Two years ago Laura Jones bought her first motorcycle, a Suzuki GS500, on Mother's Day. She says "on a whim" last May she decided to venture out on her first month-long solo motorcycle adventure starting with a 4-day journey that would take her from Calgary, Alberta to meet friends in Buena Vista, Colorado. For safety, and given that most of the trip was along routes that were remote where she wouldn't have access to cell phone networks, her Dad loaned her a SPOT GPS Satellite Messenger which he used frequently on their sailing & flying trips. Laura says that SPOT would also help "to keep my mom's blood pressure down from worry". In Laura's words, her mom wasn't exactly "stoked" about the solo trip, but with SPOT at least she'd have peace of mind knowing that Laura would be able to stay in touch, sending regular check-in/OK messages.
The first night, Laura made it as far as Montana, where she camped without cell service and used the SPOT to check in with her parents. The second night, she made it to Cody Wyoming. Although she wanted to ride through Yellowstone National Park, she wasn't confident that the roads would be free of snow given that it was spring. By the third day she made it to southern Wyoming where she came across a fellow traveler. Together they rode through part of a snowstorm and made it to Silverthorne, Colorado. There, Laura joined her friends whom she accompanied to LA. Alone again, she then rode north to Portland and finally back home to Calgary.
Reflecting back on the 8,500 KM trip, Laura says, "I've done a lot of solo travelling in the past, but was worried about being alone on a bike in case something happened." This was her first solo motorcycle trip, and SPOT helped ease some of the worry knowing that she could stay in touch with home and emergency responders if needed. "It was nice to know I had access to 9-1-1". Laura also posted to a travel blog so that family and friends could follow her waypoints on a map using the SPOT GPS tracking feature. To visit Laura's travel blog go to http://motofree2016.blogspot.ca/