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About Comments (Sept 16 update)

The owner of a blog (me) has god-like power over the comments.  First I need to approve them before they will appear in the public portion of the blog.  That’s good, unless you want to see a lot of “comments” about pay-day loans and anti-stick waffle irons.  I can also edit them.  So if a comment is legitimate but may-be contains information not appropriate for the public at large it gets edited.

I love getting comments.  I read them, re-read them, and think about them while I’m riding.  But unless something changes about the nature of this trip, I generally don’t have time to respond to them.  I wish I could.

If you want to communicate something to me that is too long, personal, or whatever for public consumption, you can email me by clicking the little envelope at the top-right of every page.  I read my email.

About this Blog

I created Single Cylinder Psyche as a way to update family and friends on the progress of a planned motor scooter trip.  On past trips I had sent out emails to accomplish this purpose, but it was always done with reservation – emails can be intrusive and burdensome to the recipient.  I was uncomfortable with guessing who would want to receive them.  Wife Marion said I was over-thinking the matter.  May-be.  Either way, now there is Single Cylinder Psyche and I can scoot down the road unconcerned about who is or isn’t following along.  Welcome any and all.

About the Trip

I purchased a used 2012 Vespa GTS 300ie motor scooter in August of 2014.  Not long after getting it I started having flights of fancy about riding the scooter around the country.  Over the winter months, the prospect somehow transformed itself from fiction to non-fiction.  Whatever the merit of the mental mechanisms that caused or allowed this transition,  a  scooter ride around the country has become the prudent, obvious and necessary thing for me to do.  I’m excited about it.

The current plan is to make some version of a clockwise trip around the US, starting the morning of September 8 at the Golden Gate Bridge.  My goal is to minimize time on the interstate super-slabs and keep to secondary roads, emphasizing small towns and national parks as destinations.  I have some relatives I want to visit along the way.  I hope and expect there will be a mixture of equal parts motels, camping and couch surfing.  Two months and 8,000 to 10,000 miles are the current estimates, although I reserve the right to extend the ride or abandon it at any point as conditions and disposition dictate.

About the Title

The term “Single Cylinder Psyche” occurred to me as I was thinking about this scooter trip specifically and my approach to life generally.  I’ll explain its meaning as soon as I have an understanding of it myself.

~ Mike Hermens ~


  1. Susan Copeland Susan Copeland

    Wow Mike! I am impressed on so many levels. The blog looks amazing and I really enjoy seeing your beautiful pictures, reading your thoughts and insights, and getting a good laugh along the way. Thanks for the entertainment and sharing a special part of your life and adventures with us. As a side note, I really like how you include your scooter in the photos.. it’s kind of like a traveling gnome.

  2. marilyn chalmers marilyn chalmers

    Hey Mike….
    Don and I just discovered your blog….wow! What a fun adventure you are on….the pictures are really beautiful and it’s fun to see your Vespa in most of them. I see a coffee table book in the making! We will enjoy keeping up with the rest of your trip now that we know about your blog! This is really cool what you are doing….be safe! Love it that you are enjoying life!

  3. Ivan Sordo Ivan Sordo

    Just found your blog. Unfortunately at the end of your journey. I ride my scoot everyday in San Francisco (SYM HD200). Look forward to reading your adventures.

  4. t t

    Could I beg for more backstory? How did you come to the Vespa? Motorcycles in your history? Bicycles? Mine is a selfish question; After years commuting and touring on motorcycles (as a minimalist on a collection of Sportsters; bungee a leather jacket to the handlebars and go. And for the last eight years on a BMW w/ the modern affectations of large bags, heated this and that) my life situation changed. Looking ahead from my mid-60’s ,still tending to the rigors for what one allows as avocation and having passed the Beemer on to another to appreciate; I ask “What’s next”? Loving the minimalist approach and knowing I will do a version of your adventure I’m pondering the choices. The muses are all the cross country bicyclist blogs( I have always spent much time turning the pedals ) and those such as yours and Hubert Kriegel’s “” though mine will not span continents. I’m still undecided on the vehicle but know it will be on the two lane veneration at a leisurely pace. Bicycle/Vespa/ Ural (I could take a dog)

    • Mike Hermens Mike Hermens

      My PTW history is described in the most recent comment in the “Retrospect” post. A few years ago Marion and I enjoyed a bicycle ride across the country of Bhutan. Never been on a Ural. Mode of transport seems a function of what one is looking for. I suspect you’ll be happy with whatever you choose. If you get a chance, send a note and photo from the road. Best wishes.

  5. Alan Crease Alan Crease

    Mike, I’ve been trying to read your blog backwards from start to finish. I have come to it long after you finished through a comment from Scooter in the Sticks blog.

    I ride a Piaggio Beverly 350 in Britain. I’ve been to Germany on it to meet up with the members of the German Beverly forum and I’m trying to get up the energy to ride from my home in the south to the top of Britain in a few months – John o’Groats. Your epic ride has steeled my into more concrete plans.

    Your photos show desolate roads in impressive landscapes. Things are a bit more crowded in out little island and the roads can be quite hazardous for that reason.

    It’s hard to read a blog backwards – there ought to be a clever bit of software to flip everything into chronological sequence. Still, thanks for sharing your experiences and images with us,


    • Mike Hermens Mike Hermens


      I agree that reading the blog in chronological order is awkward to navigate. I have the same problem. If I was Ruler of the World there would be a solution.

      I’m glad to hear you’re planning a ride, good luck with that. I’m sure you will enjoy it. Please send a photo from the road if you get a chance.

      Thanks for contacting me.


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