How did I get here, to the place where I can go on this epic bucket list adventure?  I was born in 1958 and grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.  I bought my first motorcycle in 1977 on April 17, which is also my father’s birthday.  I plan to ride another 40 years, so check back later.

My father was a life insurance salesman; he was risk averse.  As a kid there were no BB guns, sling shots, fireworks and, especially motorcycles.  Upon occasion we would get a chance to try these things when a friend had them.  My first BB gun experience was in the attic of my brother’s friend.  We were shooting targets and it did not take long before a ricochet hit me in the cheek.  It hurt; maybe I should be more careful.  One of my early encounters with fire crackers resulted in a Black Cat exploding in my hand.  It hurt; maybe I should be more careful.  Once a friend came by with his dirt bike and my attempt to ride behind him resulted in me flying off the back.  I never let my father know about these things.

As I grew up I was interested in aviation history and in 1973 I met a pioneer in hang gliding at the Cleveland Air Show.  His name was Chuck Slazarcheck (I hope I spelled it correctly).  Believe it or not Cleveland was an early mecca of the sport.  His gliders were all the early delta-wing design; most made with aluminum tubing but one or two were bamboo.  Soon after, I sent him a few dollars for the plans to make one and presented my idea to dear old dad.  It did not go well and I never got off the ground.

Fast forward to when I was 18 years old and an enlisted kid in the Air Force.  Dad was not around to prevent me from buying a motorcycle.  I have been hooked ever since and have far more miles logged on two wheels than in cars.  The bike was a 1976 Yamaha XS750D, I loved it.  It was way to much bike for a noob with almost no riding experience; what could possibly go wrong.

It did not take long for me to crash, at Red Rock Canyon outside of Las Vegas.  I was relatively unscathed except for road rash on my hands because I had no gloves.  When my bike got fixed the front fender was new so I had to get a new sticker to get on military bases.  To get the sticker I had to take the Air Force rider safety course.  It opened my eyes and I learned a ton.  It got me serious about practicing and wearing the right protective gear.  It is probably why I am still at it today and more serious than ever.

After the Air Force I worked my way through school, got married and had four sons, you know, typical life.  All of the boys are through college and on their own so now I can take this trip.  I have a very understanding wife, Sandy, that knows I have to do this and supports me fully.

Follow My Motorcycle Trip to Alaska

This blog will chronicle my two month motorcycle trip to Alaska.  This trip has been a long time in the making and I am very fortunate to be able to do it.

My name is Kevin Gerlock and I live in Fallbrook California.  I plan to leave on June 2 and return just before my birthday at the end of July.


I have been taking trips on my 2011 BMW R1200GS Adventure for the last six years and I have worked out how to pack efficiently for motorcycle camping.  My trip to Alaska will span two months so all of my practice runs had better pay off.  The photo above is a fly fishing trip I took from my home in north San Diego County to Colorado.  A GS Adventure can carry a lot of gear.