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If you follow me on FaceBook (which most don’t as I don’t really push it) or Twitter you know that I collect Harley Davidson Motorcycle Dealership Pins.  Debbie and I also collect pins that remind us of our motorcycle rides to various destinations.

This year we collected motorcycle ride pins during out nearly 3000 mile vacation ride, touring along a couple of the Great Lakes and into New England.  Neither of us had been into the northeast United States for anything beyond a business trip, so that is why we chose to go there this year.  You can read about our rainy, soggy, drenched motorcycle vacation starting here.

We rode to so some pretty cool places along the way.  On White Face Mountain we got to see the inside of a rain cloud and at Ben & Jerry’s we tasted a new ice cream that is not yet on the market.  All in all we had a great time touring and these motorcycle ride pins will be conversation starters moving forward.

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Designing a motorcycle garage is an important task for an avid bike owner, but it’s not something that you can accomplish easily on your own. There are many considerations to make, and it’s best to talk with an experienced garage contractor that can help walk you through the different decisions to be made. Give the process some consideration and consult with a professional to help you think of all the different decisions that must be made.

Get a Heated Space

One of the best investments that you can make for a productive motorcycle garage is on heat and cooling. Wrenching occurs in the cold winter months as well as the heat of summer, and it’s nice to have permanent heating and cooling systems in place to make working on your bikes more enjoyable overall.

Focus on Plenty of Lighting

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When hiring a contractor to take on your lighting tasks for your garage, make sure there are plenty of overhead lights, as well as some switch outlets that you can use to put in even more lighting. The lighter the better when it comes to working on some specific areas of bikes, so spending a bit more money here is essential and a good solid investment.

Invest in a Capable Ventilation System

Whether you want to paint up that new ride to give it a more attractive look, you’re stripping away old paint with a strong solvent, your sanding down your bike and creating lots of dust and debris, or you’re just building a new tool rack out of wood, ventilation is important. Invest in a powerful ventilation system that’s going to remove the particles from the air and keep your space nice and fresh, and you can enjoy tackling more jobs in the comfort of your bike garage, and avoid taking them outdoors.

Get the Proper Amount of Space

bike garageMotorcycles are small, so many people don’t make a spacious enough bike garage. Those people only think about the bikes themselves, not all the tools and machinery necessary to work on them. That could be a mistake, because there is a lot of equipment that’s nice to have. Lifts, parts cleaners, air compressors, work benches and a whole bunch of other tools will probably find their way into your space. It’s best to make sure you have the space to accommodate them all. That’s why you should add on extra space that you don’t believe you will use when coming up with the details of your space with the contractor. You will use the space, trust us.

Building the ideal motorcycle garage takes time, but with help from a contractor you can get just the right space for your needs that you’ll be happy to call your own. Take the time to consider everything that you’ll want inside, and then make sure everything is included at the time of building for best results.

Jason has a couple other posts on IJUSTWANT2RIDE including please check them out!

Products to Lock Up Your Motorcycles to Keep Them Safe! 

Motorcycle Riding in Paradise; Costa Rica

Ijustwant2ride.com

It all just rolls up into itself, quite neat!

In an earlier post, I discussed and reviewed the Bone Dry Motorcycle Seat Cover, you  This is an update to that initial product review.

We have been using the Bone Dry Motorcycle Seat Cover for over a year.  It has been used not only to keep the seat dry from rain/dew but also to keep the seat from frying our behinds on hot sunny days.

This year during our motorcycle vacation the seat cover got more then it’s fair share of use and abuse.  If you viewed the blog posts of our vacation, you will quickly find out that it rained on us A LOT.  The Bone Dry Seat Cover lived up to its sales’ pitch, if the seat was dry when we put the cover on it was dry when we took it off.

After a year of use I stand by my initial review 100%.  This product is worth your money. It has held its color, stitching is still in good shape and it still keeps the seat of the motorcycle dry. Below is a video of me removing the seat cover after a night of multiple storms

 

After this last motorcycle vacation we have “knocked off” the entire east coast of the US and Ontario, Canada.  We have truly enjoyed the touring we have completed thus far and are looking forward to exploring the western regions of the US next.

Maybe we will do something in the Rockies next.

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Well during our 2017 Motorcycle Vacation ride I was able to get the wife to two more “old world” cities!  Not sure if she still thinks this is funny.

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WELL…. Pulling out of the B&B and heading south on the Maine coast in a blue sky morning was just a picture perfect motorcycle vacation, too bad it did not last. With Boston and New York on the horizon we were not thrilled with the thought of the traffic that lay ahead.  Our intention was to ride around Boston on I495 and then head south west toward New York. 

Those plans did not really hold hard due to a series of rain storms.  With rain drops the size of small birds smacking me in the face and my glasses fogging up repeatedly we decided to pull off early and find a room… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  It seems that every hotel along the I95 corridor was sold out!  WARNING….do not travel on the I95 corridor during the summer vacation season if you are free-styling (i.e. no real plan). 

Luckily for us our daughter jumped on the computer and started looking for a hotel while we were riding.  During one of the stops, attempting to hide from the rain, she called and told us we had a room….in Rhode Island. The hotel was about 50 miles away and it was raining hard, sigh.  BUT (insert a choir of angels going AHAAAAAA) all of a sudden the clouds cleared and the rain stopped.  According to the weather radar that was not what was supposed to happen.  Not looking a gift horse (Trojan horse) in the mouth we quickly remounted our steed and took off.  The rain, and some hail, resumed almost as soon as we were checked in.  I really did not ride faster than my guardian angel could fly! 

WP_20170628_09_09_30_ProSeveral band of storms later we woke up to another beautiful morning and the weather radar showed that there was no rain anywhere!!!!!!!! Our new plan was to ride cross county to Hartford, CN then down to Danbury then on to Orange County Choppers headquarters in Newburgh, NY.   

The stop at Orange County Choppers was a blast.  Regardless of your thoughts on the WP_20170628_16_02_47_ProTeutul’s, the bikes they produced during the run of their show are just so cool to look at in person.  Too soon it was time to get back on the road.  Making it to Scranton, PA we stopped for the night.  The next morning we made the push for home. 

2982.6 miles from Virginia to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to Niagara Falls to Lake Placid, Bar Harbor and back.  Even with all the rain we endured this was a great motorcycle vacation.  If you have not stepped up to long distance motorcycle touring it is something you should consider for your future.  What you feel, see, and hear while riding your motorcycle is so much more intense and impactful then riding in a car. For me it is being in the movie not watching the movie through your windshield.

 

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Continuing our motorcycle vacation, we pulled out of Bangor early to make it Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park with enough time to enjoy the sites.  Our original plan was to spend the night in Bar Harbor but we ran out of steam before making it to Ba Habr.

WP_20170626_13_04_42_ProIt took about 90 minutes to get to downtown Bar Harbor.  We dismounted and took a walk around town, down by the harbor along Main Street and looked into some of the shops.  After about two hours we decided to ride the Acadia Loop.    

WP_20170626_11_07_17_ProOnce on the loop I soon released that that we were fully in tourist season.  Cars were lined up for miles and every parking lot was over filled.  In the first half of the loop we were sharing the park with about 100,000 of our closest friends.  The second half of the loop was a lot less filled with tourist, not including me of course.

Part of the Acadia National Park is Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the island.  Riding our Harley Davidson motorcycle to the top of the mountain we WP_20170626_12_32_00_Prowere again inundated with cars and tourist, again, not including me!   But, event with the crowd the views from the top were spectacular.  If you want to go to Acadia and Bar Harbor I highly recommend that you study the tourist season and go at the low points.  There were just too many people to truly enjoy the ride.

Making it back to Bar Harbor we decided to have lunch, buy a few trinkets and get back on the road WP_20170626_19_54_38_Proheading south.  It was a bit warm at this point but the water cooled motorcycle just putted along without any issues.  About 5PM we decided to call it a night and after looking at a few different spots decided to stay at the Spouter Inn Bed & Breakfast.

The Spouter Inn (built in 1832) is in Lincolnville Maine and is right across the road from the local beach and pier. The view from the rocking chairs on the front porch looking out was idyllic.  The breakfast part of the B&B was divine, Don and Erin are a pair of great Inn keepers.  I have to say that both Debbie and I loved our stay it was the best of our 2017 motorcycle vacation.

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Waking up to the roar of motorcycles outside our window had me jazzed to start this leg of our vacation!  Riding to the top of Mt. Washington is an item on my motorcycling bucket list, and it is about to get checked off.  But first, the most important meal of the day breakfast! 

We were in a McDonald’s mood so we stopped at the one just up the street from WP_20170625_07_47_45_Prothe hotel.  Turns out this is a “Skiing Themed” McDonald’s with six old gondola’s now serving as tables and lots of antique ski equipment scattered around “ski lodge” type paneling, very unique and very cool!  OH… and who had ever heard of Lobster Rolls at a McDonald’s? After topping off our bellies and the motorcycle’s tank we hit the road. About 45 minutes later we were at the base of Mt. Washington about to ride up the auto road.  

Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet is the highest peak in the Northeastern United WP_20170625_09_55_45_ProStates.  You can click on the link to see all the details but here are some highlights; fast wind speed ever recorded (not associated with a hurricane) and on average it snows every month of the year.  During the summer the temperatures can often be 40 or more degrees cooler at the top then the base of the mountain.  On our accent we started at a temp of 70F by the time we reached the summit the temperature was a crisp 42F. There will be a second post on our ride up and down Mt. Washington as Debbie filmed both the accent and decent of the mountain.  I will publish it at a later date after I have time to work on the raw footage.

Another interesting fact is that the operators of the auto road has contingencies for people that make it to the top and then do not want to drive their cars back to the bottom.  If you happen to be one of those folks you can take the train back to the base or ride down in a passenger van.  The operators will then drive your car to the bottom, for a fee of course! 

After getting back down we stripped off the layers (the temperature was now 76F) WP_20170625_11_40_38_Proand headed east.  Our goal was ambitious, we wanted to reach Bar Harbor, Maine.  You can tell by the title of the post we only made it to Bangor before we called it a day.  The plan now is to get up early and get on the road to Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park.    

 

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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.