For the last few seasons, a good chunk of my summers have been spent driving from race-to-race while covering the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Want a peek at what happens between the races? Here you go...

On long road sections, boredom can set in pretty quickly. Listening to podcasts was some of the prime entertainment this year, as well as experimenting with  gadgets like the olloclip wide-angle lens for my iPhone. Actually, pretty much all of the photos here are from my phone.

Headed into the entrance at Hangtown with some of the real road warriors...the drivers of the rigs that criss-cross the country. These guys often drive together, watch out for each other, etc. They get a layout each week of the pit area, and in the holding area before they headed into the pits, they were working out among themselves the order that the trucks should head in.

This was the one big oops from the summer. At a Flying J truck stop I was refilling the fresh water tank, and the pressure going in was greater than it could vent coming out, so the tank expanded and pushed itself out of the mount. I had to drain and remount the tank, then refill. What a hassle.

Before taking off on the road again, I decided that a set of FMF tie-downs would make for a good safety strap. Having the tank come unglued while on the road would be a bad deal.

I'd always wanted to check out the Cadillac Ranch just west of Amarillo, Texas, and made it just in time to catch it at sunset.

Weather this summer was...well, just plain weird. The drought made thunderstorms like this one the exception, rather than the rule, as in previous years. Yeah, that's lightning lighting up the upper right.

Rather than follow the GPS directions from Freestone to Thunder Valley (basically, go north to Kansas and turn left) I opted to go through Amarillo again, then through a chunk of northeastern New Mexico and along the Front Range in Colorado that I hadn't seen before. I try not to cover my tracks from previous years if I can help it, though that'll get harder to do as the years go on.

I'm not a huge ball 'n stick sports guy, but the Scott Sports crew did their new gear intro at Coors Field in Denver. Cool park with great views.

For fun and exercise during the summer I picked up a Specialized Camber Expert Carbon 29er. What an awesome bike. All the latest and greatest components, in a sweet-handling full-suspension package. This is along the top of the ridge behind the Thunder Valley track. I also got in some great rides with Shawn from Works Connection, and in Flagstaff, among other places.

Dinosaur Ridge comes by its name honestly. Check out the tracks in this rock face.

The further south you go from Thunder Valley the narrower and steeper the ridge gets, with awesome views all around.

I ran into these two about ten feet apart on the trail. I'm not sure if I was interrupting someone's dinner plans, but the rattler was NOT happy.

Driving through Kansas City, I saw a sign on the freeway for Arthur Bryant's Barbeque, which I'd seen featured on a food/travel TV show a while back. Making a detour, I have to say it was pretty tasty (that's only half the sandwich), though I heard afterward that other people claim there are better spots in KC. I'll try and catch them next time around.

The Gateway Arch is always worth a look. For anyone who has an RV, there is some RV parking south of the arch along the riverfront.

Next stop on the tour was High Point, and I got up early for this raceday shot.

After High Point, I hit up Coopers Rock State Forest which is just east of Morgantown, WV, for some sweet eastern singletrack. The map is courtesy of the Strava app, which I use to log rides. As I was sitting at the overlook, there was some thunder rumbling nearby, so I beat it out of there before I got dumped on.

Mileage in the truck was anywhere from nine to 15 mpg, depending on headwind, tailwind, tire inflation, and how much drafting I could do on semis. The back of the truck usually was sporting my bike, a pair of five-gallon gas cans, and a Honda generator.

This was Amish rush hour near Budds Creek. in some spots there are grooves worn in the pavement from the wagon wheels.

Red Bud weekend. Damn it was hot...and everyone had Josh Lichtle on their minds.

Ryan Dungey wondering why I'm using my phone instead of the Canon.

Red Bull did a killer job of local promotion at many of the National venues. This was at a Wal-Mart near Red Bud.

Man, Chicago has a lot of tolls.

Headed toward Millville, I opted to stop in Milwaukee and check out the Miller Brewery. Yes, it's free. Yes, there were samples at the end of the tour.

At the Miller Brewery visitor center, they had this sweet touring display bus. Love the art deco look.

Wisconsin Dells has the kookiest collection of tourist attractions in one place that we've seen, and it's always worth a look. This is a go-kart track that runs through a Trojan horse.

This is one of the wackier tourist attractions in Wisconsin Dells. "Top Secret", which depicts the White House turned upside-down, exposing all its secrets. Over on the other side of the entrance, there's a T-Rex. Who knew the White House housed dinosaurs? (No political comments, please.)

Packed up and heading out after Millville.

Over 1000 miles to the next turn? Yikes. Welcome to North Dakota.

Arriving early for press day has a big bonus...having the pits to yourself for a day.

The road closure on the road into Washougal had one pleasant side affect...it forced me to discover this view of the Columbia River Gorge nearby.

Yeah, my cholesterol is too high. But the occasional pizza like this is hard to resist.

Patrick Trowbridge is a Vital MX member (Dirtysmile56), and I caught up with him for a ride in Bend, Oregon. They have between 700 and 800 miles of singletrack to ride up there.

The scenery around the U.S? Awesome. This is Mt. Shasta in Northern California.

That's it, except a quick time-lapse while driving through Montana. (The Vital MX trailer makes a good GoPro mount.) Hope you enjoyed the ride-along.
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38 comments
  • bturman

    9/26/2012 1:50 PM

    Good times, GuyB!

  • GuyB

    9/26/2012 1:57 PM

    You may be familiar with the concept.

  • DL

    9/25/2012 8:46 AM

    You get an A+ for your report. LOL. Really fun to see what you see. Thanks!

  • BRZ

    9/24/2012 10:39 AM

    Thanks for posting GuyB. This is something I have dreamed of doing for a long time and I really enjoyed your story.

    On 2012 I could only make it to Budd's Creek and Lake Elsinore, but next year I want to take some time off and try to follow the circuit for a few rounds.

  • normanmx

    9/24/2012 9:44 AM

    You have the best job in the world.Thanks for sharing.
    If you ever need anyone help you carry your luggage count me in!!LOL!!

  • sfairbro

    9/24/2012 7:30 AM

    GuyB,

    Thank you for putting this together. I really enjoyed it!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ktmyammxdad

    9/24/2012 7:06 AM

    We saw the KTM at Wal-Mart by Red Bud as well when we went to get some swim trunks to go to Lake Michigan to escape the heat. It was brutal on race day for everyone. I did get a quick chance to say hello to you at Red Bud. The bike was so random at the Wal-Mart for sure. Thanks for all the good work and hope to see you again at Red Bud next year.

  • TeamGreen

    9/23/2012 8:50 PM

    You actually know some people up near Mt. Shasta.

    I'm jus' sayin'...

  • motomike137

    9/23/2012 4:41 PM

    Makes me want to take a long road trip! So much to see in the good old USA

  • GuyB

    9/23/2012 5:06 PM

    For sure. It's an amazingly diverse country. This year's trip was like participating in the news, rather than just reading it or watching it on TV. Just after I visited a couple different places (New Mexico and Colorado), wildfires broke out there. Then there was the drought in the Midwest that you weren't just reading about, but had experienced. Having done the tour makes the world seem a lot smaller.

  • chope573

    9/23/2012 9:09 AM

    When you come through KC let me know and I'll make sure you get some Bryant's..

  • GuyB

    9/23/2012 3:27 PM

    Sounds good.

  • Sandberm

    9/22/2012 5:45 PM

    I enjoy these each year, thanks.
    Hows that 3000watt gen treating you? Nice job on the water tank . As my cowboy friend would say, "it's been farmered up". Man I want that mountain bike, puts my clapped out rockhopper to shame.

  • GuyB

    9/23/2012 3:28 PM

    The 3000 is good. Just putters along happily.

    I'm just really happy that the tank didn't come loose while on the road. It probably would have cleaned out one or both axles.

  • minidad160

    9/22/2012 3:46 PM

    that go cart track looks cool. Did you try it? Would love to travel the country that way. Cool pictures BTW!

  • GuyB

    9/23/2012 3:29 PM

    I don't think I've tried that one (it's within a huge water park), but have tried others in previous years.

  • T-Fish

    9/22/2012 3:08 PM

    See you before Millville again next year?

  • GuyB

    9/23/2012 3:29 PM

    Hopefully. Thanks for hooking that up. It was fun.

  • Switch

    9/22/2012 1:50 PM

    Best season recap I have seen anywhere. The sport needs more of this, it shows the heart of the sport and those that follow it. Thanks for posting it up!

  • 72kiteboarder

    9/22/2012 10:51 AM

    Very cool Steve.

  • tp4

    9/22/2012 9:57 AM

    Sweet gig..you have going i'm jealous! dreamed and enjoyed, just beautifull...thanks

  • stillwelding

    9/22/2012 6:11 AM

    Thanks GuyB.

  • jimmie

    9/22/2012 5:54 AM

    Not a bad way to spend the summer, (I know that it's not all fun and games, 24-7) at least you get a chance to see some of what this place (USA) has to offer.

    Oh and BTW, some of those images are absolutely incredible. You should seriously think about a possible career in photography. Just a thought. Thank you.

  • GuyB

    9/22/2012 10:09 AM

    Ha! Hey, I did mention that all of those were iPhone shots. It's not the gear.

  • jimmie

    9/22/2012 8:53 PM

    Rub it in why don't you, "those were iPhone shots". You just confirmed my comment about you being a pretty darn good photographer (even with a camera phone)

  • queen of spodes

    9/22/2012 5:37 AM

    How much of the trip did you make convoying with the moto semis?

    Do you ride motocross? Seems like I've only seen you with a camera or around mountain bikes. If no I'm sure you have a good reason - just curious. Thanks for the peek at your diary.

  • GuyB

    9/22/2012 10:03 AM

    Convoying? Almost none. I generally stay near the race for a day or so afterwards, finishing up race coverage, Pit Bits, etc.

    Do I ride? Yes. Not as often as I used to, but I still swing a leg over on occasion. It would be impractical to take a bike along during the summer. With the trailer hitched up, I can't run the tailgate down, and it's a shortbed.

  • stevee401

    9/22/2012 4:31 AM

    Very cool. Thanks.

  • Whitey

    9/21/2012 11:43 PM

    Good stuff Steve,
    I will do an outdoor tour one time and drive a few rounds, would be fun.

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