They rode through some of the most scenic landscapes of America, visited the biggest motorcycle rally in the world and travelled on some of the best riding roads on the planet, but it was the people that impressed Rod and Debra McDonald the most.
They were the lucky winners of ARR’s Route 66 Tours competition last year which included a road trip for two from Las Vegas to the 75th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and back again.
The journey covered over 7000km of the most scenic, mountainous and exciting parts of the USA, including the Rocky Mountains, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Bruce Canyon, parts of the famous Route 66, Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse monuments, and Yellowstone and Zion National Parks riding on a Harley-Davidson Tri-Glide trike with all the comforts of a big touring bike.
“No matter where you went, the scenery was ‘pow!’ and you’d think that’s as good as it gets, then next day ‘pow!’ again,” Rod said.
The 75th Sturgis rally was also a major feature of the trip.
“It was loud, big and full of so much atmosphere,” Rod said.
Deb chimes in: “It was like Mad Max Thunderdome on steroids. Everywhere you looked there was something going on.”
Rod said he had actually started a bank account to save for a trip to Sturgis with his brothers and sons when he sent in his competition entry and couldn’t believe he won it.
“I’d never won anything bigger than $23 on the Lotto,” he said.
It was Rod and Deb’s first organised motorcycle tour and they said they’d do it again.
“That’s the way to travel,” said Rod. “It was so well organised.
“We got lost one day, but it was a nice feeling just cruising along on these roads in Utah. I was just living myself sick.
“When you are riding with 25 bikes with Aussie flags flying you think this is pretty good and everyone you meet wants to say hello.
“It’s the best holiday we’ve ever done.”
Route 66 Tours lead guide Dan Azzopardi said the tour to Sturgis costs $8495 per person, twin share.
They run tours in April, July and October and the Sturgis tour in July/August.
Tour groups range from 30 to 50 people riding Harleys, BMWs, Triumphs, trikes and Gold Wings from EagleRider Motorcycle Rentals, staying in quality hotel accommodation.
For the full story of Rod and Deb’s tour, see issue #126 of Australian Road Rider, on sale June 16.