May 27, 2010

back from milwaukee…

just got back from one of the best trips i’ve ever been on… the scenery, the friendship, the laughs, the ride. and being able to share it all with my wife… it couldn’t have been any better.

we left out of here last wednesday, making our first stop for gas where i realized i had forgotten the key to my motorcycle. so we returned home to pick it up and make another attempt at leaving. we were successful this time, picking up another rider before making a stop for breakfast and to pick up the third rider.

after a delicious breakfast at cracker barrel, which would become a recurring theme during the trip, we began the real journey. the skies were overcast and the temps were cooler. the forecast called for clearing skies with some chance of rain.

as we headed through virginia and west virginia we ran into a little rain. and i mean very little rain. my wife and i couldn’t finish a conversation about whether we should pull over to put on our rain suits before the rain would stop. the threat of rain stopped as we travelled through ohio and indiana.

our first overnight stop was just outside indianapolis after travelling just over six hundred miles. i started the day thinking we’d be stopping about half way. it was such a good day riding the additional miles came easily. and it set us up nicely for the next day’s riding into milwaukee.

one of my only concerns with the route we had chosen was riding through chicago. don’t know why but i just wasn’t looking forward to it. the real problem was just about any route around chicago would add several hours to the trip. consensus was we would ride through instead of around chicago. and through chicago we went!!!

on the way through we pulled off the interstate to take a ride up lake shore drive. the view was a nice change of pace from the interstate we’d been following most of the day.

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the roads, at least the interstate, between chicago and milwaukee left a lot to be desired. it was probably good our destination was close as we could focus on that instead of the poor conditions of the roads.

we made it to milwaukee about mid-afternoon. early enough to unload the bikes and have some time to walk around enjoying the sites and tastes of the city.

a couple days later it was time to start heading home. we contemplated taking the lake express ferry from milwaukee to michigan to start the journey until the cost changed our minds. so we headed out aiming for west virginia not quite knowing the route we were taking. just pointing our bikes south and riding, knowing we’d get there eventually.

my wife had the chance to ride on an ultra classic which she really enjoyed. i think it made the trip more bearable for her. although for being the longest trip she’d ever been on she kept a positive attitude and made the best of it. the problem now is i either have to get a seat as comfortable as the ultra classic or get an ultra classic.

after riding all day under sunny skies and warm temps our target was charleston. but a longer route with leisurely stops and a couple deer crossing the highway as the sun was setting encouraged us to stop for the night in cross lanes.

the next day’s ride would take us home. the day started out warm and sunny. as we left west virginia, crossing through virginia and into north carolina, the skies would continue to get darker. eventually dumping a rain on us for about thirty minutes.

before we knew it we were home and being greeted by waiting family. as good as it was to get away it was even better to get back home and be with the family again.

this trip was easily the best trip i’ve been on. it was amazing in so many different ways. but mostly because i got to share it with my wife. i look forward to taking many more trips like this with her. even if it means i have to get a new bikes.

some pictures of our travels through parts of our beautiful country (in no particular order)…DSC_0230 (Large)

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DSC_0415 (Large)a photo op at one of our gas stops…


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DSC_0559 (Large)some women in west virginia roofing. yes, the two on the roof are women!!!


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IMG00221another photo op at another gas stop – this one a little more scenic.

check out the 2010 ride map – this one in green


picked up the bike today from ray price after having it serviced… it didn’t as take too long since my last service to rack up the miles. the trip to milwaukee helped that out.

not much done at this service – usual oil and filter change. they even changed the air filter for me. best of all, the bike got cleaned. not as clean as i would have done. but i can’t complain since i didn’t have to do it.

while the bike was in for service i got to cruise around on a 2010 electra glide classic.

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May 22, 2010

heading home...

had an amazing trip to milwaukee with my wife... packing up tonight to start our journey home tomorrow. it'll be nice to get home again.

May 20, 2010


left indianapolis this morning and made it to milwaukee - with a detour through chicago's lake shore drive...

a pic of the bikes before heading out this morning...

May 18, 2010

how low can you go…

for the past week or so we’ve been checking the weather up in milwaukee. the forecasts predict temps in the upper sixties/lower seventies – about twenty degrees cooler than here…

getting ready to pack today i realized we should probably be less concerned with the highs and focus more on how *cold* it might be getting.  it’s always easier to dress warmed and shed some layers than get cold and have to try to warm up. i want to avoid the situation i had when i came back from maryland

of course the lows are going to be a bit cooler – in the low/mid fifties. but it’s not as bad as it could be. and if we can avoid the rain it would be even better…

can’t wait to take off tomorrow…

May 16, 2010

cleaning up…

wanted to go for a ride with my wife yesterday to test out the new bars… she was in a cleaning mood and suggested i clean the bike instead. my first thought was why would i want to clean the bike *before* heading out on a big trip??

since i figured if i went for a ride my wife wouldn’t be going with me i decided to follow her advice and clean the bike. not necessarily a bad thing but not top on my list of things to do on a saturday…

i can’t remember the last time i actually cleaned my bike. sure it usually gets washed after a service but it never gets cleaned as well. not to mention not getting waxed. so it was probably time i washed the bike.

turns out it wasn’t such a bad thing… it gave me a chance to really go over the bike before heading out. i came across a couple items i wanted to check that i may not have found had i not cleaned the bike. nothing critical but worth checking into further.

when i finished cleaning the bike i felt a lot better about it. not only did it end up clean, i felt more confident about the condition of the bike.

now i looking forward to the trip even more…

May 12, 2010

installing comfort…

picked up the comfort profile saddlebag guards today from shelton’s… installation was easy and went smoothly. the longest part was running out to pick up a torque wrench. normally i would just tighten the bolts until i thought there were tight enough. on something like this, i figured it was well worth the time and few extra dollars to make surer it was right.

after i i had one side installed my wife sat on the bike and immediately noticed the difference. the real test though will be taking my wife out for a ride to see how much better it is.


May 9, 2010

gettin’ ready…

my wife and i have taken a couple rides latest in preparation for a trip we’re taking to milwaukee later this month. since she hasn’t been on a trip this long, we thought it would be a good idea to have her get some miles on the bike…

we also got her a new seat from mustang seats which we thought might make the trip more comfortable. the old seat, which is wider, was pushing her legs into the saddlebag guards and cutting the circulation off in her legs. we figured the smaller seat might alleviate that.

our first ride was to the hog meeting. half way to the destination, we saw nothing but a sea of brake lights. after about ten minutes and only moving about a half a mile the traffic just came to a standstill. we decided to pull a u-turn and take some back roads.

while it wasn’t what we wanted because we were trying to get to the meeting on time, it turned out to be a good thing. we traded the congested main road for some scenic two lane roads. we also got a longer ride – never a bad thing on a motorcycle!! the side trip reminded me of the benefits of a detour

so my wife navigated us through the back roads to our destination. if you knew how my wife is with directions you’d know this is an accomplishment. she is awesome and amazes me every day. although i was secretly thinking that even is she would have gotten us lost i wouldn’t have cared. it’d just have meant more time together on the bike!!

the ride home that night was something else. not traffic this time but the night skies. the skies were dark until the heat lightening lit up the clouds in a beautiful display of lights and shapes.  we were enjoying the openness of the bike and the light show going on around us…

until… we started getting closer to home. as we got closer to home we started seeing more and more streaks of lightening. and as the miles ticked off, the bolts were getting closer to the ground.

within ten minutes of making it home the skies opened up. note to self: be sure to pack the wife’s rain suit for the next trip…

we also took a ride this weekend to durham. we wanted to catch up with a fellow rider and firm up plans for milwaukee. it wasn’t a long ride, but it was a good ride. except for the fact that, even with the new seat, the guards were still digging into my wife’s legs.

i decided to head to shelton’s to see if i could find the comfort profile saddlebag guards. they didn’t have any at the durham store but ordered them from one of their other shops. i should have them in a day or two. of course once i get them on we’ll have to take a few more trips to determine which seat might be better. you won’t find me complaining about that!!!

these past two rides really make me look forward to the ride to milwaukee. i can’t wait for the adventure with my wife – we’re going to have so much fun…