Lieback’s Lounge | Newborn Travel – The New Surrealism

Lieback's Lounge | Newborn Travel - The New Surrealism

Lieback’s Lounge Motorcycle Commentary

Lieback's Lounge | Newborn Travel - The New Surrealism Things have settled down. The cake is finished, the plates are clean, and the bottles of Montepulciano are empty. I have just celebrated my son Enzo’s first birthday; of course, he didn’t have any wine, though he’ll be crushing grapes this fall.

A few family members visited my house in the mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania, and things went well. But, after my wife Pam and I put Enzo to bed, loads of reflections begin, with the typical question of “Where the hell did that year just go?”

For Enzo, there was great health and growth, along with loads of dirty diapers, smelly and expensive Alimentum formula, and crying—who ever coined the phrase “sleep like a baby”, was absolutely maniacal and mindless. Of course, these reflections quickly leaned into motorcycles.

Before Enzo was born, I dreamt of nothing but international and extended stateside motorcycle travel. Unfortunately, due to timing, I was never able to make this happen. These dreams solidified during the most motivated time of my life, just two weeks after Enzo took his first breath.

Although I was heartbroken to leave the little guy, and the thought of poor Pam dealing with dirty diapers and sleepless nights while I was riding a BMW S 1000 RR in Southern Spain became my newfound idea of surreal, it was a lifelong goal achieved.

Before 2015, I had only ridden in Europe once, during my honeymoon. After touring the Ducati factory—yep, she’s a keeper—we rode a borrowed Multistrada north to Verona, spent the night, and returned the bike the following day before heading to Assisi. This got me itching for more Euro scenery.

That more would have to wait until Enzo’s birth; I found myself testing some new Metzeler shoes on the sleepy roads of southern Spain and at Circuito de Almería. I was in the great company of fellow journalists, with loads of tapas and some earthy Rioja.

WiFi and phone signals were spotty, but I managed to get some FaceTime with Pam and Enzo, who were back home dealing with snow as I was sipping wine under a full moon. Again, surreal.

I ached to be home, but my trip was only halfway over. I then traveled to Sardinia, a Mediterranean island that has been on my radar since reading D.H. Lawrence’s “Sea and Sardinia” in my early 20s. I spent a few days testing the Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally, again enjoying like-minded industry friends and European culture.

I arrived home and Enzo seemed to have grown a foot, and continued to grow in the same continuum as my travels, which took me to notable stateside places like Circuit of the Americas for a BMW S 1000 RR launch. I even got to ride in Canada during the S 1000 XR launch, and back to Spain for the Ducati 959 Panigale launch—this time at Valencia. What a year!

Here I am reflecting on 2015, realizing that January has slipped by just as fast as last year. A few more trips are already in the works, including one to yet another untraveled location—Abu Dhabi. My life goal of international motorcycling continues, but now it’s much easier to embrace considering Enzo is not up every two hours, and Pam can sleep a full night. As for the diapers, well, sorry hon, but I’ll be riding.

Column from spring edition of Ultimate MotorCycling magazine; visit our free digital version.


  1. Two weeks before my wife’s due date, I took a ten-day motorcycle trip alone. She was left to hike up and down the stairs and get herself to work alone.

    The week I returned, her water broke. There were 48 painful, anxious hours, and then a Caesarian.

    This was some twenty years ago, and I remarked to her just last week what a stupid and selfish thing it was for me to have left her alone in the house, with our unborn child in her womb, to go ride a motorcycle.

    As far as the rest of the story goes, she continued to work (after a six-month maternity leave) after which I chose to stay home and raise our daughter.

    I changed hundreds of diapers, perhaps thousands. I rushed her to the emergency room a couple of times. Gave her a ride on the gas tank of my racebike when she was two. Her first road trip was at five years old on my Bonneville. Later we moved on to a big Harley, thousands of miles we rode together, her perched on the pillion, with a tall backrest, waving her arms at ten years old like a bird trying to take flight. It was so hot that ride we had to stop every hour, soak our gear, and fill our helmets with water. She never complained.

    Motorcycles are so much a part of her life – along with a lot of other things most girls never experience, like a first flight in a B-17 and a flying lesson at ten years old – that she’s an oddball among her peers.

    That’s a good thing. Glad I was around.

  2. Lovely story, thank you for posting. And I’ll bet she’s grown up to be independent and strong-minded like all women motorcyclists I know. That’s a great thing!

  3. Thanks for sharing the story, Ulvetanna! Ever been to Antarctica ;)

    We share similar Caesarean stories – though our pain/anxious feelings “only” lasted about 20 hours.

    At 15 months, Enzo is being exposed greatly to the world of motorcycles. I can’t wait to share my tales of travel with him from both the states and internationally – especially my solo journeys across the states. But more importantly, just like your daughter and you on the Bonneville, I can’t wait to began sharing the road experience.

    Luckily due to today’s technology, we won’t have to worry about being soaking wet. But I think we’ll save the WP gear for when he’s older; nothing beats those experiences, and I think Enzo will miss out on all the fun, regardless of how cold and uncomfortable those situations may be.

    I’m planing NJ MiniGP for him, which begins at 5-years old. And if he doesn’t show an interest in motorcycling, I’ll support him 110% in whatever he’s passionate about.

    Again – thanks for sharing your story!


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