Hi all, thought I would share some details on my quick tour through New England this past weekend. My friend and I wanted to christen our new bikes (I picked up my 13' FJR end of June and he just got an 08' VFR800) so we planned out a quick blast through New England over 4.5 days. We mostly just wanted to ride the amazing roads in Vermont and New Hampshire.
We departed after work around 6 from Rochester, NY and headed towards our first stopping point at Lake George. We both are annual Americaders so we felt it natural stopping in there for the first night. We took 90E until Rome, about 1.5 hours and learning that both bikes love cruising at 85-90. From there we headed north up through the Adirondacks via rt.365 and rt. 8. These are both fun twisty roads that cuts through the mountains. Arrived around 10, wolfed down some local pizza in the village, and crashed at the hotel.
This was the big push day, about 9.5 hours of riding to get to Bar Harbor, ME from Lake George. We left fairly early at 7 and took rt. 4 through Vermont and eventually ended up rt.118, one of my favorite roads in New England. Good pavement, wideish shoulders, and lots of elevation changing curves made for a run morning. This led to my favorite road, rt.112 or better known as the Kancamagus Highway. We got lucky for most of this road not getting stuck behind any slow cars or RVs. Hit the awesome hairpin turn and we both scraped the feelers with the car in front giving us a thumbs up as we came out of the corner. The RV eventually did show up and our pace became painfully slow until our turn onto Bear Notch Road. This road is tight and windy but with no shoulder and lots of frost heaves. We still kept a healthy pace weaving in out and of corners while dodging bumps/holes. We came up quick on an F-150 thinking the fun was over, but as soon as he saw us in the rear view mirror, he gave us a fist pump out the window and floored it. This guy was screaching tires and scraping the shoulder letting us have fun. We gave him a nod and thank you at the next stoplight. We got to our first destination to break up the long day, the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Good halfway point to stop for lunch. It was 75 and sunny at the base but being Washington, it was 44 with 50mph winds up top. Made some of the cliff-side corners a little sketchy as big SUVs going down didn't share the road too well. Got some amazing views up top and had some hot lunch at the full cafe and observatory at the top. From there we headed down the mountain and set the GPS to backroads only. Took a bunch of windy roads and arrived at our cottage on Bar Harbor at 9ish. Beers were had with the cottage owner and we played with his great danes while sitting around the fire.
Day 3 we spent most of our time just riding around the island and exploring the local restaurants (got some great lobster of course). We hiked the famous Precipice Trail and ended the day riding up the Cadillac Mountain Toll Road to watch the sunset over the mountain.
This was one day we wish we skipped after riding it. We wanted to get dinner at the tip of Cape Cod on Provinceton so we decided to make it a quick shot down 95S to get there in time. We didn't realize being on vacation that we were heading south on 95 on a Sunday...our quick little 6-7hr ride turned into 10 hours after hitting tons of traffic. To make it even better we hit a monsoon as it poured on us for the lasted 4 hours. We decided to take a quick nap at my parent's house in Norton, MA and both almost went down hydroplaning in a deep puddle on a backroad off the highway. We eventually crossed over the bridge and made it to the Cape. Explored P-Town and had some more great seafood then headed to my small family cottage in Dennisport on the Ocean side of the Cape. Had some beers on the beach and reflected on a the journey thus far.
Well it was time to head home and we decided to make it easy and just blast back on the highway the whole way. Slept in and headed out around 10 taking 90W all the way back to Rochester. My friend was hurting a little on the long stretches of highway not having cruise or a throttle lock on his VFR. I gained a huge appreciation for the very easy-to-use cruise on the FJR. Also found some good yoga positions on the bike while on the highway to make the Corbin seat bearable. I was switching between heels on the driver pegs in a normal position, to inseam on the tank with boots on the passenger pegs, to laying back with calves draped over the highway pegs...definitely need a new seat. Made the whole journey on the Corbin but I missed my old Terry Adcox saddle on my previous bike. Corbins are just too hard, I got hot spots within an hour so we were doing stops every 1.5-2 hours. We had an interesting encounter while passing through Utica area; we look over at the other direction on the highway to see a fleet of police motorcycles followed by police SUVs and then saw the President's armored Cadillac roll past followed by a whole bunch of other flashing lights. Pretty cool seeing Trump's convoy then as we kept going we see 3 police SUVs blocking the highway with a lineup of traffic that lasted 3 miles or so. Glad we were going the opposite direction. As we saw the signs for Syracuse we were excited to be almost home and sad to have the trip come to an end.
Overall, we did about 1,700 miles in 3.5 days (didn't really do any riding on Day 3) so not too bad for a first trip on the FJR. Lots of fun roads, good local food, and great views of the mountains and ocean. There is a link below to my route via google maps if anyone wants to repeat any portion of our trip.