August 5, 2011, I opened my eyes to the sounds of birds and the neighbors kids playing outside. The previous day’s rain and humidity were gone, and in their place was a bright blue sky with little wispy clouds. The air was crisp 52F which was much colder than I expected. Wearing a full mesh riding suit, even with the little windproof liner was not nearly warm enough. I pulled over and put on my fleece and my other shirt. I made it another five miles. It was cold. At 55mph, the wind turned that 52F morning into a ~35F morning. My hands enjoyed the heated grips, but the rest of me was chilled. I wished I had my heated vest.
My SV650 is the naked variety, so it does not have any wind protection at all. I love the naked setup. I’ve tried many windshields, but they all make too much noise. I love the quiet rush of wind that a naked bike provides.
I put on the last pair of gear I had left – my bright, yellow, one-piece rainsuit. I felt ridiculous riding along in the bright sun without a rain cloud in sight wearing my rain gear, but I was warm. By noon, the sun had finally done it’s job and the temps had climbed into the 70s and my rain gear was back in my tank bag.
My route was to be along the coast of Maine on US1 riding towards my overnight stay in Manchester, NH.
I had hoped to see the rugged Maine coastline I had seen in photographs. What I didn’t realize was how jagged the coast was with tiny slivers of land piercing into the Atlantic like daggers. The road connected the hilt of those knives, and the trees covered most of the views.
Occasionally, I’d get a glimpse of the water while crossing a bridge.
The other thing I didn’t anticipate on the coast road was the numerous small towns. They were all very cute, charming, and touristy. That last bit caused an incredible amount of traffic. Which was mostly ok, as it gave me plenty of time to admire the scenery. One small town in particular was quite bad. The traffic was backed up for nearly five miles going south and double that on the north-bound side. As I crept along, was passed by a snail cruising past on the shoulder. Once I got to the small town, I saw the source of the problem. Two traffic cops stopping traffic to let the pedestrians cross as soon as one showed up which was five times a minute rather than letting a couple of them gather. What was the crowd for? Lobster of course. The signs advertised “lobsters boiled alive” which had the lines down the street and around the corner. This is Maine after all.
Further down the road, I found this beautiful bridge. It is on the exit of Verona Island crossing the Penobscot River on US1/ME3.
The bridge was put into service in 2006 when the bridge to the right was retired.
I stopped again to admire another bit of the coast. Before heading into NH. The beachgoers looked at me like I was an alien walking around wearing my riding gear on the beach. I was quite comfortable and the high riding boots meant I didn’t get sand in my shoes. My helmet and gloves were back on the bike.
I arrived later afternoon at Chris Harris’s BMW shop – Affordable Beemer Services. Chris is an independent BMW mechanic and loves old military vehicles. When I entered his shop, I found him working on his 1980s Dnepr. It is very similar to a Ural. He painted his panzer grey to give it that more authentic look. He loves taking it off-road which shows with the generous coating of mud.
He was one of the first to graciously offer me space for the night. His backyard was a great place to setup my tent. It was conveniently located next to the firepit.
We started drinking mimosas shortly after I arrived. Chris has quite a stock pile of raw ingredients for his favorite drink. We didn’t stop enjoying the tasty citrus drink until the wee hours of the morning when we finally ran out of wood for the campfire. I had a great time swapping stories with Chris and his wife around the fire. Thanks for a great time Chris!
Around 260 miles of riding today.
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- BigTrip2011 – Day7 – Mountains and Rainstorms
- BigTrip2011 – Day9 – WWI Military Expo Video
- BigTrip2011 – Day6 – NY & VT – Adirondacks and a Ferry
- BigTrip2011 – Day5 – Buffalo, NY to Watertown, NY
- BigTrip2011 – Day4 – Buffalo, NY
- BigTrip2011 – Day3&5 Videos
- BigTrip2011 – Day3 – OH, PA, NY – Lake Erie and Niagara Falls
- BigTrip2011 – Day2 – Indiana to Ohio – MotoVlogger Meetup
- BigTrip2011 – Day1 – Minnesota to Indiana
- Trip Starts After More Delays!
- Announcement: Big Trip of 2011!