NEW YORK - In this age of high petrol prices and youth culture, two big-cylinder-motorcycle-loving septuagenarians threw caution to the wind for a cross-country road trip. But Bob Chase, 72, of California and his friend from New York, Buddy Rosenbaum, 71, swapped their 1,000-cc motorbikes for Italian scooters for the 3,400-mile (5,500-kilometre) trip from California to New York. By the time they arrived in Times Square in New York city on July 14, their trip had cost them all of 300 dollars in petrol. Proving that traveling economically is still possible wasn't the only reason they down-sized: age also came into it. "Bob and I have always been passionate about motorcycle adventures, and the bikes were getting a little heavy. But we didn't want to give up," said Rosenbaum. Age was also a factor on the route they took: their trip took them along the oldest US transcontinental route, the Lincoln Highway. The two friends putted into Times Square in New York City at the end of their journey on lighter but more stable three-wheeled Piaggios, culminating a voyage that Rosenbaum said proved age is no barrier to pursuing a passion. "As you age, you can stay with your passions, you don't have to give them up. You just have to find creative ways to express them," he told AFP. The two friends " Rosenbaum a high-strung New Yorker and Chase a laid-back Californian " first crossed paths in Chile when they were riding from Santiago to Tierra del Fuego on big-cylinder BMWs. Since then they've ridden motorbikes around the world, including through the Himalayas, the Alps and now along the Lincoln Highway. Chase described the ribbon of road as a treasure that Americans, in their lust for perpetual renewal, were allowing time to erode away. "It is a 3,400-mile museum but it's going away and should be preserved. There are not enough people that know about it and that are interested in keeping it alive," he said. Rosenbaum, who re-reads Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" before each new trip because "it puts me in the right spirit," said he and Chase celebrated the often overlooked senior years as they crossed the United States and feasted their eyes on 100-year-old bridges and 70-year-old architectural works. "There is a bridge that connects Ohio to West Virginia, called the Newell Bridge. It's 105 years old. It's wonderful, and it's still there," he said. "There's an art deco service station from 1933, the owner's son still maintains and operates it," he said. "Every time we found structures and objects that keep their life, that keep living, we rejoiced in that." If there is a lesson to be learnt from their trip across the United States, it is not only that fuel economy is still possible in the United States of four-dollars-a-gallon petrol, but also, and perhaps chiefly, that Americans should not be so hasty in casting out the old. "America is too fast to discard the old and replace with the new," he said. "We should preserve the old " not only out of compassion but also for the elegance of the old," he said.