Ride Report: Things I learned/ 1st long distance ride....

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by The Evil Twin, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. The Evil Twin

    The Evil Twin Boxer Freak

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    NoVa
    Hello all,
    I’ve finally had all my pictures and video processed from an amazing ride around Lake Ontario with 2 friends from (not so) way back in high school. We planned this a while back, and what I mean by that is we set the date :lol3 . No real planning went into it until the week before! Not really a big deal as it was only 4 days, but there are several things we learned the hard way:
    1: Check your bike over before you leave. Tire pressure, oil level, suspension settings, etc.
    2: Don’t over pack. Split up tool requirements between riders. Not everyone needs to bring a set of allen wrenches, one set will do for all of you ;)
    3) However far you think you can make it in the next day, cut 15-20% off that. 400 miles the first day is nothing but 400 miles every day just might begin to suck.
    4) Sunblock. Especially if you work in an office every day :1drink
    Hey, I’m new to this sort of thing!
    Day 1, Friday 8/31/12: We met at my place in the morning for coffee and chats and pre ride stuff (see point 1 above).
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    We set off for Syracuse NY. We didn’t make it (see point 3 above). We ended up in Geneva NY. Nice little lake town it seemed. All we could find was a cheapie hotel, but it suited our needs and was within walking distance to a bar/ restaurant. When the sun came up the next day we realized why the hotel had vacancy on a holiday weekend. Yuck! Should have just slept outside! :twitch Oh well, no matter. I truthfully don’t care too much as long as the place has a bed.
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    Day 2, Saturday 9/1/12: Rolling out fairly early, we set our sights for Toronto by way of Kingston, ON. Yeah, 343 miles. Not bad but we wanted to stay off the highways so it took quite a while. The ferry routes to and from Wolfe Island just sorta happen when they happen. No real schedule. That had us on the island long enough to hit a pub and scarf down some grub and a beer. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the place. Anyway, customs/ border security was really quick here. The line is only as long as the ferry is! This beat trying to go in near Niagara, for sure!!
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    The cool thing about the ferrys is that on a motorcycle you do not need to wait in line. Just roll up to the front of the line before the ship docks. You load last, but are almost guaranteed a spot somewhere. We had plenty of space even on a holiday weekend.
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    It was suggested we take “The 2” from Kingston to Newtonville instead of 401. Good suggestion because 401 is a superslab! We did follow The 2 for a bit, but in order to make some time ended up on 401 anyway. (see note 3 above).

    [​IMG]Made Toronto at sundown and hit a coffee shop to search hotels. As I said, no real planning here. We just rolled with it. We also nearly ended up sleeping in the street because all we could find was $400 CA rooms! Finally, we found one at half that price with secure garage parking as well!! A quick shower and shave had us on the hunt for more food. The desk guy suggested a place down the street and off we went. I just might remember the name of the place, but once I found out he sent us to a gay hang out I had forgotten the name. I had to laugh. Three guys show up together for one room and they send us to a gay friendly restaurant! :ymca The food was really good; damn near the best burger I ever had! Service was good and the place was clean. Everyone was young to middle age professional types so the atmosphere was good too.
    [​IMG]


    Day 3, Sunday 9/1/12: Tried to get an early start, but failed. One bike had the oil light on. Thankfully there was a WalMart near enough. That tied up a little time and got us behind from the start. Oh, and what is up with the taxes, eh? 13% on a quart of oil? Woah. However, seeing as all of us had tire repair kits but no oil, cost was a non issue (see points 1 and 2 above). We rode over to the CN Tower for some photos. Long lines and the cost to go up in it contributed to the decision to just keep rolling to Niagara Falls.
    [​IMG] We knew that would be a hot mess that day. And right we were, because it seemed like all parking was full! As the engine temperatures on the air cooled machines started inching higher, I pulled into a lot that said “FULL” and asked the girl if she could let 3 bikes squeeze in somewhere. Thankfully she said yes!!! She even let us in on one ticket so we could pay the single rate instead of us all having to pay separately! Very cool of her!!
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    After doing a couple hours of the touristy thing we then set off in a Rochester like direction. The border crossing here was not too bad. Not as bad as I envisioned anyway. We arrived in Rochester about dusk, checked on line for a room and searched for food. Well, what came up on the GPS? Dinosaur BBQ, that’s what! Best part about it is that the lot was reserved for bikes only!! Winner!!

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    Once our bellies were full and we had a couple adult beverages, we hit the hotel bar for a nightcap and crashed out. Good thing, because the next day would be a long one to (try) to beat the rain. Of course, nothing cooperated and we got wet, stuck in traffic, and hot. Nothing seems to go the way you plan (see point 3 above). Beautiful, none the less.

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    All in all, the trip was a great time and a good learning experience. Since none of us had been that far from home on bikes, we chose hotels as camping would add another layer of complexity. Happy for that. I can sleep anywhere but adding hundreds of miles to that just might be dangerous.
    We kept our rain gear on most of the way home and that seemed to keep the rain from falling. We knew that as soon as we stripped down it would rain again. It was not until we hit Point Of Rocks, MD that we decided to strip. Less than 40 miles to go and a beaming sun gave us just the nudge we needed. As we made it home just before dark, greeted our families and pulled in the garages, I know our sense of accomplishment was high. Even though we had not really done anything out of the ordinary, we had gone well out of the “comfort zone” we were used to. Baby steps, they say. Just take the road a mile at a time. Odd, really, when you think about it. I have no problem going over 150 mph and dragging knee around a corner, yet being 500 miles from home on a motorbike gave me pause. 500 miles?!?! That’s all?!?! Yep, that’s it +/- as the crow flies. I suppose that in time my comfort zone will grow. I will learn what and how to pack. Learn to plan ahead. Learn to listen…….Ok, that last one will never happen but my wife can dream right?:rofl
    I hope that one of you can take away something I learned the hard way. Even though it wasn’t so hard. I know many of you see this as a mini adventure compared to what you do but we all have to start somewhere! Now that I’ve started, I’m hooked!
    One last thing; a video I tossed together with some additional pics in it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpcVOkkXw0U&feature=plcp

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    #1
  2. NoVa Rider

    NoVa Rider Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,012
    T-shirt look familiar? :rofl

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    Nice read, thanks for the write-up. :clap
    #2
  3. The Evil Twin

    The Evil Twin Boxer Freak

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    477
    Location:
    NoVa
    LOL, yes it does!! If you liked their stuff, Wegmans carries the sauces. The wife found it last week, so I have some smoking to do tomorrow :evil
    #3
  4. CafeRacer99

    CafeRacer99 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    462
    Location:
    Tucson
    Couldn't agree more on point 3.
    #4