Archive for the ‘motorcycle touring’ Category

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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.

ijustwant2ride.com

 

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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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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.

 

 

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Babes Ride Out – Not sure how I missed this from 2015 but this is a nice, short 1487353470530documentary on Babes Ride Out! Babes Ride Out founders Ashmore Ellis and Anya Violet wanted to create an environment where women bikers can come together to share their cross country journeys, triumphs, close calls and disasters on the bike. GoPro Production Artists Tina Marchman and Annemarie Hennes joined these five hundred ladies in Joshua Tree for this women’s only event. See what happens when they hit the open road.

Adventure Bikers Pwned by a Woman Riding a Harley! – LOL not only does she out ride him off road he laments get dirty!!!!  BMW GS owners hang your head in shame or laughter. 

Chasing an Off-Road biker with a Drone –  A very nice video and some fancy drone driving!  This is worth the few minutes to get a different perspective of an off road motorcycle.  

Cops Ram Speeding Motorcycle – On the night of April 21, 2017 the police saw a rammotorcycle that was driving 101km/h (62mph). Police tried to pull over a motorcycle, but motorcyclist ignored and increased vehicle speed to 200km/h (124mph). Speed limit in Tallinn city is 50km/h (31mph). Bad guy, but does be nearly killed for speeding justify the stop? 

Bikers Prank Regular Couples at a Theater – Calsberg Beer hires out every seat prankat a movie theater except for two in the dead center.  Bikers dressed the part fill all the other seats.  Do any of the couples dare take their seats?

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Recently the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Company stated that they were going to introduce 50 new models in 5 years. From my perspective there are now 49 models still on the delivery line now that the “Street Rod” has hit the road. 

Ijustwant2 ride.comOver the last few years Harley Davidson has put out a lot of new stuff that appears to have been setting the stage for this 50 models in 5 years effort.  The electric motorcycle prototype “Live Wire” (which I got to test ride), the Street 500/750, the water cooled 104 and Milwaukee 8 engines are what I think are the underpinnings of this 50 models in 5 years push. 

So with 49 motorcycle models still to go what can we expect? Harley Davidson has already stated that there is going to be a production electric motorcycle by 2020.  In my mind that would be two additional models, one a variant of the Street line and one a cruiser (maybe based on the Dyna?).  Which gets the 50 models in 5 years down to 47 unknown bikes.   

NOW for question.  Just WHAT would you like to see in that list of 50 models in 5 years?  We spoke on that during the show #401 of the DawgHouse Motorcycle Radio show a while back.  One of my ideas would be a true sport touring motorcycle.  Something that would push back on the BMW and Triumph sport touring motorcycles.  Harley Davidson did have a sport touring motorcycle in the past, the FXRT which, seemed to have good reviews.  I just never remember seeing one. 

If you were charged to creating one of the 50 models in 5 years what would it be?

Struggling to decide where to ride or tour on your motorcycle in the coming season?  How about the two following websites to help generate some ideas. 

The first site is a repeat of one from an earlier post. A few years ago I wrote about a website that could help you plan some cool motorcycle tours.  This site by the Federal Highway Administration (can you believe that the federal government got a website right?) is called the American Byways.  America’s Byways is an interactive, map based, website that will provide you a listing of each of the 150 different roads.  Those roads are comprised of the National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads. You can select the road from a national or state map to see basic information on the road (length, average time to travel the road and historical background) as well as route maps, directions and photos. 

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Interactive map of American Byways

The second website to help you pick some motorcycle rides or destinations is “Only in Your State”. With this website you can find some out of the way or quirky places that you may never even heard or read about near your home.  For example, here in Virginia, this website recommends the “Southern Virginia’s Donut Trail Is Everything You’ve Dreamed Of And More”.  So the saying “Ride to eat. Eat to ride” fits in well.

Ijustwant2ride.com

 

There are a lot of other websites like this out on the ‘ole interwebs.   If you have one that you like to use when it comes to finding a destination for motorcycle ride, tour or destination please share in the comments below!!!