Cast of Characters

I’m still working on finishing the “About” page of this site. This post will be one that is featured on that page.


The purpose of this post is to better define the people and things that are part of this trip. I was initially going to write this document before my departure, but I’m glad I’ve waited until now (about a month in) to finish it.


Every good story needs a leading lady. Annie fills this role well. She is a 2012 Honda NC700X. We met in October 2013 and took an east coast trip less than a week later. Her namesake is Annie Taylor, the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls. She’s not a flashy lady. She won’t be caught doing any wheelies or registering speeds in the triple digits, but she is consistent, versatile, efficient and durable. The exact attributes that work best for a trip of this magnitude.

(*If my use of feminine pronouns seems odd when used to describe a motorcycle, see note at the end of this page.)


The most ridiculous of hood ornaments. All motorcycles should have some piece of flare, something that makes it unique. This whirligig definitely qualifies. I spent way too much time on this project, completing it just one day before my departure. His first iteration worked well, but ended up as a mangled piece of roadkill on South 9th St. in Lincoln. I did a step-by-step of his construction here.


The Budget

Then we got this guy. He is the one who actually makes the majority of decisions. Though he may cause us to miss out on some experiences, I’m thankful for him. I believe his presence makes this story more compelling. Would you be interested to read a blog of someone who takes their private jet to each of these locations and stays in a nice hotel every night? Even if I had money to burn, I think I would try to do this trip on a tight budget. Having to do so increases the need for creativity and the need to rely on others, both things that I’m continually trying to develop. Calculating total costs for this trip leads to an equation chock-full of unsolvable variables, so an exact number is difficult to ascertain. I’m hoping to keep the total cost under $15,000.


The Support

It’s a compelling image: The mysterious wanderer who rides into town. He is his own man. He makes his own rules. He relies on no one. He only trusts his horse and his rifle. He is the very definition of freedom and self-reliance.

Yeah…..that’s not this story. This story is not about one man.

First of all, my faith informs me that I am never really alone and that I am daily dependent on help from above. Furthermore, I’ve learned that I am hopelessly reliant on the multitude of others who have helped me on this journey. This story does not just belong to me.

It belongs to unheralded construction workers who build and maintain the roads. It belongs to the family who shaped my love for adventure. It belongs to the meticulous Japanese engineers at Honda. It belongs to the friends, family and strangers who have put roofs over my head and food in my belly. It belongs to the attendant who works the gas station in the middle of nowhere. It belongs to those from all over the world who have taken the time to write me an encouraging message. It belongs to the experienced motorcycle travelers who have shared their wisdom.

And it belongs to you, dear reader. Your visit to this page will register one more view on my blog stats. Maybe that one extra view will be enough to encourage me to keep going today. You are part of this too!

For the most part, I really like the URL for this website. “” was taken, so I settled on the “dot me” suffix. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it implies that this trip is a one man show. I hope the previous few paragraphs have demonstrated that this is not the case.


The Rider/The Writer

Hmmm…define yourself in a few statements…this should be fun! 🙂 I’d much prefer to let my personality come through in my writing, but I guess I’ll give a few stats about myself:

-Born in Valentine, NE

-Raised in Norfolk, NE (Go Panthers)

-Attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, NE. Majored in Physics

-Worked for 7 years at the homeless shelter in Lincoln, People’s City Mission

-Worked for 2 years as a Bus Driver for Lincoln Public Schools

-Avid runner, specializing in middle distance (800m to 3200m)

-Fascinated by the intersection of science and music. Worked for years on a YouTube project combining the two: link here   I never really marketed it, but it was a good exercise for me. “The Process was the Purpose”

-First motorcycle at 17. A 1966 Honda CB160.

-When I was seven years old my pet turtle, Swimmer, died. I said I would never be happy again. Thankfully I was wrong.

-I have never bought a box of Kleenex.

It looks like I am intent on making this a mockery, so I’ll stop there. 🙂


This may be an ever evolving document, as the cast of characters may change. I hope that this page has served its purpose to greater define the trip in terms of those who are taking part in it. Thank you for reading!



*Note on anthropomorphization and potential misogyny:

Pronouns are kind of a big deal presently, so I feel compelled to take a moment to explain why I refer to my inanimate motorcycle as “she”, “her” or the name “Annie.”The tradition of referring to a vehicle as “she” or “her” dates back hundreds of years. Sailors have long used these feminine terms to refer to their vessel. Some have theorized that this is related solely to the word for “ship” being a feminine noun in the Romantic languages, but I think there are other factors at play.

The main reason I use these feminine words for my bike is to change my mindset for how I treat it. I don’t want to think of my machine as some mindless automaton that always does my bidding and never warrants any consideration. This type of attitude can lead to neglect and abuse of a machine.

I believe that in a relationship, a woman should be cherished and cared for. A man should be attentive to her needs and eager to make sure she has everything she requires. Thinking of a machine in this way, while a bit odd, gives the best chance for mechanical longevity. It is a proactive approach, which seeks to prevent issues rather than fix them.

I don’t know if this explanation was necessary or not…but there it is!

Author: BA


4 thoughts on “Cast of Characters”

  1. All that stuff you wrote about cherishing women and taking care of them? I’mma copy paste that to your profile when I set up your eHarmony account. LOL, JK! Probably.


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