NEBDR 2021 Ride report - It’s debatably useful! BONUS: campground map file

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MagnetMan, Jun 16, 2021.

  1. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2018
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Centre PA
    (Next post should have a GPS point file containing forty thousand (or so) primitive, public, and private campsites along the route)

    This is the first ride report I've written, and probably the last.

    Intro:

    I rode the NEBDR route from Hancock to Canada alone, June 7th – 14th not including about 800 miles total riding to and from the ends. I wouldn’t sweat doing it alone, just make good, conservative decisions and limit your risk.

    IMG_20210609_102026816.jpg

    So Scenery:

    Getting it out of the way: Mt Greylock was more interesting than Mt Washington. I said it. Mt. Washington was the surface of the moon but with more Harley-Davidsons. Mt Greylock was peaceful, had things living on it, was free, and mercifully lacked Harley-Davidsons. Just stand next to a Harley with music blaring and shout to yourself in a Long Island accent “It’s OK to have a beer once in a while!” while slamming said beer and you’ve visited the parking lot of Mt Washington.

    Mt Washington redeemed itself however in its entertainment value. Watching Harley riders ply the treacherous waters of the Mt Washington stone parking lot could, and did, provide hours of entertainment. I observed three approaches to this hard-enduro course: 1. Walking the bike with both feet dabbing; 2. Riding the bike with both feet sticking straight forward (advanced riders only); and 3. Walking alongside the bike, under power, until the safe harbor of pavement was attained. The latter two I dubbed “The Trimaran” and “The Walk of Shame”.

    IMG_20210613_120424365.jpg
    There's a lone KLR in there somewhere

    Vermont and New Hampshire are very different. I wasn’t expecting that. People in Vermont are worryingly, even suspiciously, happy to see you. It’s almost like they may be on something, but if so I wholeheartedly support it. I love Vermont. People in New Hampshire… I’ll leave that there since I may go back some day. Vermont was all large and inviting green mountains and picturesque farms. New Hampshire was rugged. If I were elected President, my first act would be to 1. Immediately ban the manufacture and sale of blue tarps, and 2. Rename the state of New Hampshire to Rugged New Jersey.

    IMG_20210610_141549237.jpg
    Southern Vermont

    IMG_20210613_083300523_HDR.jpg
    Crawford Notch State Park, NH


    Towns and Stuff:

    I counted 19 Dollar Generals within site of the route and I probably missed some. By BDR’s official total of 1,300 miles, that’s a Dollar General every 68.4 miles. Don’t overpack.

    No less than three hundred people asked me if I’ve ever seen “The Long Way Around”. I have not. I’m sure it’s good. I’m also sure doing it yourself is ever more good. Obi-wan Kenobi did not invent motorcycle travel.

    IMG_20210611_133919448_HDR.jpg
    You mean I rode for days to get from Hancock to... Hancock?

    Riding, Routing:

    I saw precious few bikes on route; a half-dozen in central Vermont in towns, and one v-strom in NH I think, barreling down the middle of the road making no effort to yield ground. Forgiven. Yall are either doing the route on your couch or hiding from me, the latter of which I understand. Get out there and do it.

    IMG_20210612_095101070.jpg
    Tucker Mnt

    There were a few deer, maybe three-to-four hundred, who joined me on the route. Either due to the more-or-less nonstop off-pitch singing in my helmet or less encroachment further north, they seemed to tire of my company through Sections 4-8. Deer need more natural predators on the east coast.

    There are an enormous amount of “Road Closed”, “Road Closed to Thru Traffic” signs on the route; ignore this unpermitted and illegal signage. Just kidding.

    But it’s very hard to tell which “Road Closed” signs are legit or the result of locals trying to limit traffic. The “Road Closed” signs themselves varied in level of officiality from ‘bought on amazon’ to ‘finger painted by an inebriated child’. In most cases there was no discernible reason why the road would be closed. This became a cry-wolf scenario since the route would basically be unrideable in NY and MA due to “closures”, most of which were, as mentioned, less than official looking. I just went slow through these areas. In one case the Road Closed sign was legit due to work on the dirt road. As soon as I saw dudes at work in heavy equipment, I gassed it, using their machines as a ramp to sail over their heads and out of reach. No, I pulled clear off the road, shut down, and waited 20 minutes for them to do their thing. I chatted with one of the workers and he said that he wasn’t planning to let me through, but appreciated me staying clear and being patient, so let me pass. Be respectful. Everybody’s human, at least for now.

    IMG_20210613_150211963.jpg
    I accidently rode this cable-cut for longer than I care to admit before realizing I was off the route. It was the best part.

    Dirt roads outside of National Forests are populated; anytime I saw mailboxes I took it down a gear, and I don’t mean to accelerate / wheelie.

    I also saw about a dozen “Motorcycles Slow Down” many more generic “Slow Down like your kids live here” signs on dirt roads. I questioned whether these applied to me at all, but eventually took them as a personal request to not be jerk. This was out of character.

    I did not ride the VT class 4 routes or the “hard” sections north of MA/VT border. I have no regrets. But you should do it.

    Why not ride the hard sections? My three primary goals for this trip were 1. Don’t get hurt; 2. Don’t get hurt; and 3. Don’t break the bike, all of which would potentially end the trip, or drastically change it and my means of getting home. Subsequent goals were 1. Make good decisions; 2. Have fun. If I want to push a fully loaded KLR to the max I’ll do it on single track near home. That way my wife only has to drive 20 minutes to haul a folded up KLR out of the woods, and 15 minutes to visit me in the hospital. I’ll get my jollies pounding dirtbikes into the ground elsewhere.

    IMG_20210613_201120605_HDR.jpg
    Rangeley Lake, Maine

    I did do the hard sections in S2 (NY) and S3 (MA). They were challenging, but didn’t go on for very long and I never felt like I would drop the bike. But it sounded and felt like the KLR could not endure that abuse indefinitely however, and I knew I had to ride that horse home. Make good decisions. But like I said, you should do it anyway.

    Living With It:

    I was eventually lubricating the chain three times a day. Bring chain lube. Either due to age, dust, or something else, the chain on the KLR made an unceasing racket all day. It also picked up an additional 3/4in of slack on the trip. As simple as adjusting the chain is, I decided not to risk touching tools to the bike and incurring any ‘whoops’ penalties and just delt with the slack and the weird throttle response.

    I wore the same pants for ten days straight. Once I got home I washed them thoroughly, then threw them out.

    The only, and I mean the only way I found to dry gear without the benefit of heavy machinery is: 1. Wear it on your body; 2. Get to a campsite early, setup and hang everything out to dry in the afternoon before sunset; 3. Strap it to the pelican case on back of the bike and flip it over every few hours. This is the way.

    Your body and the bike is a bio-machinery metabolism/gasoline powered drier. Heat from your body plus wind from the bike dries clothes, but you have to wear them wet.

    As for drying a tent, please don’t wear it: instead I would get to a campsite or clearing during the day, setup the tent as usual without staking it, then lift it into a tree off the ground with a rope and carabiner. The airflow, sun, and being off the ground dried it out within two hours, and apparently provided a lot of other people with entertainment as they asked themselves “WTF is wrong with that guy?”. I explained it was a hammock.

    IMG_20210610_094925520.jpg

    Nothing dries overnight or in the morning. At the end of the day all riding gear went into a waterproof rolltop bag since condensation collects on everything overnight, making it even more wet.

    I rode the route alone; I got the impression on the route I was completely alone for miles and miles. Like, in a small boat in the middle of the Pacific alone, especially in areas of NH and Maine. So much so I started calling the KLR the USS Hickory. I saw few if any vehicle tracks for long stretches. I heard no signs of human activity for hours of roadside breaks. I think much of that feeling was projection though; I bet these areas are more trafficked than it seems. I even bet that if you got hurt someone would find you in a week or two.

    If I were to do it over again:

    I’d run it North to South. I live a half-day ride from Hancock NY; I feel like I would have stopped and smelled the roses a little more in Maine, NH, and Vermont early on (the furthest reaches from home and the hardest areas to visit again) before get-home-itis struck.

    That said, Hancock NY isn’t much of a “goal” destination. I don’t mean to offend Hancockians, but a little clearing in the woods in New Hampshire was a more exciting destination.

    IMG_20210614_101220919.jpg
    Probably the most low-key end to a 1,300+ mile endeavor, but it was great

    68lbs of gear on the KLR, including bags, mounts, pelican case and such, felt like I was dragging a body through the woods. That said, I think I’m at the point of diminishing returns on the cost vs weight curve. I’d have to spend on the order of $50/lb or more to cut more weight while sacrificing durability, and I’m not into doing that. But you should do it.

    The trip instantly became much more enjoyable when I took the clock off the handlebars.

    No more synthetic t-shirts. I hate them; they stink after 1 day of use and feel terrible to wear. I brought three, washed one every day to dry on the pelican case/drying rack the following day, and quit doing that after three days. I bought cheap cotton shirts in Vermont knowing I couldn’t rely on them for warmth when wet and drying them would take a long time on the drying rack. No regrets.

    I do not own a single piece of waterproof anything. Freshly waxed/sno-sealed boots? Sodden on day two. Rain pants and jacket? Wind protection only. Bright-blue rubber lobster-claw gloves I pull over my riding gloves? Inexplicably permeable.

    I will need to fix all of this rain-proofiness in the future. Tourmaster, Frogg Toggs, Drytex, everything “waterproof” has failed me so far, even when brand new, with the exception of the Nelson Rigg panniers and WalMart rolltop bags. I’d go the backpacker route and just use non-waterproof gear that dries fast, it would be cheaper after all, except than when backpacking you’re generating a lot of heat to stay warm but while on the bike I get cold fast at any speed, even in mild temperatures. I’m not sure how to fix that.



    If you have questions, fire away. I’m always glad to help, but purposefully left out details on the route because you should just go do it.
    #1
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  2. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2018
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Centre PA
    CampgroundMap.PNG

    GPS files of campgrounds along route attached.

    Green icons = state / public / national forest campgrounds (I prefer these so there are a lot of them)
    Brown icons = Primitive sites, gathered from online searching or what I saw. Use at your own risk.
    Purple icons = Private campgrounds. I typically avoid these, so there aren't many.

    I added notes, especially to the Green icons, included amenities (drinking water, hot showers, etc) and cost. Costs vary a lot, they are just a guide.

    Attached Files:

    #2
  3. atlanticpsllc

    atlanticpsllc n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    Great write up!
    I am planning the same trip solo - for late summer / early fall.
    Finishing a "build" of a 2006 KLR right now as well for the journey.
    Would love to ask you some additional questions about equipment, stops, etc. if you would not mind....
    Appreciate it!
    #3
  4. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2018
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Centre PA
    Fire away
    #4
  5. snglfin

    snglfin this statement is untrue

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,005
    Location:
    berkshire county
    excellent summary of your trip! great writing style that touches on all the pertinent info… thanks for posting this!
    #5
  6. DCTFAN

    DCTFAN 2019 CRF1000LD | 2016 CRF1000LD | Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,231
    Location:
    GA
    Great RR. Love the dry humor and short summary style.

    The only thing I did not like was your comment
    I hope "probably" will change. Keep it coming :clap
    #6
    Moto Jimmy likes this.
  7. jdub

    jdub Dawg bytes reel gud Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,572
    Location:
    S. Central PA
    Agree with the above comments. One of the more entertaining ride reports I've read in quite a while. Keep writing, love your humor and style! Thanks for sharing.
    #7
  8. +venture

    +venture Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2019
    Oddometer:
    305
    Location:
    Eastern Long Island
    Great report. Especially the “you should do it” line. Very well written.
    Urges me on the way a ride report should.
    Thanks!
    #8
  9. atlanticpsllc

    atlanticpsllc n00b Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2020
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    What did you use for navigation? An GPS or your phone, or both?
    How was the KLR with running / charging electronics? Did you have to upgrade anything on the bike to support the use of electronics for this long a ride?
    What did you take for tools? Trying to decide what is really needed and what is not to conserve weight.
    Similar to you, was planning on one pair of riding pants, with minimal gear that could be washed & dried along the way. Any gear in particular that worked out really well? Appreciate any feedback. Thank you
    #9
  10. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2018
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Centre PA

    Oh man, you’re going to out me as the most KLR-guy in the world…

    I’m not sure any of this is very insightful. I bet a lot of folks may even say “DUH” to everything below, but just in case:

    Nav: An old Android phone with no sim card and Locus Maps Pro, which is kept on charge via cigarette port and modified USB charger all the time. You don’t even need the Pro version of Locus but the extra features are nice. I download the offline OSM maps on WIFI (50 mile corridor around the route) for free a few weeks before I leave (you’re limited how much you can download per day for free). Same with Google Maps, I download offline areas of where I’ll be.

    I then back up and duplicate the maps and route to my primary phone (with sim card), but I keep that packed away for emergency and communication use only. But I can use the sim card phone for nav if the primary nav phone craps out, or as a hotspot for the nav phone.

    IMG_20210620_133949383.jpg
    Nav phone (GPS only, no sim) in waterproof configuration left, mount for backup phone right. Ignore the 11.6V on the dash, I decided it was cool to leave the key on while I washed the bike

    The best parts about using an old cell phone: it’s almost entirely free, you have your pick of very nicely featured nav apps, everything is easy to keep updated, and did I mention it’s basically free? Garmin wants $100 for maps or whatever. Screw that.

    The downsides to using a phone for nav: it’s not waterproof (so it goes in a clear bag), and some phones the screen is very hard to see at full brightness in daylight. Also some phones discharge faster than they charge if the battery is old, so test yours.

    I also take the cheap cigarette-to-usb adapters, drill two holes in them, and pot them full of silicone for waterproofness. Ultimate KLR-guy.

    IMG_20210620_142915310.jpg
    Silicone potted cig-to-USB charger. I use two-part silicone so it cures throughout. RTV is fine, but it only cures where exposed to air. I keep a few of these onboard as backups.

    Tools: there’s a ton of toolkit info out there. The only thing KLR specific I’ll mention is spare tubing for the vacuum line that runs from the intake manifold to the fuel valve. This is actually common on a lot of bikes. You’ll see the second line coming from the back of the fuel valve itself. The fuel valve needs vacuum to actually flow fuel, which it pulls from the manifold. I’ve had this line crack before and it was a bugger to figure out. The tube sees a lot of heat.

    I’m no expert in the tool kit area though since I’ve actually never had to use them in the field, I get all my work done and tested well before I leave. Not pictured are spare tubes, a Gatorade bottle of the World’s Best Oil (Rotella), a bottle of gear lube/chain lube, and a small high volume manual tire pump.

    IMG_20210620_133537629.jpg
    Stuff I've Never Had to Use: Left to right - clutch cable, voltmeter, spare headlight bulb (probably broken), gorilla tape, quicksteel epoxy, allen wrenches, factory toolkit, mini vicegrips, screwdriver set, spare clutch and brake levers, tire irons, spare fuel and fuel valve vacuum tube, copper wire, zip ties, spark plug, fuses, lighter, master link (kinda useless without a chain braker), tube patch kit

    KLR electronics: I keep one half of one eye on the dash-mounted voltmeter and it’s always been fine. It stays around 13V with 60W headlight, LED aux lights, and two cig ports, one charging the nav phone in the front and one charging a USB battery pack in the back. When I used to use heated gloves it will dip below 12V when I have a turn signal on, otherwise it’s just barely charging with everything else and heated gloves. This is with the stock stator reading Ohm values within spec.

    Judging from the wiring diagram, the 1st gen KLR should run with a dead battery or faulty 12V system (as long as there isn’t a dead short to ground). The 2nd gen will not. I haven’t tested this though.

    Clothes: This is a work in progress still for me. I had cotton carpenter type pants (NO, I didn’t get them at a thrift store, I splurged at Walmart) which I ended up wearing every day. I also had Klim Dakar mesh pants, which ended up packed most of the time. I’ve decided the Dakar pants are only worth the knee armor; they are only good to me between 68 and 75 degrees. They flow too much air to be warm, and the lower leg is too hot above 75.

    I tried just a mesh MX shirt on hot days and the sun beat straight through it, making me warmer. The mesh jacket was better.

    For indefinite length ADV trips between low 50s F to 90s F, I’ve narrowed down clothes to:

    On-body: boots, darn tough socks, riding pants of some sort (would like to improve this), cotton shirt (ditto), mesh jacket, helmet, mechanics gloves.

    Packed clothes: Windbreak/insulated jacket liner (needed w/ mesh jacket), warmer gloves, xxl dish washing over-gloves for warm/rain, rain suit top and bottom for warm (used a lot with mesh gear) and for rain, waterproof socks (cheap amazon, for cold sleeping and riding), 2x more darn tough socks, 2x more t-shirts, 2x more underwear, synthetic thermal bottom, synthetic thermal top, and you won’t catch me dead without my wool army surplus sweater. I wore all of this riding and/or sleeping on this trip, sometimes simultaneously.

    I’d love to splurge on merino wool t-shirts to replace cotton, but I’m way too cheap at the moment. Same with riding pants. It’s hard to beat the versatility of heavy cotton but the Dakars are not my favorite at all.

    After about 8 days I should have stopped at a laundromat, but didn’t. Just about everything can be worn for days straight without washing.


    Whew, hope that helps.
    #10
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  11. PlatyRider22

    PlatyRider22 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Nashua, NH
    Think MagnetMan might be the hero 2021 needs and it really deserves. Hope to see future Ride Reports from you man.
    If you have a moment and the patience for someone's bewilderingly dumb questions, they're mine and I hold firm grasp of that market, I would love some tips.
    1. I want to ride the NEBDR here this summer, I school most the year, and I work all of the year, I have a break from one, and can tell the other I am f@#king off into the woods. I was going to catch the route from the VT border from my home in NH to the end in Maine. I have the map and GPX files, what mileage did you see in a given day in many of the VT and Maine Sections. I live in NH and actually have a good grasp on those, also I don't have the commute trail to home you do, and totally commend you on that scoot man. I move at a pace, even for being from the south, that can be called... sedately. Doing this alone to, and so behaving oneself and not whiskey throttling off a mountain side is sort of part of this. Think 8 days will be enough?

    2. Did you bring camping style meals or just hunt and gather as you made your way through?

    3. What section you think held the best experience?

    Okay dumb questions over, and thanks for your time and insight dude.
    Also, Being from TN.. in NH now. Mt. Washington is entirely overrated and the Harley hotspot to avoid unless your motorcycling style includes dressing like a dutch S&M catalog while pounding beers wiht alongside your hog and riding down that mtn with no helmet.
    #11
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  12. MagnetMan

    MagnetMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2018
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Centre PA
    Mileage is a very hard question to answer, it's so dependent on riding style and preference. I only tracked miles when I filled up so I don't even really know how much I did per day. I'll break it down below, but even if you did half-a-section per day you'd have enough time to do sections 4-7 to Rangeley, which is absolutely a double-dose-of-Xanax pace. That's OK.

    Section 8 to the end is short but felt like it took forever. I left Rangley SP campground at 7:20 AM and was at the end of S8 by 10:12 AM. If it all ended at Rangley SP campground that would have been fine with me because it was beautiful there. I did S8 only because I would need therapy for years if I did everything but the last 67 miles.

    My $0.01:
    • Try to avoid putting yourself in a physical or mental situation where you need to "make miles". I had a much better time when I was able to let go of the compulsion to "get to someplace X". It was hard for me to let go of that drive, but infinitely more enjoyable when I did. That's why I took the clock off my handlebars
    • You can always go back and do sections later, especially the ones that are local to you. Spend more time in the places farther from home
    • Do short days early in the trip, build up to long days if you want
    • I turn into a pumpkin after dark, but you don't. I never had to or chose to ride in the dark (sunset was 8:30PM). You could totally ride in the dark safely on everything except the hard sections, just go slow and be alert.
    • I was expecting issues finding established campgrounds on Friday and Saturday night, but didn't. It may have helped I was in Allis SP VT Friday night (kind of out there) and Covered Bridge campground NH Saturday night (5 campgrounds in the immediate area)
    • My campsite anxiety was my main source of bad mojo and it was unwarranted. I tried mitigated this by taking roads ahead or back to a campground, or marking suitable primitive sites on the map (legal or otherwise) if the day was running long which I could backtrack to in the event a campground was full
    • Don't worry about planning. Chill out and do it. If you have to change up plans, so what? Roll with it and enjoy the freedom to discuss it with your personal internal committee. I wish I did this better in life but that's primarily what I learn on these trips
    That's all my opinion of course. Do it your way, that's part of the reason for doing this in the first place.

    My riding style:
    • I couldn't ride a full section without mental and physical discomfort right off the bat, and I'm in good shape (physically at least). It took 4-5 days before I got my "trail legs" and felt like I could ride indefinitely without hating it
    • I was packed and pulling out of the campsite just after quiet hours at 7AM every day.
    • I rode at moderate pace most of the time, downright slow when I was around homes, trailheads, people doing people things, etc. I up'd the pace to "manic" when I got bored, had good forward visibility, and was sure no residences were around
    • I was on the move almost constantly for 10-12 hours a day
    • I rarely stopped for longer than 10 minutes, usually to look for stickers, but stopped 2-3 hours into the morning ride, then every hour or so for the rest of the day. Short breaks
    • My only longer stops were a food resupply at Walmart on S2 (I was three days in); Mt. Greylock on S3; Eating an entire pizza on S3; A stupid search for stove fuel for hours on S4; Mt Washington on S6; Another food resupply on S7.
    2. On food:

    I bring various items of food based on past backpacking trial and error. My food bag usually contains NO MORE than:
    • I divide two dehydrated mountain house meals into four separate portions, and I save the original bags to "cook" in (did I mention I ride a KLR?)
    • A jar of almond butter every four days (I hate peanut butter)
    • Bag of granola w/ protein every three days
    • As many apples as I can carry
    • Lots of coffee powder
    • 2-4 Pouches of tuna (or cans but they're heavier)
    • Soppressata or chorizo
    • 4-6 packs instant oatmeal
    It's super easy to carry too much food, but I was hungry ALL THE F_ING TIME. I lost 8lbs in a week-and-a-half. The most annoying thing is I never run out of all my food at once, so I end up needing breakfast food resupply today, dinner food resupply tomorrow, until I stop caring and eat dehydrated chicken and dumplings for breakfast, oatmeal and apples for dinner. This is more annoying when backpacking since excess food is heavy and resupplies are harder.

    Living off the land is very frowned upon or illegal in most areas now, and doing so legally with the manifold small game, fishing, snare, and firearm restrictions and licensing requirements would be a nightmare. There are lots of good places to fish if you can pick up a license, but I don't know if they are catch and release. It's also nearly impossible to collect wild food reliably; you'd probably spend half the day doing it, and it's just not necessary. The other thing I've noticed which isn't unique to this route is that most woodland creatures in these areas are true woodland creatures; they are not used to people and subsequently are very furtive. I hardly saw any wildlife even when walking barefoot off-bike.

    3. The BEST Section is....

    I really don't want to do a section by section assessment, or discuss my favorite. Hence the un-substantive and hackneyed dad-jokes, which I'm happy to continue. You should just do it. I've already written too much and I'm not getting paid to write (offers?).

    Section 1 - Everything is named "this-kill" or "kill-that" in the Catskills. That's the most interesting feature of the area.

    Section 2 - It was good. Some neat waterfalls. The hard section near Fleischmanns was indeed challenging. Moreso if you're going South I'd wager. There was another "Road Closed" section in S2 (I think) which was cool. Of course, I did all the easy AND hard routes, turning around four times to do them both ways. Io sono l'oumo. I could still remember how to ride on shared roads at this point, which proved useful near the Hudson. I forgot how to do so later.

    Section 3 - Camping options looked terrible in MA; campgrounds closed, $40 parking charges for out-of-state vehicles. Massachusetts rubbed me the wrong way before I even left. I was planning to rocket-blast through but that would have been a mistake; S3 turned out to be awesome. Super-chill dirt roads in CT and MA, Greylock was worth it, October Mnt. was fun. Nice section.

    Section 4 - Fun fact: Vermont is so scenic and inviting I wanted to vomit. Vermont also has unquestionably the highest quality dirt roads I've ever seen; you can comfortably do 50mph on Vermont dirt roads, and I had fun with two wheel drifts owing to the consistency and predictability of the road surface. They also assume you are an adult (debatable) so are very generous with their speed limits. I spent a lot of time looking for places I remembered from hiking Vermont almost 15 years ago. I remembered nearly nothing. It was great.

    Section 5 - Have I mentioned how much I like Vermont, at least for five months out of the year? I wish I had taken the time to stop for coffee in Rochester. In some parallel universe there is a happier MagnetMan with his feet up, espresso in hand, outside a cafe in Rochester, VT. Camping was limited in this area outside the State Parks, and hotels all seemed to be hilariously expensive B&Bs, but you're not far from the econo-boxes of Montpelier and I-89. Allis State Park was very peaceful, run by very nice people, and besides me was populated with considerate adults. All of the Vermont State Park campgrounds were nice.

    Section 6 - Wow, New Hampshire has speed limits. The very first thing I did on arrival to New Hampshire was get in trouble with the police. I was expecting New Hampshire to be a sort of cousin to Vermont but if they are cousins someone was adopted. The cliff formations and geology were staggering. New Hampshire made me want to read up on rock formations and granite, if you can imagine doing such a thing. There are nice dirt roads, scenic paved roads, a neat state forest, beautiful Crawford Notch, Mnt. Washington, all of which were ruined by the people who live in New Hampshire. And I grew up in New Jersey.

    Section 7 - Maine is neat. It felt very remote at times but there are many scenic lakes, vacation spots for people who make a lot more money than me. The mountain terrain in this area of Maine is more muscular than Vermont but not as "F-you" as New Hampshire. There was a spot where the route literally went through some bushes after crossing a cable cut. I followed the cable cut for a long time and I can tell you it was great riding, both ways. Eventually upon returning to the route I closed my eyes and followed the line on the map, popping out on a road beyond the bushes. The dirt roads in Maine have ubiquitous potholes which are invisible until your suspension is fully bottomed out. Lastly, you're out of your mind if you don't think I'm already trying to figure out when I can get back to my campsite in Rangeley State Park. I even bought a shirt with a trout on it that says "Rangeley", and it was nearly $18!

    Section 8 - Are you really not going to do Section 8? Let's be honest, it doesn't matter what I say about it.

    My trip by day:

    0: Home to Mongaup Pond Campground, NY, via Hancock, ~250m (all off route). I used the published MA-NE connector route and I think it's the same as running Google Maps with "avoid highways" turned on
    1: All of S1 > 1/4 of S2. Mongaup Pond Campground > Little Pond Campground
    2: 1/4 through S2 > S2 just before the Hudson. Little Pond Campground > North South Lake campground. Poured rain all day. I didn't want to cross the Hudson because campgrounds beyond here are run by NYPARKS - more expensive and full of city people.
    3: End of S2 from the Hudson > Adams, MA on S3. I hopped off the route in Adams, went up Greylock, and took roads to Woodsford SP in Vermont for the night
    4: End of S3 > 1/2 through S4. Woodford, VT campground > backtrack south to adams to pickup where i left off > north on-route to Hapgood campground VT
    5: 1/2 through S4 > 1/2 through S5. Hapgood campground VT to Allis state park VT, including a ridiculous trip through Woodstock to EMS in Lebanon NH for stove fuel
    6: 1/2 through S5 > 3/4 through S6. Allis state park VT to Covered Bridge campground NH
    7: 3/4 through S6 > end of S7. Covered bridge campground NH to Rangeley SP Maine, including Mt Washington. This was too long of a day but I was into it at this point
    8: S8 from Rangeley. From the clearing, short leg to Canadian boarder by road, and a road trip to Saratoga Springs NY. I felt like i was going to pass out.
    Last Day: Home from Saratoga Springs, NY
    #12
  13. SR1

    SR1 Going to America!!!!

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,555
    Location:
    Knockersville, TN
    @MagnetMan thanks for the write-up. I had planned to do the NEBDR this year but time got away from me and I was only able to do the MABDR. Next year I will do the COBDR and hopefully the NE too... I really appreciate your commentary above.
    #13
  14. PlatyRider22

    PlatyRider22 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2016
    Oddometer:
    176
    Location:
    Nashua, NH

    Thanks so much for your time and advice, man! Especially the food advice, I watched the Amazon NEBDR video and they ate a lot of restaurants and stayed at hotels a lot, so I wanted advice from someone who... well rides a KLR. The KLX and I are cheap, and wanted to keep this as outside and on our own as possible, albeit safely and securely. Thanks again, and look forward to your future write ups!
    Chase
    #14
    SR1 likes this.
  15. SR1

    SR1 Going to America!!!!

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,555
    Location:
    Knockersville, TN
    I’m thankful for all the hard work the BDR team put into the routes but I agree the emphasis on hotels and restaurants is a little overkill. I guess they do it to get more advertising dollars so they can do more routes. Not sure.
    #15
  16. Brett737cap

    Brett737cap Life is short... leave with no regrets. Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Oddometer:
    995
    Location:
    Bergton, VA
    Wow, I actually read that whole ride report, which is a huge testament to your writing and humor. I usually don't get very far into ride reports because A) I have a very short attention span, usually distracted by food or a pretty woman, 2) Many are very long, and I would rather be out riding C) I try not to spend much time on a computer, mostly because the magic therein spooks and confuses me.

    I am planning on doing the NEBDR solo as well this September, so it was interesting to see one from someone else who did it solo. I've heard that the locals in VT and NH were not welcoming to the BDR riders, and that, in some cases, they had put chains across the road. Did you encounter anything worse than the illegitimate "road closed" signs? I live just off the MABDR and have ridden it a few times but never encountered anyone who was anything but friendly, so wondering why its so different up there.

    Thanks for the good RR.
    #16
  17. Koof

    Koof Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    158
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #17
  18. longslowdistance

    longslowdistance Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,912
    Location:
    Virginia
    What’s different up there is folks who want serenity in their backwoods dachas but now get a lot of noisy and dust raising motos. I get why they are peaved. Here in the southern Appalachians the houses are much farther off the roads and there are fewer of them, so our presence is much less disruptive.

    Thank you Magnetman for your thoughtful behavior. Unfortunately it takes just a few jerks to get landowners pissed at all of us, leading to things like chains across roads.
    #18
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  19. dasgaswolf

    dasgaswolf bruh. Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,180
    Location:
    Maryland
    Funny you mention the chain -- because I encountered an enraged hillbilly on the MABDR (near Brandywine, WV) that flagged me down, claimed an earlier motorcyclist had killed his friend's dog, and told me that the "people in the mountains were angry" and were gonna start "stringing wire across the road."

    The BDR project is awesome overall. But not for everyone.
    #19
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  20. Junya

    Junya Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Classic observations, well said.
    #20