|Subject: Motorcycle travel (was Bering Strait)|
I spent 10 years teaching new riders with the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, and completely endorse courses based on the Motorcyle Safety Foundation program. Some are near you in Chicago. These classes aren't all free but they are reasonably priced. Look at the one in the Chicago area at: http://motorcyclelearning.com at $375 or look at the free classes through the state at: http://mrc.uiuc.edu/ offered throughout Illinois. I saw at least one in Cook County. Even if you pay $375, you will save that amount by not dropping the bike as often, and on insurance over a couple of years.
Several years ago I rode from California to Cincinnati Ohio to attend my 20 year HS reunion on my bike. I had a wonderful time.
Take a class, learn on their bike, with a borrowed helmet, have your own riding gear (gloves, boots, long pants and sturdy jacket) and decide if riding is the right thing for you. I've had students as young as 15 and as old at 72! Instructors are well trained, professional, and not being your guy, will help preserve the relationship (argument avoidance!) You also get a discount on insurance from most insurers.
If you like it, join you guy on the trip to Alaska. With your own bike you get two saddlebags to pack with your own stuff! Motorcycle travel is great. You do get the chance to smell the roses, and the pig farms, and newly mown hay. You are closer to nature, feel the temperature changes as you crest a hill, or the weather changes. Don't miss this oppartunity. In my view, your guy has the love of adventure and freedom, and that's a big part of loving to travel.
Mary Santa Maria CA Where it's always a good motorcycle day!