same here in SW Missouri
same here in SW Missouri
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."
I made it to Tallahassee! 450 miles of 92˚F, 763% humidity and tons of love bugs. In other words, a fantastic start to the trip. No close calls, no issues with the bike, everything as planned.
It's amazing the thoughts that go through your head on the road. Every time I saw some buzzards flying over I would think, "Are they waiting for me?" Lol.
The one thing I was afraid of turned out to be my best friend, RAIN, just enough to cool my core.
Today also marked a personal milestone, 450+ miles on a single bike ride. I'm not sure if I'll break that mark for the rest of the trip. Got 370 miles to Columbia, SC tomorrow and then after that, no schedule to keep.
In case you were wondering, my daughter made me start capitalizing.
Great start! Weather can be you friend!
It's been awhile since I've checked in so let me get caught up.
I departed Tally at around 6am on Friday headed for Columbia, SC, with a little light on the horizon. My GPS insisted that I take I-10. No. I'll take the back roads thank you. I crossed the Georgia state line around 6:30. I love the southern Georgia back roads; old farm houses, cotton fields, small towns. It was a beautiful morning so I decided to stop to take some photos only to find that my lens was broken. Not a good start to the day. This is the reason that I haven't been posting pictures but they well come.
Gradually, as I made my way north, the temperature started to climb and when I crossed into SC, the Beemers ambient temp read 96˚! Although this leg of the trip was shorter than the first, it was a bit more of a struggle. I arrived in Columbia at 2:30 to find tons of traffic and road closures preparing for the football game. I came real close to losing the protective riding gear and finishing in shorts and a t-shirt.
Eventually, I found a decent enough hotel with great A/C and with no time to waste, I hauled ass over to the Gamecock Athletic Department with my Dad's ashes.
Jack Wilson, with the USC Athletics really treated me and my Dad right. I was able to spread his ashes all over the east end zone, and surprisingly, all around the Gamecock logo and big "C" at midfield! He's at Williams Bryce Stadium forever.
The next day, in the stadium, walking to my seat was emotional for me and just as I felt a connection with my Dad's spirit, in a sea of thousands of fans, I recognized "Uncle" George Martin, my Dad's teammate and roommate at South Carolina. As a kid, we used to stay at his farmhouse before games, riding horses, feeding the cows, feeding the pigs, etc. A page right out of Green Acres.
Anyway, the Gamecocks won big, and later that afternoon, the rains came. Storms. Great weather for staying in the hotel and watching TV, and looking out my window at the Beemer just getting soaked. She needed a bath anyway. Yup, she's a sweet ride.
Last edited by manwohr; 10-02-2012 at 01:00 AM.
Today I woke up to clear skies, 68˚ and no humidity. I wiped down Ol' Blue and packed her up. By 8am she was fired up and headed west. I eventually jumped on I-26 heading for Spartanburg, SC. The roads gradually evolved into fast sweepers with very little traffic. And all of a sudden I had this strange feeling. My hands were actually cold. After two of the most brutal, hot and humid days of riding, I was using my heated grips!
I couldn't wipe the grin off of my face. No sweating, no foggy face shield and glasses. At a few spots my ambient temp read 53˚, a 40˚+ temp difference.
Just outside of Spartanburg, I got on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a 450 mile stretch of road that is the exact opposite of the roads in Florida, hardly a straight anywhere. And full of motorcycles. I imagine that for every mile you cover as the bird flies, you cover about 5 miles of road. The maximum speed limit for the entire parkway is only 45mph however; not so good for the sportbikes but perfect for a relaxing ride on the BMW. For the record, I never exceeded the 45mph speed limit. Okay maybe once or a thousand times.
And speaking of the BMW R 1200 RT, it has exceeded all of my expectations. It's surely fun enough on the twisties. It will loaf all day long at 80mph while getting 50 mpg. It's comfortable as hell and it carries a ton of crap. She never hesitates to fire right up every time, even after spending the night getting drenched in a rainstorm. I'm extremely happy with the bike. Yes, I would recommend it to a friend.
The Blue Ridge scenery is spectacular, so much so that I set a personal record for time in the saddle on one ride, 10 hours. With that said, I completed approximately 2/3's of the Blue Ridge today and I plan on riding the rest of it tomorrow.
Ended the day in Roanoke, Virginia. Had a little feast and need a little rest. It's so hard to condense everything I'm experiencing in a just few paragraphs.
Last edited by manwohr; 10-02-2012 at 01:01 AM.
Keep going, I'm with ya! Write a little or a lot, no matter, I'll be reading each entry. And when I ride my bike home from work, I'll imagine I'm riding cross country, even though it's only 12 miles - sometimes I take the long way home (30mi).
Another great ride today. Almost all of it was in Virginia finishing up the Blue Ridge Parkway and then seamlessly entering Skyline Drive. Now if you might have been a bit leery of the Blue Ridge Parkway with a 45mph max limit, the Skyline is 35mph max...and $10 to enter. It's only 105 miles long so with a few 25mph sections, it does eat up some time. Let me just say that at school zone speeds, both of these roads are a must ride. It turns into a social happening with other bikers gathered at the hundreds of overlooks, talking shop, shootin' the **** and taking in all of the magnificent scenery. If you're a sportbike guy who wants to thrash these are not the roads for you. A few things that the Skyline has that the Blue Ridge doesn't is gas, places to eat and have a beer. Really cool places at that. Another thing that both these roads have in common is they are clean. No trash at all on the roadside. In all those miles, I literally did not see one piece of garbage that wasn't in the trash cans. A big fist pump to keeping it clean.
So all of this "park" riding took about 8 hours, covering about 250 miles. A good deal of time was spent at the amazing overlooks, hanging out with some great people.
And after a stop and a chat with some of my fellow motorcycle enthusiasts, I came to a realization. Not to sound political, really quite the opposite, that no matter who is president of our country, that man or women is not gonna do a damn thing to make a better life for us all. It starts from the common everyday interaction between all of us. Pay it forward. I have come away from conversations where nothing particularly profound was uttered, but it was that I left with a good feeling from the exchange of a few words. And I would take that and pass the good stuff on to the next guy, and so on. Make somebody feel good and things will almost always turn out for the best.
Okay, enough of the "Johnny Appleseed" moment. After leaving the confines of the National Park system, I got on 522. It's a mostly two lane road that took me from Virginia through West Virginia, Maryland (for about 2.5 miles) and into Pennsylvania in about the time it took me to type it. Look at it on a map. It's hilarious! Other than the "Four Corners", it's got to be the easiest way to gather up four states in the shortest amount of time.
Which brings me to my hotel in Breezewood, PA. A major truck stop destination and engine braking is NOT prohibited.
Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania = 8 states so far.
Onward to NJ, NY and into New England.
Today my route took me from central Pennsylvania into northern NJ. Beautiful weather and I'm wondering how long it will last. No point dwelling on it, I'll take it as it comes. Met up with my cousin who I haven't seen in some 40 years. He is my dad's brother's son. In catching up, it was remarkable how our interests and the events of our lives were so similar.
So far I've clocked approximately 1900 miles, averaging 49 mpg and burned 3/4 qt. of oil. I stretched her legs out a bit on the highway this afternoon and she definitely is comfortable running fast.
The previous pic is in Columbia, SC; cooling off in the rain.
Blue Ridge Parkway
BMW R 1200 RT's. "Ol' Blue" in the background
A couple of nice pics. How about a picture of you with the bike?
Made it to my cousin's place in northern NJ. He is my father's brother's son; my dad's only sibling. My uncle passed away 3 months before my dad. We sat and chatted and then went out for a fantastic Italian dinner. Through my cousin, I learned so much about my father that I didn't know. I won't go into details but some of the stuff was pretty crazy. We went back to his house and uncorked a bottle of Oculus wine. Very nice.
The following morning, I had to head to the Canon camera repair facility to pick up my repaired lens; about a 60 mile trip. I couldn't have predicted the type of ride that was about to unfold. The streets and highways in NJ are crazy all over the place...or maybe it was my route. Not possessing a toll pass, I was forced to pay cash for tolls. And NJ has a lot of toll roads. One instance occurred while trying to get on the Jersey Pike heading south. The cash toll lane was on the far left end of the booth. After paying my toll, as I looked up, the northbound entrance was right in front of me; the southbound entrance was 5 lanes to the right. Now I guess I could've gone north for a spell and eventually turned around at some point but something came over me. If anybody out there has ever surfed a wave and you are desperately trying to stay ahead of the barrel you will understand the feeling. I downshifted Ol' Blue, pulled her hard right and basically surfed the semi trucks heading northbound to make the southbound entrance. Some may say it was a crazy thing to do but it was a beautiful move that got me a thumbs up and a sadistic grin from the guy driving the Carrera.
On the return trip north, I got in touch with some friends that live in Montauk and they said to come on out. This was a "why not" moment. Since my dad was born in Manhattan, I decided to go through the city to get to the Long Island Expressway. I've been through the Lincoln Tunnel probably a thousand times, but never on a bike. With nobody in front of me, I let 'er rip and got a huge rush hauling a** through the tunnel. Very cool. For the record, no i didn't. Crossing the city however turned out to be a big mistake. I mean, what is New York City, 2 miles wide? It ended up taking 90 minutes to get to the Midtown Tunnel. Leaving Manhattan, I was sure my side bags were peppered with yellow taxi paint. A few posts ago, I wrote about spreading the "feel good" stuff. Forget it. In New York City, you have to be out for one thing; yourself. It's you alone in a sea of cars, buses, cabs and pedestrians who are in the same mindset. Kill or be killed. My MV Brutale would've been my first choice, over the Beemer, for those 90 minutes. Hell, the MV would be a blast in the city.
The sun, to my back, was getting low in the sky, laying beautiful light on everything in front of me. The temperature dropped ten degrees from NYC to a comfortable 73˚ for the remainder of the ride. I drove past lot's of the pretty people in the Hamptons and more than a few had a look of envy as I passed by on the loaded down RT. For that moment, I was the richest guy in town.
As I got closer to the point, traffic started to disappear and then there I was, staring out at the Atlantic with Block Island, CT and RI in the distance. I walked down to the beach and gathered some sand. I'll do it again when I first hit the Pacific, God willing.
Last edited by manwohr; 11-12-2012 at 03:21 PM.