Posted On 22 Mar 2024
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This entry is part 20 of 30 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#25

The BEST of the WEST with AMM Editor Peter “The BEAR” Thoeming Guided USA Tour • 15 – 30 August, 2015

We’ve lined up some of our favorite places, thrown in some ideas (and surprises!) from Peter “The Bear” Thoeming, Editor of Australian Motorcyclist and together we’ve created a once-in-a-lifetime riding experience that’s tough to beat – anywhere on earth – and you’re invited to join us!

Our adventure starts and ends in Los Angeles and includes Grand Canyon, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Death Valley, Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

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. Plus Monument Valley, Las Vegas, Route 66, the Pacific Coast and more.

Fourteen days of riding and memories to last a lifetime!

Meet your Best of the West Tour Guides

Peter “the Bear”Thoeming

After studying for a career in Economics, Peter found his way into Jazz and then Graphic Design.While an Art Director at CBS Australia, he decided to make a change, riding a small motorcycle around the world and writing a book about his adventure. On his return, Peter became editor of Two Wheels magazine and started Bike Australia and Australian Road Rider before founding Australian Motorcyclist magazine.

He loves touring America, especially the west and the south, ever since spending six weeks criss-crossing it back in the ‘80s and on more visits since.

The Bear enjoys American food – especially the beer – which be believes has improved out of sight since that first trip!

Steven “Skip” Schippers

Skip’s love of travel started at an early age on camping road trips with his family in the 1960’s and 70’s. After repeating some of the same adventures by car with his own family he discovered motorcycling later in life.

Since 2002 he has been the owner/operator of Great American Touring Group, Ltd., leading guided tours for groups large and small, planning self-guided tours and continuing exploration for future journeys on two wheels or more. His “fun” is to show riders the famous attractions they expect, plus the hidden places they’d be unlikely to discover on their own.

Skip has also been self-employed for many years in commercial photography, video production and marketing communications.

Daily Itinerary

Itinerary subject to modification as required by local conditions at the time of the Tour.


We’re currently offering two rides with Australian MOTORCYCLIST staff members or contributors.

You’ll learn how to get terrific road shots, and more, on the PPPP tour.


One is very close, but there may still be a chance to get along. It’s our first PPPP ride; the Ps stand for, in no particular order: Pies, Pubs, Pics and (road)Porn and the rides will feature three days of riding great roads, scouring the country for the best Pies, stopping at proven Motorcycle Friendly Pubs, learning how to take great night Pics and shots of Road Porn.

The ride will be led by Colin Whelan from March 27th to 29th and will begin with lunch at Piefection at Mt Gravatt on the Friday, followed by visits (in the name of research!!) to Muzza’s Pies at Coopooroo, and the bakeries at Samford and Dayboro before a stop at the Woodford Pub and finally the first of two nights at the Cooyar Hotel.

On Saturday morning we’ll breakfast up at the fabulous Blackbutt Pie Shop, followed by a photography lesson and then a ride through the Bunya Mountains to lunch at the Quinalow Pub.

On Saturday night we’ll be out photographing the Milky Way and star trails (clouds permitting) Sunday’ll see us having breakfast at the Yarraman Pie shop after a photography debrief before sampling more pies at three more bakeries as we ride back to Brisbane via Crows Nest, Esk and Ferndale.

This is a test run so it’s a freebee but numbers are strictly limited to 20. To register your interest and get more details, please email: colin@

Scenery like this is only the beginning on The Bear’s Best of the West tour.


A little further away, both in time and space, is The Bear’s Best of the West tour. If you’ve been reading my stories, you have probably realised how much I enjoy touring the western United States.

Now I can show you why, in person. By way of a 16 day tour with 14 riding days from LA to LA along some of the American West’s most spectacular roads.

Milestones along the way include well-known attractions like a stretch of Route 66, the Grand Canyon, Monument and Death Valleys and national parks like Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Zion and Sequoia. All linked by superb roads in weather that should be wonderful – although I obviously can’t guarantee that.

Cost is very reasonable, ranging from $5,995 per person for two people sharing one bike and one room to $7,195 per person and a bike, sharing a room with someone else and $8,995 per person with a bike and a single room.

Cost of air fares is not included, and all costs are quoted in US dollars.

Get some now! Price includes Harley-Davidson rental; you get a first and second choice of model. Specific BMW and Honda models may be available at an additional cost of $40 per day. Mention my name when you book and you’ll get a discount of $300 per motorcycle.

The tour starts on the 15th of August and ends on the 30th. Absolute deadline for booking is the 15th of June, but I would obviously suggest you get in before that; the maximum number of participants is 20. Members of the Bear Army are especially welcome, and will have the opportunity to share a pre-tour special evening with the grumpy old bugger – hey, who’s writing this?! – on the evening of the 14th at his favourite Tex-Mex restaurant, the Baja Cantina.

For more information and bookings, please email Skip at, and copy me in at .

Do it now, or forever regret that you missed out!

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