Yes Emily

Yes Emily, girls can ride motorcycles!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

"Hogs Descend On Kingston"

This weekend, according to the Kingston Whig Standard, about 1200 Harley Davidson riders descended on Kingston to attend the 2014 rally. Based on the online comments, the citizens of my town had mixed feelings about the event; lane splitting and loud pipes were two complaints. My personal objection was to the featured photo of a rider and his pillion with more bare skin than I show in the shower, I just don't get it.
My son actually phoned me though to tell me I'd missed seeing members of 'Kingston's finest' motor unit demonstrating their slow maneuvering skills on their huge Harleys and according to him, they were more than impressive. I'm sure they were more than impressive.
I may have missed the festivities as I headed out on a lovely little day ride to Lake on the Mountain with friends but didn't miss a few hundred Harley Davidsons on the road, some on seemingly organized group rides plus many more like these happy riders behind me on the Glenora Ferry.
Much to my surprise (or not) a young woman working on the ferry approached me. At first I thought she said, "You're the shortest person I've seen on a bike today" (okay, so I was wearing ear plugs) but when she continued I realized that she had said, "You're the smartest person I've seen on a bike in two days." She had a nasty scabbed up knee and a story about Bambie and her Motorbike that just confirmed my (and her) opinion of all the gear, all the time. She summed it up nicely when she said, "I wear it for the slide, not for the ride." I think I might have more respect for the Harley Davidson Culture if they supported safe riding along with the notion of the joy of motorcycling.
And did the loud pipes (on several models,) as they felt the need to crank the throttle in front of The Inn patio where 30 people where enjoying lunch, nearly send me into cardiac arrest ... you bet they did. Was anyone impressed by what the Whig reporter called the "bikes' signature throaty growl?" I didn't hear a single person (once the noise stopped) cheering for them to come back and do it again. Smart, aware riders will save more lives than loud pipes ... but that's just my opinion! Enjoy the ride.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

5,664.5 ... Top Ten And Another Day At The Beach

5,664.5 kilometers on two wheels, 60+ kilometers on two legs and I'm back home again. It was a good trip with some short rides, some longer rides and some days with no rides. The Star is polished up and ready to go again.

And The Top 10 Reasons to get back early...
10.  It's not raining at home (and I get preferential parking every day.)
9.  I ran out of face cream.
8. My electric toothbrush needed a recharge.
7.  I ran out of laundry soap (and clean socks.)
6.  There are no 'stink bugs' in Battersea.
5.  Ontario cicada bugs do not sound like sheep during the night (and at least I know the person who is snoring in the room next to me.)
4.  There is still time to explore some beautiful sights along the roads near and around home.
3.  It gives the cat more time to get over being mad at me (I think I've been forgiven for being away.)
and the #2. and #1. Reasons -  Granddaughters #1
 and #2 and another day at the beach.
And then on the walk (another 6 km) home I spotted a rogue sunflower growing in the ditch ... how lucky.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

With my head near the clouds, it felt like flying...

Probably my last day or should I say night on the road so I decided to hotel again and upgraded from Motel 6, splurging on myself with a room at the Day's Inn, Geneva, New York. For $83 (almost double my Motel 6 experience) I get: no orange paint, pictures on the wall, a breakfast in the morning, a big 'boss' chair at a big desk, shampoo and hand lotion, a mini fridge (empty,) a pad of paper and a pen, a lounge chair, massive footstool and a widescreen TV, but more importantly I get preferential motorcycle parking.

While I was out exploring a Harley snuck in beside my Star.
This morning found me and the Star winding through the countryside on local roads, but road after road was closed for construction and the detours became more and more sketchy so I pointed the Star back to interstate 81 for a short time. Determined to take a different route home I turned north to follow the Susquehanna River along highway 15N.

A federal highway, for much of the way, 15 is a four lane that hugs the mountains. Looking down at the tree tops it crosses from mountain to mountain on bridges that are nothing less than engineering marvels. The traffic was light, the weather perfect, winding up and down, travelling at highway speeds with my head near the clouds it felt like flying today. Welcome to the Empire State. At Corning I switched to state highway 414 then to 14 at the tip of Seneca Lake and coasted into Geneva in time to go exploring.
They must have planted a mixed bag of seeds!

The folks in this town are nothing, if not creative. A vegetable canoe garden ... or is it a canoe vegetable garden?

I've passed through the 'Finger Lakes' area before but never stopped. It's a spot to mark down to re-visit or make a destination one day.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Today, I Won!

Black clouds with slivers of blue sky peeking through - the order of the day.
If you know me you might also know that when the weather forecast is against me I play a game of Motel 6 Hop (Motel 6 because I have a book with all their locations across the continent, and because they're cheap!) If you're new here, Motel 6 Hop is a great motorcycle game to play if you want to reduce your odds of getting wet. It's simple to play; just plug all of the possible Motel 6 locations into your GPS along the route you want to take. If you get to the first one and it isn't raining head for the next one. If you get to where you wanted to go by quitting time (the last Motel 6 location) and you didn't get wet, then you win. Today, I won! Now it was iffy near the first location only 100 km out of Virginia Beach, but I  passed through a quick shower and was on my way. (Quick showers don't count.)
Monocacy River Valley Scenic Outlook near Frederick MD - PA in the distance
Every once in a while I would see a sliver of blue sky that encouraged me to go for it. Now you generally increase your odds of winning if you don't dilly dally - today it was straight up the pike so to speak. Of course what this all means ... I'm at a Motel 6 (still cheaper than camping Virginia Beach) and I got a whole lot further north (535.2k) than I really expected to today. Yikes, if the weather holds (only 40% chance of thunder storms tomorrow) I'm going to have to get off the highway and meander a bit.

Tonight I'm watching the Weather Network as I like to do whenever I can and what are they talking about ... the worst tornado ever to hit the Washington DC area. They just mentioned that there are 450,000 commuters everyday ... dam, I knew it was busy when I passed through there.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

While The Wifi Is Working - A Day At The Beach ...

A day at the beach can do a body good ... so can walking over 6 miles and a swim in a delightful salt water pool at the end of it all.

 Just a day at the beach.

The weather is looking less than stellar to the south and to the west for now 'til Friday ... can't afford to wait any longer, it's time to head north. It is what it is.

Some Days ... July 19


Some days you wonder if the sun is ever going to shine again. Today I just kept singing, “Rain, rain stay away until I get under and over the Chesapeake Bay,” and some days that works and you get a good tail wind to boot.

I went under there ...

 I went over there ...
And they went over me ...
I almost made it to tonight’s campground before the drizzle started though I’m wondering why I was hoping I would. I’d have to say, I’ve put my tent up in worse spots, I just can’t remember when or where. Some days I’d just love to roll into a gritty campground in my big ‘ol RV, shut the doors and ignore the fact that I’ve landed in tent city, on dirt, in the middle of high volume traffic right under the fly path for F18 fighter jets. Wait a minute … this one might be for sale …
Crap, I didn’t know these things had expiry dates –
Oh well, what can one expect when one picks a tourist destination as a stop. I don’t care what the weather is tomorrow, I’m here at Virginia Beach and I’m going to the beach!

Friday, July 18, 2014

No Such Thing As No Traffic

The night temperatures dropped waking me with a bone aching chill at 4:30. Needless to say I was a little slow getting under way but I wasn't worried with another very short riding day planned. I set Garmin Dan to avoid traffic, but who did I think I was kidding - Friday afternoon, in summer in the eastern USA ... there is no such thing as a place with no traffic, 221 km took over 4 hours. The hills melted away to urban frenzy. The day warmed incredibly fast. I went to pull in to a Duncan Donuts for my one real (air conditioned) stop but missed the turn and ended up in the Yocco's parking lot.
I thought about skipping across the drive-thru lane to Duncans then I noticed ...
And who could walk away from a hotdog that's been listed in the Who's Who of Hot Dogs. Day 15 ended with few pictures but big hopes for tomorrow. The hotdog - not bad either.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

This Is Shawnee Mountain ...

This is the road I'm staying on ...
This is the ski Chalet I'm not staying in ...
This is who is ...
This is my backyard tonight ...
This is Shawnee Mountain (Poconos) PA.
(This was also the place of my one and only, ever - bear encounter ... 2010. Hwy 209 speed posted 45mph due to extreme wildlife encounters.) I'm sad I won't be here for the wurst festival ... I'm sure it will be the best festival!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bistros, Breweries And Bakeries ...

It was still raining by 11. I decided if I was going to have a rain delay it might as well be in a place I've never stopped before and so I spent the day in Brattleboro Vermont. By noon the rain let up enough for some urban hiking.




Brattleboro, a town filled with art galleries, musicians, food trucks, bistros, breweries and bakeries ... It's a lovely little town. Would I spend a whole day here again - probably not, but I enjoyed my day off.