The Lost Adventure https://www.thelostadventure.com The UK's #1 American bike hire and touring experts Sat, 19 Jan 2019 18:53:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.3 https://www.thelostadventure.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/cropped-favicon-1-32x32.png The Lost Adventure https://www.thelostadventure.com 32 32 The milwaukee 8 Street Glide https://www.thelostadventure.com/the-milwaukee-8-street-glide/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/the-milwaukee-8-street-glide/#respond Thu, 13 Dec 2018 19:56:31 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=911 ErgonomicsMaybe I’m just lucky but the new M8 Street Glide is a perfect fit for me at around 5’8”. Reach to bars is perfect for natural riding position and the seat is genuinely all-day comfortable. I put in a 450 mile day on most recent trip with no discomfort. The screen is high enough for…

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2018 Milwaukee 8 Street Glide

Ergonomics
Maybe I’m just lucky but the new M8 Street Glide is a perfect fit for me at around 5’8”. Reach to bars is perfect for natural riding position and the seat is genuinely all-day comfortable. I put in a 450 mile day on most recent trip with no discomfort. The screen is high enough for me to get no buffering or discomfort in an open face helmet although taller riders may disagree. Controls are all reasonably placed and easy to use. The two panniers and a tail rack are more than ample for two weeks touring. I use one pannier for waterproofs etc., one for my helmet bag with sundries and a 25 Litre rollbag on the rack.

Performance
The Milwaukee 8 is what one could call “a great leap forward”. I’m sure some die hard Harley fans will disagree but for those who think of the Harley as agricultural you should try one of these. Even in stock factory guise, the motor pulls smoothly right through the engine range and easily surpasses the old motor. You can roll on from about 40 mph in top gear and it won’t struggle at all.. In fact I rode with some guys all on Screaming Eagle 110 equipped bikes with uprated suspension and the Glide stuck with them the whole time. The suspension has been upgraded and, while no sports bike through tight twisties, many will be surprised just how agile it is for such a long bike. I rode the Tail of the Dragon and at no time felt the mid corner “flex” that I have on the older model. I believe the new bike to be lighter than the outgoing also.

Extras
The Street Glide comes equipped with enough goodies to keep most people happy, decent radio system that you can connect to through both Bluetooth or the dash mounted pod which contains a USB connector. Cruise control, which again is a big improvement on the previous model, abs etc. are all there.

Verdict
As I said at the start the Street Glide has always been a great solo tourer and with the new version Harley Davidson have raised that bar that others solo tourers / baggers need to aim for. For any similar road trip in the future it would be without a doubt my number one choice of motorcycle and I would recommend it to anyone contemplating similar.

Don’t expect a drink here 🙂 

Backstory

Matt’s been riding bikes of all sorts since the age of 16 and is very experienced in US riding, starting off with a Fatboy on a guided tour with a luggage/support vehicle. He followed that with a solo trip of a similar route with another trip a year later, where he guided four friends.

Then, since discovering The Lost Adventure, he’s completed three Coast to Coast runs, taking a different route every time. As Matt says “There are literally an unlimited number of routes you could take. On the first trip I was part of a group of six, the next two trips were technically solo, but riding with others as and when you meet them… and you almost certainly will. I’ve done it twice on Street Glides and once on the Chieftain and both bikes have been perfect for my trips. Undoubtedly the best part for me is the lack of schedule and fixed route – and the friends you make. Every trip I have come back with more friends, many of which I keep in touch with on a regular basis and meet up with.

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The Repeat Offender https://www.thelostadventure.com/the-repeat-offender/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/the-repeat-offender/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 20:51:27 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=612 I’ve completed The Lost Adventures annual Coast to Coast trip five times now and every year friends and family ask me if I’m doing it again and when I say yes it’s always “why – aren’t you bored with it ?” so I thought I’d share why I don’t think you could ever bore with…

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I’ve completed The Lost Adventures annual Coast to Coast trip five times now and every year friends and family ask me if I’m doing it again and when I say yes it’s always “why – aren’t you bored with it ?” so I thought I’d share why I don’t think you could ever bore with it.

My first trip was a group of four friends although we gained two more along the way! A couple of us had done trips in the USA before but for all the notion of crossing from one side to the other was an adventure with slight trepidation. Months of route planning meetings, often with a beer or two involved resulted a in route with identified stops etc. We within a couple days of leaving Orlando that was shot. Travelling as a group was great and ticked many boxes but as you can imagine involved all us of compromising on things we wanted to see. For me I possibly compromised a few too many and felt the need to go back and see them.

Thus trip number two came about. This was planned on being a solo trip but I ended up riding some stages with groups I’d met along the way also doing the trip. This has pretty much been the case for trips three to five also. Riding with these groups has led to some lasting friendships and meet ups back in the UK and also friends from foreign lands who are regularly in contact.

Every trip and in between them I have come across new places I want to see or visit, stretches of road that are recommended to ride etc. I have come to love small town America and most of my overnight stops or mid-day visits will result in people saying “Where ? Never heard of it … “. For most people, especially those who see it as a one-off I fully understand the need to party in New Orleans, visit the Alamo, get to Grand Canyon etc. and over the trips I’ve done those things but having done so I think now I am largely seeing the “real” America. I do stay in chain motels (for cost more than anything) but wherever possible avoid chain bars and food places. I’ve found local bars to be a goldmine of information for places to go and roads to ride. Local independent diners, where the locals go for breakfast, will be no more expensive than a Denny’s and the food will be 10 times better I guarantee.

America being the size it is the options for routes are endless and sometimes the unscheduled stops in a small town prove to be the best. Most recent trip for example we were forced off the road due to the storms and stayed in a small town called Cuero. The sort of town normally you might stop for fuel or most likely just roll on through on the way to somewhere else, as we would have, en route to Austin. It turned out this town had one diner option for us … which by half way through our meal was packed with locals and some of the best food I had on the trip. Strolling around the town itself it turned out to be the oldest town in that county with an abundance of history going back to being settled by largely German immigrants and this German influence still being very apparent even today. Not Disney I know but for me personally very interesting.

Five hidden gems such as this I’ve found are:

● Jerome, and especially it’s Grand Hotel. Found it on the 89A between Prescott and Sedona. A recommended road. Took me 7 years to finally stay at the hotel.
● The Bear Wallow Cafe, Alpine, Arizona. Found again because of a road, the Devil’s Highway. Probably the best Huevos Rancheros I’ve had in America .. and I’ve had them in quite a few places.
● Hells Kitchen on the Ortega Highway (see a pattern forming ?) in California. A great bike hang out and diner one of on America’s greatest roads to ride.
● Buckeye Lake, Ohio. Again another town you’d normally just ride on through. Picked it as a stop as liked the name! Ended up having a great night in the locals “bar and grill” that had no name and no grill. Breakfast by the lake in a proper locals diner (recommended in the bar) turned it into one of those trip memories you don’t plan on.
● The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Pickerington, Ohio. On the way to Buckeye Lake spotted a sign for this and had time to kill. I’d never heard of it but it’s probably one of the best collection of motorcycles, predominantly but not exclusively, “sport” oriented. Certainly not as famous Barber but the some of the exhibits probably even rarer.

I’m not the only person who has done this trip multiple times and I’m glad to see the number of repeat offenders growing each year and I think if you ask any of them their reasons for doing it again would largely be the same as me .. or maybe not ! I think the flexibility of this trip lets you make of it what you will. If you want to hit the “tourist” spots you can or if you want to go off the roads most ridden you can. For me it allows me go places no guided tour is ever going to go, interact with the locals, and genuinely have an adventure … and occasionally getting “lost”.

Am I going again? Hell yeah.

Backstory

Matt’s been riding bikes of all sorts since the age of 16 and is very experienced in US riding, starting off with a Fatboy on a guided tour with a luggage/support vehicle. He followed that with a solo trip of a similar route with another trip a year later, where he guided four friends.

Then, since discovering The Lost Adventure, he’s completed three Coast to Coast runs, taking a different route every time. As Matt says “There are literally an unlimited number of routes you could take. On the first trip I was part of a group of six, the next two trips were technically solo, but riding with others as and when you meet them… and you almost certainly will.  I’ve done it twice on Street Glides and once on the Chieftain and both bikes have been perfect for my trips.  Undoubtedly the best part for me is the lack of schedule and fixed route – and the friends you make.  Every trip I have come back with more friends, many of which I keep in touch with on a regular basis and meet up with.”

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The 2018 Road Glide https://www.thelostadventure.com/the-2018-road-glide/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/the-2018-road-glide/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 20:48:28 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=610 “You’ve done it on an Indian Chieftain and on a Street Glide .. do it on something different, how about a Road Glide?” – “I’ve ridden one .. I don’t like them …” was how my discussion with Tim Orr, Eagle Rider UK, started when selecting a bike to ride coast to coast (Orlando to…

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“You’ve done it on an Indian Chieftain and on a Street Glide .. do it on something different, how about a Road Glide?” – “I’ve ridden one .. I don’t like them …” was how my discussion with Tim Orr, Eagle Rider UK, started when selecting a bike to ride coast to coast (Orlando to LA) in March 2018. Six months later I found myself looking at a very shiny, almost new, black Road Glide in the car park of Eagle Riders Orlando branch. “Hmm, not a looker I thought to myself”. So what did I think after 4287 miles across 8 States of America on her?

I’ve made similar trips 4 times previously, twice on Indian Chieftains and twice on Street Glides, and found both bikes to be excellent solo tourers more than up to the task with probably the Street Glide being my preferred tool for the trip. The Road Glide would struggle to impress I thought.
First impressions? As I said I don’t think it’s a looker but others do. Sitting on the bike undoubtedly comfortable with the handlebars being slightly higher than the Street Glides. All other controls the same and the easily (more so than Street Glide) accessible pods for charging phone, stashing stuff a nice touch. Quick ride around the block before the trip in earnest. The key difference between this and the Street Glide is the fairing. The bat wing of the Street being handlebar mounted while the Roads is frame mounted. I’ve never owned a frame mounted faired bike, well I have but I took it off, and I found when riding a previous Road Glide the fairing not moving “odd” and a little disconcerting – and I did again.

Once out on the highway the fairing seemed to offer good wind deflection even with the short screen fitted. I saw other Roads with a higher screen and presume this is a HD option. I’ve always been lucky in that I seem to be the right height for HD’s short screens and rarely suffer any buffeting. The 107 cui Milwaukee 8 motor in the bike is a peach. The last Street Glide I toured on had the same and it’s low down grunt makes riding effortless and at a standstill is much less vibey than the HD’s of old. The transmission is still clunky but I found myself dropping back into heel change mode without thinking. All displays and controls are clear and easily selectable and I have to say over the course of the trip the sound system was excellent for helping to pass the unavoidable less interesting stretches of road you come across.

Part of my trip I revisited two of America’s greatest biking roads, the Twisted Sisters in Texas, and the Devils Highway (191) in Arizona and formerly designated US666! So how did the bike cope with these? Simple – flawlessly! I think HD have done a great job with their new soft tail chassis with improved ground clearance and feeling much more stable in the bends, especially tight ones. While still no sports bike the Road Glide will carve through the bends far better than most would expect. Both roads left me smiling and at no point did I feel the bike was out of shape. Where I really noticed the difference to the Street Glide was on open roads with cross winds and crossing the many bridges you find in the Southern States particularly. The Streets bat wing tends to be a bit of a sail in these conditions causing a little handlebar wobble, the Road had none.
The bike has two hard panniers fitted as standard, which I used to store waterproofs and other sundries I need quick access to while my main luggage, a waterproof roll bag, fits on the luggage rack. More than adequate for two weeks solo touring I find.

So at the end of journey had the Road Glide won my heart over? Yes – never thought I’d say it but the Street Glide has been supplanted (although that’s not to say I won’t have an affair with another one ) and I think Road Glide is my new tourer of choice. Having done several 400+ mile days and one 500+, It is genuinely all day comfortable. The tank will easily give you 300 miles range and the motor, chassis etc. all add up to really great package for a trip such as this. I’m a convert!

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How many shirts do I need? https://www.thelostadventure.com/how-many-shirts-do-i-need/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/how-many-shirts-do-i-need/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 20:35:56 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=609 Two weeks on a bike in the USA and wondering how much to take ? The first time I did an unguided, and so no support vehicle to carry my kit, trip I did what many people did and took too much – in fact due a to a mishap with some cheap travel scales…

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All the luggage you need for two weeks

Two weeks on a bike in the USA and wondering how much to take ? The first time I did an unguided, and so no support vehicle to carry my kit, trip I did what many people did and took too much – in fact due a to a mishap with some cheap travel scales I actually thought I was taking more than I was and still took too much ! One of the key things to remember is whatever you load on the bike, you’ll be taking off each night and repacking / loading again in the morning.

Over successive trips I’ve got my packing down to a fine art now. Enough to be comfortable without over packing so these are my tips. I can get away with a 25l bag for two weeks – with space to spare.

  1. Multi-functional – if you can take a garment that can be used for more than one aspect of the trip do it. Some examples are my trousers I take. Hiking cargo trousers with zip out bottoms. Can be worn as long trousers for the cooler evenings or shorts when hotter. Two for one. I also take a kevlar lined hoodie for some of the riding. Makes a perfectly good jacket to wear out in the evenings when cooler also.
  2. If you can take a separate riding top – I’ve got a cheap cycling top that wicks sweat etc. away that I rinse out each evening ready to wear the next day. Keeps the number of “going out” tops you need down.
  3. For the fashion conscious – don’t worry you’re on the road each day so apart from the people you’re with nobody will see you in the same outfit twice 😉 For a two week trip I probably take 4-5 tops to wear, a mixture of t-shirts and long sleeve. I can guarantee you’ll buy souvenir shirts along the way – well I always do. Majority of hotels / motels have laundries so one or two laundry nights over the trip keep things fresh.
  4. Gadgets – do you really need to take laptops etc. ? You’re on holiday, every gadget, every charger is more to worry about.
  5. Hand luggage – I have a large Oxford helmet bag which I carry my helmet (obviously) but it also has enough space for all the usual sundries I would take on-board a plane as hand luggage normally as well as my trusty maps so again it’s that doubling up principle.
  6. Lotions and potions – many years ago I was advised to always buy the sun lotion locally when on holiday as it’s designed for that market. So I do – first morning quick trip to Walgreens to buy the local high factor stuff. I buy small so generally by end of trip next to nothing left. I saved on carrying it over and saved on bringing it back. Same goes for paracetamols or any such item – it’s the USA not the third world. Walmart and Walgreens is everywhere and to be honest most gas stations carry as much as a small pharmacy.
  7. Undies – prior to a trip I stockpile “near life end” undies to take and literally wear them and bin them. Frees up luggage space for souvenirs and as before … a pack of pants in Walmart for $5 will see you through to end of trip if you run short 🙂
  8. Waterproofs – depending on time of year and where your trip is you may need them. If you do take them get the lightest / smallest to pack you can. Your European touring set will almost certainly be overkill – and if the rain really is that bad, pull off the road and chill at a local roadside cafe to sit it out. Most of my riding gear is waterproof to a certain extent anyway but another bonus of a thin set is should your find yourself riding in cooler conditions it gives you an extra layer for warmth too. If the layers principle is good enough for the army it’s good enough for me.
  9. Documents – it might seem obvious but I always take a printed copy of all my documents for travel as well as passport, license etc. and also have scans up in t’internet cloud that I can get to if things go astray. Better safe than sorry.
  10. Most importantly – your sense of humour – don’t leave home without it ! There will be days when plans go astray, you get a hold up etc. Let it wash over you – unscheduled change of plans can make a trip sometimes … by the evening you will be smiling about it over a cold beer 🙂

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Considering a guided tour in the USA? https://www.thelostadventure.com/considering-a-guided-tour-in-the-usa/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/considering-a-guided-tour-in-the-usa/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 20:29:45 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=608 So you’re considering a motorcycle trip in the USA for the first time ? It’s a big place how would you know where to go ? Where to stay ? How to fit it into all into your holiday allocation ? These were exactly the things going through my mind.  The simple solution and the…

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So you’re considering a motorcycle trip in the USA for the first time ? It’s a big place how would you know where to go ? Where to stay ? How to fit it into all into your holiday allocation ? These were exactly the things going through my mind.  The simple solution and the one I took, is a guided tour where someone “answers” all those questions for you.

Knowing all your routes, hotels, places to visit, fuel, food (mostly 🙂 ) etc. is all planned out for you allows you to really soak up the environment and concentrate on enjoying all the new experiences.  It also allows you to make new friends who are doing exactly the same thing – I’m still in touch with people I met on the very first guided tour I did and subsequent one also !  Below are my tips for how to get the best from your guided tour experience.  Another benefit not to be ignored is apart from your spending money it’s a one off cost so no need to worry about what the hotel costs that night or how much dinner is.

In summary who’s a guided tour for ? Anyone !! Solo, couples or groups can have a stress free trip where all you have to do is ride.  It’s not just for first timers either – I’ve done a guided trip in between solo trips and the need not to “plan” anything was really refreshing and allowed me to relax into the groove of the trip and benefit from the wisdom of the tour guides.

How to get the most from a guided tour.

  1. Most importantly enjoy it – it is a holiday – 99% of the work will be done for you so apart from turning up with money, license etc. nothing to worry about doing.
  2. Don’t over pack ! Although your luggage is going to be carried for you in a van there’s no need to overload the guys / van carrying it. Apart from riding gear a few changes for evenings will suffice as laundry facilities are to be found in most hotels.
  3. Look after your van guys and they’ll look after you. It’s not all plain sailing sat in the van following you all day … but rest assured they will have a cold beer waiting for you at your final destination.
  4. Don’t worry about “having to ride a Harley” – yes they’re bigger than most bikes you probably ride but they’re all modern when it comes to handling, comfort and rider aids such as cruise control – don’t let your friends put you off because you’ll be on a “tractor”. Take it as one of the holidays new experiences !
  5. You won’t be bored riding – the myth that America is all big long roads is that just that a myth ! Your able guides will make sure you see some of Americas best roads and while some will be “straight” it won’t be for long.
  6. Trust the guide ! These guys know their stuff and as well as the roads will take you to some of the best eateries and bars there is – many you wouldn’t find by yourself at least not without a recommendation from someone local.
  7. “Do as you’re told” 🙂 – if the guide says a stretch of road requires care it almost certainly will. Likewise if he says you can “go play” for the next 10 miles .. go play but don’t go beyond it. If the guide advises taking a comfort break at a fuel stop as next stretch is long .. try your hardest to 🙂 Having to make an unscheduled stop a few miles down the road causes delays, frustration etc. for rest of the group.
  8. Don’t over do it ! It’s good to relax and unwind at the end of a day – but it’s not fun having to ride a couple hundred miles in the heat if you have a hangover ! If you’ve got a rest day next cut loose but if you’re riding keep it sensible.
  9. You will be one of a group be considerate to your new found friends. When riding don’t put pressure on the guy in front if he’s a little slower you’re all going to get to the same place at the same time anyway. This applies to all parts of the trip not just riding.
  10. Embrace the culture and try new things ! Be it food you wouldn’t normally or a beer you’ve never seen .. give it a go ! The guides and van guys are always very knowledgeable about places you stop so ask them about it. A selfie in front of an old west building has more meaning if you know that Billy the Kid drank there.
  11. Most importantly – book another ! Guided tours are a great stress free way for many people to see some of the best roads and places that America has to offer.

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Car vs Motorcycle https://www.thelostadventure.com/car-vs-motorcycle/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/car-vs-motorcycle/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 20:16:29 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=607 Ten Reasons Travelling by Motorcycle is Better Than Travelling by Car: Although traveling by Bus, Camper, or Car can still provide thrilling experiences, here are ten reasons why traveling by Motorcycle is much better: Part of the Landscape While on a motorcycle, a person really has to be aware of the terrain. Leaning into turns…

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Ten Reasons Travelling by Motorcycle is Better Than Travelling by Car:

Although traveling by Bus, Camper, or Car can still provide thrilling experiences, here are ten reasons why traveling by Motorcycle is much better:

  • Part of the Landscape

While on a motorcycle, a person really has to be aware of the terrain. Leaning into turns and flowing back and forth with the winding road along a river or the sweeping turn around a mountain makes you feel part of the land you are travelling through.

  • Temperature

While in a car, it is sometimes fun to watch the outside temperate by looking at the changes on a dashboard thermometer, but looking at the change from within a car is nothing compared to the amazing sensation of physically feeling the changes as the temperature quickly drops while riding up a bit of altitude in the mountains or over a bay bridge.

  • Smell

This is one of the major things that is missed while riding in a car (even a convertible). On a motorcycle, you are aware of the subtle smells that millions of people miss every moment in cars. Sometimes it will be the smell of smoke from a distant cabin chimney, or it might be the smell of lavender flowers or even the smell of salt while riding along the sea. These spectacular scents often provoke a more emotional connection to the place you’re riding through.

  • Meditation

While riding a motorcycle, one’s motor-skills and reflexes must always be on high-alert, but the mind is free to wonder and after hours on the motorcycle,these thoughts can become very relaxed and meditative allowing you to explore your own life as you move along through it.

  • Privacy: Time to Think

Things have changed a bit over the past years, and wireless communication and radios are becoming more common on motorcycles, but historically (and if one chooses to switch off), the motorcycle is a place where no one can interrupt you. You generally can’t answer your phone, and your partner or friend (even if on the back of the motorcycle) can share the experience, but they can’t really have a conversation with you.  The only person you can really talk to is yourself, and this can create some very reflective internal thoughts that many people no longer access. These personal thought scan be relatively simple or entirely life-changing.

  • Belonging

Everyone wants to belong to something, and by riding a motorcycle, you automatically become part of a pretty tight group with a common interest in riding. On the open road, it is rare that two bikes would pass each other without a subtle nod of the head or an enthusiastic wave, and each signal is a feel-good acknowledgement of the camaraderie and shared experience among motorcycle riders.

  • Personal Expression

To be fair, cars can be a personal expression of the individual driving. The difference between a VW bus and a Maserati tell a huge amount about the driver,but most cars fall into an unnoticed category somewhere in-between.Furthermore, being exposed, you are more visual as you ride your motorcycle.For some, a motorcycle is just a vehicle, but for most, the motorcycle is are presentation of themselves, and this is overtly seen in some radically customised one-of-a-kind works of two-wheeled art.

  • Compact Size

A motorcycle simply takes up less space than a car. Multiple times, I’ve been to Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and many other National Parks around the country, and it is obvious that these places are absolutely amazing because so many people want to go there … and they do. I think people should visit these places no matter how they travel, but a sad fact is that both traffic and parking can become a major issue. This is often the biggest complaint from visitors, but this can be eliminated on a motorcycle. In a car, I’ve spent literally hours looking for a parking space along various park overlooks, but with a motorcycle,there always seems to be the perfect little spot just big enough for the bike,so stopping wherever you want becomes easy.

  • Created Discomfort

Yes,you read correctly. I think riding forces the rider to accept a few things that you might consider less comfortable than a car. Some of these are that you are limited in space by the motorcycle. Whether you have to strap a pack to a seat,have saddlebags or even a top-case, space in limited, so you must really think about what to bring and what to leave. Secondly, a rider is much more affected by the weather. When it is sunny, it is hot and when it is raining, it is wet.The rider is forced to either ride through the elements (feeling like a crazy,tough person) or find shelter. On the bike, you seem to identify with the life of cowboys and times of old when these factors weren’t a choice, but a way of life. Of all the motorcycle travelling stories I’ve heard in my life, it is stories about having to deal with tough situations that people tell the most and that people remember fondly when all is over.

Making Friends

Of all the reasons why travelling on a motorcycle is better than travelling by car,I think making more friends is the number one reason. When you are in a car, you are confined within the “walls” of the vehicle, but on a bike, you are open.Furthermore, generally while travelling on a motorcycle, you are forced to stop more often to stretch the legs and to get fuel. In a car, I generally don’t stop more than every three or so hours on a long trip, but on a motorcycle,stops are more like every hour and a half. Also, if I’m in a car, pumping gas,generally no one says a thing, but while putting fuel in my motorcycle, almost inevitably,someone will say, “Nice bike.” Or, they might begin talking about how they used to own a motorcycle and still dream about it… Similarly, sitting at a café or a bar with a riding jacket, someone will say, “Is that your bike out front?” or“Where are you headed?” and the conversation begins, often evolving into a friendship.

Since,I believe people travel for two main reasons: 1) to see beautiful landscapes and 2) to meet people, the above ten reasons make it obvious why travelling by motorcycle is simply better than travelling by car.

Erik Seversen

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Eureka! https://www.thelostadventure.com/eureka/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/eureka/#respond Thu, 06 Dec 2018 20:08:13 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=606 Picture this: you’re somewhere on a lonely stretch of road in Nevada, astride an imposing train-like motorcycle. You are rumbling towards Eureka, a tiny town you’ve never been to before, never had a reason to go there – but tonight, the promise of spicy tacos, cold beer and a warm bed are as good as…

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Eureka !

Picture this: you’re somewhere on a lonely stretch of road in Nevada, astride an imposing train-like motorcycle. You are rumbling towards Eureka, a tiny town you’ve never been to before, never had a reason to go there – but tonight, the promise of spicy tacos, cold beer and a warm bed are as good as any. A hot shower too – face blackened with road dust, you can taste 100 miles of desert in the back of your throat. The ride today has been a little hard, in that way only the most special rides are.

The rider next to you points across an open plain to a bluff a mile off on the right side. A swollen black puff of cloud rolls down the hillside, its powerful curtain of hard rain knocking dust to the ground. The sky darkens as the cold breath of the storm cuts through your leather. It will be on you in less than a minute; you are being pursued. Looking towards the others, you see that they understand this too. There’s not enough time to stop and put on your rain gear. The undulating desert back road is narrow, the surface pockmarked and slippery, and you’ve never ridden it before. But you raise your left hand, high in the air so they all see it, and throw it down towards the road ahead. The others respond and their RPMs rise in chorus, singing “fast now, we’re going to try to outrun this bastard.” Heads down, the pack threads along the desert road as you hear the first rain hiss down on the hot tarmac behind you. Looking over your shoulder, you see headlights grow dim in the silver torrent, swallowed by the rain. Riding as hard, as well as you’ve ever ridden, you know you can’t outrun it. As the downpour overruns you, steam comes off the big v-twin engine and stinging droplets needle into your face.

And then you hear a strange sound. Louder than the hammering rain, booming above the combustions of six hulking motorcycles, you hear…..laughter. The kind of laughter you haven’t heard since you were a child, exhilarating, unrestrained, uncaring. Pure joy. And then you realize that the laughter is coming from you. 

And as you finally approach the tiny town you’ve never been to before, soaked down to your underwear, you feel relief. Not because you’re arrived……but relieved because you chose to take this journey in the first place.

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Chicago to Biketoberfest, Daytona – USA road trip photo journal https://www.thelostadventure.com/chicago-biketoberfest-daytona-usa-road-trip-photo-journal/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/chicago-biketoberfest-daytona-usa-road-trip-photo-journal/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:43:14 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=8775 One man, a camera, one brand new Harley M8 Street Glide and 3000+ miles of open road! Follow guest blogger and veteran Lost Adventure customer, Matt James day by day on his solo, 14 day ride from Chicago to Biketoberfest in Daytona on a new Harley-Davidson M8 Street Glide – the last big ride of…

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One man, a camera, one brand new Harley M8 Street Glide and 3000+ miles of open road!

Follow guest blogger and veteran Lost Adventure customer, Matt James day by day on his solo, 14 day ride from Chicago to Biketoberfest in Daytona on a new Harley-Davidson M8 Street Glide – the last big ride of the 2017 season. His chosen route includes parts of Route 66, the Indi Speedway Museum, Gettysburg, the Appalachian trail, Blue Ridge Mountains, Deals Gap (Highway 129 – The Dragon!),  Barber Vintage Motorcycle Museum, the Gulf Coast and ending with one of the best Bike Meets in the USA!

At the end of the trip, Matt wrote up a review of the Harley M8. Read his article here.

It’s 2000 miles to Orlando, he’s got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark out, and he’s wearing sunglasses. What could possibly go wrong!

Matt starts his ride from Chicago to Biketoberfest in Daytona. He’s already stayed in the best bike hotel in the US – the famous ‘Iron Horse Hotel’, Ridden a day on 66 and made a Blue’s brother Pilgrimage. Oh yes! And he’s managed to stab himself (it’s a long story).

Sections of the old Route 66 before Matt’s route takes him East.

 

A grey start, but again he’s managing to avoid the rain (for the most past) visiting the Indy Speedway and museum, a great Bar and Grill (with no Grill) and is currently fuelling up in a locally recommended diner. He’s now continuing East with Gettysburg as a target.

Matt still hasn’t started heading south. Battlefields and a big detour for a photo took up a lot of today.

Starting to head south. Through the twisting roads of the Appalachian trail which lead to Shenandoah and the Skyline drive. Simply stunning!!

He met some old friends and made some new ones. Riding the Blue Ridge in Autumn should be high on any bikers bucket list.

Matt meets “The Dragon” on his journey from Chicago to Biketoberfest in Daytona. He needs to be in Daytona by the end of the week but spent a day on and around the Dragon. Who can blame him.

He survived the Dragon! The next day starts with him leaving Lynchburg disappointed (no one told him it was a dry county!! ) and ends with a visit to possibly the worlds best motorcycle museum.

Matt swaps BBQ for Oysters as he hits the Gulf Coast. Only a day more to ride before reaching Biketoberfest in Daytona. After his epic ride from Chicago he needed a little assistance getting to bed 😉

Matt hits Biketoberfest in Daytona. After a 14 day ride from Chicago he can kick back at one of the best US bike meets.

Great ride!

3393 miles, 22nd sheet of Hillbilly sat nav and 3 mins to spare … Matt finishes his ride from Chicago to Biketoberfest in Daytona.

Find out what Matt thought of the M8 Street Glide – read his review

Here’s what Matt has to say, looking back on his road trip:

Well, two weeks on the road in the mostly Eastern states of the USA did not disappoint. Roughly 99% of places were all completely new which satisfied the explorer in me.  My rough outline plan was mostly stuck to but as always speaking to locals or getting tips from afar (wonder of the internet and people knowing where you are) meant there were unplanned deviations such as the wonderful town of “Intercourse” where the local Mennonites served up some of the best “home cooked” food of my trip. To be honest this only occurred due to me spending far longer at Gettysburg than planned but wanting to put some miles in that day.

So many boxes were ticked on this trip, Gettysburg, HD musuem, Barber motorcycle museum, Joliet (Blues Brothers), Lynchburg (Jack Daniels), Chattanooga (the song), Indianapolis (the race track), Tail of the Dragon, Harpers Ferry (Civil War) etc. looking back on it hard to believe it all happened within 14 days.

I guess the only “low” of the trip for me was part of the ride to Gettysburg where I’m certain Maryland was drenched in heavy rain and misty from one side to the other – which was a shame as what I could see of the mountains and scenery looked like it was probably sstunning!

The ever changing scenery and people when travelling America never ceases to amaze me – sometimes by the evening it can be like being in another country.  I can think of no better way of travelling America than by motorcycle and once again the staff and service of Eagle Rider were faultless as was the bike provided.

Some Statistics
Miles covered: 3393 miles.
States visited: 12
Fuel cost: $195.58
Sheets of sat nav paper used: 22
New t-shirts bought: 4
New beers tried: 21

Backstory

Matt’s been riding bikes of all sorts since the age of 16 and is very experienced in US riding, starting off with a Fatboy on a guided tour with a luggage/support vehicle. He followed that with a solo trip of a similar route with another trip a year later, where he guided four friends.

Then, since discovering The Lost Adventure, he’s completed three Coast to Coast runs, taking a different route every time. As Matt says “There are literally an unlimited number of routes you could take. On the first trip I was part of a group of six, the next two trips were technically solo, but riding with others as and when you meet them… and you almost certainly will.  I’ve done it twice on Street Glides and once on the Chieftain and both bikes have been perfect for my trips.  Undoubtedly the best part for me is the lack of schedule and fixed route – and the friends you make.  Every trip I have come back with more friends, many of which I keep in touch with on a regular basis and meet up with.”

 

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The 2017 Harley Davidson M8 Street Glide https://www.thelostadventure.com/2017-harley-davidson-m8-street-glide/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/2017-harley-davidson-m8-street-glide/#respond Wed, 06 Dec 2017 13:42:41 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=8876 Does the new Milwaukee 8 Street Glide pass muster? Guest blogger and frequent US touring veteran, Matt James finds out…
I’ve gone Coast to Coast  to in the USA on a Street Glide twice and always really rated the bike as a great “Swiss army tool” of a bike especially for the solo tourer. I’ve previously done a comparison of the then current model with it’s rival the Indian Chieftain (having done the same trip twice on that as well), and while the Indian won out in a couple areas, not least power and handling, overall there was very little to choose between the two. So how does the new Milwaukee 8 version stack up? Well a close to 4,000 mile road trip on it would be a good test.

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Does the new Milwaukee 8 Street Glide pass muster? Guest blogger and frequent US touring veteran, Matt James finds out…

I’ve gone Coast to Coast  to in the USA on a Street Glide twice and always really rated the bike as a great “Swiss army tool” of a bike especially for the solo tourer. I’ve previously done a comparison of the then current model with it’s rival the Indian Chieftain (having done the same trip twice on that as well), and while the Indian won out in a couple areas, not least power and handling, overall there was very little to choose between the two. So how does the new Milwaukee 8 version stack up? Well a close to 4,000 mile road trip on it would be a good test.

If you haven’t seen my photo journal article on the 14 day trip I did on this bike from Chicago to Biketoberfest in Daytona, check it out here.

Ergonomics

Maybe I’m just lucky but the new M8 Street Glide is a perfect fit for me at around 5’8”. Reach to bars is perfect for natural riding position and the seat is genuinely all-day comfortable. I put in a 450 mile day on most recent trip with no discomfort. The screen is high enough for me to get no buffering or discomfort in an open face helmet although taller riders may disagree. Controls are all reasonably placed and easy to use. The two panniers and a tail rack are more than ample for two weeks touring. I use one pannier for waterproofs etc., one for my helmet bag with sundries and a 25 Litre rollbag on the rack.

Performance

The Milwaukee 8 is what one could call “a great leap forward”. I’m sure some die hard Harley fans will disagree but for those who think of the Harley as agricultural you should try one of these. Even in stock factory guise, the motor pulls smoothly right through the engine range and easily surpasses the old motor. You can roll on from about 40 mph in top gear and it won’t struggle at all.. In fact I rode with some guys all on Screaming Eagle 110 equipped bikes with uprated suspension and the Glide stuck with them the whole time. The suspension has been upgraded and, while no sports bike through tight twisties, many will be surprised just how agile it is for such a long bike. I rode the Tail of the Dragon and at no time felt the mid corner “flex” that I have on the older model. I believe the new bike to be lighter than the outgoing also.

Extras

The Street Glide comes equipped with enough goodies to keep most people happy, decent radio system that you can connect to through both Bluetooth or the dash mounted pod which contains a USB connector. Cruise control, which again is a big improvement on the previous model, abs etc. are all there.

Verdict

As I said at the start the Street Glide has always been a great solo tourer and with the new version Harley Davidson have raised that bar that others solo tourers / baggers need to aim for. For any similar road trip in the future it would be without a doubt my number one choice of motorcycle and I would recommend it to anyone contemplating similar.

Will be interesting to see how Indian et al respond.

 

 

 

“…having spent many hours riding on both bikes, it’s not so clear cut…

Read Matt’s Indian Chieftan V Harley Street Glide review blog.

[et_pb_image admin_label=”Image” src=”https://www.thelostadventure.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/street-glide-sh-1.jpg” show_in_lightbox=”off” url=”https://www.thelostadventure.com/chicago-biketoberfest-daytona-usa-road-trip-photo-journal” url_new_window=”off” use_overlay=”off” animation=”off” sticky=”off” align=”center” max_width=”500px” force_fullwidth=”off” always_center_on_mobile=”on” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”] [/et_pb_image][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

Take a look at my photo journal article on the 14 day trip I did on the
new Street Glide from Chicago to Biketoberfest in Daytona.

Backstory

Matt’s been riding bikes of all sorts since the age of 16 and is very experienced in US riding, starting off with a Fatboy on a guided tour with a luggage/support vehicle. He followed that with a solo trip of a similar route with another trip a year later, where he guided four friends.

Then, since discovering The Lost Adventure, he’s completed three Coast to Coast runs, taking a different route every time. As Matt says “There are literally an unlimited number of routes you could take. On the first trip I was part of a group of six, the next two trips were technically solo, but riding with others as and when you meet them… and you almost certainly will.  I’ve done it twice on Street Glides and once on the Chieftain and both bikes have been perfect for my trips.  Undoubtedly the best part for me is the lack of schedule and fixed route – and the friends you make.  Every trip I have come back with more friends, many of which I keep in touch with on a regular basis and meet up with.”

[/et_pb_text]

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‘Get your motor running’ – the ultimate Route 66 playlist https://www.thelostadventure.com/get-motor-running-ultimate-route-66-playlist/ https://www.thelostadventure.com/get-motor-running-ultimate-route-66-playlist/#respond Fri, 27 Jan 2017 10:45:35 +0000 https://www.thelostadventure.com/?p=8647 Looking forward to getting your kicks, as you roll on down the highway like a bat outta hell? Join radio DJ and Lost Adventure customer Oliver Lodge on a musical journey along the Mother Road as he evokes some of what he calls ‘road emotion’. 2,3,4… Well I have road tripped the Good Ol’ USA…

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Looking forward to getting your kicks, as you roll on down the highway like a bat outta hell?

Join radio DJ and Lost Adventure customer Oliver Lodge on a musical journey along the Mother Road as he evokes some of what he calls ‘road emotion’.

2,3,4…

Well I have road tripped the Good Ol’ USA a few times now and those wide-open plains, mountain passes and beautifully metalled roads deserve two things;

a) a big 110 cubic twin and
b) a classic rock soundtrack!

Now I was thinking I would do a Top 12, not Top 10 as we are bikers, we are not the norm, we like noise, adventure, surprises! So, you might think the obvious, yes, Steppenwolf or Chuck Berry, but then there are just so many great tracks that will just see you grin from ear to ear as you twist the throttle, hear the “potato-potato-potato” of the exhaust and set your sights on the next leg of your journey.

So, let’s just quickly tell you the obvious two tracks to start you off on your ride…

First track for the Route 66 ride? Well, you just have to have the song “Route 66”, which is as American as they come, but, as a curve ball I suggest that besides the original by Chuck Berry, I think the best version and just right for your ride is; The Rolling Stones – (Get your kicks on) Route 66. There are even more versions of this brilliant road song and perhaps you might enjoy an alternative take? Check out Asleep at the Wheel or Diana Krall’s versions, though for me, The Rolling Stones nail the vibe to ride…

An alternate first track and one I love listening to as I set off on another day’s ride just must be Steppenwolf’s “Born to be wild” from that opening line “Get your motor running” and the superbly fitting “lookin’ for adventure”. We all remember this iconic track from the superb road movie Easy Rider and I love the version that starts with the sound of their motorcycles pulling fast off the verge as they set off on their bikes. Alternatively, other tracks from same band, same movie soundtrack could make your list, I’m thinking; The Pusher or Magic Carpet Ride, but, it just must be this as the ultimate road trip track.

Well there’s your opening tracks to set you off on Route 66, and, so your off riding Route 66 and you need more classic rock, you need a whole album of road songs. Well, you cannot have a more classic slice of road trip song Americana than some Eagles and whilst “Hotel California” might well feature in your destination plans I have chosen “Take It Easy” on my Route 66 compilation.

Firstly, because that is just what you must do; take it easy, the miles will tumble, the engine will be true and you will just grin every day you ride. Secondly, because a town on Route 66 gets a front and centre mention; “well, I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona” and if you get there, you’ve just got to go and stand on that corner…

A great American next, some might think, The Great American, Mr Bruce Springsteen and his ultimate road song “Born To Run”. When I have road tripped America I always feel re-newed, fresh, re-invigorated, having left any woes and problems behind me as the road beckons and adventure is just around the corner. This song is essentially about running away and whilst perhaps we don’t really run away, it feels great on the road, on a motorcycle with not a bill in sight! Lyrics; “At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines.” “Just wrap your legs ’round these velvet rims.” “The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive.” Getting onto your big twin and running away has never sounded so essential…

Here’s a driving song for the day that starts with clouds or rain; “I looked out this morning and the sun was gone, turned on my music to start the day…” two more lines and then there’s that driving riff. It’s Boston with “More Than A Feeling” one of the most played, best loved and great road trip songs. As a man who loves lists as well as road tripping America, here’s a piece of trivia; this was voted the 39th Greatest Song of All Time by VH1, a list for another day!

I think it is time for the slightly unexpected, but at the same time a great record for the road. A tenuous link is that the artist wrote this as a homage to his reaching 40 years old and looking back (a rather early mid-life crisis?) and I believe many who first road trip Route 66 are in that same mind set, you look back and then realise you need to do something epic, and then, Route 66 beckons! The track is Billy Joel with “We Didn’t Start The Fire” . The trivia knowledge here is that the list of 100 events in the song are all headlines from the year of Billy Joel’s birth, 1949 – did you know that?

Time for a sing-a-long, head-banging, foot tapping classic and yet probably the only tune most know from this band; Ram Jam with “Black Betty”. This is a tune I turn to often, not only the epic original that is just one of those songs everyone knows but the many excellent covers that are out there. It was originally an African-American work song that pre-dates all classic rock and first came to audio with Lead Belly Ledbetter but versions out there by Tom Jones, Spiderbait and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion are all fantastic versions often vying for my attention with this, the original.

Now I am sticking to American road trip songs, but I am going to cheat a little here and say the continent of North America as that includes Canada as I want to include this classic road song from Bachman Turner Overdrive, their “Roll on Down the Highway”. Yes, yes, rock aficionados, they are from Manitoba, Canada, but I have motorcycled from Seattle into Canada and back out again and the road gets you just the same and this track was just written for taking your big twin into huge epic scenery. It was written for Ford Motor Company for a planned advertising campaign, but they didn’t use it, so here I am claiming it for my Route 66 road trip!

Now I think we need a long one, a 10-minute epic, no? A song that whilst it features a calamitous end, that record cover image of a roaring motorcycle is iconic and is just so right in terms of riding along the highways of America. Yes, you guessed it, Meatloaf’s “Bat Outta Hell”. There is of course the other 10-minute epic you could slot in here as an alternative, Freebird by Lynryd Skynryd but I thought that was a little too obvious and it would hit my “alternates” list.

ZZ Top “La Grange” , not one of the big three from the Eliminator LP that featured those hot girls in the videos but one from their classic Tres Hombres LP because of that driving very steady riff, it just gets me and gets the road. The white line passing by faster and faster as you twist the throttle and that “hmm hmm hmm” vocal, love it. Let alone the superb guitar work as the song closes, just rock steady riffage. A golden nugget of trivia, the “La Grange” that they are singing about is now affectionately known as “The Chicken Ranch” (wink, wink…)

Yes, yes, it is time for a classic rock ballard and yes, yes, it is time for something a little more recent; “I’m a cowboy, on the steel horse I ride! I’m wanted….. ”. I’m sure you got it from those lyrics especially as they are just about to lead into the title. I am talking, Bon Jovi “Wanted, Dead Or Alive” pretty much the song that is considered the bands anthem. And of course, this is how you feel, you are on a steel horse, you are on Route 66, perhaps now in the Wild West and we all feel a little outlaw when road tripping America, it’s the “road emotion” as I like to call it…

There are many American artists and bands I have yet to mention, but this is just a Top 12, I could run to a Top 100 but you’d get bored and you’re a biker, you have your own tastes and opinions! No mention of Bob Seger, Foreigner, Guns’n’Roses, Metallica and so many more. I am going to close out with a road song that says; “there’s something good waitin’ down this road….” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “Runnin’ Down A Dream”. I think man who understands how we, bikers, feel, how the road takes hold of you and the excitement ahead. Great lyrics, brilliant guitar, a man “who won’t back down” …

The list:
• The Rolling Stones – (Get your kicks on) Route 66
• Steppenwolf’s “Born to be wild”
• Eagles “Take It Easy”
• Bruce Springsteen “Born To Run”
• Boston “More Than A Feeling”
• Billy Joel “We Didn’t Start The Fire”
• Ram Jam “Black Betty”
• Bachman Turner Overdrive “Roll On Down the Highway”
• Meatloaf “Bat Outta Hell”
• ZZ Top “La Grange”
• Bon Jovi “Wanted, Dead Or Alive”
• Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers “Runnin’ Down A Dream”

As I alluded to in the Tom Petty paragraph there are so many tracks that can be included in lists of songs to ride Route 66 and I feel there needs to be some honourable mentions; Lynryd Skynryd’s “Freebird”, Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son”, Cheap Trick’s “I want you to want me”, Allman Brother’s “Midnight Rider”, Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55”, Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” and Bob Seger’s “Turn The Page” to mention but a few. Then of course we’ve just touched upon the continent of North America, what about all the great music from Europe I hear you cry (yes, I know Mr Editor I had the Stones in straight away – but on an American song!), songs such as; Golden Earring’s “Radar Love”, Deep Purple’s “Highway Star”, Queen’s “Don’t Stop” or The Who’s “I Can See For Miles” ……… Lists are endless and opinions are many.

As a DJ with an albeit modest rock show on BrooklandsRadio.co.uk, I would love your lists or tracks you consider to be the best for motorcycle touring. You can track me down and listen to previous rock shows on www.mixcloud.com/ollie900 and send me a message.

I will add, finally, whether you ride Route 66 (go on, you know you want to) or whether you take any other motorcycling road trip, ride safe, ride free and enjoy the adventure around every corner.

Oliver Lodge.


Live the dream – ride the Mother Road in style. Find out more about these fantastic fully guided Route 66 tours…


 

About Oliver

Rock aficionado and part time radio DJ Oliver Lodge knows his music! Check out his show ‘Ollie’s Rock Block’ on BrooklandsRadio.co.uk every Wednesday from 8pm GMT. He has toured with The Lost Adventurer twice, is an avid motorcycle fan, races motorcycles and has written numerous online articles.

 

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