Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ride to Virginia

A little over a week ago, I rode from just west of Toronto to Reston, VA and back. A fine ride.

Dianne moved the minivan to help me leave at 9am on the Tuesday. She was in a bit of a rush, so I forgot to plug in my electric vest, made for a coolish ride down Niagara Falls way.

Heading towards Lewiston Bridge, I took the last exit looking for a coffee shop. None close. Found a paved spot to park, with a path into woods. Good enough, shielded by a tree. Then back to the road to the bridge and a painless entry into the US.

As always, the GPS got confused and I-90 was replaced by rural roads to Batavia, where I picked up US 63, I-90, and then US 15. That goes basically to my destination.

I was having knee pain and overnighted at Williamsport PA. That was about where I planned to stop anyhow. So far, the weather was great, and the bike ran flawlessly, as it did for the rest of the ride.

Next morning, off again about 0730. Light traffic, nice scenery of yesterday was replaced with more urban roads until south of Gettysburg ... And then into Maryland! Soon, a lovely Welcome Centre offered a place to stop.

I took the opportunity to put the low seat into the high position. Amazing how the lowered pegs and high position help the knees. Nice roads down to Virginia, and by 1400, I was in my room. Visited for a few days and departed 0745 Saturday morning, aiming for Mansfield PA, just south of NY border.

I passed there by 1330, in light rain, and decided to keep going. I was concerned the weather might turn and give me grief if I delayed until Sunday. Besides, it was too early to stop for the day.

Soon, I was past Corning, then stopped in Batavia for coffee. Picked up I-90, on to the border at Fort Erie, ON. Sometimes border crossings take a while, a pain to inch forward on a bike. This time, no cars in front of me, I rode right up to the booth, and was cleared through quickly. Continued down to my next coffee stop, and then home by 2000.

The very last 20 minutes was in darkness. First time really with the R1200RT at night. Great lighting forward, not so much on the road where I set my left foot on the ground. One stop was all it took for me to re-learn to watch ahead very carefully when coming up to a stop!

All in all, a great trip. Bike felt great. Now, one year and one month old, it has 17,500 km on it. My old Triumph, from May of 2000 had only 40,000 km on it by September 2011. Says something I figure...


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