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MOBILE, Ala. (BIKER DAD) — 9,000 miles on 50-year-old Honda Trial bikes sounds a little crazy on the surface. but for Jesse Crossen it has been the ultimate in wind therapy. The little CT90 sitting outside Bob’s Downtown Diner in Mobile, Alabama doesn’t look like much. But the 1971 Honda is loaded down with the 39-year-old man’s entire life. The little restaurant, which is becoming a Mecca for motorcyclists was one of the last stops on Crossen’s journey that took him in a giant loop around the entire country.

My friend Michael Walley was having lunch at the diner that day and posted about Jesse’s journey. The pictures and description quickly went viral. So I reached out to Jesse to get more information, like what drove him to do this in the first place.

He has a blog, but it’s a sprawling log of nearly 200,000 words. He said he created it for friends and family to keep up, not for the public. But he posted the who, what, when, where and why for me so I could share it with you.

Wind therapy: Man does 9,000 miles on 50-year-old Honda trail bikes after divorce

Jesse’s Journey: 9,000 miles on 50-year-old Honda Trail bikes

In a story like this, the why is always the most important part. And Jesse’s journey started because things were falling apart. His job had gone remote because of COVID and his marriage had gone south, “my office had already closed and gone remote back in March, and when my marriage fell apart and my house was sold, there was nothing keeping me anywhere in particular,” he wrote.

“Meanwhile I’d become somewhat obsessed with watching bikers on YouTube, especially Ed March of C90 Adventures, who’d ridden a 1980’s Honda C90 from Malaysia to the UK and all over the Americas. I wanted some of his spirit,” Jesse writes. He found a 1968 CT990 sitting in a shed. The owner gave it to him for free. He took that as a sign that it was time to take a journey. “It seemed like fate was guiding my way. I spent three months living in a tent over that cold wet winter, getting my first drivers license and motorcycle permit, learning about motorcycle mechanics and fitting a Lifan 125 engine into the bike, which I named Punkin.”

STORY CONTINUES BELOW

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He rode Punkin’ through 13 states, all the way to Montana. On a 90cc trail bike! Unfortunately that bike broke down. But he found a new one (by a couple of years). 1971 CT90 with only 2000 miles on it he called Sugar. That was the bike Mike Walley spotted laden like a pack mule in downtown Mobile.

9,000 miles on 50-year-old Honda Trail bikes : Breakdown

“On Sugar I rode across Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, arriving back in Florida where I’d been in the spring. Along the way I connected with friends and family, met many interesting people, saw more of my country, and got a better idea of just how big the world is. I also got steadily healthier and happier, and grew spiritually, usually when I wasn’t really planning to. When I started, I had no real idea what I was getting into, but then again I believe a real adventure is one where the world pokes its head in with plans of its own. Slowly but surely, I’ve started learning to treat these moments as gifts to accept rather than obstacles to overcome. The important journey happens on the inside, and can’t be measured in miles or any other unit I know of. And home is with the people I care about, and can’t be located on any map. I hope this finds you all well!

One of the more incredible parts of this story, IMHO, Jesse never gave up his day job. “Along the way I was working remotely from a cellular connection and riding mostly on the weekends, camping in national forests or in the yards of friends both old and new.”

Jesse’s journey is nearing the end. He’s now headed back home to North Carolina. He’s already planning his next one. Stay tuned.

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