I am a 78-year-old United Methodist Minister who retired in 2013. The first part of this blog is about my “Epic Post-Retirement Ride to Alaska, etc…”  For years, I’d been dreaming about this trip, and I got it done that summer after retiring at the end of May.  It began when I rode to Spearfish for the ST/NT-Owners National Rally, and went on for 80-days and 21,000 miles.

I’m married to Joanne who retired in 2014.  We lived in Fort Morgan, CO, until the summer of 2014.  I worked from November 1, ’13 till the end of July, ’14 as an interim pastor in Rocky Ford, CO.  After I finished there, we moved to Greeley, where we live now.  I also did another interim pastorate in Newcastle, WY, from March through June, ’15.  I have been working for five years as a backup chaplain for Banner Hospice of Greeley.  My work there is mostly being willing to be on call at nights and on weekends.  The best thing about that is that I have flexibility in my schedule and the $3.05/hr I make while I’m on call pays for motorcycling!

My kids are both grown: Chris, married to Tania, and living in Colorado Springs, CO. He is a retired correctional officer and a trail runner who amazes me with his exploits. Kelly, my daughter is married and lives in Malabar, FL.  She and her husband are gun dealers working on line these days.

My  current ride is a 2010 Honda NT700VA with 25,000 miles.  My ride for the Epic Trip was also an NT that had 57,000 miles at the start of the Trip.  I bought it when I decided that I was too old to pick up the bike I’d been riding for 11 years previously, a Kawasaki Concours.

My Motorcycle History:

I started riding in 1997, on a friend’s Honda Shadow 600.  I assumed I’d be a “cruiser” kind of guy, but when I got serious about buying a bike, the first one to present itself was a “1983 Honda GL-650i — $2500.”  I had no idea what that meant, but called the guy, went and looked at it, and, lo and behold, it was baby touring machine.  The ’83 Silverwing had the same fairing as the ’83 Goldwing, but much smaller panniers and trunk, and a 650cc transverse V-Twin (I used to pretend it was a Moto Guzzi).  I rode it for 20,000 miles in slightly more than a year and then suggested to my fiancĂ©e that we ought to buy a new bike for our honeymoon.  She said, “OK.”  (See why I love Joanne?)

I wanted a BMW R1100RT, but they were way way WAY out of my league.  Then I saw a ’98 Kawasaki Concours and decided it was close enough.  We bought a ’99, the lovely Candy Amarinth Mica Red that most of us who owned them thought were purple.  Joanne and I took our honeymoon on it and then I rode it on at least one long trip a year, usually connected with a Concours Owners Group National Rally or some other COG function.

I put 115,000 on that bike and then wadded it up in the mountains one night, escaping with only bruising of skin and ribs.  A couple of months later, I bought another ’99 from a friend who was buying a Goldwing 1800.  I rode #2 another 45,000 miles before trading it for my NT.

My longest trip prior to the “Epic Ride” was an 11,000 mile jaunt to Hyder, Alaska, and across much of the American West.  I also was privileged to accompany the ’08 Over-the-Pond rider, Dave Owen from Prince George to Europe for the GCE Rally (GCE means GTR Club Europe).  I put about 3800 miles on a ’99 GTR (the Euro-equivalent of a Concours 1000) riding in Germany, France, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Switzerland.  Most of that was by myself, but some was with Dave, Gie (a Belgian friend), and Harry, a Dutch friend.

The NT meets my needs superbly, although as riding partner Jim says, it would be great if it was 100 pounds lighter, but then we couldn’t afford it.  In my latest Blog post, you’ll read about my trade from a newer NT (SN#00079) with 139,000 miles to an older NT (SN#00063) that was practically brand new at only 22,000 miles on the clock.


24 thoughts on “About

  1. Tom Mulvany

    Phil, When you are riding your 2nd or 3rd day on the Alaskan Highway, and you have just past your 2nd moose and 3rd black bear and 8th glacier of the ‘morning’, you will say to yourself- “Lord, why did I wait so long to come and see this part of the world?”

    Another good idea is to keep a neckerchief around your neck and pull it up over your nose and mouth when you get into the ‘very dusty’ gravel breaks and construction areas along the Alcan. Whatever they use in that road treatment is BAD. If you are in traffic and following the pilot car, you will suck in lots of that dust. It is unlike any dust I have seen in Colorado. Also really watch out for those frost heaves and potholes in the Yukon Territory. Take some JB Weld or QuickSteel along.

    I will look forward to following your adventure via this blog. God Bless!

  2. Ron & Cathie

    We look forward to following you on your adventure….Gpd’s speed!! Ron & Cathie

  3. Shogs

    Ride with joy.


  4. David

    Woodaddict signing in here from NT-Owners.org to follow you along. Hoping to hook up in NC to ride along some or if needing some maintenance on the NT. I’m sure this will be a great experience! Didn’t know this 4 corners ride is a achievement ride or have to be done in so many days, just read about it in other posting.

    • JohnC


      From the SCMA website:

      The rules are simple. You have 21 days (or less) to ride your motorcycle (or trike) to these Four Corner cities of the United States; San Ysidro, CA; Blaine, WA; Madawaska, ME; and Key West, FL using any route and sequence you desire. You do not have to return to the first corner to finish the event. The ride is approximately 7000 miles (depending on your route), not including your travel to the first corner and your ride home from your final corner.

  5. Chris Baum

    Make sure you ride Spearfish Canyon before you leave on your epic journey!

  6. Barbara Keenan

    I hope you’re enjoying almost every moment, free of the earthly constraints and burdens which went with your job, and that there’s time to read your Kindle. You are in my prayers, and I hope Aleve and hot baths/showers comfort the wear and tear of each day. We’re off to Branson tomorrow to meet Alix and brood and Miki and brood; I’m travelling so it’s Kindle -time and M radio gets us through Kansas and Missouri….then off to Germany and Austria. Please ride carefully; you have a fan base which misses you and worries. BK

  7. Clint

    Phil, not sure what your route is, but if your travels take you through Big Timber, Mt on I-90. Take a detour down to McLeod and visit Holly’s Roadkill Saloon for a great sandwich.

  8. fltsfshr

    Glad you got your tooth fixed. Play safe, have fun and enjoy the ride.



    Phil, please call me once you are back in USA ! also if you see this before that send me a ETA .


  10. Weave and Go — You are in the Flow ..

  11. Carol Herbst

    Hey Phil. Carol Herbst here and this is my first visit to your blog. I asked around about you and found out I can follow you via blog. I miss you at the church and of course wish you well on the rest of your journey. We’ve been doing our usual camping in the Poudre and have to recover for about a week upon our return. I can’t imagine recovering from a day of your travels. Dad would have loved to go along for the ride……..but he never wanted to leave home and he mostly did long day trips. Look forward to visiting when you return. Carol

  12. Nancy Sailsbery

    Hi Phil! Hope you are having the time of your dreams! I miss you and everyone at the church. Haven’t been called to help out except for a quick question about Power Church. Thought I would be called to help out once in a while! Look forward to hearing highlights about your trip. Love, Nancy

  13. Karl

    Good luck Phil and have fun.

  14. Congratulations Phil! You did it! Success! Yes!

  15. Chris Baum

    Way to go Phil!! Congrats from Nebraska!!!

  16. Christian Hecker

    If on your way back to Colorado you happen to be going through (or around) East Lansing, MI you have a place to stay! It would be great to see you! I have very much enjoyed following your trip.

    Christian Hecker

    • Christian, thanks for the invitation, but I won’t be near Michigan. Well, I don’t guess I’ll be that far away, but I’ll be staying on I-80 across that part of the country. I’m ready to get home!

  17. Harry and Coty

    Hi Phil,

    Glad to hear you are save home. YOU DID IT, GREAT!
    Now the disaster in Colorado, bad situation. We hope Fort Morgan is save. Joan will be glad to have you home again. Please let us know you and your family are save.

    You are amazing, WOW.

    • Ahhh… well, I’m not home yet. I’m in Massachusetts and will start heading home tomorrow. I’ll probably get there by Thursday or Friday.

      Joanne is safe. Our house is probably 20-30 feet above the flood waters. There has been some evacuation and flooding near Fort Morgan. The city park is under water and some houses just on the north edge of town and the river will be flooded.

      • Klint Stewart

        Hey, let’s stay in touch. I may be crossing I80 (york, ne) on Thursday.

      • Harry and Coty

        Good to hear Joanne is OK Phil. And for you the last days of the great trip. Amazing! We think it was the trip of your live until now. Have a safe ride home!

        Harry and Coty

  18. Mike Simmons

    Get moving!! ;^) I’ve been watching your Spot and you haven’t moved in three days. I thought maybe your were having Spot trouble but I guess you were just resting up for the final dash home. Hope the flooding won’t interfere with your ride and I hope all is well back at the ol’ homestead. God Speed

  19. Bob Smith

    Phil, I just saw the post about your brother – I’m sorry to hear it. It sounds like he lived a full life.

Leave a Reply to Barbara Keenan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: