Living the American Dream
Every great trip needs a great plan. Michele and Carole Prou made sure that their epic ride around Western America was planned to perfection.
Having already lived in
They were accompanied by a couple of Harley-mad friends – Line and Alphonse, who had never visited the
Their friends discovered an
Michel and Carole have both a Cross Bones and a white Heritage Softail. As he says: “Riding a Harley is a real slice of
Hotels: Choose a reputable hotel chain. It’s advisable to book ahead in the high season. There is usually no charge for cancellation the day before so you don’t have to worry about keeping to a specific schedule. Hot drinks and ‘munchies’ are always available in your room, or in the hotel, at any time. To set you up for the day’s riding, huge breakfasts are almost always included. Be sure to check out a hotel’s location and parking facilities!
Transport: We decided on the Heritage Softail (Skip Fordyce – part of the Harley-Davidson Authorised Rentals programme – in Riverside) plus a Hummer H2 (Hertz LAX) to carry the huge amount of shopping we didn’t want to miss out on! The vehicles look great too, which is an added advantage! However, travelling in style does mean you are continually photographed wherever you go. For the photogenic this wouldn’t be a problem, though, and it certainly wasn’t for us!
Roads: Choose your itinerary carefully. There are petrol stations practically everywhere and we had no problem – the two-gallon jerry can carried in the Hummer remained unused. Respect the speed limits: you don’t see police cars and motorcycles, but they are well hidden. If you are caught, give them a smile and don’t try to argue. The police are friendly and will give you a verbal reminder if you’re a tourist and you haven’t been drinking alcohol (for this there’s no leeway). Not once were we stopped throughout the entire 4,250 miles. The scenery is so amazing that the idea of riding at full speed is sacrilege!
Time of year: The whole of this trip is viable from mid-April to mid-October. Otherwise, you will encounter cold temperatures, snow and the risk of the parks being closed. Even in summer, you should plan to take warm clothing for evenings up in the mountains, while
Miscellaneous: Make sure to stop by the Harley shops – don't forget your H.O.G. Touring Handbook – so you can buy number plate surrounds and flags, as well as T-shirts and different souvenirs. Purchase the stickers from each branch – they look great on your windscreen!