fury of the winds and the sea force, which are home to a colony of friendly sea lions.

Cabo San Lucas - El Arco
Baja California – Cabo San Lucas – El Arco

The next day we start our journey to El Triunfo, the old mining town, where stands the curious chimney of Gustav Eiffell, the artist who built the Parisian tower.

Baja California – Start motorbike tour

Finally the long awaited moment comes: the departure of the actual tour, the one full of such kind of emotions that only the two wheels can offer. A HD Electra Glide, a HD Street Glide, a HD Heritage Softail and an Indian Chieftain will be the our travel companions for the next days. Two cute characters of EagleRider Motorcycle Tours provide support to us, Jeff and Sean, who seem escaped from the pen of a cartoonist but that show a professional guide and a faithful driver of the mean of support.

We drive along the Mexican Federal Highway 1 from south to north, run into the town of Todos Santos, La Paz, Baja Magdalena, Loreto, Sant’Ignacio, Guerrero Negro, Catavina, San Quintin and (about 1.300 mi).

The scenery is simply magnificent: bright colors and intense, amazing and intoxicating scents, pure white beaches, wilderness and arid where cardon – cactus by the powerful arms that rise up to 18 meters – and cirios – a kind of inverted carrot – are the undisputed protagonists of the Cataviña’s desert, a spectacle of nature. It seems to be entered into a western movie screenplay: desert, cactus, the sky always clear of a dazzling blue.

Cataviñá - Cardon Cactus
Baja California – Cataviñá – Cardon Cactus

But the Baja California also has its own history, represented especially by the remains of the ancient missions of the Franciscan and Jesuit monks – who reached the Baja California in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth century with the aim to evangelize native peoples – including those of San José del Cabo, El Triunfo, Todos Santo, Sant’Ignacio and Loreto.

We are so full of enthusiasm also thanks to a special meeting, unique and unrepeatable: the sighting of gray whales. Aboard a small boat we incredulously admire the terrific spectacle offered by the splashing water games of big cetaceans along with their offspring. It’s in these very warm and welcoming waters that gray whales migrate from the Arctic every year from January to March, to breed and care for their puppies.

Bahia Magdalena - Ballena Gris
Baja California – Bahia Magdalena – Ballena Gris

Just outside Ensenada the territory offers a completely different landscape, following the route of the wine that is produced here and that is exported around the world.

Returning to the United States

It’s time to enter into the United States and enjoying the show offered by the landscaped path along the coast, where the windsurfers show their jumps and stunts on the waves. We reach San Diego, a natural and cultural oasis, the prototype of the Southern California town that evokes the timeless image of the famous Beach Boys song, “California Girls“: sun, sand and palm trees! The climate is ideal, sunny and temperate all year round.

The last stop is Los Angeles, departure city of our adventure, where we leave our motorbikes. Still a challenge with food awaits us: the famous burritos Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Cafe, an explosive Mexican dishes. And also this time the man won! It’s time to return, while our eyes still keep the images offered by the whales, by the cardon, by the cirios, by the desert wind, by the vast beaches that overlook the ocean, by the Mexicans with their peaceful way of life.

Not the usual motorbike ride, to which we are accustomed, and not even the journey that we expected to do… aware that to make this adventure really special it’s been the group! Once again we come back rich of new and beautiful feelings that make us live and make us grow. Adios Baja California!

Acknowledgments

Marco of America in Moto: thank you so much for arranging an amazing trip for me.

Awards and Prizes

This article:

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Sidecar, what passion! The craze for motorcycle trips, the love I have for my dog (Princess Luna) and the madness I share with my sweetheart (Lucia) led me to modify my motorcycle, a bold and cheerful Harley Davidson Street Glide, in a sidecar in order to enjoy the emotions I feel when I travel by motorcycle in the company of what I love the most, including the four-legged friend.

Yes, you read correctly, I created a monster with three wheels. That sounds childlike, senseless and not consonant with the maturity of a (now) over forty years old. But I strongly wanted! The project has proved to be a bit complex but finally I managed to make a wonderful and legally running vehicle.

In the beginning, I did not consider any difficulties I might have in driving it but, at the delivery of the modified motorcycle, all my fears, hidden in the deep recesses of my mind, have suddenly materialized. I said: “a lot of motorcyclists have driven a sidecar before you, and I see no reason why you should not be able”.

Sidecar, what passion – Realizing a dream

Here comes the long-awaited moment of the delivery. In an open area free of traffic, determined as ever, I saddle up my iron horse, and now I’m in front of a new sensations; a question echoes in my mind, but how can I turn it? With a two-wheels iron I am used to steer bending the motorcycle without employing a minimum of effort; with the new vehicle I must rely on the handlebars. I can do it. I put in motion and go but did not imagine to put force, so much force, to curve.

Then that strange feeling of putting your feet on the ground… Andrea, the friend who helped me to create the “beast”, comes up to me yelling, “you must feel comfortable, the sidecar stands alone, there is no need to stabilize it with your feet.” I pluck up courage, metabolize those words and restart. The excitement comes over me and the fun is getting bigger.

On the streets of Bolzano

I am ready to test myself on the asphalt. So with Christian, the other friend owner of another magnificent sidecar, we go through the streets of the center of Bolzano under incredulous eyes. With our sidecars we offer a unique spectacle; on the other hand seeing two sidecar speeding between cars is a very pleasant and unusual performance.

The journey home

This is the so long waited moment: the return to Rome. I start descending the italic boot, accompanied by the faithful wife driving the car and with our Princess, unaware of what future reserves (travelling by motorcycle). The weather is not favorable; the rain becomes more and more dense, making asphalt more slippery. In some ways it seems to drive a boat; I understand, however, that driving a sidecar in these weather conditions is safer compared to a two-wheeler.

I come nicely wrapped by my thoughts and I pay attention to my driving technique. There is no problem if I drive slowly but if I drive faster steering becomes really challenging. Even braking must not be abrupt, otherwise the vehicle tends excessively to the left and the countersteering must be stronger. The sidecar is a motorbike for strolling and admiring the spectacle that surrounds us. I conclude my journey with the best expectations, happy to have completed a long-awaited project. Have a nice road to all.

Some photo shoots

Acknowledgments

I have to thank for the realization of the dream Andreas Harley Davidson Bolzano New Black & Orange and v-triebwerk, german builder.

New England Fall Foliage tour. If I were to give a title to our last trip, I would have no doubts about the choice: “Live free or die“; this is the slogan of New Hampshire, one of the six New England States, region located in the northeastern part of the U.S.A.

This is the sensation an adventure in motorbike, in particular, the one we experienced in the ten days spent admiring the color explosion of the leaves of the deciduous trees, the spectacular autumnal phenomenon of the foliage.

New England Fall Foliage tour – Our itinerary

After a short stay in Boston, to explore the historical roots the birth of the United States of America, withdrawn the red Harley Davidson Electra Glide in perfect harmony with the colors of autumn. We have traveled the northern coast of Massachusetts, crossed the New Hampshire up to fishing’s village of Bar Harbor, Maine.

U.S.A. - New Hampshire - Weirs Beach
U.S.A. – New Hampshire – Weirs Beach

It is a route that leads to the mysteries of the Salem’s witches, to visit the narrow cobbled streets of Portland, to the discovery of the fantastic lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth and to climbing of Acadia National Park .

In addition to the spectacle of nature, this time of the year offers the possibility to enjoy the Halloween’s celebrations. It’s a sight see the houses and the gardens decorated with giant pumpkins, skeletons and witches. We were attracted to a garden with balloons in the form of motorcycles and zombie biker and by a young boy with the vampire teeth walking with a cat with bat wings.

U.S.A. - Massachusetts - Salem
U.S.A. – Massachusetts – Salem

Leaving the coast, it’s time to explore the White Mountains that have the white in the name but in autumn they wear bright shades, from red to yellow, who shining under a crown of rocky peaks. Not to be missed is the Kancamagus Highway, a mountain road that winds between exciting scenes between Lincoln and Conway.

Last stop in Lake Winnipesaukee (from Indian language: smile of great spirit) the largest lake in New Hampshire and we are back in Boston. Another around town before returning to the routine of every day to enjoy the American style, while admiring the boys who dancer the breakdance in the street.

We return home with a new luggage. It is not necessary seaman on board, because it is only full of sensations that the New England has made us live and that no one will never take away from us.

Acknowledgments

Marco of America in Moto: thank you so much for arranging an amazing trip for me.

Prizes

The article was published on the LowRide Lifestyle Magazine (read the article).

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