The Big Adventure of 2016


Reports and stories from trips, planning of gatherings, questions about how to get there!
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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:43 pm



My buddies and I just got back a couple of days ago from our big adventure (not ADV, just an ambitious ride). Here is kind of a day by day of all we did as I shared it with my groupies on Facebook.

Day 1 - Friday, July 8
You just know the day is going to be epic when the plan is to get a good night's rest, put in a half day of work, finish packing, and then hit the road for a 4000+ mile bike ride - BUT - you are rudely woken by a charlie horse cramp at 3:30 am AND the skies are flashing with wicked lightning. Yup, it's gonna be epic indeed.....

Began my annual bike trip to somewhere today. Left Kansas and camped in Roaring River, Missouri. Had an interesting night braving thunderstorms. Tomorrow our goal is somewhere east of Nashville.
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"I just wanna ride..."

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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:47 pm

Day 2
Second day of riding is complete. We rode 600 miles but fell a bit short of our goal to get east of Nashville. Our Kawasaki Concours rider has a newer Garmin GPS that allows us to program it for "interesting" routes, so we took a fantastic ride through northern Arkansas. Skies were overcast, and there was evidence of recent rain on the roads, but we stayed dry and safe. The unusual excitement (and schedule delay) occurred when our Victory Vision rider's tent came loose off his bike and the tail dragger of the group (me) stopped and walked back 3/4 of a mile on the busy interstate to retrieve it. Alas, it was beyond use so we found a Gander Mountain for him to acquire a replacement. It was dark by the time we found a beautiful campground west of Nashville, and that is where we are now hoping to get some peaceful sleep!! Peaceful, that is, if the extremely loud night critter sounds act as a lullaby...
"I just wanna ride..."

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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:54 pm

Day 3
Day 3 in the bag!! We wimped out and took the superslab across Tennessee to make up time. The ride across Tennessee was pretty quick, but there was tons of traffic and way too many idiot cagers who think that since their vehicle is bigger than yours that they can just merge on top of you. Reason number 1 why we usually try to ride secondary roads.

Reason number 2 why we love back roads is the scenery. Eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina are pretty much my definition of heaven on earth. Simply beautiful!! Great twisty roads are a bikers dream. Add in numerous elevation changes, more trees than grains of sand, lots of lakes and streams, etc.

The endgame of the day was to ride the Cherohala Parkway and the Tail of the Dragon. Totally worth it!! We decided before arriving to ride the Cherohala Parkway first so we could ride the Dragon from both directions and then continue on eastward. By the time we left after the second time through the Dragon it was beginning to get dark, so we hightailed it out to find a place to stay for the night. Even that exit route was awesome.
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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:57 pm

Day 4
520 miles. Mostly highway between Bryson City, North Carolina and Kiptopeke, Virginia. Some beautiful country. More crazy cagers. No photos. We rushed thru Norfolk since daylight was fading so we could cross the Lucias J Kellam bridge, which spans the Chesapeake Bay between Virginia and the Eastern Peninsula (part Virginia, part Maryland, part Delaware), and includes 2 underwater tunnels. Really cool experience!!

Since this was a "drive to get there" day, we decided to work on some group riding techniques to make the long drive more interesting. The first was learning to do synchronized lane changes. The second was doing synchronized position shifts in our chosen lane. I think we really impressed the busy traffic around us. We are pretty sure the next summer Olympics will have synchronized motorcycle dance as a premier competition, so we are well on our way to preparing our show.

That about wraps up today. We are camping on the southern point of the peninsula, but it was dark when we arrived so we'll see what the place looks like in the morning.
"I just wanna ride..."

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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
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Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:04 pm

Day 5
Even though we decided to camp as much as possible, we also decided NOT to cook our food to save on what we had to haul with us. However, I don't typically sleep well so I planned a way to at least get my early morning coffee fix (as seen in the photo below). The setup was perfect!!

Hit 7 states (Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island). Really enjoyed the Peninsula states, and ran into a remote military base by accident at the end of a wonderful road.

Then we hit New Jersey and the traffic began. We thought we'd take the shorter route to Rhode Island to make up for getting behind our nonexistent schedule, but I think the longer route further west might have had better scenery and less traffic. I'll keep telling myself that since I did not enjoy the traffic at all. Fortunately the other guys had fun so their pleasure makes my slight pains more bearable. And there is a story about a guy who accidentally got separated from the group and wasn't able to see the last minute detour to Liberty Park. But all's well that ends well.....

We had our first bike issue today when my speedometer cable broke about 200 miles into the day. It doesn't affect the drive ability of the bike, but it does take away my cruise control and self cancelling turn signals, which just makes long rides simpler. Hoping to find a Honda dealership tomorrow to find the parts to fix it. We always give the Harley guys a hard time about the constant repairs they require, so our lone Harley rider was enjoying watching me eat crow.

We also added 2 new maneuvers to our choreography today.

That's it for this episode.
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"I just wanna ride..."

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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:08 pm

Day 6
We made it to Portland, Maine!! This was our turn around destination (roughly 2500 miles traveled at this point). After packing up the camp this morning we began the mad dash from the south coast of Rhode Island towards Portland. There was some traffic near a couple of cities but nothing like yesterday. We spent some extra time in Portland trying to find a speedometer cable for my bike (no luck), visiting the local Harley dealer for our lone Harley rider to get a souvenir and for me to find a cramp buster to use while my cruise control is down for the count. We ended our visit with an early supper at the Portland Lobster Company (shrimp for me, lobster for the rest). We decided to go ahead and start the westward journey, so headed out and made it to Conway, New Hampshire. Tomorrow we intend to ride up Mt Washington nearby, and then see how close to Buffalo NY we can get.
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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:11 pm

Day 7
Had a great day of driving a meandering route thru New Hampshire and Vermont. Drove up Mt. Washington only to enter the clouds near the top with nothing but clouds visible. Some of the best driving of this entire trip was rural NH and VT. We ran into our first rain of the trip just before leaving VT. Waited out most of the storm in a country store owned by a lady from Oklahoma City. Left as the rain was slowing down and pushed on into New York. Made it to Syracuse really late after getting stopped by a quick but hard thunderstorm (bridges make decent shelter). We rolled past 3000 miles tonight and estimate we have 1300 or so left to go.
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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:17 pm

Day 8
Well, I've heard it said that problems come in threes, so today was bike problem number 3. The first was the broken speedometer cable on my Goldwing. The second was a front fender issue with the Victory Vision. Today was a tire that had lost all tread on the Harley.

We left Syracuse this morning hoping to get as far as Ft. Wayne, Indiana, with a planned stop at Niagara Falls. We enjoyed seeing the majesty of the falls!! Such a reminder of the beautiful power of nature. As we left Buffalo we realized that we were seeing tons of BMW motorcycles, so there must have been a rally in the area.

After leaving Buffalo our next destination was Toledo. While getting gas near Erie, Pennsylvania someone noticed that the Harley had a completely bald rear tire. So we found a dealership in Erie that could replace his tire this afternoon and headed that way. Little did we know that this is Erie Bike Week and we were treated to the chance to hang out with hundreds of bikers and bikes of all shapes and sizes. It took about 3 hours to get everything done, which meant that our destination for the night needed to be adjusted. We were planning to camp but figured we would have to do it near Toledo, so instead we used the time we would have spent setting up camp and instead drove up to crash at my brothers place in Britton, Michigan. It was my sister-in-law's birthday, so they shared some birthday cake with us. What a treat!!

(They also gave us a rare privilege - covered parking!!)
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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500A Aspencade

Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:19 pm

Day 9
Whew!! Started off the day after a great nights sleep at my brothers. Had homemade biscuits for breakfast then, after inducting our hosts into the newly named Road Dogs motorcycle adventure society, we hit the road. 15 hours, 1 dead bird, and 760 miles later we landed for the night in Olathe, Kansas (at the "new" home of our youngest member)!! Needless to say we are TIRED tonight. Tomorrow the 3 Wichitans will drive the last 200 miles home. We are anticipating a total trip length of 4500 miles.
"I just wanna ride..."

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darryldevaney
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:05 am
Location: Wichita, Kansas
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Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby darryldevaney » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:27 pm

Day 10 - July 17
The Finale!! We finally came full circle and arrived back in Wichita mid-afternoon today (July 17). It was a hot ride coming back into Kansas, so we knew we were on the home stretch (and it definitely took quite a bit of stretching to keep me in the saddle for one last hurrah).

Here are a few stats from this installment of the Road Dogs adventure log:

States visited (21 total, in chronological order, ignoring repeats): KS (x2), MO (x2), AR, TN, NC, VA, MD, DE, NJ, NY (x2), CT, RI, MA, NH (x2), ME, VT, PA, OH, MI, IN, IL;

Miles logged: between 4350 and 4568, depending on rider's starting point (higher numbers for the 3 from Wichita, lower for the 1 from Olathe);

Nights in: tents (or hammocks) - 4; hotels - 3; homes - 2;

Bike issues: broken speedometer cable (the Goldwing; also affected odometer, cruise control, and auto turn signal cancellation); broken fender (the Victory; recall issue for attach fitting failure, which it did); rear brake pad failure (both the Harley and the Goldwing); rear tire failure (the Harley);

Number of tipovers: really? Not going there.....

Number of persons left dead on the side of the road: 1 (well, not technically dead, but out of touch and definitely missing out on the fun);

Bikes involved: 2013 Victory Vision, 2008? Harley Davidson Ultra Glide, 2002 Kawasaki Concours, 1996 Honda Goldwing;

Average age of riders: 42 (an insult to the young pups, a smile for the old guys; actual ages were 24, 28, 54, 61);

Number of deaths: 1 (small bird doing a kamikaze dive into the Concours windshield; RIP Tweety);

I think that about wraps up the stats. Here are a few personal observations.

1. This was a really ambitious ride for us. We didn't hit everything we had on our initial "want to do" list, but we did hit all the states (plus 2 - NJ & MI). It turned into more of a sprint to get the circle complete and less of a chance to site see, but that's OK. We'll never forget this trip.
2. All 4 of us were using Sena bluetooth intercoms (3-SMH10 and 1-10S), which worked quite well once we figured out how to keep them in sync. I think bluetooth intercom technology is still in an evolutionary process, but being able to stay in communication most of the time was definitely a good thing for a trip like this. Of course it can also lead to miscommunication which might not occur if we were just following the leader (aforementioned rider left for dead).
3. Motorcycle camping can be an affordable way to travel. Of the 4 nights we camped, our site fees were $13, $12, $0, and $52. We just kind of winged it on campsite selection, which turned out mostly good. I used an android phone app called Kampnik to find campgrounds in the area where we thought we would end up each night. Obviously one night was way out of whack when compared to the others, but it was also a huge state campground so some attention to detail during the research phase probably would have saved some money that night, but it was so late when we arrived we just bit the bullet and did it. I did find that for me (and only me) sleeping outside, especially if it is humid, is not conducive to a great sleep. I was totally comfortable with my bedding and tent, just didn't sleep well. I guess I'm too accustomed to air conditioning (or moving air at all, for that matter). Next time I do this I'll try to find a battery operated fan to see if that helps.
4. I think our next motorcycle trip will focus on one regional area so we can maybe setup camp and see as much of the local highlights as possible and not have to continually setup and teardown a campsite in the middle of the night (average setup time was 11pm).

And that is how this story is going to end. it was a great and memorable trip with guys I am proud to have had the privilege to travel with and to get to know on a deeper level.
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rachester67
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Location: Irving, Texas
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Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby rachester67 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 7:53 am

That was a nice adventure! Plan to do a week or two like that sometime in my life.

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landisr
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Location: Gilbert, AZ
Motorcycle: 1976 GL1000
1994 GL1500A

Re: The Big Adventure of 2016

Postby landisr » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:31 am

Looks like you had a great time. Fun bunch of guys, and a nice mix of bikes. Thanks for sharing.

Ron in AZ


Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here.


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