Day Sixteen, July 26, 2008.
Last day of our trip, and fairly uneventful, just a short 300 mile ride home, with a stop for lunch!
We stopped at Front Royal, VA at the Mexican restaurant Jalisca and I realized we had not one obligatory food shot, so I added a couple.
Kermit’s California Burrito.
My excellent beef chimi!
I thought Tina might like this sweet purple Duster!
Two happy, and surprisingly unsore guys at my house where we started.
We actually did the route we started to do, but added a dip down into ND because Kermit had not been there before, and I had not on a bike. (Hopefully Kermit will post the updated route showing some minor deviations.)
By the time we had 2000 miles on the trip, with 5000 to go, we thought we might have a tire issue. Kermit’s rear, and mine to a lesser degree, were showing a lot of wear. However, in the end, we both got home with stock tires and a few thousand miles left on them. Once again, the Avon Distanzias held up great, and rode exceptionally well.
My tire, and my 500 mile take-off from before the trip.
Kermit’s rear tire, still with some life on it.
As a matter of fact, we had nearly no mechanical issues at all. My GPS power wire broke after I adjusted my seat, and Kermit lost a low beam, and a Hella FF50 bulb, and that is it. I added half a quart of oil at 3500 miles, and it is still good. My bike has always used a lot of oil, but I guess at 53K miles it is finally broken in!
Both our bike are over 50K, Kermit’s over 60K, and neither of us hesitated a bit to take off with NO spare parts, antenna rings, or anything but the kit I usually carry. The bikes were absolutely flawless as far as we are concerned.
A few stats from the trip that I found interesting:
· 7300 miles (each)
· 17 states
· 6 border crossings
· 6 Indian reservations/reserves
· 5 national parks
· 4 Canadian provinces
· 2 countries
· 2 conformed bird suicides (a 3rd unconfirmed)
· 2 bazillion bugs killed
· 1 ride done, hundreds of ideas for more.
A few observations:
The best drivers are in the Midwest of the US and Canada, with Canada being better overall. The Canadians are generally more courteous, though we had nothing but great experiences with people everywhere we went in both the US and Canada.
Canada is a beautiful country! I have been in every US state, and several countries in Europe, and none are better than Canada in the West. As you go East it becomes harder to tell Canada from the US. The Canadian roads are good, if slow, with construction and low speed limits, but Canada’s short summers make for huge construction projects everywhere in summer.
Highway 101 north of Tillamook is one of the best roads I have ever ridden. Clean, fast, twisty with sweepers and light traffic!
There were bikes everywhere in the Midwest and Canada. Totally amazing to see the volume of bike traffic in the middle of nowhere, with cruisers covered in the same bugs as our bikes, and representing better than 80% of all the bikes we saw!
If you have never done a trip like this, you should try hard! It is amazing the things you see, the fun you have, and the feeling of release from everyday worries.
Here is the GPS for the end of the trip:
And for our Metric Friends:
PS I am missing Canada already, anyone up for a ride?