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Author Topic: Big Trip Planned... or Planning  (Read 3577 times)

Offline Dan

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Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« on: August 20, 2014, 05:02:16 AM »
First off, not sure where to put this topic, not really member news, rally or a ride report.  Seeing how I missed all my chances at attending a rally this year due to my goofy schedule I'm planning a solo rally/tour.  Leaving from Boston and riding to my old hometown of Milwaukee, WI, I'm calling it my Chowdah to Cheese Tour.  This will be the longest single trip I have ever taken.  As it stands right now the only thing that will deter me is a bad stretch of weather around my planned start date which is the first week of September after Labor Day.


The bike is in good shape and I've got the itch for an adventure.  The route is really nebulous at this point but I'm considering traveling through Massachusetts (duh!), New York, Ontario (Passport ready), Michigan and then Milwaukee.  Most likely I will take either the Lake Express or SS Badger ferry rather than going through Chicago.


On the way back I'm considering a much longer ride, we will see if I have the ambition.  The first thought is to ride south through the middle of Illinois, again avoiding Chicago, then east to Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut and then back home through Massachusetts.  The ride back is pretty ambitious and could change.


I'm not planning any specific route but if any members have suggestions on roads or sites to see along the way please share them with me.  Also, if anyone wants to meet to share part of the ride with me let me know here.

Offline scbison

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2014, 05:12:36 AM »
Sounds like it should be a great time.

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2014, 06:26:34 AM »
Do you have a set date you need to be back by? Or a rough timeline of when you'd like to be where?

I would suggest the Lake Express, but that's the only one I've ever done on a bike. You have more options as far as when to leave because I think the Badger only has one time it crosses. They provide straps to tie down the bike. It is also 2 hours shorter than the Badger.

If it works out over the weekend, I'm sure Nick will ride over with you. He'll let you stay at his place, I'm sure. Middle of the state doesn't offer many roads worth traveling. A lot of straight and boring, so you might as well save some time and slab it over. Once you get past Grand Rapids, there is a nice route to take into Muskegon that I can show you. You have a free place to stay here as well.

We'll ride with you as much as possible. There's some worthwhile places to eat in Muskegon, and I know all of them.  haphap


Offline naskie18

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 06:54:52 AM »
I'd be glad to ride with you through a part of Michigan, assuming I can make it work with my schedule (which sounds like it should be easy, I think I've still got a couple vacation days I could use).  Planning to go straight through Michigan from east to west, or do you have some things/areas you'd like to see while you're here?  From a photography standpoint, there are some places in Detroit that are pretty neat; from a riding standpoint, most of the better roads aren't in the Detroit area.  Depending on how much time you have and how many miles you want to ride, we could come up with a few different ways across the state.  It'd probably take 2 days, but following the coast of the lower peninsula is a nice ride.  Taking the freeway across pretty much directly from east to west would be 2.5-3 hours.
 
 
If you've still got the ambition for a long ride on the way home, I'd suggest going up through Wisconsin and the Upper Penninsula of Michigan on the way back, basically follow a lake shore.  There's a lot of nice riding on the south shore of Superior (though Copper Harbor seems a bit out of your way, but there were some great roads up there), and the Pictured Rocks and the locks in Sault Ste. Marie are cool to see.  There's a shipwreck mueseum in Whitefish Point, though I'm not sure how good the riding around there is, it's on my list of places to visit on the bike, but so far I've only done the western portion of Superior's south shore.
 

As Tim kindly suggested, you're certainly welcome to stay with me if you're going to be spending a night in the area.  And he's not kidding about the places to eat, he knows all of the good ones (and most of the bad ones) in Muskegon  llaugh1
 
 
Nick

Offline Bajakirch

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2014, 08:12:50 AM »
Good advice so far. Speaking from experience, a ride with DF in western MI could be one of the highlights of your trip. I agree on the Lake Express over the Badger (even though I have personal connections to the Badger). The LE is faster, has more departures and takees you directly to Milwaukee. And, the last time I checked at least, the costs for a MC + rider were about the same.
 
I also would strongly recommend a trip through the UP if you can swing it. The Lake Michigan shoreline is nice, for sure, but the ride along Lake Superior -- especially Highway 58 from Grand Marais to Munising -- is one of the best I've ever experienced.
 
Depending on your available time and the resolution of your butt, there's also the Great Lakes Circle Tour. If I'm still riding when I retire, that's on my bucket list.
 
Have a great ride; take lots of pictures and we'd love to see a ride report.
Get on your bikes and ride!

Offline Aprilfool

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2014, 08:20:10 AM »
The middle of Illinois and Indiana are pretty uneventful for a bike trip (grew up and went to school in that area).  The best terrain through there is in the southern parts of the states, especially along the Ohio River valley.  Like the others said, it might be that The Great lakes tour could provide more biking and scenery awesomeness.  That said, anything that can take you through WV is hard to beat.

You could try something like this for the return: http://screencast.com/t/cFes1nTlHnH  Stays off the slabs mostly. US50 is really nice through WV and into VA.  You could bail to I-64 further south if you needed to make up time.  In any event, avoid I-70 like the plague--too many trucks.

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2014, 04:47:05 PM »
Thanks for all the suggestions so far.


DF, Right now, weather permitting, I'm leaving the first week of September, targeting Tuesday or Wednesday.  I would like to be in Wisconsin by the weekend if possible but it isn't critical.  If I ride full days I could be in Muskegon at the end of two days.  From Boston on a more leisurely ride I was able to get to Rochester, NY in one day last year and that was with leaving late and fumbling around in a few places.  Not that it won't happen again.  :shg:


Naskie, haven't decided how I'm traversing Michigan.  I've crossed the border both in Sarnia and Detroit.  I've got an issue with bridges and don't want to be stuck on the Ambassador Bridge again while the border is backed up so I prefer Sarnia.  I have driven through Michigan in the past to see games in Ann Arbor, that was in my car and yes, it's a bit of a droning ride.  It would be great if we could meet up somewhere.


Baja and others who have mentioned it.  Great advice about the UP and northern Wisconsin.  I've done it.  Rode around Lake Michigan to the UP and up to Lake Superior and the Tahquamenom Falls.  I even took the Lake Express ferry.  It's very nice, quick and all that.  Just considering the SS Badger for something different and I do think the Badger is cheaper, though not by much and it complicates things if I do stay at DF's place before the crossing.


Aprilfool, I hear you about the blahness of Illinois, Indiana.  That might be to my favor, I can ride through those states hard and take my time afterwards with the Ohio River Valley, W Virginia and Pennsylvania.


The more I think about it the less I want to define routes.  I'm thinking about having destinations as my waypoints as I travel and not specific roads or highways.  I also don't plan on making reservations at any hotels... I got myself into a bit of trouble before doing that but nothing awful.

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2014, 04:49:58 PM »
Hey, I just noticed my thread got moved.  Didn't even know there was a section called, Route Planning.  It's the only thread here, just me and the crickets.  First thread in the section though, pretty prestigious!  yaaaah3

Offline InDC

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2014, 04:50:50 PM »
What kind of Ninja do you have? Do you have luggage? I'm in the DC area, if you come through Maryland.

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2014, 04:56:40 PM »
I have a Ninja 650, 2012 vintage.





Here she is with her touring luggage.

Offline DesignFlaw06

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2014, 05:06:32 PM »
Hey, I just noticed my thread got moved.  Didn't even know there was a section called, Route Planning.  It's the only thread here, just me and the crickets.  First thread in the section though, pretty prestigious!  yaaaah3

This section was created because of you. Thought it was worthwhile. So feel more honored.

Sadly the new forum doesn't notify people when we move topics. We are trying to fix that.

Offline skramer360

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2014, 07:18:10 PM »
Dan, I'll second what Aprilfool said. If you go through Indiana, go south of I 70 on any 2 lane state highway and it will be a pretty good ride. North of I 70 will be flat and boring. I live south of Indianapolis about an hour and we have some pretty good roads down here.

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2014, 07:19:20 PM »
[This section was created because of you. Thought it was worthwhile. So feel more honored.


Well, that is an honor.

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2014, 07:20:51 PM »
Good to know Skrammer.  Maybe we can ride together for a bit if timing works out.

Offline naskie18

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2014, 08:22:11 AM »
Naskie, haven't decided how I'm traversing Michigan.  I've crossed the border both in Sarnia and Detroit.  I've got an issue with bridges and don't want to be stuck on the Ambassador Bridge again while the border is backed up so I prefer Sarnia.
I prefer Sarnia as well, I hardly ever go through Detroit to get to Canada...although if you're apprehensive about bridges you could consider the Windsor/Detroit tunnel.  I don't remember ever using it, but it may be a more comfortable option for you.

Nick

Offline Sonnystile

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2014, 09:14:15 PM »
Dude.


The Superior Shore is amazing.

Just finished my second annual pilgrimage up there from Louisville KY.

I grew up in Detroit.  It is horrible to ride a motorcycle there.


Horrible.


Indiana is nice right on the KY border, and KY is beautiful all the way through.

If you end up this way, I have a garage, tent space, a shower and done good bourbon.


Ride safe and remember the most important thing:

Have fun.

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2014, 06:13:04 PM »
Thanks, Sonnystile.


I go over the bike and pack my bags tomorrow and then hit the road bright and early on Wednesday.  Right now I'm thinking of taking the ferry both to and from Wisconsin.  For the way back I will drop down through Indiana or Ohio before I start heading east again to Kentucky, West Virginia and Maryland.

Offline Sonnystile

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2014, 09:05:29 PM »
If you skip the UP that's your call, but having ridden the rest of your run extensively, you're selling yourself short.

Regardless, message me if you end up anywhere close to Louisville.

The Motorcycle Superstore Outlet is a mile from my house.


Plan accordingly.

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2014, 02:14:19 AM »
Thanks again, Sonny.  I've done the UP before, made a big trip when I lived in Milwaukee circling around Lake Michigan and along Lake Superior in the UP.  I know how beautiful it can be and get why you are encouraging me.  This ride will be about new experiences for me so I'm looking at different options.

Offline Sonnystile

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2014, 07:46:49 AM »
Right on!


We have some nice roads down here too...

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2014, 08:34:38 PM »
All set.  Got my ticket for the Lake Michigan crossing.  I had forgotten that in the fall motorcycles get to cross for free.  Sweet!  I still have to pay for me and some surcharges so it's not cheap or anything but every little bit helps.


I hit the road tomorrow!

Offline Sonnystile

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2014, 08:47:07 PM »
Good luck!


May the weather gods love up on you a lil....

Offline Boise Jim

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2015, 04:56:38 PM »
Well, how was the trip?!
Instructor, Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program.

Offline Dan

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2015, 08:42:09 AM »
Well, how was the trip?!


You can read about it here, http://nighthawk-forums.com/index.php/topic,1000.0.html.  In a nutshell, fantastic and at times near the end, exhausting.

Offline naskie18

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Re: Big Trip Planned... or Planning
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2015, 09:25:31 AM »
Well, how was the trip?!
In a nutshell, fantastic and at times near the end, exhausting.
And wet, don't forget the wet (thanks again for that, Tim!) 
Nick

 

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