It’s taken 105 days but I finally made it to corner #4 in Madawaska Maine! I had started Friday the 26th early( 0400) with “Mr Twisted”Erik Stephens,the founder and CEO of Twisted Throttle as we headed up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park to be the first in the US to watch the sunrise.Unfortunately it was cloudy but it was a perfect time to try out our LED’s. Erik was on his Twisted Throttle LED demo R-1200GS with every light Twisted Throttle makes, while I have Cyclops LED headlights and 3000 lumen light bar. We didn’t have any issues getting there 😉
After our goodbyes , Erik headed back to Rhode Island while I got back on US 1 to Fort Kent Maine. It’s the start ( or end depending on your POV) of US highway 1. If you remember back on July 24th, I was in Key West Florida at mile marker zero of US 1. Well now I’m at the other end. I crossed it a few times on my way north, I’ll have to admit the last few hundred miles in Maine are a lot more scenic then the first few in Florida, a LOT cooler also 😉
I also looked down at my odometer while in Ft Kent and saw that I had just reached 60,000 miles on my 2012 Super Tenere!
After my stop was well documented 😉 I headed the 20 miles north to Madawaska and the reason I was there in the 1st place. There is a really cool park dedicated to the riders that make the journey. It’s called “Four Corners Park”
I had the distinct pleasure to spend the last few days with a few celebrities in the ADV world. 1st was someone that I’ve been following for a few years now,and it was a treat to finally meet her in person! Leslie Saforelli (aka ADVgrrl) just moved back to the east coast from Vancouver BC where her extremely popular blog chronicled her adventures to the Artic Circle and more than one cross country trip( US and Canada). Unfortunately,Leslie is still recovering from a crash last year on her R 1200 GS with her partner Pam. I’m sure she will be back on those trails soon enough! Thank you and Pam for hosting me.
After leaving Leslie and Pams place in Connecticut, I headed for Rhode Island by setting my GPS to “walking” which is always fun because you never know what will show up. I was pleasantly surprised to find a few miles of nice dirt at the Rhode Island state line. 😀
My destination was 570 Nooseneck Hill Rd, Exeter, RI 02822, which happens to be the address of one of the largest designers of parts and accessories for ADV bikes in the world….
It was a reunion of sorts when I met up with their founder and CEO Erik Stephens. Back in 2014, several members of the PNWSTOG and I traveled to Mariposa Ca. for the Horizons Unlimited meeting where Erik needed a bike to do his demo talks 😉
I had half jokingly asked Erik if wanted he to go for a ride (thinking he was way too busy running the company) and was REALLY surprised when he replied sure!, ever been to Bar Harbour Maine? This is was something I totally wasn’t expecting! It would just be the two of us for a couple days on the road up to Bar Harbour. It was nostalgic for him as well as this was the same ride he and his brother did many years ago and was the reason they started Twisted Throttle when he needed “farkles” for his 2002 1000cc Suzuki V-Strom
Sadly the V-Strom wasn’t in the best shape for this ride so he picked the new R1200GS LED demo bike. Twisted Throttle has about 6 or 8 special edition bikes for him to choose from…. 😉 I know, right? :-p
We headed out a bit after noon up through Rhode Island, around Boston traffic, through the bottom corner of New Hampshire and into Maine on US 1.
Dinner was of course a “lobsta roll” 🙂 overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, really hard to beat!
Day two took us up US 1 through small towns and villages along the coast up past a cool looking bridge and into “Bah-Habaa”
Day 3 started really early as we were headed up Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. It’s supposed to be the first place in the US to see the sunrise. Sadly, it was cloudy but that didn’t stop over 100 others from joining us up there in the windy mountain top.
Thank you Leslie and Erik for hosting me during my travels . I feel very lucky to be hanging out and getting to know y’all on a personal level then just what I see on the Internet. Y’all are both really cool!
It was a great turnout for the 2nd annual Touratech Rally EAST in Huntingdon Pa. Touratech is a huge international company that make parts for Adventure bikes. Their only shop in the US is in Seattle and when they told me they were hosting an eastern rally in central Pennsylvania about the time I would be passing through, I couldn’t miss it. The Touratech western rally outside Leavenworth Wa is in it’s 5th or 6th year and had 600-700 attendees this year, since this is only the 2nd year in the east, about 250-300 made it out.( up from last year)
It’s a big camp out with special guests and vendors plus great riding for everyone weather you are a novis that sticks to the pavement or the hard core single track rider. This year Jimmy and Heather Lewis from the Jimmy Lewis off road riding school and GS Giant woman rider Kim Krause were presenting and doing riding demos.
I also ran into a few Teneres out and about 😉
In camp one night a GS rider got a little too intoxicated and belligerent, after he passed out, his buddies did the only thing they could think of to get him back…. I think it worked! LOL
The majority of my time in camp was spent as a Mosko Moto nomad, It’s a program Pete Day and his team set up at the events they can’t personally make it to. A few loyal customers with Mosko Moto luggage gather at these types of events to show off the excellent luggage they make. It was a great time!
It was a great weekend, I was glad to meet up with old friends and make new ones.
I was in need of a tune up of new spark plugs 15,000 or so miles into my trip last week and my friends at Yamaha said to head to 5 Star Powersports in Duncanville Pa. So off I went.
Josh Mazzei is the General Manager and has a young but very competent crew with Dalton behind the counter and Justin working on my bike.
Josh was telling me that they are one of the largest Yamaha side-by-side ATV dealers country. Yamaha has the new YXZ 1000 out now. I got to take one for a spin later that afternoon, but I’ll tell more about that in my next blog 😉
Josh went out of his way to make sure I was taken care of, something I find that’s rare these days… Personal service, I didn’t feel like a number. The guys in the shop all wanted to hear about my trip and would ask me questions about it.
Thank you Josh for your time, your crew is top notch!
One of the stops on my trip I had always planned to make was The old Navy Yard in Philadelphia to see the guys at RevZilla. I wasn’t sure if I could pull off a tour but as luck would have it, I DID and it was awesome! I made it to the shop in the mid afternoon and the parking lot was full of bikes
I walked in and saw a familiar face, It was none other than ” The Gear Chic” Joanne Donn, She is a very popular blogger and extremely knowledgeable when it comes to women’s riding gear.
Joanne has worked at RevZilla for a few years now, since moving from her home in San Fransisco for this job. She said she loves the job but misses the great roads around the Bay Area. I can truly attest that the riding is better out there as well.
She introduced me to the Boutique manager Brian Harris who took about 30 min from his super busy schedule to show me around. Thanks Brian! 1st stop was the studio to see where the magic happens. Its where their very popular You tube channel gets filmed and edited. They had just finished shooting for the day so they got a few shots of me in the studio.
We walked through the back office spaces, It’s mostly open with a few offices around the perimeter. There must have been 30+ “gear geeks” on duty answering questions and taking orders. The term gear geek is not one taken lightly. 1st off, you MUST have a motorcycle endorsement and actually ride. Most, if not all, ride multiple styles of bikes( Cruiser, ADV, Sport, Scooter, touring and/or dirt) Riding by the the employee parking, I saw just about every style represented. To get Geek status, you also must pass the RevZilla University training, an intensive 60 day training.
You won’t get near a phone till at least your 30 day mark and you’ll have an instructor with you when you do. They take the training pretty serious. All of the geeks have a huge walk in closet with gear to check out and are even encouraged to wear the gear while out on their bikes, because how can they be knowledgable about the products they sell and not really know how they fit and feel. Another reason why they are the biggest internet motorcycle company in the world….
Like many internet “start up” companies (since 2007), Revzilla has a work hard, play hard mentality, there is a gym, break room, cafeteria, basketball court and even a skateboard half-pipe for the employees to use at their convince. They were just named the best business to work at in Philadelphia, I can see why!
At the end of the tour, we walked past one of the founders, Anthony Bucci’s office and he was there but on the phone, Brian asked his secretary if he had a few minuets free and she said he could meet me in about 10 🙂
Anthony is a really approachable person, he was jealous of my trip and what I had done already. He asked if I needed anything, but having already spent about $7k there since 2009 on gear for Elsa and I , I said I was good. 😉 I’m not sure I’d ever live on the east coast or around Philadelphia but Revzilla would be a great place to work if I did. Seeing the behind the scenes there, really ties it all together after being on the phone with the geeks and always getting superb customer service going above and beyond to answer all my questions I had.
I spent the Tuesday riding “The Dragon” along US 129, that hops the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. It’s claim to fame is an 11 mile section that has an amazing 318 curves! The pavement is pristine, corners are banked and during the week, there isn’t much traffic.( read motorcycle nirvana!) There was rain in the forecast off and on all day so I was careful to do a few runs back and forth between downpours. I stayed at the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort which is at North Carolina “start” of the 11 mile curvy section. Just about every brand of motorcycle and sports car can be seen there if you only sit for an hour or so. Every kind of rider can be seen as well, from the T-shirt, shorts and sandles rider on a cruiser to the full racing leather clad sports bike rider and everything in between. I even got behind a guy in leathers on a Honda Grom for a mile or so before he was kind enough to pull offer so I could pass 😉 The Resort hosts events most weekends and I was told by several PNWSTOG members to avoid the weekends like the plague, I’m glad I did, thanks guys!
My room was directly across from “The tree of shame” where the unlucky riders that loose various bike parts on the dragon get to immortalize their carnage. The tree is a very popular photo spot as is the “Dragon” made by a local artist.
Deep in the Smokey mountains, US 129 is mostly a tree covered tunnel with only a few vistas to get a peek at the rolling green hills. There are a few reservoirs in the area so several dams to check out if that is your thing. I was enjoying the pavement and the curves so much to slow down long enough for lots of pics. There are also a few enterprising businessmen that camp out in the corners to snap your picture as you pass by to post online for sale. Killboy.com and 129photo.com are the two main ones.
It’s been a great week overall but there was one bad day. Last week started watching Elsa head back to Seatac from Key West, it was good to see her as I hit the 1/2 way point at corner #3.
I slogged back across the Keys to Homestead AFB where I had stayed a few days earlier. It very convenient to use the military bases as I make my way. They are secure, comfortable and a real bargain.
While I was making my way down Florida, Jeff Millerman contacted me to say I was welcome at his place in Fort Lauderdale when I was heading back north. He’s a Tenere owner and a super great guy to boot! He even treated me to dinner, THANKS Jeff!
Leaving Fort Lauderdale the next day was quite challenging, my I phone slipped out of my tank bag as I was making a bee-line for my sisters in Saint Augustine. It was in the middle of rush hour traffic at highway speeds, I knew it was long gone when my Senna Bluetooth stopped in the middle of a song I found an AT&T store north of Palm beach to quickly replace the 6 S +
I was only in Saint Augustine for a night then I headed north through Georgia to my 1st cousins in Columbia, South Carolina where Adrain and Lara live just outside town on Lake Murray.
While there I was able to reconnect with two classmates from Jr High and High School. It was great catching up after 27+ years of time. I can credit it to Facebook for making it happen.
This time of year on Lake Murray, thousands of Purple Martins now roost on an island that Col. Jimmy Doolittle used to bomb for practice during WWII. We had two very nice sunsets on the water watching the birds.
As I left the lake, the landscape changed to more hills and curves as I made my way through the extreme NE corner of Georgia and into North Carolina. The last 20-30 miles before Deals Gap and The Dragon were spectacular! Even in the intermittent rain showers, I can see why so many people flock to this area.