||Go West, Young Man
by Clare Coppa
Roger Stoller and Randy Nanstad got their kicks on Route 66 riding
motorcycles on the lonesome highway last fall.
They covered the Route from Illinois to California, stopping to
inspect bridges or intriguing sites like Finn and Sawyer. Nanstad
rode his 1448-cubic cm Indian Spirit, and Stoller, his 800-cc
Both men travel frequently as scientists with Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, Tenn., and as standard-developers with ASTM Committee
E10, Nuclear Technology and Applications. Somewhere between their
work and travel and standards-developing, they decided to reward
themselves with a jaunt to parts unknown.
On Sept. 24, they entered Route 66 in Wilmington, Ill., heading
west. In Missouri, they collided head-on with a flock of sparrows.
They crossed Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona
in high spirits. Randy attracts attention of female motorist
who tries to lure him off the freeway, Stoller logged on Sept.
27 in Tucumcari, N.M. I guess the women cant see how much cuter
I am because of my visor.
During the ride, Stoller amassed a detailed log that would impress
the CIA. In research for decades and responsible for nuclear pressure
vessels the size of WalMart, he recorded miles, motel stops, descriptions
of people, and weather conditionsincluding the exact temperatures
they experienced (40-100º F; 4-38º C).
Near the end of their trip, they parked next to a car in Needles,
Calif. The cars occupant eyeballed them and immediately locked
the door. They reached the end of Route 66 on Sept. 30 and rode
to Malibu for a celebratory beer. We are a bit sun and wind burned,
Stoller wrote, but have completed the 2001 Aleve and Preparation-H
Tour. They rode 2425 miles (3903 km), which might explain why
they opted to fly home. //
Copyright 2002, ASTM