Preparing for Travels with Harley

And the race is on! Jim and I are so excited about our, “Travels with Harley,” project and we know that you will be too once you get to know us. If you already know us, have worked with us, or have ridden with us, you know how passionate we are about riding.

If you do ride a motorcycle, you know that not everyone is biker friendly, and I’m not just talking about lodging and food. Jim and I have come across many establishments that still think of motorcycle riders as less than stand up citizens, and that is another reason we started, “Travels with Harley.” We want to prove to the world that there is a whole sub-culture of motorcycle riders out there that have real jobs and families. These are folks just like you and me who love to ride and understand that it isn’t always easy to take a road trip on the back of a bike.

Jim and I are in the process of selling our Sears store. We are ready to experience life on the back of our Road King. After 10 years and almost 100 hours a week, it’s time for a break. I also want to spend some time with my family in California, and because of the store, it has been nearly impossible to visit more than once a year. Jim and I are really excited about starting a new chapter in our lives, and this includes “Travels with Harley.”

We already have six backers who have pledged $705.00 of our $25,000 goal. Read our kickstarter project page and help us out. Even if you can’t jump on the back of a Harley and travel across the country, you can do it with us…we can’t wait to share our adventures with all of you. So come along for the ride and don’t forget to check out my weekly blog. A new chapter in our lives has just begun, and we want to take you along for the ride.

You’re the passenger as you discover the best places to eat, drink and sleep across the USA in Travels with Harley

Food

In 2010, Jim and I rode from our home in Washington, MO to Milwaukee, WI on our Harley Davidson Road King.  After an unexpected business meeting in Chicago ruined our vacation plans, we decided to make the best of it and head up to Milwaukee and visit the Harley museum the weekend before the meeting. I found a fantastic rate at the Renaissance Blackstone in Chicago for the first night, and made reservations at the Iron Horse in Milwaukee for the rest of the weekend.  When I book a hotel for the two of us, I always make sure that it is motorcycle friendly. We know from experience that some hotels and restaurants do not cater to two wheeled vehicles. With that being said, both the Renaissance Blackstone and the Iron Horse assured me that pulling in on our Road King would not be a problem.

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After riding for seven hours and having to deal with heat, traffic, and construction, Jim and I pulled up to the Renaissance Blackstone in Chicago. Not a great experience by any means, but had if it had not been for the Blackstone, which is definitely not a motorcycle friendly hotel, we never would have come up with our project. The room service from the Jose’ Garces’ restaurant is the only positive comment I have to say about that particular hotel. The Iron Horse made up for our less than memorable experience with wonderful care and service.

“Travels With Harley,” began after Jim made a comment to me one day. He said that, “We should do a show for the Food Network or Travel Channel where we travel across the country on our bike and you review restaurants on their food and service.” The two of us decided to incorporate the idea of, “Motorcycle friendly,” hotels, after thinking about our less than memorable experience at the Blackstone. We know that we are not the only motorcycle riders that have to deal with less than friendly service so we thought that a travel guide made the most sense with a print and digital version. The travel guide will serve as a companion to the TV series.

I have 15 years management experience in the hospitality industry and, most recently, nearly 8 years as owner, along with my husband, of multiple retail establishments. During that time, I helped to consult and train other business owners and have won many regional and national awards. Specializing in employee training and customer service, I have a trained eye when it comes to staying viable in a constantly evolving environment. Food is my passion and I love meeting new people. We have met some of our closest friends on the back of our Road King.

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Jim likes to describe himself as, “Beans and bacon.” He bought his first Harley Davidson in 1975, but because we both like road trips, Jim decided to go the comfort route with his first electric start Harley, a 2010 Road King. Jim is the epitome of the American Midwest. He is meat and potatoes and good old-fashioned comfort food. Jim likes to call me his west coast gourmet. I actually learned how to make escargot when I was 14. You could call me an amateur gourmet as I spent 7 years in Monterey and Carmel managing upscale restaurants. With our different tastes, we are the perfect pair for,

Food

Our original goal was to follow Steinbeck’s 10,000-mile travels documented in his book, “Travels with Charley,” but after discussing it further, decided to leave our bike route open for backer recommendations.

“Travels with Harley,” allows the viewer to feel what it is really like to ride on the back of a motorcycle. With Jim at the helm, the two of us will be reviewing anything and everything that we come across on our road trip including roads, routes, scenery, hotels, and most importantly, restaurants!  Jim and I will also introduce you to the new and colorful friends that we always seem to make whenever we go on a Harley Davidson road trip.

So come along for the ride and live vicariously through Jim and I as we jump on our bike and share our experiences in, “Travels with Harley.”

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Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

We are planning to hit the road in May, as this will give us plenty of time to get the completed book in the hands of our backers. Jim and I are going to ride for a couple of months giving our backers semi-weekly reports that will include our daily updates as we travel 300 miles a day across the United States. Our route will be dependent upon the suggestions from our backers.

We are using a small printer for the book, but if we are lucky enough to have a huge demand for the print version of, “Travels with Harley,” I have a couple of other publishing companies in mind that can handle large book runs that will enable us to meet our deadlines. Should we reach our goal, Jim and I have some awesome, “Stretch goals,” that we will add to, “Travels with Harley.”

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