Uneasy Rider: Alexander Villegas’ Amazing Journey Across America on a Dirt Bike
If given the chance, most of us would love to do what Alexander Villegas did.
He just spent the past 16 days and just as many nights crossing the American continent on a motorcycle. Not riding on smooth paved roads or crusing interstates littered with gas stations and junk food joints. But rather scaling hills on dusty backroads, often far from familiar comforts of civilization.
There’s a certain romanticism attached to the thought of just turning loose and letting it all go. Imagine putting your life on hold for a while, saying to yourself that your problems can wait, and instead living it as it should be experienced. How often do we get a chance to do that? How many of us make time for such a journey?
Alex did. He’s better off for it, and now so are we, for the privilege of reading about his amazing story.
Like all meaningful journeys of self-discovery, Alex wasn’t quite sure where he was headed exactly or know what he’d find once he got there. Sure, the idea was to get to Las Vegas eventually where he would work the World Series of Poker. But traveling from one end of America to the other would be the real fun. Motorcycling on backroads that didn’t appear on maps sure beat boarding another boring airliner and blending into the mind-numbing cattle drive of commercial travel.
Villegas’ motorcycle journey covered 4,455 miles, and lot more.
One can’t travel such a vast distance under such unique circumstances without coming away with some great stories. Perhaps he’d even be a changed man. For instance, Alex told me about a rural trail through central Arkansas where he passed by wooden shacks, the kind one might associate with the old South. He came upon an elderly man living in one of those shacks, who’s life pretty much consisted of giving the occasional cyclist who motored by a drink of water or something to eat. Alex not only took the man up on his offer, he also spent time talking to the man, meeting someone who undoubtedly has a different view of life that the rest of us. What might that man say and think? What joys does he find in meeting strangers, passersby he’s unlikely to see again?
There’s a lot more to this incredible journey, which can be heard in my video interview with Alex at the end of this column. Meanwhile, here’s some shots taken by Alex on the long road across America:
Thanks Alex, for sharing all these great photos with us.
Here’s my exchange with Alex, which was shot on the ESPN Main Stage at the 2014 World Series of Poker a few days after he arrived. In this interview Alex talks about what motivated him to make the trip and what he experienced while “On the Road.”
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