I've been a motorcycle junkie for the past 5 years. Started out on a '93 EX-500 and promptly rode it 12k miles between October '08 and May '09. I was hooked on long-distance riding, but needed a bigger and better bike to do it. So I bought a 2000 Concours. Rode that for 3.5 years and 54k miles. That bike saw most of the eastern half of the U.S., but I wanted something bigger, and more powerful (and, admittedly, newer and more reliable.) My dream was to ride from New Jersey to California and back, with stops at Mt. Rushmore, the Tetons, Yellowstone, and the California Coast. The 2013 COG National was also in Idaho Falls, ID this year, so I lumped both trips into one big tour, a SuperTour, as I call them. So, in February of 2013, I bought this: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702273718/" title="IMG_0495 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2846/9702273718_7f8d24011d.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0495"></a> A leftover 2012 Concours 14, with 1 mile on the odometer. Between February 28th and August 22nd of this year, I rode this bike 7,943 miles, most of which were test miles to figure out what, if any changes, I would need to make before I left on the SuperTour. I added bar risers, a taller windscreen, a Sargent saddle, and a Givi trunk. It's a fantastic bike for eating up tons of miles, and is equally at home on the interstate, or carving canyons. So, enough about the bike, for now. On with the ride report. (Feel free to click on any of the image links. I'm just showing highlights here, the full gallery is on my Flickr page.) I left at 5:55am on Friday, August 23, from my home in New Jersey. Headed up Rt 206 to I-80, and across Pennsylvania. Quick pic of the highway from the rest area. Northern Pennsylvania is quite beautiful, and not at all as densely populated as the eastern part of the state: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702273410/" title="IMG_0498 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2844/9702273410_e4f524714d.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0498"></a> First night's stop was at a friend's house in North Barrington, IL, 857 miles away. We work together, and have been friends for a few years, so he offered to let me stay at his house for the night. Along the way, I met up with another friend and co-worker, Steve, in Indiana, who was kind enough to buy me dinner at Denny's. As I was getting ready to leave, he snapped this pic of me: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699036543/" title="Dinner stop in Lake Station, IN by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7424/9699036543_276853aee3.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="Dinner stop in Lake Station, IN"></a> After dinner, I had miles to burn, so I hit the road and took 80 across Illinois, up the Chicago Skyway (an absolutely breathtaking experience at night. This is one of the best lead-ups to a major city I have ever seen.) I wanted to stop and take pics, but there was no really safe place to do so with all the traffic. Will have to save that for another trip, I suppose. Once in Illinois, I was treated to a hot shower and a very comfortable bed at my friend Tony's house. He's a really awesome guy, and a lot of fun to work with. He's also quite the gardener, and this is what he's been working on for the past few years: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9699036307/" title="IMG_0500 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5344/9699036307_b987b074bd.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0500"></a> Ending mileage for the first day: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/christoeuf/9702272680/" title="IMG_0504 by voileauciel, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5501/9702272680_841af19c94.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="IMG_0504"></a> Will split this up across multiple posts. Day two coming shortly.