It was with no small degree of trepidation that i headed for a long drive south to Heathrow in the early hours of Saturday morning to meet with the guys and girls that i would be spending the next 10 days, crossing off many places on my Bucket list.
With a knackered back, leg and PTSD, some looked at me like i’d finally lost the plot when i said i was heading off to ride Route 66 on the back of a Harley Davidson with a bunch of strangers, indeed there were times prior to the trip when i wondered the same.
How wrong can one be. Arriving at Heathrow and meeting up with everyone it was immediately obvious that,
- Most were in the same boat and we’d all float along happily
- History mattered not, we were all going on a great adventure
- How the hell do Airbus 380’s get off the ground?
We arrived at LA airport and were escorted through the airport by LAPD, set the scene for the week (treated with great respect and welcomed by ALL Americans) and this meant we could avoid the endless queues we British so hate.
First night introductions and seeing our bikes for the first time will stay with me forever.
Over the next week of riding we were taken to some of the most amazing places the USA indeed the world has to offer, rode some of the best roads any biker could wish to ride and had the pleasure/honour to be accompanied by fellow veterans on many of our trips. The welcome we received at various veterans outposts left many of us emotional and overwhelmed, meeting Medal of Honor winner John Baca in the Californian mountain town of Julian, one of the highlights of the trip for most of us.
Throughout the trip the crew from Bike tours for the wounded and Blue cucumber tours could not have done more to make the trip such an adventure, their dedication to their obvious passion something rarely seen and i doubt ever to be bettered.
For those injured/ill veterans wondering if this is a trip worth taking, i can only say for me the pleasure will outlast the pain and give me immense hope for my future.
For the organizers, the crew and the riders a huge Thank you for an epic adventure.