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Friday, September 11, 2009

Royal Enfield road trip proves his point

Geoffrey Baker rode his homemade bio-diesel powered Royal Enfield motorcycle from Mexico to Canada. The freelance writer and web designer in Tucson, Ariz. planned the trip "to promote awareness of fuel efficiency."

He didn't quite make his goal of doing the trip on only 10 gallons of fuel, but he came close enough at the finish line Aug. 30 to dismiss any argument that it was a stunning accomplishment. I will let him tell you his final miles per gallon average.

The full story of his road trip is on his blog. It's an adventure story, as parts rattle off the Royal Enfield and the rains come down. But Baker also describes a pleasant trip, with stops along the way to see the sights. His eight-day journey was no mindless blitz from border line to border line.

Along the way he repeatedly had to explain Royal Enfield motorcycles, his elaborately modified diesel machine, and his mission. It all makes for a fun read, even if you'd rather burn gasoline in your own motorcycle.

One thing that surprised me: Baker got away with going slow. Royal Enfield motorcycles are slow in general, diesels are slower still, and he wanted to go deliberately slow to save fuel. And yet he enjoyed the ride and didn't feel "run over" by traffic.

His trip inspired me to plan one, although I am not up to the elaborate preparation and thought he put into his ride.

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