Archive for the ‘motorcycle touring’ Category

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Location – Ferry Hill Plantation

Mile Mark – 72 (as it is not on the tow path it does not seem to have an actual mile marker)

Historical Comment – A 19th Century Plantation Ferry Hill overlooks the C&O Canal and the Potomac River. Prior to the civil war the slaves of this plantation were some of those that John Brown hoped to inspire to revolt when he attacked the Harpers Ferry Arsenal. This was the home of an officer in Stonewall Jackson’s army and was used during the Civil war by both sides to secure the river. The plantation is only a short distance from Antietam, the bloodiest battle in American History. Currently operating as a Visitor’s Center and as a Headquarters for the C&O Canal National Park Service.

Ride to the Site – Very easy. Directly of the main road.

Amenities – Restrooms and picnic area.

Road Conditions (from main road) – Paved

Railway Situation – no railroad tracks or crossing.

Parking Lot Condition – Mix of paved and gravel with about 20 parking spots.

Main Attraction – The visitor’s center and the view of the river, and Shepherdstown, WV.

My Thoughts – Interesting stop when you put it into historical context. Hundreds of slaves were used to farm the 700+ acre farm, who were targets of John Browns raid and the Civil War.

 

ijustwant2ride

Location – Dam #5

Mile Mark – 106.6

Historical Comment – Originally constructed of timber in 1835, Dam No. 5 was an important source of hydro power for millworks on the river. As soon as the dam was built, Edward Colston paid $100 a year for water rights and began the area’s long history of milling and hydro-electricity.

Unfortunately, the dam’s timber construction was no match for the many floods that swelled the Potomac River. The canal company decided a masonry dam would be stronger, but completion of the new 700-foot “high rock” dam was delayed by more floods and the Civil War. In fact, the dam was a target for destruction on several occasions but was successfully defended by local Union militia each time. [Taken from the C&O Trust website.]

Ride to the Site – Very easy. Not far off of I-70 access to Dam #5 is an easy ride.

Amenities – There is a picnic area but no rest rooms.

Road Conditions (from main road) – This lock is directly off the main road.

Railway Situation – no railroad tracks or crossing.

Parking Lot Condition – Gravel with about 10 parking spots. Pick your spot as a few have a drainage slope.

Main Attraction – The Dam, fishing and the view.

My Thoughts – As you exit the road you go down a shot but somewhat steep hill (gravel).

Whether your next cross-country ride is a laid-back road trip or a high-stakes poker run, you will definitely need to find accommodations along the way. Bikers, however, haveijustwant2ride specific needs that some regular establishments just don’t have. Knowing this, you need to plan your itinerary in advance so that you can find the best biker friendly accommodation for your next motorcycle travel.

Here are five resources that you can use to find the best biker-friendly establishments and lodging en route to your destination.

Trip review websites

There are websites that list hotels, inns, and bed and breakfast places. TripAdvisor, Agoda, and Gumtree are good examples of these. There are establishments on these sites that proudly advertise that they are ‘biker-friendly.’ And the best thing about these websites is that you get to read reviews from fellow bikers who have used the accommodations before. With these sites, you already get an idea of what to expect from each place before actually booking.

Mobile apps

Aside from TripAdivsor and Agoda (which also have mobile apps), there are also mobile apps that allow you to check accommodation reviews, reserve a room, and pay for your stay. AirBnb is an example of an excellent app that lets you do this. And like the aforementioned websites, there are lots of listed establishments that are proud to be ‘biker-friendly – with testimonials from previous motorcyclists as proof. The best part – you can do all of these through your smart phone.

The ever-reliable Google search

A Google search can also give you listings of biker-friendly places that can be found along your trip. Of course, when you use Google search, the keywords that you use matter. Try doing a search using the “biker friendly accommodations” and add the place where you’re headed to the keywords. You’ll be surprised that there are quite a number of biker-friendly establishments en route to your destination (and around your country too).

Blogs by other bikers

Of course, what other best way to find the best biker-friendly accommodations out there than to get advice from someone with first-hand experience. There are fellow bikers who write blogs on their adventures around the country. Aside from learning a thing or two from them about riding, you can also keep track of recommended routes and their favorite places to stay. To add, there are also specific blogs that specifically discuss biker-friendly accommodations. BikersAreWelcome and Beds4Bikers are good examples of blogs listing establishments that are biker-friendly.

Ask the hosts

Compared to most travelers, bikers have needs that are quite specific – and this is mostly

ijustwant2ride.com

Sometimes they will let you park undercover.

attributed to the motorcycle and the gear. You can directly ask the hosts either through phone or email (or chat) if they have the facilities bikers require.

One of the most important – if not the most important – thing to ask is if the place has overnight motorcycle parking. Ideally, an establishment should have covered parking that will protect your bike from the elements. If there’s none, a private parking area would also do – as long as you’re not parked on the main road. You can also ask if they offer bike covers and tarpaulins.

Another must-have are laundry facilities. If you’re on a week-long cross-country road trip with only panniers for luggage containers, then you definitely need a wash of clothes. You also need access to at least a bucket, some water, and motorcycle cleaning detergent to clean your bike. If you’re lucky, some places even have pressure cleaners.

Some Final Thoughts

Planning is always the key to a successful and safe motorcycle trip. And with a week’s-long road trip ahead, it’s always best to check what biker-friendly accommodations are available to you during the trip.  Always remember to do your research (and in this case – use technology), so you can find – not only the best deals – but also the best biker-friendly establishments around.  

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb and Populationof an online resources with information about businesses and demographic statistics of world population. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living. Her dad was a motorcyclist and he passed that passion on to her. Sarah loves to travel the world on her motorcycle and she hopes that one of her daughters will become her partner in the near future.

The other day I mentioned that West Virginia does not do enough to promote motorcycle tourism in the state.  On a trip (via car … sigh) to visit family we stopped at the West Virginia boarder rest stop. 

At the rest stop I walked around and looked for motorcycle related pamphlets. There were more then I expected but less then I hoped.

Some of these are new to me. The “Devils Den”, for example, was a first and one that I need to check out!  The pamphlet entitled “Southern West Virginia Motorcycle Ride Guide” includes many of the areas I have rode.

Looks like things are improving, slowly, but there is a lot more that can be done.  WV could be a motorcycling Mecca, like east Tennessee, with some dedicated effort.  If I hit the lottery maybe I will be the guy to do it… LOL!

wv tourism  

Not sure how this happened…. But when I was preparing my posts on our trip to Custom Dynamics (Part 1 and Part 2) I noticed that I had never posted my review and installation video of their RINGZ front turn signals. Sooo better late than never I guess.

**** From June 2015****
I have been noticing that a few other bikes turn signals are a lot brighter as runningijustwant2ride lights and turn signals, so I started investigating. Turns out those bright lights are the Custom Dynamics RINGZ turn signal inserts.

The RINGZ are super bright LED inserts which replace the standard bulbs in the turn signals. After checking them out I bought a set for my front signals, with a Harley Davidson Ultra there are no “normal” rear signals for the RINGS to replace.

Easy to follow instructions. Below is a video of how I replaced them on my bike.

WP_20150617_19_22_10_ProAs far as the product review goes….WOW!!! I was a big dummy and forgot to take a before photo but these things are bright. In their white running light mode, they are as bright, it seems, as my passing lamps which are LED as well. I also must point out that riding at night I seem to get a bit greater lighting left and right, not much but some. In turn signal or emergency flasher mode the Custom Dynamic RINGZ are far and away superior to the standard bulbs.

I am going to give the Custom Dynamics RINGZ LED Turn Signals a 5-star review. Super bright and ease of installation make these a must have if your bike supports them.

5 star

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As noted above in the Part 1 post I now have their new ProBeam turn signals and those suckers are even brighter then the RINGZ!

 

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While I don’t think West Virginia does enough to promote motorcycle tourism things are getting better! Four eastern West Virginia counties have joined forces to create a new push called RIDE THE HIGH FIVE. I have not traveled each of the roads listed but I have been on few plus many others in the area (check out our ROUTE 39 ride from last year). The RIDE THE HIGH FIVE web site include GPS routes and a lot of additional information, check it out.

A while back I wrote a post on the “Decline of the motorcycle”. BUT here is a article that talks about the “Most popular motorcycles among MILLENNIALS!” I have to say I was on a little surprised.

Some of the funniest motorcycle commercials!

 

Watch how not to catch a runaway motorcycle!

How about a 360 degree view of a record setting speed run up Pikes Peak on a KTM 790 Duke motorcycle!

 

 

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We are on a ride to visit the HQ of Custom Dynamics located in North Carolina.  Custom Dynamics make some very very bright LED lighting for motorcycles of all brands. 

I am a big fan of their products and thought it would be cool to check them out first hand.  Stay tuned for post all about Custom Dynamics in the near future.

BTW the little gnome was guarding Old Dominion Harley Davidson.

 

 

 

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Long motorcycle trips can be very rewarding, with a lot of fun along the way. Whether you are travelling solo or with a companion, there are lots of ways to entertain yourself during those points where the scenery is not so thrilling. For those night stops, you can use these tips too.

  1. Listen to music

There’s nothing like the right soundtrack to make the road feel even more epic. Take care about playlist choice and volume – you can’t skip a track when you’re riding, and you don’t want to block out important noises which could warn you of hazards.

  1. Play counting games

If you start to get bored, you can initiate a counting game. If you’re travelling with someone else, you can make it competitive, but it works alone too. Pick something and count it – like the number of roadside pubs you pass, or so forth. You can also count decorations on houses that you pass around Christmas or Halloween.

  1. Watching films or TV

When you’re at your stop for the night, you can fill in some time by watching TV shows or films on your smart phone or tablet. If you need to download them, make sure to use a VPN connection for safety. You can also download them before you set off so you’re ready to watch.

  1. Listen to a book

A bit like listening to music, only more intellectual. You can load up an audio book on your phone and pop your headphones in to listen to a story which will accompany your journey. A lot of audio books tend to be many hours long, so this will work well.

  1. Film yourself

If you set up a GoPro camera and a microphone in your helmet, you can actually record a travel video while you ride. This is something you can edit down later and use to showcase your journey. You could even start a vlog for this purpose.

  1. Sing to yourself

If you don’t want to fill your helmet with music, how about providing your own? You can sing out loud on a long journey, especially if you’re on a long highway without much variation. It will keep you awake as you try to remember lyrics, too.

  1. Wave at people

If you’re travelling through populated areas, try waving randomly at passers-by. Especially if you spot kids, this is a lot of fun as they get excited! Only do this if it is safe, such as when you are stopped at a light. If you’re riding a long motorway or highway, you might not get a chance.

  1. Write a novel

You won’t be able to write it down, but why not make up your own fantasy world in your head? Make up a story with characters and decide what happens to them. This can be a lot of fun to stretch your creative imagination while you’re trying to find something to grab your attention.

  1. Think about life

Finally, why not use the long journey to think about life in general? You can do some real soul-searching and think about what you want out of life, and how you can get there. This is a time to answer the really big questions. By the time you reach your destination, you might have made an important decision about the rest of your life.

There can be dull moments even on the most exciting motorcycle road trips, and you can find yourself getting sleepy or bored because of the monotony. These techniques will help prevent that from now on.

Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, BizDb.co.nz and Datastical, an online resources with information about businesses. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing about green living.  Her dad was a motorcyclist and he passed that passion on to her. Sarah loves to travel the world on her motorcycle and she hopes that one of her daughters will become her partner in the near future.

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Some expert motorcycle taxi riding in the Philippines!

3 Years living on a motorcycle!

Japanese Motorcycle Special Teams At Training with Kawasaki KLX250

How much will a MOTOGP Rider make in 2018

Going to North Carolina or Tennessee to ride this year, check this out!

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This is NOT one of those typical helmet cam “adventure” video’s.  These guys had an actual camera man as part of the team.  Due to this fact the Globeriders Iceland Adventure a Motorcycle Tour of Iceland video is a lot better than most.   

I enjoyed the show.  It was quite well constructed and organized.  The editing and sound was good.  The star of the show were not the riders or the bikes it was Iceland itself. It was a lot of fun to watch them interact with the terrain and some of the Icelandic population.

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While I am not fully invested into doing the adventure biking “thing”, I prefer paved road trips, I am quite enamored with the concept.  The thought of getting a bike of this style and heading out to the off roads is quite appealing.

But for now, I have added Iceland’s Ring Road to my bucket list of rides. 

The Globeriders have documented many other exotic rides beyond the Iceland adventure.  They also host tours to these interesting locals. Check out their website here if so inclined.  

I watched this show via Amazon Prime and give it 4 Stars.

4 out 5 stars