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 Pulling out of the Lake Placid hotel into a light rain (yup wet again) and lots of road spray day 7 of our motorcycle vacation begins.  The Adirondacks was just an awesome place to ride, even with the rain. 

WP_20170624_09_33_31_ProWe needed to reach Port Kent, New York no later than 930AM in order to make sure we are on the first ferry of the day to cross Lake Champlain.  We made it to the landing with about 10 minutes to spare!  We were the first to board the boat (they move motorcycles to the front, not sure why but I enjoyed the perk).  The ride across the lake on the Valcour (built in 1948) took about an hour before we rolled off the ferry and into Burlington, VT. 

Our first stop in Vermont was Green Mountain Harley Davidson.  I am very glad we did, Alan at Green Mountain turned us on to a different, more twisty, route over “Smugglers Notch” to get to our second stop.  That second stop was the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.WP_20170624_13_10_51_Pro 

During the factory tour we got to see some of the history of the company, it started in a gas station, and how the ice cream is made today.  At the end of the tour we got to sample a new ice cream “Triple Carmel” which both Debbie and I really liked! 

After leaving Ben and Jerry’s it was only a short time before we were on theWP_20170624_16_19_58_Pro Kangamagus (and no I don’t know how to pronounce it!).  This could have been a great ride through the White Mountain National Forest, but, alas, it was a chore and a bit of a bore.  There were way too many cars on the road that had no clue on how to drive the curvy, somewhat mountainous route.  There was even an accident in one turn that I have no clue how it could have happened without a serious lack of driving skill and experience.  

Coming out of the other side of the Kangamagus I was beat.  We found a hotel, had a Mexican dinner and went to bed!  The next day we are heading to the top of Mount Washington.  By the way we are over 1500 miles on the trip so far.

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Waking up at 7AM we looked out the window and it was pouring the rain. I looked at the weather radar and saw the above, sigh.  After breakfast we decided that we were going to ride anyway, this is a motorcycle vacation after all. 

Because it was raining we set our first destination as the top of Whiteface Mountain.  I have always wanted to stand in the middle of a rain cloud! 

WP_20170623_10_44_23_ProThe road to the top of the Whiteface Mountain is a toll road built in the 1930s.  At the top of the road is a pseudo castle (café and gift shop).  But to get to the top of the mountain you have to walk through a 400 foot tunnel cut into solid rock to an elevator.  The elevator will take you up 27 stories to the top.  If it was clear then I expect you could see some fantastic panoramic views. 

WP_20170623_12_42_48_ProFrom the top of Whiteface we headed into town to the Olympic Museum.  The museum is in the Olympic ice rank facility and while small packs in a lot of history.  This is a worthy stop if you are in the area. 

After some lunch we decided that we need to do some laundry and some general reorganization.  Tomorrow we head out to Vermont and New Hampshire.

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We pulled out of Niagara Falls about 8AM for this leg of our motorcycle vacation.  The plan was to ride along the coast of Lake Ontario until we reached Oswego, NY.  The day started out nice, puffy clouds, bright sun and open road.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWe began the day’s motorcycle ride heading north on the Niagara Scenic Parkway.  The parkway runs up the American side of the Niagara River and is an excellent “Chill-out” ride.  When the parkway ended the Great Lakes Seaway Trail continued. The Seaway Trail runs along the coast of the lake but only in a few places is it actually on the coast, just as it was during the 3rd leg of our ride. But, the ride is just an awesome cruse through a lovely part of the country. It is hard to believe that upstate New York is the same state as New York City and surrounding area.

Riding though the countryside we stopped at a couple lighthouses andWP_20170622_10_11_51_Rich admired the views of the lake.  After a while we rolled up onto the Lake Ontario State Parkway, this parkway did actually run on the coast for a good part of the time.  BUT, there was a 6-10 mile stretch of the road that was like riding on a washboard.  By the time this part of the road was over we felt as if we had completed 100 rodeo bull rides, 1,000 jumping jacks and run a jack hammer for 10,000 hours!  This was one of those rides where it was just horrible during but becomes funny and a great story afterwards. 

Taking a break from the ride we decided to stop at Harv’s Harley Davidson.  If I thought that the Gowanda dealership was isolated Harv’s is really out there.WP_20170622_11_36_58_Pro  The folks that work there were super friendly and knowledgeable!  Turns out they are the sponsors of Wyman Racing (Kyle races MotoAmerica Superbike). I wish Kyle was there so I could have discussed MotoAmerica and the DawgHouse Radio’s thoughts about promoting the sport.

Harv’s also has a biker themed bed and breakfast and a café/bar called Milly’s Handle Bar Café.  This is one happening dealership. 

WP_20170622_16_44_36_ProAfter leaving Harv’s we got back on the Seaway Trail, after a little why we started talking about the time of day how much further we had to go.  This was the point I realized that I had miscalculated the time required to get to Lake Placid. We decided to hop up on the Interstate and get going!  We pulled into Lake Placid about 6PM, I really don’t like riding that long when we are trying to have a leisurely vacation. 

OH….did we get wet?  Yes, but just a little, we were racing the rain for the last 4 hours.  We were sprinkled on and off the entire time.  And based on the forecast it is likely that we are going to be damp for the rest of the trip. 

Last post It did not rain but we still got wet

 

WP_20170621_09_54_49_RichWe did not do a lot a riding today.  We took the motorcycle to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls to check out the sites an some of the tourist trap things.  We ended the day riding the Maid of the Mist boat up to the falls… and that is where we got wet today!

Tomorrow we hit the road again.  The plan is to travel up the coast of Lake Ontario then inland to Lake Placid.  So for now here are some random picks from today!

 

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Rolling out of Eire, PA we headed north along the Lake Erie coast on Route 5WP_20170620_09_43_14_Rich(The Seaway Trail, an American Byway Seaway Trail, an American Byway).  We made an assumption that this part of our motorcycle vacation would be along the coast.  It was a great ride in good weather, for a change, but the road is not directly on the coast so that was a bit disappointing.  For the most part you only see Lake Eire a few times.

 Along Route 5 we stopped at several locations including a coupleSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES lighthouses.  The one thing that really surprised me was the amount of vineyards along the road.  There was miles upon miles of grape vines, thousands of acres.  This day’s ride, along route 5, has been our best, so far, for this year’s motorcycle vacation.  

After a few hours we riding the motorcycle through the cool mid-morning we decided to take a side trip over to Gowanda Harley Davidson.  Talk about being in the middle of know where, this is one of the most remote Harley dealerships we have been.  

Riding out from that dealership I set the GPS to take us to Buffalo Harley Davidson. Unlike the past, the last update to the “infotainment system” seems WP_20170620_09_24_55_Richto have fixed the problem of the GPS not quite finding the dealerships but, there are still some problems like the road showing up in Lake Erie.  If you follow me on FaceBook you know I collect the dealership pins but Buffalo HD was sold out, dang!   

After we checked into the hotel, and clocking 900 miles, we decided to ride down to the American side of the falls.  BIG MISTAKE…not to check the WP_20170620_15_17_29_Proweather radar.  About half way to the falls we could see rain in the distance and it was very clearly a heavy rain.  Turning around at the first opportunity, we made a run back to the hotel…. LOL we did not make it.  Quite well soaked we stopped under an overpass to wait out the storm.  I am very happy that the hotel has a laundry. 

After dinner we tried it again…this time we had no rain and had a good time at the falls.  Tomorrow we are going to travel to the Canadian side and check out the sites.  I know for a fact that we will be getting wet again tomorrow, we plan on taking the boat ride to under the falls! 

2017 Motorcycle Vacation Day 2

Ijustwant2ride.comToday we started the second leg of our 2017 motorcycle vacation. If you missed the first day’s wrap up you can check out our ride across US Route 50 here. 

Yes, todays 2nd leg of the vacation is subtitled correctly we rode in the rain…quite a bit.  We delayed our start time leaving Debbie’s dad’s home for more than an hour waiting for the rain to end.  That worked, to some level, as the morning rain ended but there was a lot of road spray. Wearing rain gear was mandatory all day. 

ijustwant2ride.comAbout three damp, dreary hours later we arrived at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, OH. After spending about 2 hours walking thorough the very cool exhibits and videos we began getting weather alerts on our phones.  Based on the projections we decided we had time to grab lunch at the hall before hitting the road.  The hall has a small café (the entire facility is smaller then what I expected) that has three separate food preparation stations each with a menu from a famous chief, although I did not know any of them.  Debbie ordered a BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato sandwich)…check out what she received LOL. 

ijustwant2ride.comOne thing of surprising interest to me was that there were 2 motorcycles on display plus pictures of rock stars on bikes were scattered throughout the hall. One of the motorcycles is a custom trike from the Elvis Presley collection and one owned by John Mellencamp.    

Not forgetting the pending thunderstorm we quickly finished the lunch and got to the motorcycle. We made it just in time for the storm’s leading edge to make itself known.  By the time we got the rain suits on, the bike mounted and on the road the thunder boomer was at full power.  I attempted to find a place to pull off but when I did I noticed that every window in the homes and businesses were fully barred.  That and some other noticeable clues told me to move on, which we did.  This was some tricky riding, there was at least ½ inch of rain on the highway, big trucks and merging cars everywhere! 

After about 30 minutes the rain let up and we picked up our pace.  The plan was to make it to Erie, PA for the night.  Tomorrow we are going to ride the coast of Lake Erie up to Niagara Falls.  I hope that the forecasted rain is not as bad as it was today!

 

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I have been taking my wife to some of the great cities of the old world. Last year I was able to take her to Lisbon and Damascus. Two years ago we rode the motorcycle to Paris.

Not sure where we will ride the motorcycle to next… but you can count on her getting to London and Glasgow sometime soon.

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We started our motorcycle vacation today.  We left the house about 8AM and headed out to Ohio on our Harley Davidson Ultra Limited.  Our, path for all but a few miles on day one, is via US Route 50.   

We picked up Route 50 just a few miles south of Leesburg, VA. I have to say that Route 50 from this point to our endpoint is a fantastic motorcycle ride.  In Virginia you ride through horse and wine county (I quite counting vineyards and wineries at 15).  In fact in Middleburg we saw folks preparing their horses for a jumping contest (I am sure there is a proper name for this contest, but I do not know what it is) there were dozens of horses and riders milling about. My wife said she thought it was called “Trials”, to which I replied then they are all guilty!

WP_20170615_09_55_38_ProShortly after crossing into WV you head into the Appalachian Mountains.  These mountain roads are some twisty fun for a motorcycle!  Swooping around turns, quick climbs and steep descents (up to a 9% grade) with spectacular views from the mountain tops and rolling farmland in the valleys make this a route, in my opinion, as much fun as any of the roads around the Tail of the Dragon.  By the way I dragged the floorboards of the bike a few times without even trying! 

WP_20170615_12_05_47_RichI had forgotten that Route 50 passed into Maryland for a few miles so today we traveled in 4 states. When we left Maryland and rode the motorcycle back into WV Route 50 also became the Northwestern Turnpike one of America’s Byways.  Stopping for lunch and gas in the little town of Grafton, WV we ate a McDonalds, which had to be one of the least clean stores we had been in…unfortunately I did not notice this until after we had received our food.    

WP_20170615_15_41_58_RichWe did make a side trip to Cairo … I am still taking my wife to all the great cities of the old world, via motorcycle.  I was able to get her to Lisbon and Damascus last year.  Athens is next on the list!   

The first day of our vacation motorcycle trip is now over.  315 miles through some of the best country for motorcycle riding.  I highly recommend this part of Route 50 to anyone passing through WV, MD or VA.  OHHH… for got to mention, that per Standard Operating Procedure, we got wet in a thunderstorm!!! Storm Chaser powers ACTIVATE!

 

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I found this, new to me, motorcycle TV show on NetFlix.  It is a British TV show staring Henry Cole on their ITV network. Apparently there are at least 6 seasons of “The Motorbike Show” available but NetFlix only has one. 

This is my first exposure to the start of the show Henry Cole but, he has quite the motorcycle TV resume.  With multiple TV shows and DVDs on riding from around the world he has been quite busy in the creation of motorcycle entertainment.  With his history of work I am surprised I have not seen his shows before now.  By the way, he is also a motorcycle land speed record holder. 

All in all I have enjoyed all the episodes of “The Motorbike Show” currently available on Netflix.  Mr. Cole’s mannerisms, while very British, come across quite well to an American.   

The shows themselves are quite varied. From restoring classic motorcycles, Isle of Mann TT, wives of British Superbike racers, to building custom bikes this motorcycle TV show gives you an insight to the British biking world you will not get anywhere else.

 I am giving the motorcycle TV show “The Motorbike Show” 4 out of 5 stars.  

4 out 5 stars

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Several posts ago I wrote an article about the wife and I trying to decide where to take our “motorcycle vacation”.  I called it “Where Oh Where do we go ride?”, well now we know!  We are going to tour New England on our motorcycle. 

It took a while but we settled on touring the Northeastern states via the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and Niagara Falls.  We are not going to be in any big hurry so as we travel along we will stop at anything that catches our attention.  We are planning to stop and visit Lake Placid (home of the Olympics), Mount Washington and Bar Harbor, Maine. 

We are also going to make sure we get to every New England state.  That way we can check them off our motorcycle touring map!

So in a few weeks you should start seeing post about our motorcycle vacation.  If you have any thoughts about places/things or roads that we should consider drop them in the comments below.  New England is not an area either of us have been to before.