1 WOMAN, 1 MOTORBIKE, 1 YEAR
– All 50 United States and Canada
In 2015 I completed an adventure through all 50 states and Canada by motorbike. Part of that adventure was my record breaking attempt in the lower 48 states for “Longest Journey by Motorcycle in Single Country.” It took a little over 12 weeks, after my return home and record submittal, to find out that at 34 years old; I was a Guinness World Record holder, and the first solo-female rider in the world to ever hold this record! I was honored, and this year 2018 I was featured in the GWR book (originally told it would not make it in, I was pleased to have held the record for so long that it made the books…and of course cool points with my niece and nephews!)
Armed with tank full of fuel and a case of Rand McNally maps I was ready to take on the back roads and scenic routes across the North America. Amelia-my 2006 Triumph Bonneville- was loaded! All my belongings for a year were packed into waterproof GiantLoop luggage, my home – a tent was strapped to the back…left leg in and now the right as I zipped on my REV’IT suit I exhaled – it was time!
One of those goals was to camp / to set up tent in every state – box checked! Much of my route was guided by visiting National Parks, both in the US and in Canada.
I grew up camping at many of these as a child and it was wonderful to experience them again some 15 or 20 years later, as an adult and by motorbike. I enjoyed all types of camp life on the road – from my Lone-Rider Moto-Tent (my main house) to Yurts in Pennsylvania and Colorado, and KOA Kamp Kabins (graciously donated to me in a handful of states along the journey). From State Parks to wild camping, to privately owned sites, all had different appeals and experiences.
Everyone I met along the road was kind, some stand out more than others…like the couples that provided me breakfast at campsites, or gave me extra fire wood. And then there are the “gas-station” gentlemen that would always venture in close with admiration as they thought I was riding a vintage Triumph, like the ones they used to ride. These gentlemen were usually in their 60’s or 70’s, and we would chat about bikes and adventure, and one even gave me a couple bucks to have a coffee on him, this after I removed my helmet and he gasp…”you’re a woman!” I just laughed and said, “yep!” We talked of travel, weather and the beauty of taking life on – full-throttle, living out adventure!
From camping among the giant redwoods in California to swimming with the manatees in Florida, from crashing on the ice in New Mexico to out running severe storms in Missouri, from the Dalton highway in Alaska to deals gap in North Carolina … boredom never found its way into my journey! New sights and experiences flourished! Even things like bad weather led me in the direction of a new location and new memory!
“I started my journey a few weeks after my 33rd birthday and celebrated my 34th the day before crossing into Canada and completing the lower 48 (GWR portion of the journey) before continuing on through 3 Canadian provinces to Alaska and Hawaii.”
I can honestly say there was not a horrible event in my journey, as things going wrong challenged me and always led to amazing opportunities or meetings with wonderful people! If the weather was bad and re-routed me it always led to a unique experience I would not have had otherwise. Or even when I crashed at slow speeds on the ice, this gave me a chance to meet a driver coming around the corner to warn me about the blind curve ahead that hits steep downward hill with no guard rail and covered in sheet ice – I would take my mini-crash at 3 to 5 mph over the possibilities of that hill with speed any day.
“When selecting my choice bike for such a trip I simply went to where my heart was and selected a 2006 Triumph Bonneville, named her Amelia, and took off to ride “around my native country and into Canada, ensuring a great experience and adventure!
This was a solo journey but at times I did plan rides with others along the way. Some planned weeks in advance and some by happenstance. But all were cherished. I rode through Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona with my mom and dad, I rode many eastern states and deals gap with my uncle, I rode with new friends and motorcycle groups I met along the way. I enjoyed the community rides as there is a creative flow when surrounded by others who get the spirit of flight without leaving the ground…but I did cherish the times I rode alone (which I did for over 80% of my trip). I have traveled solo throughout the world and part of this experience was challenging myself and taking the time each day to just be alone with my thoughts and the silence of nature (or the loudness depending on where I ventured, like falling asleep to the insects in the south and waking up to birds in the north).
- Departed Sept. 19, 2014 – Returned Sept. 27, 2015 (373 days)
- Crashes – 1 (slow speed on ice in NM)
- Punctures- 2 (both rear)
- Standing bike dump – pavement-1
- Bike dump on dirt – 1
- Tires: Front -4
- Rear – 8
- Speeding Tickets: 0
- Most expensive fuel-$5.989 (Death Valley, CA)
- Cheapest fuel- $1.749 (Soso, MS)
States visited – ALL 50 & Canada Miles
- 53,800 on Amelia (not including HI)
- 54,050 (including HI with limited edition Triumph rental bike).
- All 54,050 ridden on Triumph Bonneville
- GWR miles – 48,600 (continental US states)
All photos © of Danell Lynn
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Guest Writer, Author, Humanitarian, Artist, Long Distance Motorcycle RiderDanell Lynn an adventurer and Guinness World Record globe trotter. She is the first solo-woman ever to break the world record for Longest Journey by Motorcycle in a Single country (48,600 miles) (BlackTie2BlackTop). Danell was the sole female rider in The Ride of My Life – Cambodia Documentary, and the female rider for expedition Expedition Electric. She was one of 12 women to ride Northern Pakistan for a documentary due out 2019/2020. She continues to do humanitarian work throughout the globe with her foundations Threading Hope and Highwire. She has traveled to more than 46 countries and has a life goal of keeping the number of countries visited larger than the number of her years on this earth, and believes in a life fully lived! Danell was the founding editor of 2 Wheeled Wanderlust Magazine and was a contributing columnist for Mainstream Magazine – Philanthropy-Mainstream Cares, previous Lifestyle Editor and Destination Columnist for Phoenix SportBike Magazine, and Arts Editor for The Noise Newspaper. She is the author of Philanthropic Wanderlust, Purposeful Wanderings, and a Cultural Coloring book series for children. Current contributor to Outdoor X 4 magazine and the adventure columnist for RideNow Motorcycle blog. She is the designer and owner of dl-couture a custom high fashion line which has dressed Mrs. World, Miss America, and more…She also created Humani Handbags an elegant twist on fashion, function and philanthropy. http://www.danelllynn.com connect with Danell on Social Media below
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