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Old May 4th, 2015   #51
rikSTr
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Default Re: Eastern Iowa to Maine and back

And what a day. What.A.Day. I had been keeping an eye on the weather forecast since the day before we left Niagara Falls. I didn't like it. I didn't say anything to DebSTr until dinner that Thursday night and I could no longer tell myself that the forecast would change for the better.
Our first stop that Friday morning was a Dicks Sporting goods looking for cold weather gear. I guess mid-September in Michigan is too early for Dick's to put out cold weather gear...so on to Wal-Mart where the gals on the floor were more than helpful in directing us to several racks of undergear. A little late leaving Kalamazoo but regardless optimistic we could get home before dark. DebSTr is a notorious hater of the cold. She has put between her and it, two layers of socks, three layers of leggings, and 5 layers of upper body, one of which was a raincoat with hood that fit under her helmet. She was a super trooper thru 250-300 miles. Too bad it's going to be a 390 mile day. A missed detour exit due to road construction in Chicago got us mis-routed thru the central part of town. I guess if I was not such a big-city hater I would have gotten over there more and been more comfortable trusting the Garmin and doing my own ad-hoc correction. But, no, my wife who travels there all the time for her work told me that it was just as easy to stay on I-90 to the I-290 exit and head to I-88. Yuck...stop and go and stop a lot and go a little...I don't know how much time we lost in Chicago.
Then next stop, we had a longer than planned stop in Dekalb, IL where I thought I was going to wait out some heavy rain until I realized that the radar on my phone had tricked me...the "rain" was a drizzle that could be easily traveled in spite of the cold. My worry at this point was how the temperature would drop even more after dark. We had killed a good 30 minutes in Dekalb waiting for the "rain" to pass in addition to whatever we lost in Chicago.
Next stop was the Hy-V in Clinton, IA. They have quite a nice little cafe/bar area all segregated from the grocery store. A large cup of coffee each and 30 minutes later we were on what should have been the final leg of 80 miles to get home. As we were leaving town it was evident that DebSTr had NOT truly gotten warmed back up. "There are a lot of decent hotels around here", she says. "Rats!" I think to myself, but gently remind her that it will be just as cold all day tomorrow and if we make it home tonite, she won't have to gear up and ride again tomorrow. About 30-40 miles from home the sun had fully set and the temp started to drop but didn't get below 43 before we got home.
For what it's worth, that last day of 390 miles, the temperature was never above 48F.
I'd do it again though. But I'd bring my Gerbing heated gloves. Some heated clothing for Deb might be a good idea too.
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Old May 14th, 2015   #52
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Default Re: Eastern Iowa to Maine and back

Rick, first of all when the heck are we going to do a ride together? Only 90 minutes down the road, jeeze.

I would love to have you & your wife show mine your trip. Before kids we took a trip to Yellowstone on a CB750 pulling a home made trailer. It was great to carry all the camping gear and not having all that weight on the bike. I really appreciate your writeup.

Don't you think the reason Honda doesn't condone trailers is due to liability?
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Old May 14th, 2015   #53
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Default Re: Eastern Iowa to Maine and back

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Originally Posted by Iamike View Post
Rick, first of all when the heck are we going to do a ride together? Only 90 minutes down the road, jeeze.
I've thought the same thing many times. Every time I consider getting in contact I see that either you're heading out on some big trip or I've got stuff on my plate that I can't get out of. My thing these days is getting my back patio finished out before the heat is on. I'm hoping by the first weekend in June that will be behind me. The last week of June I've got plans to ride to TN/NC border with my buddy Phil.

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Originally Posted by Iamike View Post
I would love to have you & your wife show mine your trip. Before kids we took a trip to Yellowstone on a CB750 pulling a home made trailer. It was great to carry all the camping gear and not having all that weight on the bike. I really appreciate your writeup.
Traveling thru Yellowstone on a motorcycle had always been a dream of mine. I don't know how thick the Bison herds were back when you made your trip but having made the trip to Yellowstone with my toyhauler camper(and ST1300) I never took her into the park. It seemed that no matter where we went we had backups of traffic due to herds in the road. I had just gone thru a close encounter with one of those guys in Custer State Park and decided that we were better off in the truck should they get spooked. I may still do YS on two wheels someday but not 2-up.

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Originally Posted by Iamike View Post
Don't you think the reason Honda doesn't condone trailers is due to liability?
Definitely...I can see their point. I'm no fan of frivolous lawsuits and I feel that as long as they state the limitations as they have, any damage due to exceeding those limits is implicitly declared to be "on my dime". If my favorite motorcycle company was vulnerable to the fallout of every stupid thing riders tried they'd have fewer resources and incentive to provide as much diversity in their products.
Plus, on our trip, the ride and handling NEVER felt abnormal. Sure I had it dialed way back but I always do anyway when Deb is on. We had one nice twisty road around Lake George and I had just as much fun with the trailer as I could have had without it.

I'll have to get all of our pics rounded up and see if we can get up that way soon.
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Old August 19th, 2015   #54
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Default Re: Eastern Iowa to Maine and back

Rick,

I just got back from a 3-1/2 week, 10,000mi. driving trip to Alaska. Several riders wanted me to scope it out for my opinion of riding up there. We'll have to compare notes if you are ever interested in riding north.

Let me know what days you may be available and maybe we can get together. This weekend may be open for me, next couple are tentative.
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Old August 20th, 2015   #55
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Default Re: Eastern Iowa to Maine and back

I should be able to get up that way just about any time Saturday or Sunday, assuming the patio contractor can get here at a decent time Saturday morning. Let me know when and if that still works for you.
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