Full Throttle, No Time to Coast

This morning we woke up to more cold rainy weather; not looking too good for riding the bikes today.  Fortunately we had a nice warm breakfast with friends at the Silver Diner in Rockville, MD.  We met up with Chad, Christie, Landon, & Miles, Heather & Pascal, and Emily.  It was great to catch up with everyone; some real quality friends!

Breakfast at the Silver Diner

After breakfast Chad, a mechanical/electrical expert, came out to the car to investigate our problems with the brake controller.  It was then that David identified that it had been working all along, it was just set too low; “operator error.”  This takes me to one on my favorite lines from the movie Fletch: “It takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong.  I am not a big man.”  At this time we received some very cool gifts from Chad & Christie, biker bells, a biker tradition I wasn’t familiar with.  We later looked up the meaning and found the following:


“Many of us have heard the story about Evil Road Spirits. They are little gremlins that live on your bike. They love to ride, and they’re also responsible for most of your bike’s problems. Sometimes your turn signals refuse to work; your battery goes dead, the clutch needs adjustment, or any of several hundred things that can go wrong. These problems are caused by Evil Road Spirits.

Evil Road Spirits can’t live in the presence of the bell, because they get trapped in the hollow of the bell. Among other things, their hearing is supersensitive, so the constant ringing of the bell and the confined space drives them insane. They lose their grip and eventually fall to the roadway. Have you ever wondered how potholes are formed? The bell has served its purpose.

If you pick up a guardian bell of your own, the magic will work, but if your bell is given to you, the power is doubled, and you know that somewhere you have a special friend helping to look after you.”


We decided we would shoot for the Outer Banks this afternoon.  From Rockville, we crossed the Annapolis Bay Bridge and continued on to the eastern side of Maryland.  Not the most direct route, but I really wanted to cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge; a 4.3 mile long combination bridge and tunnel; very impressive.  As we drove further and further south the rain cleared and the temperature finally crept over 50 degrees, my threshold for riding the bikes today.  David and I broke out the Harley and Honda and rode until the sun went down.  As we rode the bikes for a while and it began to get cooler from the sun setting I caught myself coasting along with my mind on other things at the same time; road numb.  I immediately reminded myself that I no longer have time to coast, this is what the trip is all about.  I pulled back on the throttle and re-engaged.  As David says “this definitely doesn’t suck!”

A Chance to Ride

Cruising Down Route 13

We crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to Norfolk around dinner time.  We couldn’t travel through the Chesapeake area without stopping for seafood; we found Sullivan’s, a local seafood shack.  My “all you can eat” crab legs satisfied my seafood craving.  After dinner we shot down to Nags Head (Outer Banks) where we will be staying for the night.  A little colder than the ideal beach conditions, but still anxious to check it out in the morning!

Outer Banks - Nags Head

Day 2


About bhoefen

Going on a road trip.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Full Throttle, No Time to Coast

  1. Mike says:

    This blog is great! I’ll never regret skipping work to go riding with you. Have a great trip! Love you buddy.

  2. Terry Concessi (F) says:

    I am from Michigan and I found your site via Mike Gratz who also has CCS your blog is now the first thing I read in the morning. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you ride your dream…Godspeed!

  3. Eric Borrelli says:


    I really admire what you are doing. I hear you are on your way to Florida to see Aaron and his family and should be there tomorrow. Let me know if you are going to make a pass through Tampa, I would love to see everyone. I only live an hour from them. Maybe we can cordinate something and I can come over to Orlando. Hope to see you soon.

  4. Debbie says:

    Hi there road warriors!

    LOVE absolutely love the biker’s bells. Ride them proudly to keep those evil little pesky bike gremlins away. I do hope you get to have lunch with Mom and Dad today, they are really looking forward to it. I can’t tell you how much it bugs me that you’re like only 6 hours away right now and I can’t get to see you guys!

    HEY! You should ride to Roanoke! Blue Ridge Parkway and all that! But it’s cold here for the next few days, maybe it’ll warm up.

    Riding along with you in spirit every single day and mile–love you all bunches!

  5. Mike Gratz says:


    I see you are enjoying your ride. We have alot more in common that just CCS, I see you love seafood and BBQ……….two of my favorite foods.

    The Outer Banks are awesome, went there in 2001 with my family. The steamed shrimp with a little Old Bay Seasoning are amazing!

    You are brave my friend, keep up the good fight!

  6. Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon says:

    Bret and Shan, Jim and Bets,
    We’ve been checking this blog at least twice a day to see where you’re at and read about your adventures. So glad the rain finally cleared and you had a warmer day to get on the bikes and ride for awhile yesterday. You got outta here just in time before this whole area got blanketed in snow and turned into a winter wonderland!!!!
    It is SOOOOOOOO heartwarming to read all the posts from everyone that have been responding to your blog. You and Shannon are touching many lives with your incredible courage, positive attitude and amazing spirit. You are both so very special and we love you both so very much! Ride with hope in your heart and know our love and prayers are with you every mile.

    Hugs and all our love,
    Uncle Lee and Aunt Sharon

    P.S. Ribs and crablegs -mmmmm – we feel like we’re gaining weight just looking at those yummy pictures – ENJOY!

  7. Dan Dean says:

    Brett, Shannon, looks like you’re having a great trip. If you have a clearer picture of your path, let me know. If we won’t be intruding, Lin & I will fly to one of your destinations, rent a Harley that’s similar to mine, and ride with you guys for a bit. Thanks, Dan…..

  8. Larry Mireles says:

    Enjoy the sweet ride Bret. Our thoughts and prays are with you. Keep up the great fight!

  9. rich ryan says:

    loving reading this Bret. I have been over that Norfolk bridge, with the resonant feeling that you are really crossing north to south during that four miles. too bad it wasn’t warmer on the other side! P.S. this is the closest tabs I have had on where Shannon is ever! missing you both up here in the snow. keep finding good directions.

  10. Wade Weber says:

    It looks as if your trip started out like most of my snowmobile trips with getting everything ready only to take 1 step forward and 2 steps backwards. The weather will hopefully cooperate as you get further south. Keep the posts coming. I hope you can enjoy that Fat Bob as much as I did riding it home for you. Ride it like you stole it!

    Give Shannon my best.


  11. Aunt Bo says:

    I feel like I am traveling right along side you guys…your descriptions of everything is incredible.

    Still waiting for the picture of your dad on the bike…can not imagine it.

    Hope today’s weather was good.

  12. Marianne Borrelli says:

    Checking to hear about where you are everyday! I agree with aunt Bo . We need to see a picture of Jim on the bike!!! I remember him after graduating from Georgetown riding with no helmet, while wearing an armband!!! Is that right or am I having pipe dreams!!!?? I think he was into Easy Rider too!! Like Father like son I guess!

    Sounds like you’re having a lot of fun and inspiring many people! Enjoy! Know you are loved!

    Auntie Cuz

  13. Pat Gratz says:

    I am so thankful that you are able to make this trip and create such wonderful memories of beautiful places and friendships along the way. I hope the recent cold spell finds it’s way out of your way so that you are able to ride like the wind to your next destination. Thank you for all the updates and pictures.

    God Bless You!

  14. Ellen Edmond says:

    I am numb (momentarily) but also excited for you and the decisions you’re making, and the fearlessness with which you and your family (Hi, Bets!) are tackling the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy the ride.

  15. Rick Brazener says:

    A guy once told me that four wheels move the body…. Two wheels move the soul….

    Regardless of where we all are, we’re riding right along side you brother…

    Give it a little extra throttle for us tomorrow.

    Rick Brazener

  16. Ramin says:

    Bret – i’m very thankful to be able to read this blog. i told you a few weeks ago that you were going to be added to my family’s prayer list, and i meant it!
    i’m just very very glad that you are able to take this journey… your strength and attitude is truly inspirational. I’m hoping your trip is filled with smooth rides and sunny skies…

  17. Gary and Dawn says:

    Hello all you travelers,
    Thank you so much for sharing this travel. Sorry that Easy (Dave) and Rider (Ryan) had to leave you to head back to the tundra. I wonder if they are grabby at work and sneak away to check the blog. Bets get some leather, too. Ride with the wind!!!
    Love to you all,
    Gary and Dawn

  18. Russel Gibson says:

    Long time, unfortunate circumstances but if you’re traveling west at all, I’m living in Leadville,CO and would love for you to stop by for a visit. My family and I have extra accomodations for you and traveling companions. There may even be an extra snowboard or two laying around. We wish you the best and hope you’re journey is a safe one.

  19. Jean Ann Drum says:

    Keep watching to see where you are and what you are doing. You are a great family and we can only wish you the best and a very safe journey. You will never forget this time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s