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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sturgis Recap

Sturgis was an experience of a life time. We rode our motorcycles from Connecticut to South Dakota and back with no issues or breakdowns, We started out with 4 riders and a one point the group grew to nine riders. It was eight Harleys and one old Goldwing.

Here is our daily mileage and destination

August 4 Suffield CT to Youngstown OH 537 miles

August 5 Youngstown OH to Princeton IL 493 miles

August 6 Princeton IL to Laurel NE 471 miles

August 7 Laurel NE to Sturgis SD 448 miles

August 8 Buffalo Chip to Devils Tower WY 206 miles

August 9 Buffalo Chip to Deadwood SD area 146 miles

August 10 Buffalo Chip to Mount Rushmore SD 207 miles

August 11 Buffalo Chip to Hewitt WY 176 miles

August 12 Buffalo Chip to Rapid City 132 miles

August 13 Sturgis SD to Blue Earth MN 515 miles

August 14 Blue Earth MN to Joliet IL 491 miles

August 15 Joliet IL to Harrisville PA 471 miles

August 16 Harrisville PA to Suffield CT 484 miles

Total miles for the trip was 4777 using 130 gallons of gasoline with an average of 37 miles per gallon. The miles per gallon was low due to the traffic and riding at speeds of 80 plus miles per hour.

It was an interesting 13 days with lots of different experiences. When we rode into the town of Laurel NE with a population of approximately 1000 people andwe were known as the “Wild Hogs”. We had dinner and breakfast at the same saloon. I would say it was the best steak dinner we had on the trip. The saloon was a good place for drinks after a long day of riding.

The ride into the town Sturgis of surprising. After riding almost 450 miles from Laurel NE to Sturgis we sat in motorcycle and camper traffic trying to get through the center of town. Either side of Main Street was loaded with vendor tents selling all kinds of motorcycle supplies and trinkets including t shirts and leather goods.

I was really impressed with the size of the Buffalo Chip campground. It was larger that most of the small towns we drove through. The best way to describe “The Chip” is a circus. There was activity all day and night. I got use to sleeping to the sounds of motorcycles revving and burning out. We were able to see many concerts at The Chip including The Guess Who, Bob Dylan, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, ZZ Top, Kid Rock, Motely Crew, Ozzy Osbourne and Pee Wee Herman to name a few. The only quiet time at The Chip was from around 5 AM to 8 AM it was loud and rowdy the rest of the time.

Most people came to The Chip in motor homes and trailering their motorcycles and toys. The toys consisted of ATV's, UTV's, golf carts, pools, hot tubs and many other questionable items I won't mention in this forum.

Riding in the Black Hills of South Dakota was second to none. We rode to Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore, Needles Highway, Custer State Park, and many surrounding towns in both Wyoming and South Dakota.

The ride home was similar to the ride out west but did start out on a sobering note. We rode past a really bad motorcycle accident on Interstate 90 just outside of Sioux Fall South Dakota. Two bikers lost their lives when they hit the rear end of a tractor trailer.

All in all it was a good trip and I look forward to future motorcycle cross country trips.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back Home

I made it back home this evening and feel guilty about not updating this blog during the trip.  We rode 4800 miles in 13 days and really did not have time after full days of riding to write updates. 
I plan on documenting the trip over the next week and placing one final update to this blog.  I have updated the pictures for your viewing pleasure.

It was a great trip and I look forward to riding the motorcycle cross country again!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sturgis

Its been a fun filled fast few days with the last 2 days into Sturgis and 1 day here at the rally.  Been having too much fun to upload this blog on a daily basis and probably will not update it until I am on the way back home this Friday.

The motto of the trip is ride the bike and drink beer and we are living by it.

Later

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Day 2 Princeton IL

Today started out with a little excitement when I walked out of the hotel room and noticed that it rained over night. I was so tired on Wednesday night that I forgot to cover my radio. The radio was swamped with water. Luckily it dried by noon and worked without a problem.

Today was another good ride with more and more motorcycles on the road. At every rest stop we visited we met folks traveling to the rally. I think this trend will continue as we get closer to Sturgis South Dakota.

Tomorrow we meet a fifth rider Steve here at the hotel and make our way to Laurel NE.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 1 Youngstown OH

The day started out in a Dunkin Donuts where we met and drank our coffee's before the ride began. It was a good day overall covering over 500 miles with no problems or concerns. We rode from Burlington CT to Youngstown OH.

We did encounter a little rain and traffic in PA, but nothing that stopped us from reaching our goal for the day.

The motorcycles all ran well with no problems to report.

Since I did not sleep well last night because of the anticipation of the trip I am hoping I will make up for the lost sleep this evening.
The plan for tomorrow is to ride from Youngstown OH to Princeton IL.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Less Than 48 Hours

Its now time to start counting in hours instead of weeks or days. I spent some time over the last three days cleaning and packing the Wing and I am ready to roll. The excitement is building as the days slip by.

Steve asked Tim and I if we would allow a charitable cause to use our trip as a fund raiser and we all agreed. Jocelyn's Run is a non profit organization that raises funds for families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. They built a web site which has already raised over $1,100.00 for the cause. The URL for the web site is http://www.active.com/donate/jocelyns-run/Sturgis.

Since Tim, Steve and I all work for the same company they featured our ride and the quest to raise funds for Jocelyn's run on our internal web site. I will send pictures to work and they will keep the internal web site updated with our travels.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Less Than 3 Weeks To Go

It's less than 3 weeks before the trip to Sturgis begins. During the July 4th weekend I decided to ride as much as I possibly could to make sure the bike and I are ready to go.

I took three separate rides over this three day weekend. Including Kent CT, Sturbridge MA and Mt Greylock MA, I rode a total of 576 miles over the weekend on these three separate rides and both the motorcycle and I held up well.

It was good to ride with the crew again and it gave me an incite to what the ride to Sturgis will be like.

Tomorrow I change the oil and start packing my clothes.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

2 Months To Go

I have been riding the bike as often as I can to make sure it's running without any issues after taking it in for service in January.

On one of my typical weekend rides I ran over a small branch which kicked up off the front tire and hit the bottom of the engine. I took a look at the bottom of the engine to make sure I did not have any damage and found that there was no damage from the branch but I was leaking oil from my transmission.

The clutch cylinder was rebuilt in January so I took it back to Honda and they found the issue with the leak and fixed it after 2 separate visits.
Its now running like new again with no issues. I took the opportunity to purchase some additional items for the trip and tested them out over the weekend. I now have a duffel bag to pack my camping equipment and a new mount for my GPS.

The only thing left to do is to change the oil which I will complete in July.

I am ready to roll!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Less Than 3 Months To Go

Another month has gone by and we are less then 3 months away from the ride to Sturgis. The crew has taken care of some of the logistics for the trip including the Buffalo Chip campground reservations and hotel reservations for the ride out and back.

It's a strange feeling planning a trip of this distance on my, soon to be, 26 year old Honda Goldwing. I am excited with anticipation of what the road trip will bring but also concerned with riding a vintage machine for that type of mileage. I expect to ride over 5000 miles on the 2 week trip and if history is a telling factor they will be trouble free miles.

It does remind me of the cross country trip I took while I was in college back in 1980. My good friend Everett and I spent a month on the road and made it out to Arizona and back. He rode a 1979 Honda Goldwing and I rode my 1977 Honda 750. That is the trip that convinced me that a Goldwing was the touring motorcycle of choice. I purchased my bike in August of 1984 and still enjoy riding it like the day I rode it home from Long Island City Honda.

My goal is to keep this blog updated with pictures and short videos of the ride along with short stories from our adventures. I hope you will find it informative and not boring. I will also do my best at keeping the pictures respectable. It may be a tall order at the Sturgis 70th anniversary event.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Day Of Spring

Spring has finally arrived and it seems more like summer. Got a text on my cell last Thursday from a number I did not recognize. It had a simple message “Mohawk trail ride Saturday”. Since I did not recognize the number and was not familiar with the Mohawk trail I figured it was a misdirected text.

I had plans to pick up our new puppy on Saturday and was trying to fit it all in. Luckily the time worked out perfectly and was able to pick up our new dog in Waterbury and be home in time to meet the other riders.
180 miles later I was back home having discovered a whole new ride that I plan on taking again.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

First Ride Of The Season

While I have been waiting out the cold winter months I have been feeling a little apprehensive about the trip to Sturgis on my 26-year-old motorcycle. Well today’s, first ride of the season, made all those thoughts disappear.

I went out this afternoon for my usual 95-mile ride west to Winsted and north up route 8 to Massachusetts. The bike is running great and it felt good to be on it again. I plan on doing as much riding as possible this Spring to prepare for the August trip out west.



I was amazed at the amount of snow that is still on the lawns and woods north of the town of Winsted. The Colebrook River Lake is still frozen with a lot of snow still in the parking area. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Garage Looks Normal Again

Got a call on Friday that the Wing was ready to go.  All the parts arrived and all the work was completed.  Marcia and I had plans to travel to Vermont to ski for the weekend so picking up the bike on Saturday was not an option.  Another busy week of work was already scheduled so I figured the first chance to pick up the bike would be next Saturday.
On my way out to exercise before work this morning I heard the weather report for the next few days.  I could not believe the forecast was for the high 30's today and a snow storm for tomorrow.  I instinctively went back into the garage and grabbed my helmet.  I was watching the weather during the day and was pleasantly surprised that it was in the low 40's.  I was able to reschedule a few meetings and leave work at 3.
It was an uneventful ride home but it feels good to have the Wing back home again.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

One More Week

Spoke to Dan at Manchester Honda this week and they found a couple of more minor issues while replacing the brakes. They found an issue with the seals and some rust on the calibers. Bottom line is that they will clean up the calibers and replace the seals on the front and rear brakes. Unfortunately the seals were not in stock and needed to be ordered.

The rest of the work was completed and all went well. One more week in the shop and its ready for the Spring riding season.

Now we just need Spring to arrive!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Results From Manchester Honda

Spoke to Dan the service manager and he recommended the following work:
  • replace brake fluid
  • replace differential fluid
  • replace front and rear brakes
  • rebuild hydraulic clutch cylinder
  • replace front and rear tires
  • replace battery
I wound up buying the tires (Continental Tours) from http://www.bikebandit.com/. Saved about 1/3 of the cost by buying them over the Internet.  Planning to drop them off tomorrow for installation. They will work on the bike during the next week.  I hope to get it back by next weekend.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Manchester Honda Service

Starting to prepare the bike for the big ride this summer. I figured I would get it in for service before the spring rush at the garage. Weather was good, almost Spring like, so I decide to drive to Manchester.

Took it in to replace and flush brake fluid, clutch fluid, rear differential and a new battery. Also asked the shop to do an overall inspection and to let me know if they recommend any additional work.