07-10 Day 1 (Charlottesville, VA)

Travel FromIndian Land, SC USA
Intermediate LocationCharlottseville, VA
Ending LocationCharlottseville, VA
Starting Odometer24,543
Ending Odometer24,861
Miles Driven Today318 Miles
Total Trip Mileage318 Miles
New Countries visited TodayUS
Countries visited on tripUS

After much hoopla, lots of agonizing planning, and numerous problems getting paperwork completed, it’s time to star the journey, and to live life a little differently for the next 120 days.

That said, before we talk about today, we need to talk about how we got here, and how all of this is even possible.

At 60, it’s easy to think of yourself as being on the slow, methodical march towards your golden years. It’s easy to imagine that your best years are behind you, and that you’re simply trying to squeeze in a few great days, among all of the others, most of which are the equivelant of poking yourself in the chest, and laughing at your goals. But, I’m taking a different approach.

I don’t know how long I’ll live, but I’m committed to trying to live the remaining years to their fullest. To attack every day like I was a young man. To look at every experience like a child. To meet new people with a feeling of awe and wonder. That’s who I want to be; The question is, how to get there.

For sure, to have a feeling like I’ve described, you must be fit, and strong. And, for the past year, I’ve been attending classes at Indianlandcrossfit.com, usually 5-6 days each week. Crossfit is the kind of thing that sneaks up on you slowly. Your first day at the gym, you wonder how you’ll survive, and by day 365, you’re thinking, how do I crush this thing, and make it my bitch.

After 12 months of Crossfit, I’ve increased dead-lift weights to almost 300 lbs, and increased bench press strength to about 225 lbs. I don’t offer these weights as a measurement of manhood, oh no, that’s not it. I offer them because about 1 year ago, I was able to lift only about half this weight, for these very same exercises. And so, I want to acknowledge Eric, the owner of ILCF with being a sort of spiritual advisor, always showing me the light, while pushing me through the darkness.


On day 1, we left the house at 6:30, and traveled about 318 miles, and arrived at the hotel by 1:30.

The bike is running perfectly

As the departure date approached, and against my better judgement, I decided to do a number of upgrades, and install several new systems. But, the skills and knowledge needed to install the Innovv K2 camera demanded that I know how to dissemble the entire top half of the motorcycle, giving me access to the wiring channel that runs from front-to-back on the bike, and in which all of the bike’s control wires are routed.

While I’ve got confidence, I managed to, once again, get myself in a bit of trouble, so I opted to transport the bike back to the dealer, and let a pro run the wires, and clean up a mess of wires that had resulted from numerous add-on systems.

Clinton, the dealer’s BMW tech did a great job, and cleaned up the whole mess, and finished the camera install. So, at the end of the day, last Friday, the bike was reassembled, and running perfectly.

My departure this morning allowed me to ride this remarkable bike, running in tip/top form. What a day, and what a joy it was to crack the throttle, and watch the bike rocket forward.

Bon Voyage

Departure this morning started with a short selfie video, that set the stage.


Charlottesville was chosen as the first stop as a way of breaking up the first day’s riding. The original plan was to depart on July 11, and travel almost 500 miles, before arriving in Gettysburg, but this seemed like the wrong way to start a trip like this. So, I decided to leave one day earlier, and start on day one with only 320 miles.

Group Dinner

I’ve known Ralph a long time, perhaps as long as 20 years. But, I’ve known Lee for about 45 years, and I’ve known Chuck since I was about 9 years old. So, it’s a real joy to be able to see old friends, and enjoy a meal.

Rather than planning the meal myself, I asked Lee to take this role on, and he did not disappoint us. We visited Monsoon Siam, a great Thai restaurant, where we ate too much, and laughed for hours.

So, what about tomorrow?

Tomorrow morning, we’ll leave the hotel by 8AM, perhaps earlier, and expect to arrive at the hotel by 11AM. We’ll park the bike, and I’ll change out of the riding gear into light hiking gear, and we’ll head to Gettysburg, where we’ll spend two days learning all about the Civil War, and the Lincoln presidency.

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.


  1. Congratulations Cliff on your start of this fantastic journey! Safe travels, neighbor.

  2. Cliff good luck on the trip, will be following your journey snd I’m sure you had a great time with Chuck and Lee. That is so great that Lee selects a Thai restaurant to combine your last days of the journey with your first dinner.

    1. Thanks Mike, and yes, it is not a coincidence that Lee was in charge, and he chose a Thai restaurant. He also told me that he called his buddy in St Petersburg, Russia, and had him ship a six pack of Russian beer to Lee, expedited. As for me, I’m so impressed with all of the crazy things that Lee has done, I assumed he was telling the truth.

  3. Nice! Hope you have a good journey. Looking forward to the updates. Sorry I didn’t get up with you before leaving the gym the other day. The bike burnout got me and I was delirious! Anyways have a safe trip.

    1. Hey Clint, I couldn’t tell that you were delirious. Primarily because I was also in a mild state of delirium after our 30-second, all out sprint on the bikes. You kicked ass, and I did my best. But, I can say that I gave it everything.
      Looking forward to more workouts in Nov.

    1. Day 1 – Done and dusted
      Day 2 – All about mood, and exploring Gettysburg.

  4. I’m envious. I remember when we met at BMW of SF. You were looking at getting your 1st GS and I couldn’t help but add my 2 cents. In the words of Ewan McGregor in Long Way Round, “you’re f*cking doing it Cliff”. I look forward to reading all your updates along the way.

    1. Jim,
      I remember that day at BMW of SF, where you came up to me and whispered… “psssst, hey buddy, you looking for a bike? I’ve got a bike that’s perfect for you. Let’s get out of here, and I’ll show you.” Now, I’m exaggerating a bit, but you did approach me, whisper in my ear, and I did buy the 2007 GSA from you.
      I miss you and Vanessa, and I hope you’re both doing well.

  5. It’s finally here!!! Can’t wait to follow along – be safe and have fun!! xoxoxo

    1. Hey Jen,
      So great to hear from you. Thanks for the support, enthusiasm, and just for being you.

    1. Hilarious,
      Although, I’m not sure if world travel is best accomplished when you treat it like your bitch, but your sentiment is right on.

  6. Cliff,
    You are looking happy, strong and healthy and ready to take on this epic ride. Enjoy the journey!

    1. Thanks Leslie,
      The first part of the trip has been great, but I’m eager to get to Europe.

  7. Sounds like all is going well, looking forward to riding along on your blog. Miss you guys already.

  8. Cliff – We are soooo happy to enjoy your wonderful gift of story telling. Best of luck on your great adventure!
    My wife, Bonnie, says at 79 she still feels lucky to soon be able to take a motorcycle trip from Tucson to the four corners area of Colorado, and to have enjoyed the freedom of motorcycling over all 50 states and 26 foreign countries! We will certainly be with you in spirit along your journey. Keep the rubber side down! Best wishes – Jim & Bonnie Roberts

    1. Hi Jim,
      It’s great to hear from you. Riding at your age is an inspiration to me, and I love the fact that Bonnie still loves to ride, and fully appreciates all of the places you’ve gone, and the things you’ve done.
      Keep it up,

  9. And you’re off on the incredible journey! Looking forward to your updates and being along for the ride! Safe travels!

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