We're excited to introduce Dan Zinn today. Dan is our first #Olympiarides rider!
Dan is pending Guinness World Record approval for his motorcycle trip last year, a 14,000 mile, 58 day epic ride on a 2004 Harley through 38 states. Read about his ride on Dan's trip blog.
Read the story below, meet Dan and find out how he first became a rider. (Spoiler alert: the girl's long gone, Dan still rides!)
The Day I Became a Rider by Dan Zinn
Just as the snow began hitting the ground in New York in early 2007, I packed up my things, hopped on a plane, and moved out to San Jose, California.
It was the second semester of my junior year of college. I was starting an internship with a tech company in the Bay Area. Getting paid, getting credit, in California. Winter doesn’t get much better for a guy from NY.
There was a downside, though. Shortly before moving out, I found myself falling into a serious relationship with a girl named Dalia. Go figure. I hadn’t been in a relationship since high school, and now that I’m moving 3,000 miles across the country I finally start one. Murphy’s Law, I guess.
With Valentine’s Day looming on the horizon, I sent her a ticket to visit.
As her flight arrived, I was waiting for her at the baggage claim with a bouquet of her favorite flowers (bright pink Dahlias, of course). I wanted to make sure we had a magical few days together before she went back east. There was no time to waste.
I threw her luggage in the trunk of my 5 year old, rainy-day gray Enterprise-Rent-A-Car Dodge Neon, and we began the drive south.
Our first stop was to be Santa Barbara. We had two options:
Being the hopeless romantic that I am, you can guess which route I decided to take.
As we passed Carmel on a majestic stretch of the PCH, the sun started to peak its way over the mountains to the east. The scenery was breathtaking. Unfortunately, my plan of wooing the girl of my dreams above the crashing waves of the Pacific was thwarted by a slight oversight on my part. Dalia had just taken the red eye from New York. Within 15 minutes of leaving SF she was fast asleep in the passenger seat.
So there I was. A gorgeous girl to my right, an even more gorgeous backdrop behind her. But I was, essentially, all alone.
Something about that road made it easy to dream about the future. I found my mind wandering from thinking about the “now” to thinking about the “what’s to come next.” And it was during that blissful fog of thought that I was snapped back to consciousness by the roar of an engine. And then another whizzed by. And then another.
A group of 15 sport bikes, all with riders donning full racing garb, carved through the switchbacks like Olympic skiers on their gold medal run. I had no words. I was in complete awe and amazement. In that moment, there was only one thought in my brain:
“I need to get a motorcycle, and I need to ride this road on it”.
Fast-forward 5 years. Dalia and I have long been broken up. I had just returned from a year working in China and was in desperate need of American culture.
I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, when the thought struck suddenly like a lightening bolt.
I somehow convinced my employer to give me 4 months off. I sold my 2005 Suzuki GSXR-600, and upgraded to an all American, speckled blue 2004 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200.
On September 8, 2012, I began a 14,000 mile, 58 day motorcycle journey around the United States that brought me through 38 states and the District of Columbia.
The highlight of the trip? You guessed it. The Pacific Coast Highway.
What's the longest motorcycle ride you've ever taken? Any questions for Dan? Leave a comment below.
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