Niagara Falls then Home

Departed for Niagara Falls a bit later than expected: turns out the the rigging I created was not charging the iPhone while riding, a fact I did not notice until hooking up the iPhone to leave and finding it nearly dead.

Technology problems aside, the ride to Niagara was quite beautiful, running along the river. I captured it with the GoPro, but haven’t extracted the video yet.

As for the falls, they are stunning and beautiful, but the place is really a tourist trap, at least on the US side (I didn’t visit the Canadian side). Granted I was there on prime day for visitors – a beautiful Sunday afternoon – but, between the crowd and the rampant commercialism, I tired quickly.

I took a scenic route home thru central New York and Pennsylvania, only partially highway. The afternoon was enjoyable, but by the time the sun set, I was ready to be home (but would not be for another 2 hours).

The overall trip was short but enjoyable and focused mainly on riding. I’ll post a wrap up in the next couple days (hopefully with nice video of the ride to Niagara Falls.

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Posted by on September 9, 2019 in Uncategorized


Heading to Niagara Falls

Along the way, I had some trouble with the Vision’s connection to the iPhone. The iPhone provides music and, more importantly, GPS directions. There was a time when I would memorize the directions (or the next few steps), but I’ve become lazy and now depend on spoken instructions.

No store has the needed adaptor cable in stock (because it’s a couple generations old), so I had to rig up a connection from what was available. The rigging was successful, although every once in a while it would cut out and I had to fiddle with it.

Besides the technology issues, I started to feel nauseated during the ride. It was never bad enough that I needed to stop, but I decided to head to the hotel, rest up, and visit Niagara Falls tomorrow morning.

Since I was spending time relaxing, I decided to extract and edit the video from yesterday – when I was picking up items to rig the iPhone, I also bought an SD card reader for the iPad (made video import much faster).

I cut down 2 hours of raw video to a little over 5 minutes. Riding videos can get tedious so I kept the clips short, sped up some of them, and added a few notes. Hopefully it turned out more watchable.

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Posted by on September 7, 2019 in Uncategorized



Lake George

Road thru Adirondack Park, starting on the east side, near Old Forge, and ending up on the west side, Lake George.

I mostly followed Route 28 and finishing the trip on Route 9N. There are a number of construction zones on the west side of Route 28, but they are well managed – only bone required a significant stop – even though the road drops to one lane.

Indian Lake

Even More Plan Changes

The original plan had been to head into Canada today to join a meet up, but the forecast for that area is scattered showers with a highs around 60 F for the entire weekend. If it was chilly & dry, or rainy & warm, I would have proceeded with the plan, but riding cold & wet just isn’t fun, so I’ve updated the plan again.

I considered head to Boston to see friends, but was concerned about the weather (and potential remnants of Dorian). I checked around looking for warm weather and the best bet is to head east; tomorrow’s destination Niagara Falls. I have been there before, but I was very young; additionally, I’m really riding thru rural New York.


This is my first trip without a laptop – I’m solely using iPad and iPhone to post updates. For photos, it works great, but I captured a lot of video today (2 GoPro Sessions). The cameras are paired to my iPhone, which works great for set up, but now I’m pulling the video over and it’s taking a long time; with the laptop, I would connect the camera directly and pulling the video off was super quick.

I’m planning on capturing more video tomorrow, but probably won’t have any ready to post until after I get home.

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Posted by on September 6, 2019 in Uncategorized


Abington to Utica

I choose Utica, NY as my base destination because it was approximately the halfway point and near the Adirondacks. Just by luck, it turned out to be a great ride: the first half, thru central PA, highway (I-476) and I made good time. The last 2-3 hours was a rural road thru the rolling hills and farm land of central New York: beautiful scenery, nice roads and little traffic.

New Friends

I arrived at the hotel to find a couple Gold Wing parking lot. The owners saw me checking out their bikes and came out to introduce themselves. They are from Montreal and heading home tomorrow. We’re planning on meeting up for breakfast, then riding together for at least part of the day: they are planning a number of sightseeing stops; since I have to go about 1.5 – 2 hours further north, I may decide to skip some of them.

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Posted by on September 5, 2019 in Uncategorized


Abbreviated Road Trip

Ready to Roll

After too many years without a long ride, I was anxious to get back out on the road. A friend invited me to a small gathering the weekend after Labor Day, about an hour north of Montreal; I’ve wanted to explore New Brunswick and Nova Scotia for some time, so this seemed the perfect opportunity.

I scheduled a 10 day vacation, starting a few days before the holiday weekend. The plan was to head south to visit friends & family, then reverse course and head for Canada.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Before heading out on the for a long ride, I usually only have the vaguest of plans, deciding most things as I go. This decide on the fly approach is one of the things I love about road trips, but it does invite the possibility for things to go off course.

In this case, a number of forces conspired to derail my plans. First, HVAC issues at home pushed my departure date from Friday to Saturday, then from Saturday to Sunday. At the same time the trip was being delayed, Hurricane Dorian’s track was being updated, looking like it was going to hook north to make landfall around Georgia or the Carolinas. (This was before it was clear it was going to stall over the Bahamas – help if you can.)

With the possibility of driving into a serious storm and my bank account taking a hit from the HVAC repairs, I dropped the first portion of my trip and decided to focus on the ride to the event. As a straight shot, it’s about an 8 hour drive to the event, but I’m allowing 2 days on either side for wandering and sight seeing.

Mostly packed, and with the Vision freshly washed, I’ll be heading out tomorrow. It should be a fairly leisurely ride thru some beautiful country.

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Posted by on September 4, 2019 in Uncategorized


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Yellowstone Wrap-up 2016

Time: 10 days

Distance: 4922 miles

So much amazing riding, but missed opportunities to visit friends.  Normally my road trips are a mix of scenic riding and visiting folks that I do not see any other time; on this trip I was focused on the riding and missed some opportunities to visit people.

The Vision

On my first long road trip, I was worried about everything from where I would stay to running out of gas.  At the time, I had plenty of riding on the Kingpin, so that was one aspect that was not a concern.

Since the Vision is new and focused on touring, a big focus was how it would perform: it was amazing.  I’m really happy with the tweaks I have done and the one thing remaining is to do something about the grips: the Kingpin had comfort grips, but changing the Vision grips would mean losing the heating elements.  Still trying to find the right solution.


Yellowstone was amazing, but my favorite part was riding US-14 thru Bighorn National Forest.

I originally planed to turn south leaving Yellowstone, but because I started late and took longer to cover the distance, I had to drop that part of the trip.  Even though I returned home a day early, that extra day would not be enough to include a southwest loop.

Looking back on the trip, there are several things I could have done differently, particularly visiting friends, but was just not where my head was at during the ride.  Even with the missed opportunities, this was an amazing trip.  I’ve been home for three days and would be ready to start another trip tomorrow, but have to go back normal life, at least for a little while.



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Posted by on July 4, 2016 in Slideshow, Touring, Vacation


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Road to Home

Day 7: 447 miles (to Rapid City, SD)

Even though it was all interstate riding, this was still an enjoyable day.  I met a number of other bikers at rest stops and realized I am on the younger side of the motorcycle touring demographic.

Day 8: 518 miles (to Albert Lea, MN)

I’ve become somewhat frustrated with online hotel reservations (I’ve been using Priceline).  It seems that about 1 in 5 nights, there’s a problem: no room available or wrong type of room (smoking vs non-smoking).  I’ve heard similar stories from other people, especially people on road trips.

I’m not sure where the fault lies – with the hotels or the online service, probably some of both – but the uncertainty causes stress I do not need when I’m on vacation.  I suspect the services are better for traditional vacations, scheduled well in advanced and with fixed destination.

For the end of this trip, I used the Motel 6 app, which worked well.  In the future, I’ll probably continue to use that app or locate hotels with Google and call the front desk to schedule a room.

Day 9: 528 miles (to South Bend IN)

One unexpected bonus on my ride home was the Enterprise Rest Area.  I pulled over for a quick stop, expecting basic, hopefully clean, facilities, but what I found as basically a small and beautiful park.


Day 10: 677 miles (to Abington, PA)

This was the longest ride of the entire trip – I normally try to keep riding days in the 400 to 600 mile range, but stopping 77 miles from home just didn’t make much sense.  At least the second half was all PA Turnpike; I driven this road so many times, it feels like home the first time I pull into a service plaza.

It was almost midnight when I arrived home.  I was exhausted it, but it was a great trip.



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Posted by on July 2, 2016 in Motorcycle, Touring, Vacation


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Day 6: 442 miles

Rode to Yellowstone via US-14, thru Bighorn National Forest.  I picked the route because I had enjoyed riding thru the forest the day before.

Back thru Bighorn

All the highway signs recommend US-16, but I preferred US-14.  As I closed in on the western side of the forest, I mounted the GoPro Session on the outside of the Vision’s fairing:


The road to Yellowstone is quite scenic including the area around Buffalo Bill Reservoir.


I arrived at Yellowstone’s eastern entrance early in the afternoon.  My route thru the park would travel around to Old Faithful, then turn north, exiting to the north, into Montana.


With stunning views around ever corner, it took a couple of hours for me to arrive at Old Faithful.  The site is a large complex with a lodge, general store and a huge parking lot.  Old Faithful was just erupting as I walked up – sorry no pictures, but here’s video (not mine):

After walked the path around the geysers, I continued on my ride thru the park.  The park speed limit is 45 MPH as the roads are generally small and winding, with many blind turns – you never know what will be around the next bend: bears, buffalo or an RV blocking the road.


I recorded more video with the Session, but haven’t edited it yet – coming soon!


The park is huge so it was just getting dark as I reached the Montana exit.  For anyone planning a visit, I would recommend staying in (or very close) to the park so you can start your journey early in the day.

It was almost 11 PM when I arrived at my hotel and I was exhausted, but it was worth it.  This was most westerly point in this trip and I would be starting to head home in the morning.


Posted by on July 2, 2016 in Motorcycle, Touring, Vacation


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Bighorn National Forest

Day 5: 257 miles

Originally I had planned Buffalo, WY to be the jumping off point for my visit to Yellowstone, but when I discovered that would not work, I decided to explore Bighorn National Forest.  There are a number of signs along the highway (I-90) recommending US Route 16, so that where I started.

US Route 16

The spine of Bighorn is a mountain range running north & south.  In the southern region, Route 16 runs up and down the peaks with lots of twisty road and switchbacks with rock cliffs on one side and a drop off on the other side.

The views were spectacular, but the road also has some very scary parts.  I normally don’t pay that much attention to the yellow (recommended) speed limits signs, but in this area, they are to be taken very seriously.


US Route 14

After surviving the US-16, and lunch in Worland, I decided to check out the unadvertised northern route, US-14 (I had to get back to Buffalo somehow).  As you head into Bighorn, from the west, the road winds along the bottom of a rocky canyon (this was my favorite part of the ride), then quickly rises up the mountains.  Unlike US-16, once you reach altitude, the road run thru the plateau for many miles.

The descent on the eastern side rivaled my morning ride for challenging switchbacks (and fear factor).  This routes seemed to be more popular with locals, which adds to the fear factor: since they drive these roads regularly (I assume), they run up & down the mountain at speed, leaving the rest of us nervous drivers to use pull outs to clear a path.  Don’t take this to mean the drivers are rude or obnoxious – people tend to be very polite –  there’s just 2 very distinct types of drivers on these roads.



Yellowstone! (finally)


Posted by on June 28, 2016 in Motorcycle, Touring, Vacation


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Badlands & Wyoming

Day 4: 359 miles

I had driven along the edge of Badlands National Park during Sturgis a few years ago, but this was this the first time I rode thru the park.  The park is beautiful, but, as an extra bonus, there was a classic car rally going traveling thru the park at the same time.



On my first cross-country road trip, I came out of Nebraska and into Wyoming.  In Nebraska, at 4 PM, the temperature was 70-80 degrees (F); by 5 PM, in Wyoming the temperature had dropped into the 40’s (even though it was August) and I had forgotten my cold weather riding gear.  Ultimately, I made it to Laramie, WY wearing sock mittens on my hands.  My exact words describing the experience were Wyoming kicked my ass and made me its bitch.

This time Wyoming tried to crush me with heat: heading to Buffalo, WY the temperature was 100+ degrees and the sun was beating down.  About an hour away from the hotel, I did run into a little bit of rain, which was refreshing, but it came with high winds (gusts of up to 35 MPH).

This ride was not as rough of as that original trip, but by the time I reached the hotel, I was dehydrated and exhausted.


My original plan was to stay in Buffalo and drive to Yellowstone, then return to Buffalo.  As it turned out, I had misjudged the proximity and had to come with a new plan; details to follow.

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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in Uncategorized