Hey! Harleys Aren’t Just for the boys!

Eagle Rider bikes in Monument ValleyShe’s an adventurous lady. That’s for sure. But not an adrenaline junkie. Not a barmy thrill-seeking, middle-aged woman who is rebelling against the inexorable slide towards chutney making at the Women’s Institute. It’s just that she’s reached a time in her life when she wants to experience “stuff”. And according to research there are countless women who feel the same and are embarking on great travel experiences as their lives at home start to simplify – and according to some research it it the girls who are more adventurous than the boys! Fair enough, I say. Macchu Picchu, The Great Wall of China, Cambodia – adventurous without being unreasonably reckless. The travel trade, rather patronisingly in my view, dubbed this sort of thing “soft adventure” some years ago.

So there we were the other evening talking about some of the things that Bon Voyage offers to its clients. A glass of chilled Sauvignon blanc may have been involved.

“Hey, I’ve done that, and it was great fun,” she squealed, rather animatedly, when I mentioned Harley adventures across America (click here for info), and in particular the iconic Route 66.

It turns out that she was a pillion passenger on a Harley and did part of Route 66, up to the Grand Canyon and then on to Las Vegas.

“Really?” said I, just a touch too sceptically. “Wasn’t it a bit boring just sitting on the back of the bike for hours at a time, with nothing but desert and tumbleweed to look at? Oh, and the back of somebody’s head?”

“No more so than riding the bike” she replied “but at least those bikes are built for comfortable cruising. And the amazing, breath-taking scenery is constantly changing. But it was sooo much more exciting than that” she gushed. “Riding without a helmet and the strange feeling of vulnerability, yet freedom, chasing a mile-long freight train , joining a group of hairy bikers for part of the trip , eating at the Road Kill Café and experiencing some parts of the Grand Canyon that we might never have seen. Not just for the boysThe exhilarating sweeps and twists of Red Rock Canyon to Sedona and wanting to exchange the bike for a horse, chaps and a cowboy hat! The ferocious sun burning through my jeans, and even the taste of the dust after a day on the road, and the sweet ecstasy of washing it away with an ice-cold beer. But it can get really hot coming down through the high plains at the Canyon and down into the desert as you approach Las Vegas. What with the sweltering desert temperatures and the heat coming off the Harley, I couldn’t wait to get off the bike and into the pool! Oh and to the shops at Caesars…erm, for the air conditioning, of course”. Of course.

So I guess at Bon Voyage we might have been guilty of thinking that Harley holidays would only appeal to the boys. Maybe living the Harley dream – the open road and bugs-in-your-teeth cruising on a throbbing, classic motorcycle – appeals to a wider demographic that includes the girls too!

If you like the sound of a Harley Davidson holiday in America click here.

About the author: Phil Newcombe is a director of Bon Voyage.

A week in the Yukon Wilderness

CAN YT Emerald Lake

Bon Voyage Sales Manager, Nikki Gibbs, has spent 20 years with the company and seen just about every part of North America from Niagara Falls to the Californian winelands and from the rugged Rocky Mountains to the beaches of Miami.  But our intrepid traveller had never veered this far off the beaten track…… 

 

Day 1 – London Heathrow to Whitehorse

I joined a small (but select!) band of UK tour operators for the Air Canada flight from Heathrow via Vancouver to Whitehorse in the Yukon.  I’m always fascinated by the fact that because you take a ‘shortcut’ over the Pole to Vancouver, Western Canada the flying time from London is the same as Miami and an hour less than, say, Dallas.  The check-in at Terminal Three is quick and easy and thanks to excellent in-flight entertainment the time passes quickly. Continue reading

Magic Of The Mississippi – Cruising Ol’ Man River

American Queen banner

Nick Dalton is a travel writer and expert in both cruises and American destinations. Following his recent journey on the American Queen he has kindly allowed Bon Voyage to feature his article that appeared in the Daily Express.

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“I’m sitting on deck hypnotised by the relentless flow of the mighty Mississippi as the paddle steamer American Queen heads upstream.

“The river must be a mile wide, its banks thick with forest and the air is warm.”

Continue reading

“Walking in Memphis”

I happened to catch this song on the radio recently. Radio Two, if you must know. The first thing I did when I got home was to find the track on my iPod and remind myself why it’s a one of my favourite songs of all time. Not the frivolous remake version as recorded by the scarily renovated Cher, but the original by Marc Cohn. His haunting and powerful voice and the simple yet evocative lyric always transport me to one of my favourite cities in The South, Memphis. Continue reading

The Album That Everybody Owned…..

lost count

I passed a milestone birthday recently. I am not going to say how old I am but let’s just say it has a five in the number and leave it at that, shall we? And being of a certain age I find myself regularly caught in the generational language gap;

“Album?!” my children would say with a sneering tone, “Isn’t that what you put pictures in?” Continue reading

Route 66 – Escorted Harley Tour

Born To Be Wild! Travelling Route 66 On A Harley

Since Billy Connolly and his greasy pony tail cruised along Route 66 on the popular ITV series in 2010, the bike- riding British public simply cannot get enough of Harley Holidays . We recently arranged a Route 66 Harley Holiday for a terrific group of guys from the UK and Phil Colman did a great job of blogging about the trip: He’s kindly agreed to let us publish his account of the adventure. Over to you Phil……(far right)

Santa Monica Pier – the end of Route 66.

Day 1: May 2012. Getting there.

OK, so the day had finally come – all packed and ready, say goodbye (and happy birthday to Melanie my wife) with lots of ‘be carefuls’ being offered. Continue reading

The Day I stalked Al Roker

Theresa Young is Bon Voyage’s own resident American and our Business Development Manager.  She has lived in the UK for 15 years and this is her perspective on the Queen’s Jubilee………with, of course, a Yankee twist! 

I have to start with an apology as I believe this blog may be lost on 87% of the UK public, to whom the name Al Roker will mean nothing .  For the other 13% and various Americans who might stumble on this, you will know Al as the affable weatherman/co-host on NBC’s Today Show.  And, for the past few years, Al has had his own show on the Weather Channel too. Continue reading

Thoughts, experiences and opinions on travel to North America from the UK's leading USA tailor-made holiday experts.

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