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Born to be Wild

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Inspire March16
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Born to be Wild

story by: House of Travel

MIKE BARRAGAN IS A MOTORCYCLIST AND BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR BIKE APPAREL, SAINT.

The American road is his life. Here he talks about his greatest USA road trips, the ones that put wind in your beard, dirt on your face - and wisdom in your words.

WHICH USA ROAD TRIP TOPS THE LOT?
Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) also known as Highway 1 in California.

WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT PCH?
The water is there the whole time. I love the ocean, I love the trees. It’s mellow, at times you’re completely alone, almost eerily alone. At other times you can wander into a miniature little town with a really great restaurant and a river running under the chair you’re sitting in. I’ll always choose a coastal route over a desert route, but it really doesn’t matter where you’re going as long as you’re going.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT?
Breaking down, thinking you’re in trouble and then meeting some random strangers that help you get your bike back on the road. Getting caught in a monster thunderstorm and all the things that happen on the way to your destination that you’ll remember for a lifetime and talk about. You rarely remember a ride where nothing went wrong.

DO YOU HAVE YOUR FAVOURITE ROAD COMPANION(S), IF SO WHY?
I really don’t. I definitely like people that ride at the same pace and can just stick with it when the going gets tough. I once bickered with my buddy all the way to NYC from California but we never stopped. Lately my favourite riding partner is my fiancée, Cassandra. She’s got completely the right attitude and moves along at the pace I like to jam at. She loves motorcycles more than I do.

WHAT’S WORTH PHOTOGRAPHING ALONG THE WAY?
I love California. Riding next to the ocean the entire time is unreal. When I’m on the 1 I feel like I’m going to ride off a cliff because I’m so distracted trying to watch the waves. The trees in Big Sur are unbelievable. We always stop at Bixby Bridge to take pictures and when you get up past San Francisco you can take a 10 minute detour up to a lookout point called Hawk Hill. The fog rolls over San Francisco like a giant blanket from across the bay.

WHAT GEAR DO YOU RECOMMEND FOR TRAVEL ON THE ROAD?
The warmest knee-high Stance socks you have, Calvin Klein boxer briefs, military jump boots, super thick denim or Saint Kevlar pants, t-shirt and a merino wool base layer by Saint in case it gets cold, and then I just layer up on the Saint stuff. I like being on the coast which means it gets cold at night so I bring my waxed Filson to top it all off. Don’t forget your tools, cell phone, camera, full face 60s style helmet - no visor - and some clear and dark shades.

WHAT’S THE BIGGEST THING YOU GET OUT OF BEING ON THE ROAD?
It’s like meditating. You’re free from everything that usually grinds. You really don’t think of anything else except that you’re riding.

WHERE ARE YOU OFF TO NEXT?
The shop to fix my bike and Cassandra’s bike so we can go on a bike road trip. We want to go to Yellowstone, we’re going to add it onto whatever trip.

> READ THE ENTIRE MARCH 2016 EDITION OF INSPIRE HERE

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