Sunday, July 3, 2011


I had a chance to ride a little this weekend...when I say a little I mean a little, no big miles, no full day rides, just a and more than about 20 miles at a pop.

The highlight was getting my VTX 1800N out and riding it today. After nearly 6 weeks, and over 6,000 miles, of riding either the Triumph Rocket III Touring or the Victory Vision Tour getting back on the VTX was a true joy. The Victory and the VTX are both V-Twins, but they are NOTHING alike. In some ways that is an obvious fact. The Vision is a touring bike; made obvious by the fairing, windshield, side bags, trunk, stereo system, etc. The VTX is a more stripped down cruiser; obvious by the lack of any of those things that make the Victory a touring bike. The Victory has a belt drive and a 106CI engine (1731cc) while the VTX has a shaft drive and a 110CI engine (1795cc). The Victory weighs in at a massive 850 pounds while the VTX is a nimble 804 (seriously, even though the difference is less than 50 pounds, the VTX "feels" a lot lighter when you're lifting it off the kickstand.)

So yes, there are some obvious differences in the way the two bikes look...but there's also some obvious differences in the way they ride. One of the first things I noticed was the brakes. Honda has really perfected the linked braking system. It is so nice to be able to lay on the brakes and just come to a stop without locking anything up or having the bike act like it can't slow down fast enough. Victory could take a page out of Honda's handbook if they're looking for ways to improve an already great bike.

Another thing I noticed right away was throttle response. Don't get me wrong, the Victory is a sweet ride, and it's got plenty of power; but, it's a touring bike, designed for comfort and/or long distance riding. The VTX just feels like it can't go fast enough. The smallest twist of the throttle results in torque that you just don't find in a lot of bikes. You don't just pull away from a red light, when it turns green, you push away from it, as if the bike can't get away from that stop fast enough. In addition, the response is the same at almost any speed; you twist the throttle and the engine screams "Yes, sir!" The cost of this powerful response is noticed at the gas pump. The Victory has been getting about 41 to 45 miles per gallon on average while the VTX will only get about 35 miles per gallon with the same driving habits.

With all that being said, it's a true blessing to have my choice of two great rides to choose from.  Even with the differences, there are no complaints. :)

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

C'est la vie...

After traveling almost 7,000 miles on motorcycle, 7,000 miles by car, and 4,000 miles by plane over the past 2 months, I've decided that my major travels are through for the summer (wait...didn't summer just start?)

I still plan on posting ride updates as I take short day trips and weekend rides, but the lion's share of "big riding" is done a week early.  I had originally planned on being on the road this week, traveling down to the Blue Ridge Parkway...until I researched the Blue Ridge Parkway and realized I wanted to spend more than 2 or 3 days riding it.  The guides say that an explorative trip down the Parkway can take up to 10 days, it just didn't seem right trying to cram that into 2 or 3.  It's nice to know I have another adventure out on the horizon.

There are some valuable things I learned in my travels:

  1. Always wear long pants and long sleeves when scrambling through mountain forests, with no trails...I'm so itchy.
  2. Riding a motorcycle in the hot sun for 6 to 8 hours really takes a physical toll on your body.  Ending a day with a shower and a good meal is more pleasant than can really be described.
  3. Riding a motorcycle in the cold wet rain for 6 to 8 hours really takes a physical toll on your body.  Ending a day with a hot shower and a good meal is more pleasant than can really be described.
  4. Old friends are a great treasure. So glad I got to see a few people from long ago.
  5. When riding all day...never underestimate the value of being comfortable.
  6. Even the most comfortable hotel bed can't beat sleeping at home.
  7. Trying to sort through 34 days of mail sucks.
Is that all I learned...not really...but it's all I could squeeze out of my travel weary brain for now. :)

It's been a pleasure sharing my journey's with you. I've still got a few good rides left in me for this summer, and I'll post about them when they happen.

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let it snow...

Shiver me sure was a cold one today, eh? So much fer gettin' dem sandals out...

My first stop on the ride today was buy some more clothes. Of course, it's June, so the racks are full of shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, etc. I finally found a stack of fleece pullovers molding in the back of the menswear section and picked out two of them. I was going to buy one, but then I thought to myself, "Self, it's really cold out two." Turns out I give myself good advice and I take good advice pretty well. I stopped for gas after leaving Wally World and immediately put that second pullover on. This is the most layered I have ever been for riding: t-shirt, sweatshirt, fleece pullover, polyester jacket, fleece pullover, plus mittens...and I was still cold.

Lucky for me it's going to warm up a whole 2 degrees tomorrow.

Once I had stuffed myself securely into my Eskimo layers, I headed to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The sunshine was deceiving, trying to trick the mind into thinking it was nice and warm, while a bitter cold wind blew in steadily off Lake Superior all day long. I had originally planned on riding the full length of the park on County Road H-58. The cold left me thinking otherwise.

I managed to stop at Miner’s Falls and trek through the woods to see a nice waterfall, cutting it’s way through the limestone. Then I headed up to Miner’s Castle and the Pictured Rocks overhang. After those, I was ready to head back to the hotel and try to warm up…something I still haven’t really managed to do even several hours after returning.

I’m going to be taking a little sabbatical from my riding adventure next week. I’ll be flying out west to visit my aunt and uncle in Portland. Adventures will resume the week of the 20th.

Here are some pictures and videos from the day.

All dressed up, and glad that they caught the uni-bomber years ago...

He sees you when you're sleeping...and when you ride through Christmas.

Happy as a ice cold clam.

Miner's Castle

Me, sitting in the woods...

This little fella was pretty brave...

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Black magic...

I realized, as I was pulling into the hotel tonight, that I've ridden about 5,000 miles since I left home on May 18. I've enjoyed a great many of those...and some I have not. Today was a mix of both. The ride up to Copper Harbor brought back good memories of my visit here 5 years ago. It's also the type of ride that I think every motorcyclist looks for. The last 10 miles into Copper Harbor are like a tree lined roller coaster with rolling hills and lots of curves. The last mile or so is all down hill, so I put the bike in neutral and coasted all the way into Copper was one of the best experiences I've had on a motorcycle this year. Here is a video clip of what part of that last 10 miles looks like.

Yeah...remember that U.P. magic I was telling you about great it is to feel the cool northern breeze chase the heat right out of the air...that magic came back to bite me in the butt today. It's evil magic, voodoo magic, the kind of magic that I'm pretty sure I can find some way to blame on Voldemort. That magical weather/temperature change made this one of the most extreme days of riding, and one that I was the most unprepared for, on this trip.

It was about 80 when I woke up this morning. I took my time getting ready for today's journey. I went to Walmart and got some snacks for the hotel room. I went to Pete's Barber Shop and had what little hair was on my head shaved off. I went over to Jeffrey's for lunch...and it started to cool down. By the time I left the hotel, my motorcycle was telling me that it was only 72 outside. Ah, but there's that U.P. magic. As I rolled north on M-41, it started to get warm again...back up to 80...then 84...and it stayed that warm for quite a while. M-41 between Marquette and Houghton isn't all that spectacular. There are some scenic views as you pass by some of the lakes along the way, but nothing I felt like stopping to get a picture or two at on the way, especially since it was warm and stopping when it's warm just means sweat.

As I started to approach Houghton, the temperature started dipping. Nothing dramatic like what I described yesterday, just a slow wander down into the upper 60's and lower 70's. I had expected it to cool off as I headed north, the weather forecast for Copper Harbor said the high there would only be 58 for the day. As such, I'd packed my hoodie so as to be ready for said "coolness."

The hoodie came out and went on when I got to the Snow Pole on M-41. The snow pole is that special stop along the highway where you can see the average annual snowfall, the historic high and lows, and the snowfall measurement for last year all in one place. By the time I got there, it was down around 60 and it appeared that I'd be getting down into the 50's in relatively little time.

I rolled into Copper Harbor less than 30 minutes later. It was starting to get really cool. Before I headed up the mountain it was about 59 degrees and you could see that heavy clouds were blowing in off Lake Superior and surrounding the top of the mountain. When I got to the top, the clouds were moving in fast and furious. There was no rain, just a cool mist, but what was coming with it was unexpected...cold. I was only at the top of the mountain for about 15 minutes or so. During that time the temperature dropped about 8 degrees. It was 49 when I left...presuming it would warm up as I rode down the mountain. I was wrong, it actually got colder, down to about 46...and it stayed that cold all the way to Houghton.

I knew there had to be warmth somewhere to the south of me, so I pressed on (and maybe sped a little bit in the process.) I finally reached the southern edge of the cold front about 15 miles south of Houghton. The temperature warmed up into the mid-60's and I kept the pedal to the metal wanting to put as much distance between that cold wall and myself as possible. I managed to forget that Marquette is right on the water. About 10 miles outside of town, there was that wall...waiting for me like a frozen ninja. It attacked without the slightest warning and the next thing I knew it was down to 52 degrees.

The ride up to Copper Harbor was one of the best I've had in weeks. The ride back...meh, I've had lots better. :)

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.


No, not in the Upper Peninsula. For many residents of the state of Michigan it's just the part of the state that doesn't exist when someone asks you where you live and you point to a place on your's no wonder the Yoopers call us trolls.

The U.P. is a great destination for troll motorcyclists for many reasons. First, there's the bridge. Many consider crossing Big Mac (The Mackinac Bridge) a motorcycle bucket list item...and lore has it that only real men ride the grate. Heading west on US-2, after crossing the bridge, brings miles of beautiful state highway, marked by pine forests, sandy beaches, and sweeping views of Lake Michigan. US-2 slowly transitions from a lakeside highway to one that take a rider into the rolling hills of the western U.P. And, if hills are what you came for, the U.P. does not disappoint. Once you're on the western edge of the state, you can head back east through the Porcupine Mountains. If hills aren't your thing, maybe chasing waterfalls is, or scenic views of Lake Superior, or the craggy cliffs of Pictured Rocks, or the steep climb up Brockway Mountain Drive in Copper Harbor.

You could spend a full week touring the upper peninsula and not see half of what it has to offer...but that's not what I love most about riding up here. A day like yesterday is why I love riding into and around the U.P. A day when the ride through the lower peninsula feels like you're sitting at the gates of Hell. When it's so hot that you start wondering why you're riding at all...and then it happens. It's unpredictable. There's no official starting point or ending point. It might happen before the bridge, it might happen after. It's when the fires of Hell, that have been breathing on you all the way up I-75, are suddenly doused by a cold, stiff breeze. It's minute you're sweltering, and the next minute, literally the next minute, you're thinking you might need to pull over and put some long underwear on.

I rode up to Marquette today and experienced that magical temperature shift several times. The first was about 20 miles south of the bridge. I had been tooling along, watching my thermometer hold steady at about 98 degrees for well over 3 hours. Then, faster than you can say "Mackinac Bridge," the air temperature plummeted. It took 3 or 4 minutes for my dashboard to catch up, but when it did I was coasting along in about 80 degrees. The second dip happened about 5 miles from the bridge. Within just a few seconds it went from 80 degrees down to 70. Like I said before, you never know when this is going to happen. I've had rides where it happened about half way across the bridge. I've had rides where I was 10 or 15 minutes into the U.P. before it happened...but it almost always happens. The most chilling one today came as I approached Marquette. The temperature had climbed back up to 80 after I left Munising...then I drove around a curve in the road and the bottom dropped out...all the way down to 64, which is where it stayed until I got to the hotel.

The downside of traveling up here is time. Not counting the beauty of US-2 after crossing the bridge, it can take 8 to 10 hours of riding just to get to the "good stuff." From southern Michigan, it's just as fast, or faster, to ride to western Pennsylvania, or down to West Virginia, for mountain roads and sweeping vistas. But, the U.P. has a siren call, and it got me this year. :)

This picture, or a troll on the north side of the bridge, is from the spring of 2007.

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

God created...

Although I spent the entire day on the highway (440 miles, 7 hours 30 minutes of seat time on the bike), it was a magnificent ride through the mountains of Virginia and West Virginia. There was a scenic viewpoint of the first mountain I came to, so I pulled off to get some pictures. As luck would have it, the only cars in the lot were down at the entrance end, leaving me all the space in the world to park my motorcycle at the other end and get some great mountain shots with the bike...until the Bickersons pulled in and parked almost right next to me. A whole parking lot full of spaces to pick from, and they drive all the way to the end and park right where I need to stand to be able to get my best photos. To top it off, as soon as their doors opened it was "F-bomb" this and "F-bomb" that. Such a pleasant family, so glad they inflicted themselves on me, especially since it didn't appear that they had any interest at all in the scenic overview. So I backed up as far as I could and got a couple of crappy shots to share with you:

The view without the bike in the way.

I believe this was actually still in North Carolina (Pilot Mountain?) and was surprised that there weren't any scenic pullouts, at least none that I saw, on the whole trip up I-77.

As I traveled through the mountains, marveling at God's creation, I got to thinking about Christians, the creation story, and wondering if we don't often focus on the wrong part. It seems that so often I hear well meaning Christians passionately arguing, both amongst themselves and with non-believers, about the various aspects of creation.

First, let us address the non-believers. Why do some Christians get so red-in-the-face trying to convince non-believers that God created all this? They're non-believers. Wouldn't it be enough to take the Apostle Paul's cue and "shake the dust from our sandals" in this regard? If they were believers, trying to discredit the creation, that's a whole different issue, but they're why do I see people wasting their breath trying to "prove" something using a book and ideas that the non-believer just believes to be garbage. Seems like a waste of time and energy to me, both of which could be spent doing good for the poor, orphaned, and widows...just my two cents.

Next we have the different factions among the believers. There are those who believe God created the world in 7 literal days. There are those who believe that God created the world and let each step "cook" before moving onto the next step. There are those who believe God created the world about 10,000 years ago, and just made it look like it was 4.5 billion years old. There are those who believe God created the world 4.5 billion years ago, and "let it cook" before creating man. There are even some who believe God created the earth "a long time ago" and then scrapped the whole project and started over at some point, hence the 4.5 billion years. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Isn't the important part "GOD CREATED..."? Does the timeline really matter? Can't we just be happy with "GOD CREATED..."? Seriously, all the stuff between "God created..." and "For God so loved the world..." is great history, but it doesn't really impact anyone's salvation, does it? I'm not saying we should just forget about everything between Genesis chapter 1 and the New Testament, but when we spend time arguing amongst ourselves about the "when" instead of telling the world about the "why" aren't we wasting our time and God's?

Well, there you go, that's what happens when you put a man on a motorcycle for almost 8 hours and let him drive through the mountains.

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:The hills

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On the road again...

It was back in the saddle today, a little earlier in the week than originally planned but life happens. For one thing, I need to get the Vision back to Michigan and get it registered with "the man" (which also means paying the piper my share of sales tax.)

One thing I can say about this trip is that it's been extreme. It's either been cold, wet, cold and wet, or hot. I've been on the road for 2 weeks and had 1 day where the weather was "typical" for the region I was in for this time of year. Today was hot, hot, hot. My in-dash thermometer told me that the over the road air temperature hit 100 at 2:09PM this afternoon, and it never dropped below that for the rest of my riding day. By the time I got to Greensboro, it was showing the ambient air temperature around the bike at 105. I took a picture, just to have proof :)

Tomorrow is another day of traveling just to get from point A to point B. I need to get about 500 miles behind me in order to be able to get home on Friday around lunch time.

Oh, yeah, one last's excitement...I almost hit a black bear. YEAH, A FREAKING BEAR! I was about 12 miles east of Plymouth, North Carolina, traveling along US-64. The speed limit is 70 MPH in that area, and, with the thermometer reading nearly 100, I was not going to go any slower. As I was tooling along the highway, I noticed what looked like a very large man standing next to the highway, dressed all in black, about a half mile in front of me. As I got closer, it began to become more clear that this was not a "who" but a "what." With just a few hundred yards between us, the black bear dropped down and started to move into the roadway. I hit my brakes as hard as I could, hoping for the best. The best is what I got. The Victory Vision Tour comes standard with anti-lock brakes. They kicked in almost immediately and I slowed down far faster than I have with any bike I've ever owned. Mr. Bear was able to cross safely about 15 or 20 yards in front of me, and thanks to the ABS my brakes never locked up. Talk about exciting! That's the closest I've ever been to a bear in the wild. Had I been riding my former motorcycle, it's very likely I'd have been sliding down the highway on my butt getting ready to be bear snacks (and I'm sure I would have been nice and juicy having been baked out in the sun all day long.) A huge thank you to Victory Motorcycles for getting it right when they built this bike!

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Greensboro,United States

Sunday, May 29, 2011


I pulled into the vacation house just after three o'clock this afternoon. I was early. The cleaners were still there picking up from the last crew. I didn't bother to even ask if I could come in, I just walked around back, took my boots off and sat next to the pool, waiting for the rest of the family to show up. The sound of the waves crashing on the shore, just a few yards away, over the sand dune, helped relax my weary bones. I'm willing to admit I have weary bones. Twelve straight days of riding is a new experience. Not sure I'll ever do it again, but I can say I did it this one time.

Today was an easy ride. Took the interstate over to Virginia beach for lunch at Rockafeller's. Then I hit the back roads to get me back to the highway and on my way down to the Outer Banks. One thing I'm learning to appreciate is how well the roads are usually marked back home in Michigan. There are states that just don't bother, and it can make for a true adventure as you try to guess if the turn you just took was the one you were supposed to take or not. Apparently they expect you to know it's Princess Anne Drive, not Route 165, like it's marked on the map.

Being here on the beach for a few days will be nice. I might ride into town (literally right around the corner) but don't envision spending too much time in the saddle between now and when I leave. The weary bones are looking forward to the break. :)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Crown Point Cir,Corolla,United States

Saturday, May 28, 2011

SPF 100+

So, I need to give Rite-Aid some props. Here's a shout out for their SPF 100+ sunscreen. I've been in the blazing sun for four straight days, for over 6 hours per day, and I still look like Casper, the friendly ghost. OK, I may be exaggerating a little. Yes, I'm from Michigan (Pasty White skin tone should be an actual color in the Crayola Crayon box in that part of the country), but I'm usually burnt to a crisp after my first ride on a sunny day. I do have a bit of color in my face and arms, but it's a healthy light brown, not the crisp red that I normally wear about this time of year. Yay for sunscreen... I hate wearing that stuff. It's thick and greasy and gets all over my clothes and my motorcycle. The finger prints all over the bike are enough to drive me mad and it takes at least two showers to get it all off, only to have to put it right back on the next day...

...and no sunburns.

I had the chance to spend the night with an old friend from high school last night. Got to meet his wonderful wife and his precocious, and darling, little boy. We had a great meal together and got to watch a great game 7 in the NHL playoffs. I had to get on the road right after breakfast this morning to make my intended target for the day, but it was a great diversion from the hotels. It got me thinking that more of us probably need to spend more time visiting people we know and like...the world might be a better place for it.

It did rain today, for about 3 minutes while I was eating lunch. Just enough to get my bike wet enough to warrant wiping 4 days of road grime off and making it look mostly pretty again. Of course, 3 minutes of rain bumped the humidity up about 1000 notches, but hey, who doesn't like to sweat. :)

I also got to ride through the Chesapeake Bay bridge and tunnel system today. The $12.00 toll caught me off guard, but it was worth it. All those miles cruising along just a few yards above the water with a cool stiff breeze blowing a day of baking in the sun out of your system. The tunnel portion isn't particularly exciting, but is was still pretty neat to think that you're just disappearing below those waves, only to reappear on the other side of the tunnel, ready to enjoy a few more miles of riding over the water.

The trip today gave me time to think about what I want to do in between my next stop, the Outer Banks, and my trip out to Portland (which I've decided I'd like to fly to, rather than ride) and I think I may hear the Blue Ridge Parkway calling my name..

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Gateway Ct,Chesapeake,United States


It's Saturday morning...Friday was yesterday...let me reflect...

The Weather Channel tells me it's about 85 today. The instruments on my fairing tell me the air temperature over the blacktop is closer to 100...and it feels every degree of it.

I'm not sure who to be more upset with...The Google...or me, for listening to The Google. I've been inching down this narrow parking lot for over an hour. My left hand aches from the constant use of the clutch. My clothes are damp with sweat. I feel like I'm baking from the top side and steaming from the bottom as the heat from my engine turns the sweat to steam.

I stopped for some liquid replenishment, for me and the bike, and The Google assured me that heading south on the road I had gotten off on would be a much quicker route than getting back on the interstate. For all I know The Google may actually be right, the interstate might not be moving any faster than I am right now...but there's no way for me to know for sure.

My left hand screams in agony as I squeeze the clutch for what feels like the thousandth time in an hour. I reflect that this is not the first time I've been stuck like this...and I realize it won't be the last because this memory will soon be repressed, sent back to some dark corner of my mind, far from the place where riding a motorcycle is all fun, wind in my face, and where you never get sunburned.

Traffic finally thins out as all the people in front of me turn down their respective cul de sacs. Trees line the road and offer the relief of shade. The air moving over me feels like a dream. Here is the interstate, it's time to really get moving....only the parking lot just got wider.

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Shellburne Ct,Wilmington,United States

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not enough time...

Whew! I'm beat.

I took the long way to Rhode Island from Bangor, Maine: US-2 all the way to Gorham, New Hampshire, then Route 16 down through the White Mountain National Forest and west to I-93 on the Kancamagus Highway (Route 112). It was a great ride, although I do tend to get tired of having to slow down to 35 every 5 miles for whichever little burg I might be driving through. They need to build an express lane on some of these 2 lanes. :) The odometer on the Vision rolled over 1,000 miles just a little before I got to the hotel. The next 1,000 may be entirely different. A lot of it will be plodding down the east coast trying to find the easiest way to the Outer Banks.

What I didn't have time to do was drive up to the top of Mt. Washington. I was tempted to, but knew it would mean not getting to my hotel tonight until after 11PM. In addition, there were some pretty nasty looking clouds hovering around the top of the mountain and I did manage to get sprinkled on just a wee little bit as I was driving past. It's something I'll have to keep in the back of my mind for the next time I'm in New Hampshire.

As I made my way down the Kancamagus Highway, I got to thinking that every state has one of these...a road that is meant for riding. I know of several of them in Michigan, which then made me wonder why I was all the way over in New Hampshire...oh, yeah, the mountains! Riding US-2 out of Maine and into New Hampshire was an experience that's hard to find back home. As you head west, you're climbing almost non-stop, you just don't know it. Then, all of a sudden, you crest a hill, the trees clear, and there, splayed out before you, like the roller coaster of the gods, are the mountains. Admittedly, these aren't the Rockies we're talking about here, but they're pretty big hills none-the-less.

Picture of the dam system in Mexico...Mexico, Maine, that is.

The mountains, as seen from Kancamagus Pass, elevation around 2,800 feet.

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Post Rd,Warwick,United States

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The payoff...

Victory, thy name is...comfort.

I rode I-95 from Bangor to Medway, first thing this morning. It's actually very similar to riding the blacktop in Michigan, between Clare and Big Mac, only here in Maine there are a lot more rocks and boulders in the median and along the side of the highway.

I got off the interstate, at Medway, and took route 11 north, all the way to Fort Kent. Very beautiful ride, reminiscent of M-41 in the UP back home, only the hills here might be a little bigger and it was a longer ride. Fort Kent is right on the border, and I was surprised, but not surprised, to hear most of the adults speaking French (with a little English sprinkled in) when I stopped at McDonald's for a drink.

US-1 runs along the river, so you can see Canada for miles and miles...tends to look just like the U.S. side, only more Canadian.

US-1, from Fort Kent to Houlton, was a little less "hilly", but just as scenic. Sweeping vistas of hilly terrain and large rolling hills follow the border from north to south.

Once I got to Houlton, it was back onto I-95 for the ride back to Bangor. More of the same from the morning. Lots of trees and rocks, and very few cars or trucks.

It was about 440 miles of riding today, just a little over 9 hours actually sitting in the saddle with the bike in motion. Less than 2 hours of total stop time between when I left Bangor and when I returned.

Some random thoughts from the day:

Cruising the interstate, when there are no other vehicles, is actually very nice. The road is yours, you own it. No turbulence, no noise, just you and your ride enjoying what's there to enjoy. I had over 100 miles of this today.

Cruise control = AWESOME (especially when you have no competing traffic on the interstate.)

Riding 400+ miles and having only the things you know should feel sore feel sore at the end of the day...priceless.

Victory has put a lot of effort into crafting an excellent ride. I averaged over 40 miles per gallon today...I may have just found my new favorite transportation.

There is no way to describe, or depict, the exhilaration of cresting a hill to a sweeping view of the valley below, the road dropping before you like a roller coaster, disappearing into the twists and turns, and all you can see is where it comes out of the valley on the other side and know you you're really going to enjoy getting from here to there.

You would think that by the age of 39 a man would remember not to rub sunscreen into his eyes. I had to stop twice today, just for that reason. D'oh...

There is also no camera that can accurately portray the scenery that one takes in as one travels. The pictures below are but a poor attempt to show you just a fraction of what I saw while I was out today.

Thank God for a fairing and a windshield...those bugs would have been all over me otherwise.

Tomorrow brings a ride down to Providence, Rhode Island, via the Kancamagus Highway (otherwise known as the looooong way around.)

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Perry Rd,Bangor,United States

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The game changer...

Things took a turn for the better today.

First, it stopped raining.

Second, it's warming up, almost 72 right now.

Third, I traded the Triumph in on a Victory Vision Tourer.

I've only been able to put about 60 miles on the new bike so far, but I'll be heading out in just a few minutes to add some more. The big test will be tomorrow. I'm planning on taking some two lanes all the way to the northernmost tip of Maine and back. It should be over 450 miles total, and enough to warrant stopping back at the dealer first thing on Thursday for the first service.

The Victory gives up a lot to the Triumph in terms of power. On the highway, it goes fast, just not as quickly as the Triumph could; but, what it gives up in power it gains back in features. Full fairing, stereo system with auxiliary inputs, heated seats, lots of little data related add-ins in the dash. To put it bluntly, the Victory is a touring bike designed for riding thousands of miles on a long trip like this. The Triumph is a touring bike,'s just not my touring bike.

Tomorrow is looking very promising in terms of the weather. It should be sunny from the time I hit the road in the morning until well after I get back to the hotel. Thursday is looking pretty good, too, and should help me make some headway getting south and heading towards the Outer Banks. I was seriously considering not going to the Outer Banks as part of this trip if I had to do it on the Triumph. I wouldn't have had enough time to ride all the miles I needed to ride to make it happen. Tomorrow will give me a much better feel for how long I can stay in the saddle and how far I should expect to go.

I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of rural Maine on Wednesday. Hopefully I'll get plenty of great picture opportunities.

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad & iPhone

Location:Perry Rd,Bangor,United States

Monday, May 23, 2011


Sitting here at a travel plaza outside Freeport, Maine, munching on some of Debi Woolsey's world famous chocolate chip cookies, trying to warm my inside with a large coffee (leave an inch for cream and sugar please) and my outside with thoughts of sunshine. At least one side of me should be warm by the time this gets posted. :)

After 3 days of short rides on 2 lane roads, today is a day dedicated to just getting there (read as riding on the interstate.) Each type of ride serves it's purpose, but I definitely enjoy the former rather than the later. Bangor, Maine, is the destination for today and I'll be spending at least 2 nights there. That gives me the opportunity for a couple of days to explore the twisting backroads of New England. Bangor is about two and a quarter hours from where I am now, probably closer to three hours by the time I add in stops and gas.

One of the things I appreciate most about small town America, which you can only see by getting off the interstate, is its pride. Most of the small towns I rode through over the past three days already have their flags out for Memorial Day. No last minute preparations, waiting until the Friday before to get the decorating done. What a beautiful and wonderful country we live in.

Speaking of beautiful...even though the day is gray and cold, the ride here in Maine is beautiful none the less. It's almost like fall, but in reverse. I've never seen so much color in trees that are just sprouting leaves. Gold, yellow, green, and purple, it's a veritable rainbow of new life springing forth to great another growing season. I can only imagine how wonderful it would look flooded with sunlight. It looks like I might get my chance to see that on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Bangor calls my name, or maybe that's just the bathroom around the corner, either way, I'm off for now.

Tomorrow is another day, and another road.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:U.S. 1,Freeport,United States