Posted On 21 Feb 2024
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This entry is part 1 of 25 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#23

…being something the

editor-in-chief wanted to bring up

I’ve forgotten just how many riding seasons have passed under my wheels. Calculating the number is difficult, because I have spent quite a bit of time working in London – first as general dogsbody at Airfix Hobby & Toy Sales (yes, that Airfix) in the early ‘70s, and then as a graphic designer with a magazine company and later an advertising agency. All of these jobs left me a reasonable amount of time to explore Britain and parts of the rest of Europe, and I got out as much as I could.

Then I did my around-the-world trip with my mate Charlie. I saw him the other day, and he’s had the operation (no, not that operation) which I’m going to have to have before long – a knee replacement. How did I get onto that? Sheer terror, I suppose. What I wanted to say was that, at the end of that ride, I had a good riding season in the US before returning home in the big white and-red flying kangaroo.

I’m not ashamed to say that I fell in love with America on that trip, and I still have a lot of fond feelings for the place; that’s why I go back so often. Hardly a year passes these days when I don’t visit at least once.

And now I’m offering to take you along. ‘Skip’ Schippers, who runs Great American Motorcycle Touring, has a tour called ‘The Best of the West’ which is so close to my dream Western USA tour that we’re going to market it as ‘The Bear’s Best of the West’, with a few small adjustments. You will have a chance to see and appreciate the places that have inspired me over the years.

The tour will run for 14 riding days from the 15th to the 30th of August,2015, and you can find full details on Skip’s website at . The tour begins in Los Angeles, which is terrific because that’s the place that has the most connections to Australia, and quite often there are even cut price flight deals.

“You’ll see the lowest AND the highest elevations in the US – 282’ (86m) below sea level in Death Valley to 14,505’ (4,421·m) at Mt. Whitney,” says Skip.

“Two weeks, fourteen days of riding and memories to last a lifetime.”

The ride will include some of the most iconic segments of Route 66, and will in fact end at the end of the Mother Road in Santa Monica. Along the way we’ll visit the Grand Canyon, Zion, Death Valley,Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks, Monument Valley, Las Vegas, the Pacific Coast and more. We’ll take a jeep into Monument Valley rather than riding; I tried riding and found the deep sand less than forgiving…

One place we’ll visit is not on my favourite list; it’s Las Vegas, and as Skip pointed out, you can’t really just ride past one of the most staggering sights of the modern world, can you? I’ll reserve judgement!

Okay, so what you need to do now is to get in touch with Skip and register your interest. By all means copy me in on your email, but make sure it goes to Skip too – he will hold the list. His email address is, and mine of course is

And God willin’ and the creek don’t rise, Skip and I will lead the tour. Love to see you, and it would be terrific if the tour was completely filled by MOTORCYCLIST readers!

New Bike Buyers’ Guide 2015

That’s what we’ve called the report from EICMA, the Milan motorcycle show which attracted over 600,000 visitors, among them about a thousand journalists. Combined with the report in issue #22, which covered the Cologne show, you have now seen pretty much all of the exciting new releases for 2015,and some of the concept ideas. Are you impressed? I am; I just love this positive atmosphere which has even the normally inscrutable Japanese jumping with joy.

So enjoy flicking through all the bikes I’ve seen, and I’ll tell you one thing: if I had the money I’d be on a big ‘investment’ binge right now…

Peter ‘The Bear’


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Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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