Monday, September 19, 2016

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

On Sunday the 25th of September, Laura and I are going to don our finest attire and join men and women across the globe in the 2016 Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride to find a cure for Prostate Cancer and to help Men’s Mental Health. Over 1,300 men a day die of prostate cancer worldwide, and it’s time for that to end. Your donation will help The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride reach its goal of $5 Million to fund research into a cure for a disease that claims far too many gentlemen each year and prevent suicide.

This is the best dressed way to fight prostate cancer and help improve men’s mental health!

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Highway 17 East at 1 AM!

Paper work has been sent off and the SaddleSore 1600 is done.
Odometer reading at Start and Finish
With 20 minutes left on the clock and 50 extra kilometres on the odometer.  It was touch and go for the last two hours as I rode back towards Toronto and the Esso on Front Street where I started this little journey. Low hanging misty fog was covering the Muskoka Region. Traffic began to pick up as I neared Barrie and I was not sure that I had enough time. In the end it all worked out just as it should and everything fell into place.

It was suggested I run the lake clockwise which was a brilliant suggestion (Thank you Brett).
International Bridge, Sault Ste Marie
Both border crossings on the front end proved to be a good strategy. The Sault Sainte Marie crossing took almost an hour and I really would not have wanted to attempt Sarnia Blue Water Bridge at 6 in the morning. 

I had a little trepidation about leaving the Soo at 1 o'clock in the morning. Not one to ride at night for the obvious reasons of wildlife and human nightlife gave me a little bit of nerves. This disappeared very quickly once I got into a grove on the Trans-Canada Highway. This section of road between Sault Sainte Marie and North Bay is a perfect night ride. The tarmac is all recently paved, gentle turns with passing lanes predictably present when needed. Stars where bright and bold. Temperature was a perfect 15 degrees and the smell of pine trees and fresh cool water filled my open visor. I couldn't have asked for a better summer night in August to do this ride. 

I will change a few things up on the next IBA ride. More water, fewer borders to cross and most likely a linear route in the middle of a bigger ride. That is next time and right now this one done!


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Here we go!

I am going to set out on Friday and try my best to circumnavigate Lake Huron in 24 hours. You may or may not have heard of the Iron Butt Association. Basically it is group of 50,000 riders who are most likely the "World's Toughest Motorcycle Riders". Over the years I have made many of the qualifying rides, but never documented anything. August 26th will be the day I attempt to ride and document 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) in 24 hours or less. 

Iron Butt 24 Hour Saddle Sore on Roadtrippers

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Blue Ridge Parkway

Shot this video as I entered the Blue Ridge Parkway from the South End at Cherokee, NC. I cannot begin to describe the colours, smells and serenity felt from this ride. Almost 500 miles of this ridge line twisty that I did not expect to be as stunning and fun as it turned out. Most of this was at over 6000 feet with the roads edge looking down thousands of feet. It was a very spiritual experience and the very reason for riding.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Gulf of Mexico

Riverside Walk on Mississippi, New Orleans
Few nights in New Orleans as Laura wrapped up a conference she was attending and we started our full trip together. Two great days strolling around the French Quarter. Based ourselves out of the Dauphine Orleans Hotel as we made our rounds. Morning walking tour with Pay What You Want - Walking Tours which was a great history lesson.  Chicory Coffee, New Orleans BBQ Shrimp and jazz filtering out of every doorway you pass are just some of the memories.

Mexico Beach, FL
Packed up the panniers on Saturday morning and headed East across Lake Pontchartrain towards Mississippi Gulf Shore. Got off the interstate for a quick 40 minute thunderstorm which left us with blue sky for the rest of the bike trip around the gulf. 

From Louisiana to Mississippi then Alabama and into Florida. The scenic route on a hot sunny Saturday tried our patience. Highway 98 along the coast was filled with pickup trucks and stop lights. Biloxi, Mobile, Pensacola and every white sand beach town was being overrun by inlanders. Stopped for oysters and iced tea at Flora-Bama on the Alabama/Florida State line and then made haste to get on US 20 to avoid any more traffic.

Arrived in Mexico Beach around 7 pm and quickly found our room and something to eat in a beachside bar. Long hot day that was rewarded with a quick swim in the ocean and a cool soft bed at the Buena Vista Motel. 
Sunset Mexico Beach, FL

Tomorrow we will make our way to Savannah. Back roads through Northern Florida and into Georgia. Perhaps a little BBQ and more iced tea on the way....

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Then it rained...

I crossed back over the Mississippi for the fourth time in the last three days. After spending the night in West Memphis (Arkansas) and having dinner last night in Memphis (Tennessee) at Gus's World Famous Chicken. The goal for the day was to move down the river in the State of Mississippi. Follow the Mississippi Blues Trail from the Northern Delta to Vicksburg. 

Everything looked and felt great as I pulled off Interstate 55 onto Highway US 61 just south of Memphis. Half an hour later as Tunica came up on my right the cloud banks became thick and dark on the horizon. I pulled over on a side road and put away the sunnies, pulled on the rain jacket and pocketed the iPhone and wallet in my cut. 15 minutes later the rain began.

Over the last few years as Laura and I started riding together our bike and gear choices have become very comfortable. My point here is that with the new Sena 20S headsets, heated seats, heated grips and Aether Compass Pant riding in ugly conditions is not a problem.  

US 61 was moving a little too quick for me and I thought that I could find a little slower pace closer to the river. Found Mississippi Highway 1 and followed it patiently as the rain came and went over the next few hours. Corn fields and Historical Mounds became my travel companions as the traffic thinned out and the constant presence of the levee off to my right. 

Parking Lot in Vicksburg, MS
Singing away in my helmet I made the best of what mother nature threw at me. As I neared Vicksburg the storm peaked and water was bouncing off the highway. The motel staff had no problem checking me in a little early and we will get back the sunshine tomorrow.

Bluebird Day!

I was going to call it a Cardinal day and then I googled the Missouri State bird which is the Eastern Bluebird. The ride down the Mississippi was a gentle rollercoaster. Highway 61 South proved to be a perfect day. Rolling turns all the way down to the Missouri delta. Up and down side to side. Small river towns every 15 to 20 miles and a rev settling 55 miles an hour. Weaved in and out of this gorgeous landscape for 250 miles over the next 7 hours. With more than 1000 songs on my current playlist the new Sena 20S gave me a crystal clear soundtrack as I follow the river down to Memphis....

Early Morning on the Mississippi

Looking West from a lookout at Ste Genevieve