Saturday, July 12, 2014

2014 Motorcycle Trip - Part I

Days 1, 2, 3 - NB, ME, NH, VT & NY

I just arrived home from my 2014 motorcycle trip and like past years, it was an excellent ride!  This year took my friend Luc and I on a few familiar roads and many new roads and experiences.  Over eight days, we visited 5 states and logged 4000 km on our motorcycles!

Day 1 - Fredericton, NB to Gorham, NH. (NB Route 102, TC 2, I-95, ME/NH Route 2)

Our day 1 ride is one we have completed before and one we are very familiar with.  There was a bit of excitement along the ride, on NB Route 102, I hit a large bump and my GPS went flying out of it's holder.  Luc and I stopped and spent 30 minutes or so searching both sides of the road and no luck; we finally gave up and decided to continue on our journey, minus a lost GPS.  To my surprise, when I went back to get on my Street Glide, I found the GPS lodged between my rear cylinder of the motorcycle and the frame.  I reconnected and we were on our way!

I-95 Rest Stop

We made several stops along the way, including a visit to the Victory Motorcycle Dealer outside of Bangor, ME.  We had a great chat with a salesman who gave us a full tour of the Victory line of motorcycles. 

From there, it was a leisurely ride to Gorham, NH along ME/NH Route 2.  For most of the day, the weather was great with the exception of our arrival at Gorham.  We were hit with a rain shower, enough to get you damp, but not soaked!  We had a relaxing dinner and settled in early in preparation for day 2 ride. Total for distance for Day 1 - 550 kilometers. Hotel - Royalty Inn

Day 2 - Gorham, NH to Plattsburgh, NY (NH/VT Route 2, I-89, NY Routes 373, 9, 3, 86, 9N)

Day 2 started with rain showers and they continued off and on for a good part of the morning.  Our plan for the morning was relatively simple, ride to Burlington, Vermont and catch the ferry across Lake Champlain to New York State.  We followed Route 2 across New Hampshire and for most of Vermont.  We did catch the I-89 just outside Burlington to ensure that we would make the ferry on time.  The ride and the roads were good and the countryside was scenic.

We arrived in Burlington in plenty of time for the 12:10 ferry crossing,  Burlington is a beautiful city and we had some time to walk around and view a few sites.

Burlington, VT

After our short walk around the Burlington waterfront, it was time to load on the Lake Champlain Ferry for our sail to Port Kent, NY.  Prior to loading, we met up with another group of bikers and agreed to meet on the ferry to discuss routes for NY and PA.

Lake Champlain Ferry

The sail on the ferry was great and best of all, the one hour sail across Lake Champlain only costs $11.00!  On the boat, we caught up with the bikers we spoke to in the parking lot, dug out our maps and had a great conversation about routes to follow in the Adirondack Mountains and Pennsylvania.

Looking at NY State

Once we arrived on the New York side, we decided to ride into Plattsburgh and grab some lunch and plan our afternoon ride.  We decided on a loop that was suggested from our discussion on the ferry.  It was a two and a half hour loop through Saranac Lake and Lake Placid and back to Plattsburgh.

Saranac Lake - Lake Placid Loop

This was a very scenic ride through lake country and I would highly recommend it!  The only issue we ran into on this ride was in Lake Placid, it was the July 4th holiday and traffic was backed up and it was a very slow ride through town.  However, we did find a real treat, Route 86 outside of Lake Placid!  If you ever go to Lake Placid, this is a must ride road!  It follows a river/gorge area and is an absolute joy to ride, lots of twistys to crank the throttle on!

Back in Plattsburgh, we settled in at the Best Western as they are motorcycle friendly and offer a discount to HOG members.  We were thrilled to find they had a wash area for motorcycles, so we made a quick trip to pick up some car wash and cleaned all of the dirt and mud that had accumulated on the bikes from our ride through Vermont.  Overall, even with the early morning rain, it was a great day of riding!

Day 3 - Plattsburgh, NY to Oneonta, NY via the Adirondacks (NY Routes 9, 9N, 86, 28N, 28, 30, I-88)

My gear!

We decided on an early start for Day 3 and first on the agenda was a visit to the local Harley Davidson Dealer, I was looking for a set of stirrups for my boots/jeans and was able to purchase a pair.  We had an excellent conversation with one of the sales ladies and she suggested some routes for us to ride. 

We decided to return to Lake Placid and ride Route 86 again (that's how good it was)!  This time, we connected the GoPro camera to my Street Glide and shot a video of the ride (video to follow).  We couldn't get enough of this route!  Along Route 86, we stopped at Flume Trail and took the time to view some of the scenery.

The River & Mountain at Flume Trail

We stopped in Lake Placid and this time, it was great and different from the mayhem of traffic we experienced the previous day.  We parked our bikes along the main drag and found a small coffee shop that overlooked the lake.  The weather was perfect and I could have sat there all day!  We looked at our maps and planned the rest our ride through the Adirondacks.  Our ride didn't go exactly as planned as we missed a turn, but it was to our advantage as we got to ride through Adirondacks, lakes and lower in the state, some incredible farm country.  Best of all and for the most part, the roads were amazing!

The Route
At our last fuel stop, we decided that we would ride to Oneonta, NY.  We had stayed their last year and it would get us closer to our Pennsylvania destination.  We were fortunate to get the last room at the Holiday Inn as there was a baseball camp at Cooperstown and the hotel was at capacity. We were both tired after a great day of riding and opted for dinner at the hotel and a few games of pool in the bar!

Days 4 - 8 to follow!

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