The epic long distance ride is as close to the heart of motorcycling mythology as anything except maybe the machine itself. This episode explores why these odysseys tug at so many of us through one rider’s story. After 50 years on two wheels, Terry Bell had never taken that long ride. Then one day, everything changed. The trip would be called ‘The Big Stupid’, and its lessons were surprising.

Show Notes

Besides being a lifelong rider, Terry is also a pretty great photographer. If you’d like to see his work, you can follow him on Instagram @bellman27

DenManTau, who let me use their music to close this episode, are also on Instagram, and you can share their odyssey and awesome energy by following @denmantau. Their web site is at denmantau.com. The track I shared on the show is called “Busker’s Philosophy”. You should buy it.

Long rides have inspired a lot of writing, starting perhaps with Persig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values.” The Neil Peart book Terry and I mentioned is called “Ghost Rider: Travels on the Healing Road”. Despite its tragic premise, it’s an inspiring and redemptive read.

A few weeks after this episode was released, Quora randomly dropped a question about long motorcycle trips into my in box. If you want to really feel the call of the open road, check out the answer by Paul Turner.

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