Posts Tagged ‘ride’

By now most, if not all, motorcycle enthusiasts know about the new Harley Davidson Pan American adventure bike.  I am not going to go over specs or stuff like that. 

Most of the “big time” motorcycle sites have stated that this Harley is going to give the BMW GS a run for the money.  That maybe true as on paper it seems the Pan American has a slight edge, according to those “big time” sites. 

If you want to see for yourself then now is the time.  Harley is taking the Pan American for an on/off road demo tour across the United States. Here is the link for you to SIGN UP for the demo if you interested.

Here are all the sites that the demo tour will stop.

4/16/21 – 4/18/21 – Dallas TX

The Bartonville Store, 96 McMakin Rd., Bartonville, TX, 76226

4/23/21 – 4/25/21 – Albuquerque, NM

Thunderbird Harley-Davidson, 5000 Alameda Blvd NE, 5000 Alameda Blvd NE, NM, 87113

4/30/21 – 5/2/21 – Phoenix, AZ

Westgate Entertainment District, Lot 9, next to Aloft Hotel, 6751 N. Sunset Blvd., Glendale, AZ, 85305

5/14/21 – 5/16/21 San Jose, CA

Metcalf Motorcycle County Park, 300 Metcalf Rd. , San Jose, CA, 95138

5/21/21 – 5/23/21 – Lake Elsinore, CA

Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park, 20700 Cereal St., Lake Elsinore, CA, 92530

5/28/21 – 5/30/21 – Sacramento, CA

Harley-Davidson of Sacramento, 1000 Arden Way, Sacramento, CA, 95815

5/7/21 – 5/9/21 – Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas Harley-Davidson, 5191 S Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV, 89119

7/30/21 – 8/1/21 – Madison, IL

World Wide Technology Raceway, 700 Raceway Blvd, Madison, IL, 62060

7/9/21 – 7/11/21 – Idaho Falls, ID

Grand Teton Harley-Davidson, 848 Houston St , Idaho Falls, ID, 83402

8/13/21 – 8/15/21 – Pittsfield, MA

Ioka Valley Farm, 3475 MA-43, Hancock, MA, 01237

8/6 – 8/8 – Coal Township, PA

Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, 4100 PA-125, Coal Township, PA, 17866

9/10/21 – 9/12/21 – Brighton, UT

Brighton Ski Resort, 8302 S Brighton Loop Rd, Brighton, UT, 84121

October 22nd – 24th, 2021 – Southern NY/NJ/CT

Check back soon for more information

October 29th – 31st, 2021 – Loudon, NH

New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1122 NH-106, Loudon, NH, 03307

Ride On, Ride Safe

James Madison’s Montpelier

As noted in in Part 1 of this Quarantine Motorcycle Ride series on the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway, had to occur over three seasons.  Part 2 Leesburg to Montpelier occurred last summer.

This leg of the ride started on a cool summer morning.  Blue skies, white puffy clouds, and the local weatherman, promised a comfortable day to ride the motorcycle.

Our eyes and the weatherman were right! Our ride on the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited motorcycle was smooth and sweet.  Great tunes and light traffic made this leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway nothing short of great.

This part of the Byway is packed full of sites that just beg to be stopped and explored as this part of Virginia is packed with history and historical sites.

Getting to Montpelier took us past the following historical sites, and these are the major sites. There are many, many smaller sites in each of the towns you pass through.  This leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway can, by itself, could take a week to work your way though.

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park | Nova Parks

George C. Marshall’s Home

President’s Monroe’s Oak Hill

Bull Run Battlefield (1st and 2nd Battle for Manassas)

This section also passes though the Northern Virginia wine and brewery corridor.  For example, there are over a dozen breweries and 30 vineyards in Loudon county alone! Just do not drink and ride, of course!

Of course, the destination of this motorcycle ride was the home of President James Madison’s home Montpelier.  Montpelier was the plantation home of the Madison family, including the fourth President of the United States James Madison and his wife Dolly.

Montpelier is both a National Historic Landmark and part of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Completed in 2008 a major restoration (by the National Trust), in part to return the mansion to its original size of 22 rooms.

Archeological investigations provided information on African-American life at the plantation. Philanthropist David Rubenstein funded and enabled the National Trust to restore the slave quarters in the South Yard and open a slavery exhibition, The Mere Distinction of Colour, in 2017.

Getting to Montpelier is a wonderful ride through historic lands.  If you are in the area, on the Journey Thorough Hallowed Ground Byway or not, take the time to stop.

This byway is 180 miles of American history. Stretching from Gettysburg, PA to Monticello, VA the byway covers sites and history from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, multiple Presidential homes, plus 18 National and State parks.  By motorcycle, this ride is a fun way to learn and honor American national heritage.

The majority of Hallowed Ground Byway is US Route 15 which runs right through our hometown.  This made it an easy decision for a motorcycle ride (like we need an excuse for a ride). 

While this should have been an easy long weekend ride for us it was anything but easy. Because of Covid and the changing quarantine restrictions we had to do this ride over 3 seasons of the lost year of 2020. We started our ride, of the Hallowed Ground Byway, at the Gettysburg Battlefield in the spring.

Part 1 – Gettysburg, PA to Leesburg, VA

Gettysburg by motorcycle is fun and it would be extremely easy to spend several days touring the battlefield and the town. You will not be the only motorcycle there, it is surprising how many folks ride their “iron” horses to the national battlefield. I highly recommend that you take a bus tour of the battlefield as the guide will provide a running commentary of what happened at each stop as well as the sites between stops.

Gettysburg by motorcycle is fun and it would be extremely easy to spend several days touring the battlefield and the town. You will not be the only motorcycle there, it is surprising how many folks ride their “iron” horses to the national battlefield. I highly recommend that you take a bus tour of the battlefield as the guide will provide a running commentary of what happened at each stop as well as the sites between stops.

At the time we rode this leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway most of the historic sites were open with very tight restrictions. Many of the indoor facilities were closed but you could still visit the outdoor sites.

I cannot speak to a lot of regarding local accommodations in Gettysburg. Being only a little over an hour from home we did not need to stay overnight. There are a lot of hotels, campgrounds, and such but with the quarantine limitations in place, few were open. Restaurants were mostly restricted in Pennsylvania and less so in Maryland (at that time).

The day of the ride was overcast and cool. The motorcycle was running well, and we were ready for a day behind bars.  We rode around most of the Gettysburg Battlefield stopping a few of key points of the battle before heading south on the byway.

The ride south from Gettysburg is an easy county ride on both 2 and 4 lane roads.  There are MANY, MANY places to stop along this leg of the Hallowed Ground Byway for example:

National Museum of Civil War Medicine

Multiple covered bridges

Antietam National Battlefield

Multiple State Parks

Vineyard, Breweries and Distilleries

Monocacy National Battlefield

Catoctin Mountain Scenic Byway

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Unfortunately for us most everything was closed or very restricted. This day was more about the ride and being with each other than about the sites.  One thing that is true is the couple that rides together tends to stay together. On this daytrip we had a great time, just the two of us.

The next leg will cover the Hallowed Ground Byway from Leesburg to Montpelier, home of President James Madison.

Ride On, Ride Safe

The motorcycle riding Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) and friends are back on TV for season 5.  The show is on AMC (check local listings) and streaming AMC.COM.

I just finished watching episode one, in which Norman and Josh Brolin (Avengers/Deadpool) ride New Zealand’s North island. In addition to the normal tourist “stuff” like the Lord of the Rings Hobbit village and glow worms the show really discusses the impact of the Māori on New Zealand and Māori  culture.

I have reviewed previous seasons of the show and found them mostly enjoyable with the exception of the sound quality when talking between bikes.  This season sound is better but at times still difficult to understand.  Is the technology not there or is a style choice?

A running joke during the show was how people would recognize Norman but not Josh/Thanos.  That was funny, guess the makeup and special affects worked because no one recognized Josh.

I will watch the rest of the season.

It is that time of year again, winter in the northern hemisphere. A time where many of us will begin to suffer from PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome), especially after the lost year of 2020.

Many of us will be tempted to get out and ride on a bright, warmish day, I know I will.  But take inconsideration the following tips if you decide to get out and ride.

9 – ATGATT! – means even more in the winter.  Not only should you dress for the slide you have to dress to stay warm, hypothermia can set in quickly if you are not prepared.  Wear layers under you motorcycle jacket and pants. If your outer layer supports armor, make sure it is installed.

8 – Watch for hidden ice – While you think you may be out on a sunny dry day frost and ice can linger in the shadows. Remember the rule about scanning ahead?  Now that small covering of leaves at the apex of the next turn may hide a patch of ice.

7 – Cold Motorcycle Tires – You know this, but it is worth reminding.  Your tires will take longer to warm up and may never reach the optimal grip temperature. Make sure you account for your lack of grip during breaking, accelerating and in turns.  A little fish tail at the stop light with warm tires can be interesting, on cold tires it could cause a crash.

6 – Tire Pressure – You really need to ensure your PSI is correct for the conditions.  Most tires have a year-round recommendation, some may have a different recommendation for winter.  Also, if you have not noticed, motorcycle tires seem to lose pressure in the winter.  Make sure your tires are at the proper PSI before every winter motorcycle ride.

The ultimate winter motorcycle tire

5 – More Tire Notes – Pay attention to the tread on your tires. Have the track day slicks on the bike, not a great idea for winter riding. Do not have much tread left? Not a good idea to go for a winter motorcycle ride. If you are going to be riding a lot of cold days, look for something that has a more rugged tread design.

4 – Install a Windshield – It is quite likely there is a windshield for your motorcycle.  If possible, find one and install it for your winter rides.  Not only will it reduce the wind it will also cut down on the splashing and spray from other vehicles. 

3 – Your Hands Need Attention – Your hands are out in the wind all the time and they are at the end of your circulatory system. Because of this they will get cold faster than the rest of your body. Heated grips help as well as a good set of windproof gloves designed to keep your hands warm. Pay close attention to the conditions of your hands so you can grab that clutch or break if you need to.

2- Heated Gear – If you plan on riding your motorcycle in cold weather a lot, invest in heated gear.  There is a lot of brands out there but make sure you purchase the one that will work best for you.  Can you plug it into your motorcycle, or do you need a battery pack?  Heated gloves, pants, jackets, base layers are all available, just figure out what works for your style of riding.

1 – Do not Ride if it is Below Freezing – Below freezing means ice will form. Below freezing means your bike might not perform as you expect.  Below freezing means it is just not worth the risk.

Ride on, Ride Safe

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We pulled out of our driveway on a cool, crisp Friday morning for a long weekend motorcycle ride.  By cool & crisp I mean 51 degrees Fahrenheit, a little less with wind chill, of course. We knew it was going to be at least that or a bit less on Skyline Drive.

We had decked ourselves out in appropriate clothing and closed the vents of the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited, so the chill was not very noticeable. Otherwise, the sun was out with blue sky all about and traffic out of town was quite light.

It took us about an hour to get from home to the northern terminus of Skyline Drive in Front Royal, Virginia. I really think that the state could do a bit better job of signage to get people to the park.  I knew where it was but, until you are right upon it the signs are few and far between.

A lot of motorcycles on the road!

Once we were on Skyline Drive the cool air got a bit cooler! There was nearly a 10-degree difference from the valley to the top of the mountain.  While we did notice it, and I turned on the heated grips, the motorcycle seemed to love the cool air and purred as it rolled up, down and around the ridge.

The leaves had not yet started to change colors or drop from the trees, but the greens were awesome to view. I do have another complaint, maybe it is a by-product of Covid 2020 but several of the overlooks really did not overlook.  The trees and bush build up limited the view on some of the stops.   Only a minor disappointment as the day was so nice!

We reached the southern terminus of the parkway late afternoon and headed to our hotel in Charlottesville, VA. The next day we went to some local site like Monticello. Our return tip was via the American BywayJourney Through Hallowed Ground Byway”, which will be documented on another post.

It was our anniversary by the way!

Skyline Drive by motorcycle really shows that the adage “Riding in car is like watching a movie. Riding on a motorcycle is like being in the movie” is absolutely true.

If you live on the east coast this ride needs to be on your bucket list.

Ride On, Ride Safe

q1

My daughter and grandsons came from Denver to visit!  Ashely only got to spend a short time with us but, the grandsons will spend most of the summer between the two sets of grandparents.  Looking forward to some time with them!

One of the things on Ashley’s “to do” list was a motorcycle ride.  With the Covid quarantine lock down still going on strong in Maryland and Virginia I decided to ride out to Berkeley Springs, WV.q2

Berkeley Springs was the first “spa” in America, where people would go to “take the waters”.  Berkeley Springs history goes back to the at least the 1740s when George Washington reportedly took a bath in the spring water. Berkeley Springs is also on the George Washington Heritage Trail (an America Byway).  I rode this byway a few years ago you can read about it here. An awesome ride for a motorcycle by the way!

Ashley having a good time!

Ashley having a good time!

For our ride we pulled out on the motorcycle mid-morning.  The sun and puffy clouds were out, and the temperature was more than reasonable. A mix of rock and country music playing through the Harley Davidson speakers provided a background soundtrack for our ride.

My plan was to take a lot of backroads and end up at our destination about 1PM.  The motorcycle was humming along as we rode through Virginia and Maryland.  We crossed both the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers as well as Cortactin Mountain and eastern side of the Alleghenies. The views were idyllic and the ride smooth and comfortable.

It couple hours later we arrived in Berkeley Springs. Ashley, much like me, is a bit of a q3history nut and we spent a some time in the museum before our stomachs told us it was lunch time.  Walking down main street we decided to have lunch at the Naked Olive Lounge.  This was a particularly good decision!

They were at serving at a reduced capacity and disinfecting everything as people left, per the Covid free directions. The atmosphere was nice, the wait staff/person was friendly, but the best part was the food, excellent.  I will be going back soon.

After lunch it was time to head back home.  Mounting the motorcycle and pulling out we took a more direct route home. Ashley wanted to go to an antique store before she went back to Denver the next day so she and the wife had their afternoon.

I had a great day out with my daughter!

 

Ride on, Ride Safe

IMG_20200516_135828779_HDR

Just a short motorcycle ride, just a bit over one hundred miles. Really nothing more than loop through northern Virgina and Maryland. BUT, we were out of the house, we were out on the bike, the weather was great (for a change) and it was fun!

Leaving our home in the late morning, it was still jacket wearing temperatures but with copious sunshine and a promise of great riding weather. Heading north we crossed both the Catoctin Mountain and creek before dropping down into Brunswick Maryland. The main street was like a ghost town. No lights in the windows and no one on the street. It is going to sad that when the quarantine is over that most of these building will still be vacant.

We did drop down next to the Potomac River and the Brunswick section of the C&O Canal to have a picnic lunch. There were a lot of folks moving along the canal towpath on hikes or bikes (peddle type). Everyone was observing the rules about social distancing so no need to freak out.

IMG_20200516_123801788_HDRBack on the motorcycle we headed up the mountain and stopped at the War Correspondents Memorial. This memorial is way out in the middle of know where but is an interesting and atypical to most memorials.  I wonder how many war correspondents are even aware of it?

From here we road about other hour heading south back into Virginia and then to home. A short motorcycle ride but one that was greatly needed.