Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

Running on Fumes

Ride To Work Day 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011
This year marks the 20th time Americans have been urged ditch their cages for two-wheeled rides to the office, as motorcyclists celebrate the June 20th Ride To Work Day. My RTWD mount this year was the Kawasaki Versys, a personal favorite from the current motorcycle crop.

The modest 10-mile run this morning from my back porch to the Motorcycle USA Oregon HQ represents just the footnote of a larger Ride To Work Days journey, however, as I’d requisitioned the Versys from Kawasaki’s North American HQ in Irvine, California last week. MCUSA usually packs up at least a handful of test bikes for the return trips on our frequent LA runs, but this Versys was different. I needed a solo mount to burn some miles, having opted to ride up the coast back home. Kawasaki delivered with its versatile mid-sized Twin. Three days and 900 some-odd miles, I’m back in the office banging away at the keyboard – my mind getting a much-needed unkinking during those long days in the saddle.

Industry voices like the AMA and MIC pitch RTWD as an opportunity to showcase motorized two-wheeled transport as a functional and economical alternative, along with raising awareness for motorcycle safety in the riding and non-riding communities alike. All these are valid and worthy causes for promotion, but for me the biggest sell for Riding To Work remains the most simple: Motorcycle = Fun.

My 2011 Ride To Work culmination included hundreds of miles of some of the best roads in the world – winding my way up California’s Pacific Coast (scenery in photo below courtesy of PCH near Big Sur). I also made sure to stretch out the journey by taking some favorite backroads along the way, and discovering some new favorites in the process. Even the familiar I-5 freeway trek for the final hours (had to cave into the superslab at the end to make an appointment on time…) was a hell of a lot more fun, and somehow more scenic, when experienced from behind the controls of a handlebar instead of a steering wheel.

Hope everyone else’s Ride To Work Days delivered some smiles as well.

2011-Big-Sur-Versys.jpg
Post Tags: Ride to Work Day, Kawasaki Versys, Pacific Coast Highway
Follow on Google Plus Follow Bart Madson on Google+
Blog Archive
2014
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
2013
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
2012
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
2011
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
2008
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Login or sign up to comment.

Comments
Rocky R June 21, 2011 03:38 PM
I too rode my bike to work in honor of TRWD, but then again, if its not raining there's a good chance I'd be riding in anyway. I have a 30 minute commute, approx. 27 miles on the most direct route. I ride a Guzzi 1200 Sport that is just a hoot. My problem, however, is the alledged gas savings. I say alledged because even though my dbl cab C. Silverado pickup gets 17-18 mpg, and my Guzzi gets around 42, I find whenever I ride I usually take the LONG way in, preferring the additional 7 miles of twisties on the back roads to the previous route. This scenic, twisty road section requires lots of throttle and abrasive tire wear due to the nature of the ride. Somehow my gas savings is only minimal, my tire life is much less than it would be with actual highway use, but my moral is through the roof. I come to work smiling! Thanks for the article Bart and for reminding us why we ride...
RaptorFA June 21, 2011 08:54 AM
Bart, thanks for the article. I rode in as well on my spanky new Suzuki GSX1250FA and had a great time also, finding a new "long way" home that provided a great stretch of wooded twisties, and a run up the Northern CA coast. Getting to work and back used to be such a drag; now it's the best part of my day.

It's amazing how your perspective changes when your in the saddle; you experience the road and nature in a whole new way. What started out as an alternative form of travel 1 year ago on my Can-Am Spyder has turned into a life-changing event now that I'm on 2 wheels. I'm an every-day rider, now, and it feels just fine!