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The best part of the 2017 motorcycle riding season is nearly over for this year.  But we did put a dent into our motorcycle bucket list! We love touring these places by motorcycle. 

During out 2017 motorcycle vacation we made it to Nigeria Falls and Mount Washington.  We also knocked out the Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway.  All three were on our bucket list. 

Because we knocked a few items off the list I added a couple more.  I added Mount Rushmore, Beartooth Pass and US Route 50 coast to coast to our motorcycle bucket list! 

What’s on your list?

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This was a fantastic road to ride a motorcycle. All I can say is WOW.   

This byway gets its name due to the many rivers, creeks, and streams that you cross or ride your motorcycle parallel to throughout the length of the road.  The Mury, Gauley and Cow Pasture rivers just to name a few, each with fantastic vistas.  Additionally, the road crosses five counties in both Virginia and West Virginia.  We started our Route 39 motorcycle ride in Lexington VA. 

Riding out of Lexington you are in the Shenandoah Valley but quickly start to ride over the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain system.  This is the first hint at what will become a very cool, repeating mix of twisty mountain roads and smooth valley cruising.  

b (14)One of the neat things about this ride is the fact that the tourism/visitor centers for each of the counties have worked together to “lure” motorcyclist on to the byway. If you desire you can download a “passport” from the Scenic Route 39 website. If you make the stops to get your passport stamps you can earn a Route 39 lapel pin.  Additionally, they also offer a chance to earn a challenge coin, if you can correctly answer enough questions about geocaches.  We did both and the stops you make to fulfil the requirements are a lot of fun and make good breaks from the road.  

Our first stop was the Millboro Mercantile in Millboro VA. This is the quintessential small country ijustwant2ride.comstore, there even is a payphone outside. From my view the best part of this little store was the “extreme” taxidermy.  I have never seen a vampire or carnivorous deer until that day!  Oh, and sticking with the waterway theme, a creek runs under and next to the store itself.

b (12)Back on the bike we were off to our next destination. This portion of our motorcycle ride was through a mountain valley, the view from the saddle showed that fall is upon us.  The beginning of fall is well marked with the spots of color scattered across the mountainsides. It was not long before we made it to Webb’s General Store for our next passport stamp AND a glass bottle of Dr. Pepper with real sugar! OMG was it good!  Even if you don’t ride your motorcycle the length of the Byway, the ride through Rockbridge and Bath counties in Virginia is worth your time. 

It is shortly after you leave Webb’s that you leave the foothills and begin the climb into the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. LOTS of turns and climbs/descents of 6-9%! A motorcycle rider’s version of a rollercoaster.  Crossing the border into West Virginia (our home state BTW) we continued riding b (17)the rollercoaster until we dropped back into another valley and entered the town of Marlinton (don’t add a G, they even have a song or poem about not adding the G).  The visitor center for Pocahontas County, in Marlinton, is one of the passport stops and we had a great visit at the visitor’s center.

We talked with a couple of the employees but primarily with Molly.  We had a great conversation about what is going on in the area, about tourism and motorcycle tourism. It is my opinion that, for some reason, West Virginia just has not become a motorcycling touring/riding destination.  Many of the roads and accompanying attractions rival or even exceed east Tennessee and the Tail of the Dragon.  I will give the Pocahontas County Visitors Center a lot of credit though, they even have a motorcycle touring section on their website. 

b (21)The rest of the ride was much like the first, whipping the bike through the mountains and relaxed cruising along valley or ridgetop roads. More wonderful views and fresh mountain air all around.  So enough we arrived in Summerville and the end of our Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway but not our weekend. 

Riding south out of Summerville about 30 minutes we were visiting my mom in my hometown of Ansted, WV.  We also participated in the Hawks Nest State Park’s 42nd Annual Country Roads festival, a celebration of local craftsmen and mountain heritage.  

This park is also the start of one of the best motorcycle roads in the state.  The ride up or down Gauley Mountain on US Route 60 is an 8-mile ride on a moving serpent’s spine.  Multiple 90+ degree turns, including some approaching 180 degrees, is a floorboard dragging, smile inducing part of Wild Wonderful West Virginia.  Oh, Route 60 is also the Midland Trail Byway, 180 miles of which quite a few are mountain twistiness.  

To soon it was Sunday morning.  Back on the motorcycle we headed home across Route 39 and it was just as much fun going east as it was coming west.  Heck we even turned around in a few places to ride that section again.  An 800 mile round trip might seem a lot for a 3 day weekend…but the fun of 39 made it a blast. 

I highly recommend Route 39 as a road every motorcycle rider should experience.  I cannot imagine why any rider would be disappointed. 

 

 

 

 

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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.  

 

As we all know all the safety gear we wear and all the safety tech on our motorcycles are just not enough at times.  Awareness of motorcycles by drivers of cars and trucks is as important as everything we do. 

 

So to help improve the awareness of others (and therefore ourselves) we need to start teaching children to watch for motorcycles.  That is why the idea of teaching kids to count motorcycles instead of “punch bugs” is so important.  If they are watching for motorcycles as kids they will have an easier time seeing them when they start to drive.  Thus our safety as motorcyclist is improved.  The payoff is in the future but let’s invest now. 

 

Make a game that has a small reward when they spot “X” number of motorcycles. Ask your non-riding friends to do this with their children.  Mention it at events and gatherings, just get the word out.  You know when a 6 year old yells “motorcycle” that their parent is going to see it to!!

 

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Wow! 

When I started this blog, and still today, I just write and post about motorcycle “stuff” that is of interest to me and my wife.  Our rides, stuff we try out, motorcycle themed media are just some of the items we post about.

I never really thought that a lot of folks, beyond family and friends, would be interested in our motorcycling adventures. But, we have over 6500 folks keeping up with blog, way more than I would have ever expected!

Now we have been selected as one of the “Top 100 Motorcycle Blogs To Follow”! To say we were surprised by this selection would be an understatement.  Coming in at #69 means that we still have room to improve!

So what’s next for our motorcycle blog?  Just more of the same, LOL.  But, if you guys have any ideas for what you would like to see just post a comment.

 

THANK ALL OF YOU THAT FOLLOW THIS BLOG!

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!!!

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Most years the wife and I take a long motorcycle trip or tour to somewhere.  Last year we went to New Orleans via the Harley Owners Group Rolling Rally.  The year before we went on a long ride that passed through Myrtle Beach, SC then through the mountains of Tennessee. At other times we have rode the motorcycle to Atlantic City and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. 

So one would think we would have this the planning process for motorcycle trips and tours down by now.  Well we do, step one we decide on a destination.  This year is being a bit problematic, we really can’t agree on where or what to do.  We have had a dozen ideas but none have really hit a cord.  The northeast, Niagara Falls, Canada, Harley Davidson HQ… who knows.  And that indecision is the peril as I have to schedule vacation and if we what to see anything that requires preplanning time is running short.

I am sure we will do something… I just do not know what yet!

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As a product of the 1970s I loved CHiPs as the best motorcycle TV show of its time (LOL it might have been the only one)!  Ponch and Jon riding their motorcycles to “protect and serve”, it was a lot of fun.  Now we have a CHiPs move coming out in March of 2017.

I am looking forward to the CHiPs The Movie but I am aghast at what has to be a horrible, terrible, awful plot hole that, in the end, may ruin the movie for me.  It is not the fact that are riding BMWs not Kawasaki. In this motorcycle themed movie based on iconic, beloved characters …..

“Ponch does not exist!!!!!”

In the movie trailer “Ponch” is the undercover name of an FBI agent tasked with finding the bad cops in the highway patrol.  “Jon” still exists; he is a rookie cop on this first assignment teamed with the fake Ponch.  But I don’t know how there can be a ChiPs movie without a “real” ponch!

Check the movie trailer below and let me know if I a wrong!!!

I will go see the movie but this is almost too much to take!  🙂

Last year I posted my 9 Weird Motorcycles for 2015 and there were some real strange ones on that list.   This year there is just as many wild ones.

I just saved the pictures of the weirdest, custom motorcycles though out the year from Facebook, Twitter and where ever else I ran across them.  The list of candidates for 2016 weird motorcycles was very large so I decided to post about the top “runners-up” in this category.  I will post the weird winners in a few days.

If you have any candidates you would like to submit for the 2017 list of weird motorcycles, just let me know!

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Motorcycles are one of the most sought after vehicles, not only for those great people that want to purchase one of their own to ride and enjoy, but also for those that lean towards the darker side of life and seek bikes out to steal. Yes, motorcycles are a huge commodity for thieves and other unscrupulous souls who enjoy taking what they can get and making a profit off it even when it does not belong to them. As a legal bike owner, there are a few things you may want to consider to keep your bike safe from thieves and ready for you to ride when you need to unwind with a little solitude down a long and winding road.

The summer months between July and September are the months with the highest risk for bike theft while the months between November and March have the least risk. This means that right now is the perfect time of year to get your bike geared up for the upcoming spring and summertime. If you live in states including California, Texas or Florida, you may benefit from knowing that these states have the highest risk of theft in the U.S. for motorcycles and being diligent when it comes to security is a wise decision to make. When you own a great motorcycle, keeping it safe should be a top priority.

Averting Bike Theft

There are numerous ways to avert bike theft and help keep your motorcycle safe and sound from thieves. A few of these ideas for security include:

  • Install an alarm
  • Lock the ignition
  • Lock the motorcycle to a building
  • Keep the bike in a locked garage
  • Install a remote engine kill switch

Something that many bikers try is to have large chains to hold the bike in place securely. While this is something that may cause thieves think twice before they approach a bike they may be attempting to steal, it also makes it a bit arduous for the bike owner to have to carry around a large, and usually heavy, chain or to find somewhere to store it when parking in public. Another drawback to a large chain is that on many bikes, chains simply will not fit on a modern bike in any area that would prevent theft. So, if a bulky chain is out of the question, what type of locks work the best when trying to prevent motorcycle theft?

Locks That Work

Bulky chains aside, there are a few great locks that work well when you need to keep the bike safe whether it is parked at home or in the middle of a crowded parking lot. Here are just a few of the better locks available on the market today:

Ground Anchors with Locks

The Immobiliser Self Fit Defiant Ground Anchor, made in Britain by Almax Security Chains, attaches into concrete or brick and has a 15 ton pull resistance. It is a very solid anchor system and with its roller construction it is impenetrable to hacksaws and other common tools that thieves will try to use.

Disc Locks

Disc Locks have been found to be an exceptional way to keep a bike locked safely to prevent theft. One great disc lock, the Xena XX15 Disc Lock produced by Revzilla, includes a maximum security barrel and key, a double locking system and an alarm that is triggered by motion and shock to produce a very loud, piercing squeal that is sure to garner a great deal of attention.

Standard Locks

While large, bulky chains may be out of the but Kryptonite, an action sports security supplier, manufactures locks and chains that are secure, simple to use and easy to carry when riding. With a simple lock and key, you can chain your bike to a post or wall with an anchor where the bike will be safe while you are away.

Home Security for Bikes

A great deal of bikers think about keeping their bikes safe when they are traveling or when they need to park for an extended time, but some fail to consider the one place that needs to be secure. Your home. Whether your motorcycle is parked in the driveway, on the street in front of the house or even safely tucked away in the garage, security should be a top concern, especially at home.

Thieves will watch a home to see what your habits are. They will learn when you leave the house, when you return and even what time the lights go out which signals to them that you have retired for the night. Hiring a top notch security firm to come out and install security cameras on your property is the perfect way to deter a thief because when they see a camera, they know they will risk being caught by the police if they steal the bike. If the bike is garaged, having an alarm installed is a good idea to prevent break-ins and to keep the bike safe while indoors. Having adequate home security when you own a motorcycle, whether the bike is valued at $5000 or $50,000, is the best way to keep your bike as well as you and your family, safe from thieves and other crime.

*** Neither Jason or IJUSTWANT2RIDE are endorsing any of the mentioned products.  The intent of this article is to give you ideas on products that you should research for yourself. ***

Jason Mueller is an entrepreneur living in Costa Rica with family from Canada.  After graduating from high school and getting his pilot’s licence he lived to travel the world looking for adventure.  He is currently working with A-1 Auto and is the owner of Jaco Ropes.

Jason has also provided two additional guest posts to this blog.  Shipping Your Bike Overseas? Things to consider!  and Motorcycle Riding in Paradise; Costa Rica.  Check them out when you have some time!

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“My life lives inside me… that is what riding an old Harley teaches you.”  A quote from the movie that is what “Easy Rider would had been if it were a motorcycle documentary.

21-bThe premise of “21 Days Under the Sky” is four friends riding old school Harley Davidson choppers across America and the fun, trouble and adventure they find.  By old school I mean vintage Sportsters, Shovel and Knucklehead motorcycles. Their bikes have small tanks and more then a few break downs during their cross-country trip. This film interspaces vintage pictures and film clips from the 1960-70s with the travels and troubles of these friends as they ride US Route 40.

Broken frames, flat tires, running on empty and the age of their motorcycles plague 21-cthe riders.  But they also have some great times along the way.  Deviating from their planed route they stop by the Bonneville Salt Flats only to find it under a few inches of water.  They don’t allow the water to dampen the fun and the ensuing frolic makes for some beautiful and fun photography.

I have to say I loved the cinema photography of 21 Days Under the Sky.  But that was offset by the pretentious of the narration. While much of the movie’s narration was perfectly fine there was just enough ostentatious, almost pompous, sections of the script to gag a goat.

At 70 minutes the movie highly compresses their 21 day trip from San Francisco to New York City.  If you do the math they really did not ride that far each day, unless you count the time and distance they had to make up for each problem that put them to full stop. It would be very interesting to see what was left on the cutting room floor.

Currently on Netflix, 21 Days Under the Sky is worth your time.  Vintage motorcycle, old school choppers, a motorcycle ride across America is a formula for success, right?! I give it 4 out of 5 stars and I will watch it again.  Also, remember that this motorcycle movie claims “The next new thing is just ahead”!

4 out 5 stars