Friday, January 16, 2015

Go Small, Go Now... But How?

Triumph informed me that she doesn't love dirt roads,
but that she now owns this one, all the same.

Due to a few minor mechanical issues,* and this weird weather here where tiny bits of frozen water fall from the sky, Triumph has been parked since late October. Which has left me with a bit of Parked Motorcycle Syndrome, as well as spare time to daydream about where to take the bike next.

Several people have suggested taking a ride along Minnesota State Highway 1.**

The trick is, it's a 270 mile ride just to get to Ely which, technically speaking, isn't even where MN 1 begins. That's a fairly long day on Triumph, but not that daunting. I've done a couple of 420 mile days, though by the end of those I was in pain. The Speed Four wasn't exactly built for touring.

Highway 1, once I've gotten to it, is roughly 360 miles end to end. It'll be another 360 miles to get back home from the North Dakota border. At the moment, that makes it a three day trip: One to get up north, one to ride across Minnesota, and one to get back to the Twin Cities again. And after three long days on Triumph, I suspect I'll need a day off so my legs and wrists can recover.

And I just realized that if I can add about 10 miles to that whole trip, it'd make an excellent loop to attempt an Iron Butt ride. Something to consider, though I don't think I'll be trying it on Triumph.

At some point, I'd like to get out to the House on the Rock as well. And I'd like to cruise up to Lake Itasca and explore the Minnesota and Wisconsin sections of the Great River Road. I also have a handful of postcards I'd like to send from the northernmost post office in the lower 48, up in scenic Angle Inlet, MN.

One of these is a war machine that rains death upon
any who dare oppose it. The other is a helicopter on a stick.
Lately I've been dreaming of getting a touring bike***, but it's going to take some significant saving before I can afford one. Which means it could be a while.

Cruising sailors say "Go small, go now," and I've always believed the best bike for motorcycle travel is the one you have in the garage. There is no perfect, just things that will work, and things that won't.

I want to spend the day chasing the horizon. But on Triumph, the pain sets in way before my desire to stop riding.

So my situation is this: I want to ride far, I have a naked sportbike, and I'd like to minimize the amount of pain I have to deal with while riding far. I know some of you folks do high daily miles on sportbikes. What tips can you give me for going further in a day and hurting less? How do I make it work?

And, since we're on the subject, any Middle Coast locals want to chime in on Minnesota/Wisconsin rides that shouldn't be missed? Riding season, for those of us who aren't on an Ural, is only 4 short months away. It's time to gather some ideas.

*Also known as "winter projects", I gather. More to come.
** Chris Cope, erstwhile Middle Coast resident and current Bloomington Rock City ambassador to Wales, was the first to suggest it.
***I've got it all picked out. More to come on that, too.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Tuesday Party Tune - Hendrix Edition

This is hands-down my favorite Hendrix tune.  Purists hate it, but I think it's pure Hendrix distilled into a heady elixir of instrumental rock-sauce.

Dig it.

[Watch on YouTube]

By the way... I know I haven't been posting much motorcycle-related content lately.  More to come soon, honest.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy 2015!

Whoever you are, whatever you ride, here's to a fantastic year!

Photo by Infidelic
Photo by Ozz13x
Photo by jyllish
Photo by Nico Aguilera
Photo by Chris DiGiamo

Photo by Jeff