After my West Virginia overnight tour with my friend Kyle , I made a list of 6 things I'd do "next time"… Let's see how well I did?
- Next trip I will be a little more prepared with what I pack.
- Next trip I hope to make it at least two overnights.
- Next trip I'd "like" to have an adventure touring bike (instead of the cruiser touring bike I'd been drooling over) and add some "off road" to the trip.
- Next trip I will take more pictures.
- Next trip I will vary my GoPro mounts so I have more then one angle.
- Next trip I will take a paper map and not rely on my iphone map.
The plan for any good road trip is a simple plan. Ours was "Ride down and visit family and friends in Florida." My Dad recently purchased a new (to him) Gold Wing and was excited to get some miles on it. I have had a Star Stratoliner that's been largely a commuter bike for the past couple years. It was time to get some miles on this thing.
After aligning schedules late winter on when we could make it work, it was time to prepare for the trip. I had new tires put on the bike and did a few local trips to work to make sure it was still in shape for it. Then I went to WalMart the night before and bought two dry bags from the camping department and threw some clothes in it and bungie corded them to the backseat. Grabbed some chargers, camera and a laptop and threw them in the saddlebag. Brushed off my hands and said… Done, I'm ready. (already broke point number 1 of being more prepared. Lol).
I tried an Altec Lansing Bluetooth speaker on the bars, but at highway speed, it wasn't close to being loud enough. So that went in the saddlebag too. It would be headphones when it was cool enough to wear a jacket to hold my iphone. I had even toyed with my GoPro mounts to try to position the speaker in a better location, to no avail, but after fiddling with it, I tossed my GoPro mounts to the side in the garage. Completely forgetting that I had a GoPro camera in my camera bag, but now nothing to attach it to (ok, disregard point #5 now)
We started at 6am each day, because when you are doing 8-9hrs of riding time you need to get an early start to make it where you need to. Leaving PA, I was already unprepared and a little cold that early. First stop, add a hoodie! Then next stop, loose the hoodie. Following stop, open the vents in the jacket. Stop after that, lose the chaps and then finally at the next one, time to lose the jacket and just go with long sleeves. From that point on, we'd be treated to temps in the 80s/90s (until the last 45 min. more on that later)
My Dad confidently said, "I'll go 225 or more on a tank." I was looking for fuel at 120. I had more in the tank and found I could ride about 150 to empty, but I know how remote gas stations can get across some of those stretches of the Carolinas so I didn't want to get stuck. Besides, I need refueling before the bike did anyway. I later decided, I'd prefer 60-80 mi and a quick stop for a quick leg stretch and then get rolling again. Packing in around 100 mi left me feeling like I needed a longer recovery break.
We made Savannah our first night down which at this point was my longest day in the saddle, ever. I did have a sense of feeling like a bad ass that I essentially "threw some clothes in a bag and hit the road". The next day, I was refreshed and ready to make our way to Boca Raton, Fla. But first, we took a extra break at Daytona. (check off point 2, multi-night ride)
At Daytona Beach Harley, we took our big rest stop on the way down. Talk about a huge dealer! Two stories. Bikes galore. And some pretty luxurious ones too! Walking in, I spied a Street Glide I'd considered asking if they'd want to make a trade for… but the sticker was "about $43k"… so I knew we wouldn't find common ground on that deal. Aside from that, I realize I've broken another one of my points. I now have a cruiser and not the adventure bike I initially wanted. That's ok, one of my wife's requests with a new bike was that the back seat be comfortable for her to go for short rides.
Riding down i-95 was pretty uneventful. Hit a few traffic tie ups that delayed us a little, but largely, it's a long stretch of road to get somewhere as quick as possible. I saw some cool scenery that would have been great to stop and shoot with my camera, but that wasn't in the plan for this trip. This was about get there and enjoy and then get home. (another point from the list missed, LOL).
Which leaves me with the 6th and final point. Our trip consisted pretty much, "take i-95 south.." So a paper map wouldn't have been all that helpful. So an iphone was sufficient for the few occasions when we needed to know something. But, as long as we are keeping score, mark another point disregarded, lol.)
Our visit with the family was fun. We had a few day trips. We toured the Fort Lauderdale Keys on a boat ride past huge yachts and mansions and day dreamed about hitting the powerball. We took a ride up A1A (beach front avenue), and had lunch along the beach. We visited the site of my Great Grandmother's hotel they had along the beach (which is not leveled for a public beach changing facility) and the pier where I first tried fishing. It was also just waking up and sitting and talking over a coffee. Things like that made the trip even more enjoyable and underlined the importance of the simple plan up front!
The ride back was much the same. Long straight roads and eating up the miles. By the time we reached Fredrick Maryland, dark skies loomed. After 6 days of 90s, we welcomed a little cooling shower and even said, "if it starts, I'm not even putting on rain gear! It will feel nice." A few miles down the road, it started. The temp dropped about 20 degrees in like 5 miles. Fortunately, I needed fuel. While I left the rain gear in the saddleback, I did add a jacket and change the shield to clear again. And of course we lowered our speeds to "play it cool".
Overall, it was a long ride for me. The longest I've done so far. 2500 miles in few days with some fun times in the middle. Makes me look forward to what the next trip might be?
I was reviewing the blog and found in 2014 I had blogged about the new Fuji X-T1 and was looking forward to getting it. Well, I never got it. I had been using the Canon 5D Mk I to get every last bit of life out of it. 12 years is quite a long time to use a DSLR. Now that Fuji announced the newest release, the X-H1, I decided it was time to pull the plug.
I'm blown away with the advancements in camera tech in that time. There is quite a lot of new features to understand. It's like learning a new language. So far, I'm incredibly pleased with the images from the new camera.
it's been a little while since I focused on illustration so much. After picking up an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil, I dedicated to the inkotober challenge created by Jake Parker. Inktober is where you do a pen and ink illustration each day during October. His intention was to get artists used to concentrating on the analog world and allowing yourself to be committed to the strokes you put on the paper. I decided to take the month removing color and learning to use the new tools. Procreate was my app of choice. I'm amazed at the power in this affordable app.
SAMBA is a community minded local Mountain Biking Associations that can be found here in Central Pennsylvania. Responsible for maintaining over 65 miles of trails surrounding Harrisburg Pennsylvania.
We got together for a ride and some lifestyle photos for promoting the club. Some of the photos were used on brochures. Some were used on kiosks.
My son needed a portrait for his run for senior president on his posters. We stepped outside for a quick 5 min portrait.
Mudhook Brewing and Gung-Ho bicycles hosts a pint night ride in York. It's a fun social/conversational pace. It's not long... a 13ish mile ride that starts after work and meanders side streets down into York for a beer and food stop at Mudhook Brewing. They pick up the first pint and chill and enjoy company and good food and beer.
With full bellies, we head back out to the parking garage and ride to the top for sunset. After the photo opps, we spiral back down and up through the city to the north extension of the rail trail and then back through neighborhoods with blinkie tail lights and headlights blazing the way home.
During good weather, rides are every other week on Wednesday. Contact Gung-Ho or visit the Gung-Ho Community on facebook for details of upcoming rides.
Hibrewnation is a great beerfest. It's held at the Harrisburg Farm Show so a cab right to a friends house is reasonably priced (and highly recommended!) We sampled an incredible amount of beer from special timed releases during the VIP 2hr window ahead of time. I suggest doing that if you plan to go because you get access to beers you won't see during the normal hours and with the added time, you can pace yourself more easily and don't feel rushed to sample everything to quickly and can actually enjoy the different flavors.
It's a good time and a few more locations are on tap for the winter in York and Gettysburg. Keep an eye out.
And even better, I met some colorful characters along the way... some of them I brought along. ;-) Thank you friends for a great day of hanging out, chatting and joking around. That's what I remember most about the day. Good times with good friends. (and the secret to a happy life!)
These are the trails that shoot off the harrisburg greenbelt. Some very challenging riding in an urban location. Some really great stuff.
A few photos from a scouting ride I did in Michaux for a route that I'm taking my son's Boy Scout troop on. Coming up this weekend. Hope the kids are prepared and have fun!
I had the opportunity to jump on a team for this years race. We were a 4 person team... 2 rookies who've ridden for years but little racing and 2 experts who seem to live on their bikes. It was a pleasure to get to know Amy and Vaugh. They were great people willing to share, help and just have a good time! Follow their adventures on facebook!
As usual, I brought the camera along and snapped a few shots while recovering and preparing for my lap and I've put up a few galleries.
And as I was digging around I found some additional images to share.
Can't wait for the next #IIOGRELAY!
We had the opportunity to try Crystal Ball Brewing at the Hibrewnation Brew Fest and loved their Tripel and Coconut Porter. So, since they are close by in York, we dropped in. Cool operation. The brew masters took the time to show us around. If you get a chance, drop in and take a growler. Just don't expect a glamorous tasting room, it's standing room only, but the beer is good. They even have an oatmeal stout with smoked bacon on right now.
Here's a little taste of our recent brewery visit to the outer philly area. We enjoyed Free Will brewing at a recent festival and decided it was time to drop in and say hi. We managed to make there JUST in time to join a tour of the brewery. Sadly, it was a person who doesn't typically give tours, but the operation was really interesting to see. Lots of low ceiling basements. Interesting to see what someone can do when they have to make stuff work when conditions aren't optimal. They are moving the brewhouse upstairs shortly and it will be interesting to pay a visit in a year and see how it's changed.
Then, we found that Round Guys brewing was also nearby. I had heard the interview with Scott the brewmaster on the Brewing Network Sunday Session a few years ago and had always had them on my wish list of places to visit. That was an fun place and plan to make it back there to sample other stuff I wasn't able to fit in.... such as their mead menu. Cool stuff. Neat place. Go visit them!
Good looking beer.
New tanks... all with person names.
Aging beer... including some of the "300gal Intermediate Bulk Containers"
Low ceiling fermenters
Unique fermenter...no conical. Lots of lost beer with this design. But you do what you have to.
Big fodor and barrels
"high tech bottling line" [sarcasm] - They are anxious to upgrade this too.
I'd neglected some of these photo illustrations I've had sitting on my hard drive for a while. I was happy with how this one finally came about.
While accepting a photo challenge to submit more istockphoto images and generally to boost my creativity and inspiration, I found some photos that I hadn’t really done much with and decided I should give them a little work and submit them. So these are now in the pipeline and soon to be available for download.
Well, not really resolutions... as I like to think, change can begin anytime! Let's just say that I do have some goals that I want to meet.
1) Lose weight. I've lost sight of it a little and it's crept up on my. [It’s time to focus and get it under control.]
2) Ride the bicycles more. I've started riding more and realized i've really missed it this year. Would love to share more rides with family and friends and maybe even introduce some new friends to the hobby.
3) Pick up the camera more! [I feel inspired again.]
4) Go on a bikepacking trip. (Want to help Brett?)
5) Ride to Philly by bike for dinner at Monks Cafe and hop the trail home.
6) Brew more! Brewing is a relaxing afternoon to chill on the deck with family.
7) Take a multi-day motorcycle adventure.
8) Attend Dirtfest at Lake Raystown. (It’s about time!)
9) Commute via bicycle more often.
10) Host some parties in our soon to be finished basement.
11) Listen to more music.
12) Paint some canvases for the house.
13) Finish my palette projects.
14) Illustrate more.
15) Produce that custom workout headband design.
16) Host a photography art show somewhere cool with the photos of the adventures from above!
I'm sure this won't be the end of it.... but those are some things on my mind. Some of these I've wanted to do a few years ago, but I think it's either time to make some of those happen or just scratch them off the list.
I had the opportunity to meet up with last years Harrisburg edition of the nationwide Thanksgiving holiday bicycle race called Cranksgiving and I wasn't about to miss this years event. Cranksgiving is an event where you get a manifest with instructions and shopping list of food needed at the Central PA Food Bank and a list of stores you have to visit. You are given the "ready, set go..." and you are off to collect the goods. At the end, you had in your sheet, receipts and food items for the food bank. Along the way, you joke and harass your fellow "competitors", entertain odd looks from a bunch of people in bicycle gear racing through stores and trying to bribe the cashiers to not accept "Bill's Payment".
We had a slightly larger group this year and the bulk of the pack stuck together and made it more fun in stores with a single cashier and a line of a half-dozen cyclists trying to buy a can or two of canned yams.
Weather for this event in recent years has been seasonally pleasant. It's always a hit or miss for this time of year, but the sun seems to shine down on us. This year added a stop at Pedal Pusher bicycle shop to collect a sticker.
If you want to shave a few minutes off your time and you can't come up with a suitable shortcut, you can always purchase a turkey along the way to knock 10 minutes off your time. Savvy competitors are smart to make this the last store and make it the stop that within the last mile of the end. Carrying a 25lb turkey a short distance proves to be a challenge. My cowrker Dave and I showed up at the food bank first this year each struggling back with our single turkey a piece. The unicycling Power Ranger was the only person to make it back a head of us, but as he only had a single wheel, we allowed him an amended route.
The next person in was our friend "Bang" from a local "adventure runner club" with just a short while behind us... but thoroughly showed us up by producing 3 turkeys from her multiple backpacks. Way to go! The next "team" that flowed into the finish was AA, Deathwish and Curtis.... They had stashed a wagon at the last grocery store and proceeded to load it up with about 9 turkeys that they dived up to give their one guy a finishing time of 30min and the overall victory. Well played gentlemen!
The day was very rewarding. We got to help out a good cause and donate some food for families in need and have an absolute blast doing it. To quote Cathy Pardionton, one of the event helpers, "About 20 people rode 15 miles, visited six stores, collected 882 pounds of food(442pounds turkey) for the central PA food bank....and that is Cranksgiving!"
Hope you can decide to join us next year! The more the merrier.
We've enjoyed craft beer and home brewing during our travels. It's always cool seeing new places and try things unique to an area. We managed to visit a few breweries on our recent trip to Atlanta. We even snuck in a trip to Fullsteam when we were passing through Durham (after seeing them on a recent Brew Dogs TV show.)