Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 2nd February 2018, 19:34   #1
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle

(In the midst of some downtime on account of a cold/flu running several days now, am finally - nine months after the fact - getting around to posting this series... ten posts here!)

*********

“You’ve got bigger balls than me , ” he commented matter-of-factly, lighting a cigarette and leaning lazily back against the wall. A day or two and hundreds of kilometers into my journey by then, no reassessing that his words could have prompted was going to change things. There was no turning back - I was in up to my neck already.

Eighteen years old and taking a break from his truck-stop convenience-store post, the lad had stepped outside and spotted this lean, graying "older" fellow solo on a 24-year-old DR350S – Suzuki’s beloved “street legal dirt bike”, then proceeded over for a closer look. I'd been looking it over myself, noting that it seemed to be leaking oil from someplace - the upper engine case was wet with it. I smiled, first a bit surprised at his crude colloquialism, then feeling a little uneasy at its implications:

So that’s it, I thought: Having lived near a half-century, I’ve still got more nerve – or foolhardiness – than your average punk teenager. Hanging there between feelings of pride and stupidity, the cosmic truth that "Pride comes before a fall" forced me towards the latter conclusion. I knew that hardly anybody does this – long Interstate Highway tours on well-worn small-displacement bikes, especially of the dual-sport variety. But was I really crazy, or was it indeed… as I had thought earlier... the exercise of faith?

The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010478.jpg

Several days earlier , an uncle in New Jersey had graciously offered a more practical four-wheeler to use during my first U.S. visit in six years, and I’d headed up one morning to have a look at it; Spring had sprung (as they say) in the mid-Atlantic states, when “April showers bring May flowers”; It was cloudy, and contemplating some thousands of km’s ahead, I figured I was likely to be rained on in this season, when it was probably still cold enough to get hypothermia if wet. But that morning I’d donned my cool-weather gear and was comfortable; The DR with its balance-shafted mill and retrofitted larger front sprocket was humming easily along the four-lane state highway, and about fifteen minutes in I got to wondering, “Do I really need anything more than this?” The divine Spirit seemed to be prompting me here, in the "still, small voice" I've sometimes been pretty sure I heard:

“Take the bike”.

Really? ...in truth, I didn’t much feel like it. A few reasonable persons, including my father, had sought to dissuade me from the idea - but, I knew from experience there would be benefits, too.

This and previous photo: 20km of trestle, two 1.6km long tunnels, 2 high bridges, 3+km's of causeway, 4 manmade islands and 9km's of approach roads:

The amazing - and slightly scary - Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (more later!)
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010406.jpg

I was nearly a decade younger the last time I’d done something like this, then an even longer journey from the Mexican border all the way back up to the northeast, astride another 24-year-old dual-sport that elicited its own share of attention and comments: a 1984 Honda XL600 - a more powerful, better maintained machine having the added touring benefits of a windscreen and a 16+L fuel tank.

(The XL600 at the Gulf of Mexico, Galveston)
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-f1120031.jpg

That had proved to be, despite a hard breakdown far from any sizable town or service center, a wonderful trip. Having completed it at leisure over a few weeks, and almost entirely on small byways, it had constituted a true discovery of the American heartland and "real" Americans - not without their foibles but in majority a decent, kind, friendly, courteous, simple people - not the noisy politicians and whiny elite of the ceaselessly bustling East/West coast metropolises, who typically seem to be looking for some new cause to gripe about.

But since that time I had become a husband and father of young kids. I had no health insurance in this land of about the most expensive medical care in the world (I'd guess a compound leg fracture might about bankrupt me), a place where motorcycles are universally considered (and statistically verified as) “dangerous” and I’ve known of too many who’ve been seriously injured/killed on them.

I'd found the venerable DR sitting with old, hard, rather slippery Bridgestones (by which I’d just about skidded through a red light or two already). It burned some oil, and with a stone-dead battery hopeless of resurrection, the horn barely worked, the headlight dimmed with the indicators, and the tach needle swung around erratically. The narrow MX-style seat was torn and moreover appeared shaped to give me painful daily wedgies. Unaccustomed by now to North American multi-lane highway speeds (sometimes flowing heavy volumes at a completely illegal 140-150kmph – where I’d hardly ridden a 2-wheeler), things had seemed well nigh terrifying after years of lower speeds in India’s hills. And this featherweight DR, with well over 30,000 miles (50,000km+) showing on the meter, had been sitting unused for a long time besides. On my last visit I’d never really taken it more than an hour or so from home, and even then it had displayed a glitch or two. I was very tight on time for this visit and would have to maintain good speeds and travel oftener on these large thoroughfares - I could afford less of the practically aimless meanderings on little country lanes that I’d enjoyed earlier. But above of all I could really afford no mishaps.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-sm.jpg

Touring in the U.S. is quite a different game from doing so in India in other respects too, sometimes on account of things being perhaps too “orderly” and “developed” there. For example, it is actually illegal to stop (for any reason but breakdown) alongside major highways, the cause of my missing a number of good photo ops (that activity being restricted to designated "scenic overlooks"). Surprisingly, many country two-lane roads lack any kind of shoulder to pull off on - I suppose because they're just not required? Secondly, should you break down, no trucker is likely to stop and carry your machine to take to the next city (probably not legal to add such freight in between, and the unions won’t let drivers do any physical loading besides) – so you’re going to need towing insurance on your policy (and I didn’t, AFAIK). For that matter, if you took a spill and were sitting on the roadside injured, definitely people would stop and see if you’re okay and “help” - by calling 911 – but they’re not going to put you in their car for fear of lawsuits - and the possibility of your being a devious psychopathic killer. Which means you can add an ambulance/EMS (emergency medical services) and - God forbid - Medevac helicopter bill to the towing.

Moreover, motorcycle spares / service are ridiculously expensive: Stator for a Bullet in India - maybe Rs. 1,200. Stator for that old XL? Over Rs. 20,000 from Honda, not including labor, which at bare minimum would relieve a biker of Rs. 4,500/hr. The landscape is vast, and you can’t just walk to the next village and find a bike mechanic to come back with a few cheap parts and help get you going again. Moreover, being a very automobile-dependent land, in the countryside you hardly ever see anyone walking along any road for any reason, making you feel like some kind of target if ever you’re forced to. Puncture-wallahs as we know them here are rare/non-existent, distances between petrol suppliers can be long, and for the second reason mentioned above, many would be unwilling to open their door to a stranger. There are no bus services from/between most towns either… Etc, etc,etc.

So it is a beautiful country with much to be discovered , but IMO it’s a little more difficult to deal with any mishaps than it is here in India – at least, to deal with them outside of “The System” - a small downside, I suppose, to operating in a place where things are expected to run smoothly, and generally do.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4210118sm.jpg

BUT... riding towards my uncle’s that April morning I was confronted with the truth: that most of my disinclination towards riding vs. driving was coming down to that ugly thing called FEAR - defined in holy scripture as the polar opposite of faith. And where was THAT de-motivation going to get me?

“ Fear not ” is supposed to be the most oft-repeated divine revelation in those writings and there are a lot of good reasons behind the command.
“Take the bike” I thought I'd heard. Um, okay…

Whether it be holy boldness or humanoid folly would remain to be seen...

An hour later: The offered car turned out to be an old Ford Escort estate wagon that had done 2.5L km’s. It was fairly filthy, being full of dog hair, and had a couple of unsightly dents. It had an anemic, buzzy 4-cylinder engine and automatic gearbox, and after a short test-drive I could hardly imagine a more uninspiring vehicle for a cross-country tour. One look at the corroded, seeping engine kind of settled it for me – it had been a very kind offer, but this was serving as a confirmation. I rode the bike back home and started getting ready for a ride that would ultimately cover parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.

A week into my journey I was offered temporary use of a car for onward travels – a rather nice one which was provided me just before the rain started - truly a Godsend.

(Camry SE - 268 hp 3.5-liter V6, sunroof, big alloys, auto/manual shift gearbox, etc... not your grandfather's Camry, to be sure...)
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170430_121638.jpg

So the southeastern states of Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama were done by car, before hopping back on the bike.

Between the two vehicles around 3,500km were covered… in total, a satisfying trip I was glad I'd undertaken as I did.

The Bike:

RE: the DR, specs and a full review reprint from Cycle magazine can be found here:
http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/mod...r350s%2093.htm

In short this is basically a strongly dirt-oriented bike with street-legal lighting that actually is considered pretty capable on-road too. It’s an ornery kick-started machine (its biggest complaint - later models added electric start, but kicking is okay once you’ve figured out the techniques - unless you've stalled it in traffic ).

It’s got eleven inches (yes, 280mm) of plush, adjustable suspension travel up front and almost as much behind, a torquey 4-stroke 350cc, oil/air-cooled, SOHC, 4-valve, dry-sump lubricated single with a balance shaft, six gears, and a great power-to-weight ratio at 130kg (dry) and 30bhp. The first time I got astride it again after riding my other (India-based 125smoker to 500cc thumper) bikes, the acceleration and responsiveness surprised and unsettled me – torque is very broad, flat, and instantly available at any rpm above about 2,500. With all that available suspension you can ride up or down curbs – probably even stairs – hardly even feeling them, whereas mere potholes may be safely ignored and thoughtlessly driven straight through. As I'd discover in Philadelphia, it’s a great urban assault tool for these and other reasons, not least of which is its relatively small/narrow size, allowing you to park it discreetly up on sidewalks and in other available nooks that would otherwise net you a parking challan.

*******

But the bike had been parked and left sitting for several years at the home of the buddy who keeps it for me there. When he heard I was coming over and might want to use it, he tried unsuccessfully to start it, even via tow-rope behind his wife’s car – with no success. A look inside the carb revealed the reason:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170412_100912.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170412_104118.jpg

Some good cleaning up, a float needle and an o-ring or two later (self-installed just outside the boundary of the bike shop parking, for – again – insurance reasons), the bike ran well. Well enough that I nearly crashed it when opening up the throttle wide in a grassy field on my first test-ride, the back-end suddenly whipping out in an exhilarating but scarcely controlled power-slide (would've been nice if on purpose!)…
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170412_155539.jpg

It would have been a lovely place to die (I'd not thought a helmet or any other gear necessary for such a little bit of testing), but by God's grace my carelessness was covered - and I managed, barely, to pull it back in line :-), being a little more respectful of the machine after that. The bike's plenteous low-end grunt apparently allowed it, with good knobbies, to match or even better the times of racing two-strokes on tracks/trails less than expert level; I really wonder whether in daily use it would compare favorably on-road to something like the (more powerful but less linear) 390 Duke.

The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170422_100752.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170422_100724.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170412_135528.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170412_122936.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170412_121444.jpg

We ended up finding the carb needle/o-ring at a little ramshackle mom-and-pop place in Delaware (recommended if you should ever find yourself in the area: http://www.cycleservice.net);

At the impressive multi-brand showroom next door, we'd have had to order/wait for the very rudimentary carb-rebuild kit - at something like Rs. 5,000!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_105404.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_104532.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_102111.jpg

For all newer, shinier, better performing choices available in close proximity, the shop foreman was completely loyal to his old CX500 - which I think had done something like 2L km's. These were supposed to be die-hard tourers (I guess the Silverwing was based on it), and Honda had offered a high-tech turbocharged model in the early '80's, too.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_102535.jpg

The rest of the DR-S work was pretty basic servicing: changed the oil (stored in the frame in this dry-sump bike), greased the bearings, replaced the disintegrated original air filter, added a seat cover (Indian-origin which I'd brought over, seemingly not available over there!!!). An odo/speedo cable was a must (the tank only holds 9L and finishes relatively quickly at Interstate speeds, so didn’t want to suddenly have to switch to reserve under those conditions; also because small-town American police...
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220235.jpg

...can be like hungry predators, chasing down the unaware and levying large fines for the sin of traveling 1mph over the posted limit; I'd venture they've gotta cover the costs of that high-performance iron somehow! ).

Finally: the tank bag I'd picked up dirt cheap on closeout was mounted up, we got the registration/insurance/inspection up to date, and we were good to go.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170414_083912.jpg

This would be a bit of an old-school proposition in other ways too: No GPS here (or at least, no power point that would allow me to keep the phone charged long enough for it to be dependable). So pre-paperless, baby (remember what these pockets were made for?):
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170502_090205.jpg

I also lacked a set of tyre-irons or anything else for dealing with punctures, making the decision instead to add to the tubes a bit of Amer-seal, a puncture-proofing solution made in the mid-west state of Kansas, which a generous friend from those parts sent me. Some would groan at the thought, but this stuff really seems to be a cut above, more effectively / permanently re-sealing punctures without unbalancing the tyres as is common with other such products. I was to see speeds of 130+kmph with no adverse effects, no vibes - and no punctures... Would recommend it highly if ever it should reach these shores.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-amerseal.jpg

As for the age-hardened (but barely worn) treads, I (experimentally) applied some spray-on belt-dressing, which for accessory drive-belts seems to have the effect of softening the rubber and providing a lot more friction. On researching later, I discovered that many/most U.S.-based racing teams have (controversially but effectively) been using chemical tyre treatments towards this end... so I may not have been far off, and it did add a little confidence. The "Adds Traction" claim on the can sounds about right, though (DISCLAIMER): I'm sure the company would never recommend such USE (nor would I, officially).
Name:  crc dressing.JPG
Views: 6056
Size:  26.4 KB

The chain was beyond half-life, but having no time to order/install a new set, had one sent to a friend's place along the way, in the event I should have trouble further ahead (I didn't, and I couldn't remove the frozen-tight hex-screws anyway).

And lastly, Photography : No Go-Pro here, folks. They have their benefits, but not really my thing. So Nexus 5x/6p phones and when I needed more zoom, a Stylus1 by Olympus - decent little travel cam. Can't say the results are as good as some have been earlier, but basically got the job done in a practical, minimalist spirit compatible with the rest of the tour.

************

Will try and keep the textual account to a minimum from here on out, and will let the pictures do much of the talking.

Basic waypoints (IF I had a GPS!) would be:
-Elkton, MD
-Philadelphia, PA
-New Jersey (various places)
-Lancaster, PA
-Knoxville, TN
-Boiling Springs, NC

(by car)
-Chattanooga, TN
-Lookout Mountain, TN/GA
-Birmingham, AL

(RETURN):
-Boiling Springs, NC
(and biking again)

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 11:10. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (16) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2018, 15:36   #2
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The American Mid-Atlantic - on a Vintage Dual-Sport:

Maryland:
Sunrise over the Maryland countryside
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170412_061533.jpg

Lovely byways in the MD farmland
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170412_154008.jpg

Quaint Chesapeake City, on the historic, still functional Chesapeake/Delaware Canal
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_142804.jpg

Earlier common but now rare old-time covered bridge (done to protect wood structure from rain/rotting):
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_181540.jpg

There's something called the "Mason-Dixon Line" that on maps indicated the North-South divider in Civil War times. Maryland falls below it, and it is amazing to find, a mere hour from a major and clearly "Northern" city like Philadelphia, typical countryfolk with southern accents and a fair dose of rural humor coming in:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_19464801.jpg

Philadelphia:

One could fill volumes, and the following pics do it little justice.

First planned by "Quaker" William Penn as a "Greene Country Towne", the original city is situated between two rivers and holds an amazing amount of history - it could take years to discover even half its secrets. At one point the largest manufacturing hub on earth , filled with factories producing everything from beer to ice cream, automobile components to steam locomotives (one of which - a Baldwin - survives on Darjeeling's toy railway), instrumentation to textiles. The city suffered economically with the relocation of industry elsewhere, but has been on an extended upswing as other sectors fill the gap.

One of countless old stone churches, the signboard's Google reference is noteworthy:

Name:  chch google.JPG
Views: 6023
Size:  101.9 KB

City Hall - Once slated for demolition, it was fortunately saved / preserved - it remains one of the tallest all-masonry structures in the world. With a statue of William Penn, city founder atop, a city ordinance long specified that no other building could be constructed as tall, keeping the skyline rather modest:

The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170505_222953.jpg

Rich interior of a former residence (later lawfirm) in central Philly
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170507_092008.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170507_092041.jpg

Well-preserved stained glass in an old church:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170507_145916.jpg

Second-hand tyres/wheels - of generally dubious supply...!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170508_121639.jpg

Call me odd, but I've always been fascinated with old graveyards:
I must not be the only one! In this case, Laurel Hill Cemetery, overlooking the Schuylkill River, you can actually access a location-guided tour via smartphone, an audio track sharing the histories of many of those buried there.

The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170508_125015.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170508_125612.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170508_125814.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170508_131241.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170508_131803.jpg

The "L" (short for 'elevated') - the city's commuter metro line, seen here heading towards Center City from notorious "K&A" (Kensington & Allegheny - not the sort of place you want to find yourself late night):
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170509_09142401.jpg

Earlier abandoned old neighborhood theatre, now turned house of worship:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170509_112836.jpg

For the foodies: Now popular "China Buffets" (which have a lot more than Chinese food and literally hundreds of dishes on offer):
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170510_173023.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170510_173135.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170510_172842.jpg

Outside town, the impressive cathedral of the Bryn-Atheryn sect:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170511_132840.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-dscf3862.jpg

The Schuylkill River along Kelly (a.k.a East River) Drive:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4160007.jpg

Boathouse Row: University racing rower's fraternity houses
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4160026.jpg

The grand Art Museum, with the ancient Water Works in the foreground:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4160029.jpg

Japanese Gardens, West Fairmount Park
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4160038.jpg

"Hunting Park" - presumably an actual hunting ground in British colonial times, eventually bordering ghettos in a rather dangerous part of town. It has now been very nicely renovated:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170509_122036.jpg

Oh, and speaking of ghettos (!):
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-f1070033.jpg

Mid-70's Oldsmobile with 455 (7.5L) V-8 power and 27" wheels (eh, non-OE)!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170505_142142.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 10:55. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2018, 18:33   #3
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The American Mid-Atlantic - on a Vintage Dual-Sport:

New Jersey:

Some outsiders, perhaps with Newark in mind, have wrongly assumed that NJ was only another section of New York City - but not so!
The Delaware River at New Hope, opposite Lambertville, NJ:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170417_070544.jpg

Another old canal: What once were mule-paths for the animals pulling passenger/freight barges have now been groomed / maintained as walking/jogging/cycling paths.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170417_09441201.jpg

Fancy old Victorian homes, and another church, in small-town NJ:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170417_16180901.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170417_162126.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170417_16205401.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170417_16202701.jpg

A rare find: I knew of this particular bike for years, but hadn't seen it till now, upon visiting its elderly owner's home. 1970 Yamaha Enduro, used gently for only a couple years before being parked, and still in original, as new condition - wish I had a good reason to buy this - and wish the owner was ready to sell it!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170512_152404.jpg

Lancaster, PA:

Famous are for its majority Amish community, and more broadly the "Pennsylvania Dutch" (actually Deutsch - German, which was and still is spoken by them in some cases), the area is a treasure-trove of old-time furniture making and traditional crafts, home-made specialty foods, etc. The tight-knit Amish community, despite their relative affluence, have shunned the trappings of modern industrial age, still using horses to plow and to pull their passenger buggies along the rural roads, and declining to use most farm and household conveniences (incl. fridges, washing machines, etc), and in some cases even indoor plumbing.

Typical Amish farms:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4200052.jpg

Trainyard and Strasburg Railway live steam in action:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4200056.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4200079.jpg

Ubiquitous horse-drawn buggy:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4200228.jpg

A very clever concept: The Red Caboose Motel and Restaurant:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170420_11373801.jpgThe Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img20170420wa0006.jpgThe Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170420_11440301.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170420_11401101.jpg

The U.S. is chock full of good restoration projects, and most of them would take far less work to complete than what we sometimes see veritable miracles performed on here in India.

It was on my way to Lancaster that I came across (not the only time) a used-car lot full of them - I'll leave you to figure out the years of manufacture, but there's a Packard, a VW, two Chevys (incl. the rear-engined, boxer-6 Corvair), a Pontiac TransAm, a Buick, and three Mercury cars represented (latter two with a convertible each):
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170420_11163901.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170420_111725.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170420_11153201.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170420_111431.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170420_111407.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170420_11131201.jpg

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 10:50. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (12) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 5th February 2018, 23:48   #4
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The American Mid-Atlantic - on a Vintage Dual-Sport:

Shelby / Boiling Springs vicinity, North Carolina: As of now, solidly in the South, with all its cultural (incl. eh, linguistic) "diffrnces", but as I was to find - despite all the surviving "rednecks" (google/wiki that, and henceforth say the word using dipthongs for your vowels if you please), and surprisingly for a small town in the (traditionally bit racist) south - the area is becoming quite the melting pot!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220170.jpg

Small-town renaissance: Once fallen on hard times, the place is beginning to thrive again, with some new industries cropping up, an influx of residents and businesspeople from places as far afield as Lebanon (these neighbors were keeping goats in their yard in the neighborhood, which, eh, is just not done in developed layouts!). Downtown is becoming quaintly re-occupied with nice outdoor cafe's, a microbrewery, etc. One of the boutiques is owned by an Indo-Thai couple!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220146.jpg

Weekly farmer's market - absolutely immaculate, largely organic produce (with corresponding pricing, Ouch! - rs800 for a little basket of lettuce, folks!). Also crafts, soaps, and some musicianship featuring, in those moments, tunes by Jimi Hendrix.

Out of town, many hiking/cycling trails and common-use public land along the rivers.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220212.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220213.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220180.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220152.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220134.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220148.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220122.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220157.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220240.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220250.jpg

Of interest to us motorheads was the community car-show:
First car here being Ford's famous "Deuce" - "Two" - or more fully, 193 2 , when Ford moved from 4-cylinders and dared put a flathead v8 engine in their cars - for a long while the most hot-rodded model in history (proof of that being the small-block Chevy v8 more recently transplanted here).
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220211.jpg

But the basic engine design would be retained till the company's OHV engines appeared in the mid-1950's.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220189.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220188.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220194.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220196.jpg

Finally, proof that powerful "ragtop" muscle-cars needn't be driven by men - or even wild young women!!!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4220230.jpg

Then onwards...
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250311.jpg

Knoxville, TN:
City on a lake, but as a brief stopover, my sightseeing here was largely limited to a friend's foreign-car workshop... which was enough for sights!!! He had quite a lot of nice machinery (not all foreign) on display there!

Mid-'60's Buick that he'd got on trade... in exchange for his collection of scrap metal!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170424_171009.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170424_171103.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170424_171315.jpg

The racked cars are an Aston-Marton Vantage which was picked up at auction cheap in mildly flood-damaged condition, then restored / upgraded, yielding a phenomenal machine for a fraction of the market rate.

In contrast, the 535i Bimmer above it is raced in the "Chump" racing series...which I guess you could say is something like a 24-hours Lemans for the poor(er) man... using cars sourced at no more than $500, certain upgrades being possible only via a point-based system! The car has placed fairly well in events at the Road Atlanta road course and elsewhere.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170424_172001.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170424_172051.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170424_172217.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170424_172149.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170424_174018.jpg

The Blue Ferrari is a 430 Scuderia, the Red one in the parking a 360 Modena... Though independent, being perhaps the most reputable / conscientious of workshops in the area, they've picked up some warranty work on the company's behalf. There's a 1969 Mustang there for which he was working out the suspension setup, a 1980's black 635 Bimmer, Subaru WRX, etc, etc.

The proprietor, Rich, seems able to handle pretty much everything

Quite a place!

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 10:48. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th February 2018, 15:03   #5
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The American Mid-Atlantic - on a Vintage Dual-Sport:

Chattanooga, TN & Lookout Mountain, TN/GA/AL border area:

One of the loveliest small cities I can remember visiting, Chattanooga also figures in very importantly in U.S. history: partly as a transportation hub (Tennessee River/rail/road), and as such an important prize to be won during the Civil War.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_185131.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_121318.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_194019.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_194448.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_194539.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_195505.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_200619.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_200800.jpg

Lookout Mountain:
Right from town, a couple of roads (and the Incline Railway) start up the mountain:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170426_145326.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170426_152521.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170426_151048.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170426_151110.jpg

Crucial battle actually fought on the mountainside, currently a museum nearby:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_123805.jpg

Paragliding point a little further along the Lookout Mtn. Parkway
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_114501.jpg

Built as a tourist hotel, abandoned during hard times, later bought / renovated as Covenant College:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170426_141954.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170426_135906.jpg

Waterfall behind relatives' place:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170425_143228.jpg

Some small lakes about, extremely quiet places with only a few homes:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170428_083025.jpg

Ubiquitous Mountain Laurel, cherished by locals:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170428_083839.jpg

and other flora like this "Lady's Slipper":
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170428_09222701.jpg

The Cascades:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170428_090520.jpg

Cousin's Suzuki TU250X: I guess almost like an old RE Crusader in sharing the classic 50's style, but in a package a good bit lighter / nimbler than the Bullet. Wondered why RE never tried to do it again: 19bhp, under 150kg, low 760mm seat height, FI and electric start, traditional Suzuki reliability. Cousin's had all sorts of bigger&better (Bonnie, Z1 Kawi, CB350-4, etc), but says he loves riding this thing. Karizma-like mechanicals in a retro-looking package - why wouldn't that work here??? (and see positive related comments at: https://www.motorbeam.com/2015-suzuk...50cc-bike-usa/
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_103509.jpg

Beside it are a later-model DR350 (one with the full-race-adjustable suspension) and a TW200 fat-tyre that he picked up from an Indian-origin gentleman with I think only 43km's on the clock, in as-new condition (the carburetor was varnished up from sitting around)!!!

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 10:44. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th February 2018, 16:09   #6
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The American Mid-Atlantic - on a Vintage Dual-Sport:

Birmingham, AL:

When you get to Alabama, you've reached into the "Deep" South...
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170428_111036.jpg

...and its apparently incongruous, stereotypical mix of religion with weaponry, rugged self-reliance, and white-supremacist ideologies (all in the name of self-defense, mind you):

The "Rebel Flag" on the right was the one used by the Southern Confederacy during the 1860's Civil War / War Between the States (or as they refer to it in the South, the "War of Northern Aggression". Southerners claim their secession from the Union was over the issue of "States' Rights" (vs. Federal Gov't authority), NOT that of slavery - though the latter was clearly the immediate point of contention between their peceived "right" to continue trading in / holding slaves, against the Federal (Northern) Government's authority to free them, as per Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. The South was defeated (some Southerners will deny this as well, despite the surrender of their General) in favor of the Union and slaves, but many in the south, generations later, feel some bitterness and mistrust. Dade County (or as they prefer, "State of Dade"), Georgia, is one example of a local administration that never officially acceded to the Union post-war, and perhaps till now imagines itself an independent government!

Politics aside, I can remember driving through Alabama a few decades ago and for the sake of her thick accent being unable to grasp a single word being said by the convenience store attendant whom I'd just paid. Not a single word - though thrice repeated... Embarrassing, as it was supposed to be some kind of English...

Alabama was on the itinerary for a bit of a college roommate reunion there (25years, oh my!). ALL being motorheads, we had a mind to visit the amazing Barber Motorsports Museum, which I'd so enjoyed on an earlier visit: Allegedly the world's largest collection, owning some 1,600 bikes - all of them notable models in some particular aspect. Nine-hundred are on display at any given time, being periodically rotated in/out; And ALL of them are running bikes, which during servicing are taken for some test laps around the race-loop outside.

Instead, well ... W e decided to do the proper redneck thing: Go out to an abandoned field, do some wild donuts in the crew-cab F150 Pickup, some hill-climbs with the kids' high-performance 4x4 RC trucks on some high embankments there (these ones capable of wheelies, 60+kmph, and unbelievable powerslides / climbing exploits...).
Name:  Capture.JPG
Views: 5487
Size:  23.6 KB
Name:  IMG_20170429_11082501.jpg
Views: 5506
Size:  89.9 KB

And THEN ...

...Go shooting (of course!!!)...

...So that we can, um, better defend our homes and loved ones and all that kind of thing... from bad guys and oppressive governments... and trespassers!!! ;-)

Just a couple little modded military AR-15's here... Uh, Yeah, I guess this is the kind of thing you can buy at the grocery shop in some parts of the U.S., LOL!!! Gotta love this country!!!
Name:  IMG20170430WA0037.jpg
Views: 5489
Size:  58.6 KB
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170429_160402.jpg

.45 Cal. Glock pistol at 15m (the line just in front of the tables below)... Not bad for an older fellow with little experience who never shoots...
Name:  IMG_20170429_14555201.jpg
Views: 5479
Size:  55.4 KB
Name:  IMG20170430WA0016.jpg
Views: 5481
Size:  82.6 KB

and a .22 semi-automatic target rifle at 25m...
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170429_144042.jpg

Card-carrying NRA buddy was traveling cross-country with around seven firearms (owns well over 100) - which for a Texan is fairly average I suppose??? I asked if that was legal, a question for which an entirely straight answer was not provided. Hmmm...

Fortunately I didn't stick around long enough for anything to - eh - "stick" to me... (AFAIK)

From here I was to head north again, into, eh, "safer" territory: To an Indian, a "Yank" is any American; to a redneck, a "Yank(ee)" is a despised northern aggressor... so better "git goin' while the goin's good"...

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 10:41. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (10) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 8th February 2018, 23:24   #7
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The American Mid-Atlantic - on a Vintage Dual-Sport:

The Way "Home"...

Part I:

From B'ham headed back up into North Carolina again, then East across Virginia:

I'd had every intention on my return journey of visiting the purportedly excellent (though bit remote)Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum in Maggie Valley and having a ride up the Blue Ridge Parkway and stay again at lovely Willville Motorcycle Campground (where I'd broken down near a decade earlier); But I'd covered other hill roads in that region en-route, and by now I saw weather reports showing a storm system moving in the precise direction I needed to travel.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-screenshot_20170501092749.jpg

I'd had a taste of that drenching storm earlier the morning of my departure, and didn't want to ride through it for hours, so decided instead to miss it by riding east, and then north only after reaching the coast somewhere in Virginia- a good decision I would not regret - though one day, I still really would like to get to Maggie Valley.

I'd kept seeing tiny windowless "barns", many in bad disrepair and generally clustered with several together, all across a section of eastern North Carolina and Virginia... Absolutely baffling till I saw this one in better shape, still having its smoke-stacks; Then I remembered Virginia hams (Ahhh, these were smokehouses!!!): Pork, cured and typically smoked with different types of woods depending on desired flavor. Most of the industry must have (sadly) become centralized in big, often inhumane factories now, but originally it was the simple, preferred method of meat preservation for simple country-folk in the pre-refrigeration era.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010347.jpg

One great thing about America is its self-conscious interest in history; markers / plaques / little museums are to be found everywhere in the countryside, some with interesting stories / character sketches:
Name:  P5010351.jpg
Views: 5481
Size:  141.6 KB
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010355.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010395.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020765.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020687.jpg

Lovely country scenes all around:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250300.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010324.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010327.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250305.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010360.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020681.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020736.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020537.jpg

Expansive (and likely expensive) irrigation rig here:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020631.jpg

The "variety" stores / junk / antique shops / preserved "treasures":
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010374.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010383.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010391.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020678.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020639.jpg

Crooked old house in seemingly near-abandoned Girdletree, Maryland (pop. 117), a town that seems to have been built on Oystering prospects at one time, which later faded:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020686a.jpg

Loved this one: "Modest Town"
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020684.jpg

As I headed north and out of the so-called "Bible Belt" I would see less and less of these sorts of things:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4210121.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010319.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010322.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010331.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010335.jpg

As a northerner naturally less inclined to wearing religion on my shirtsleeve, it was entirely surprising to me to see how open and forthright many are about it further south. As can be seen here, a great number of roads in the region are named after the churches built along them, and one can hardly go a half-mile in some places without finding one.

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 10:38. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2018, 01:51   #8
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The American Mid-Atlantic - on a Vintage Dual-Sport:

Return Northbound (Part II):

Now on the coast / through marshlands, I made it my aim to keep to the smaller roads, and see what I could discover.

An old lighthouse, now not especially near the shoreline, perhaps abandoned for this reason as much as any other:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020758.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020755.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020780.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020778.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020785.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020768.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020742.jpg

"Bombay Hook???" That one caught my eye!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020731.jpg

Some marvelous - but sometimes bit scary - bridges:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020723.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020777.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020658.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020657.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020661.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020664.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020669.jpg

Small side lanes and driveways ending at the Bay:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020647.jpg

And paved with broken clam / oyster shells!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020653.jpg

The clean, nearly deserted beaches and boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland (this was pre-season):
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020705.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020717.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020692.jpg

Final "Attraction" would be the staggering Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel. Over 27km's shore-to-shore, the idea for this motorway was to provide a huge shortcut for traveling between the mainland areas, while not preventing ships from navigating. So a combination of low-lying bridge (trestle), higher bridges, and tunnels, all put together. The water's expanse on either side makes you feel as though you could be driving across an ocean... the winds are high and not a few vehicles have gone over the edges; I was hoping, on my 130kg bike, to not be the next!

The map:
Name:  P5010412.jpg
Views: 5383
Size:  83.8 KB

A real treat, on the East Coast, to be able to look out over an expanse of water and watch the sunset!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010426.jpg

Delve down deep!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010471.jpg

Back up and braving the ocean-force winds across the trestles!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010513.jpg

... and do it over again a couple times before it's over!

Just after it all ended, I arrived at my night's stopover, Cape Charles' Kiptopeke Park, where I'd stayed on my epic journey from the Mexican border years earlier. Had to set up in the dark as night had fallen; Both times, it rained on my tent later on, and I didn't quite manage to stay dry. The next morning was perfect, though!
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020542.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020540.jpg

Seems to have been built near the site of a now-disappeared motor lodge:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020629.jpg

The parkland comes right up to the coast, a very pretty and very pristine place (note the 'Bay Bridge running across the background):
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020627.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020595.jpg

Several WWII era concrete ships were deliberately sunk here end-to-end as a breakwater to help preserve the beach and boat landing/wharf, also providing some sanctuary for various fish/birds:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5020620.jpg

I slept and awoke knowing I was now near the end of my ride - it had been a great run, the old mule had performed marvelously, I'd seen so many things of interest and reunited with many good friends, but I was glad to be nearing "home".

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 10:33. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (7) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2018, 02:19   #9
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The American Mid-Atlantic - on a Vintage Dual-Sport:

As this is being compiled for T-Bhpians, before closing it seems right to include small sampling of random motor vehicles found along the way. There were many, many more I could have snapped and included, but of particular interest were the restorable units, which are SO abundant in the land. Models written above some of them here:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_131619.jpg

c1980 Fiberfab Aztec 7 - a kit car built on a VW chassis:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_183015.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_182956.jpg

Rare Dodge camper van, apparently one of something like 50 factory-built:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170419_134208.jpg

Plymouth Barracuda with small-block v8 power:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170419_13432301.jpg

Early 1950's Cadillac
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170419_13434901.jpg

50cc scooty - nice retro Honda I believe - convenient in that it requires no license to operate, and powerful enough to pull a lady school-teacher up and down Lookout Mountain.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170426_18014301.jpg

Isuzu Trooper II - a nice original owned by my cousin
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170427_112042.jpg

Studebaker Lark, ?, AMC Pacer, Chevy S10, Plymouth Roadrunner
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170428_110433.jpg

Early Toyota Landcruiser
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170428_152444.jpg

Mercury Comet
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170428_152457.jpg

1960's Corvette
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170429_181836.jpg

Free bird on some kind of trike...
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170430_105810.jpg

1960's Beetle
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170506_182057.jpg

Ton of V-dubs and other stuff here...
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250274.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250272.jpg

Era Pontiacs were distinctive for the broad stainless/chrome up the hood (bonnet):
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250282.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250285.jpg

Packard from the "bathtub" / "pregnant elephant" era...
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250275.jpg

Early Dodge Power Wagon - these seem based on the "China Dodge" "One Ton" designed in WWII to run supplies from the Calcutta port up over the Himalayan foothills via the Burma Road. Very tough vehicles, and quite rare now.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250293.jpg

Studebaker "Avanti" ("forward" in Italian). Way ahead of its time for the early 1960's, the Avanti continued production under other management when the parent company went bankrupt. Fiberglass-bodied and some equipped with Paxton-supercharged engines, these broke 29 land speed records when run on the Bonneville Salt Flats in late 1962, astonishingly breaking the 200mph (300kmph) barrier.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250294.jpg

Chevy Nova - Great seller in the U.S. for years. Lightweight semi-unit body that accepted V-8 power easily.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250296.jpg

Rare AMC AMX two-seater. Successful racers on road courses in their day (Mark Donahue?). Though it would need restoring, listed price seems eminently reasonable.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250297.jpg

Mid-1960's Ford Bronco (4x4)
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p4250303.jpg

Rare early 1950's Chevy 5-window pickup.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010338.jpg

c1980 VW pickup, with very rare style of cap over the bed.
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5010397.jpg

Driver of this rig came over to see the bike & me too... he picks up completed cabs at the Volvo factory down the road, and delivers them a few at a time to California, earning several cents per mile as I recall - a quite lucrative venture.

The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170421_160151.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170421_160844.jpg

Next up: boating!

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 10:29. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (11) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 9th February 2018, 03:15   #10
BHPian
 
ringoism's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Himachal
Posts: 551
Thanked: 1,460 Times
Default The American Mid-Atlantic - on a Vintage Dual-Sport:

Having arrived back as far north as I was going to be, a final little excursion took me out to the water one last time for a farewell to the coastlands (we are quite landlocked up here in H.P.). This time it would be New Jersey's own "deep south" - which almost everyone would be surprised to know is situated below the aforementioned Mason-Dixon line... and which in many parts could tuly be described as "Hicksville" (google that?). There is a book published about the "Ghost Towns of Southern New Jersey"; Nestled between New York City and Philadelphia and being the country's most densely populated state now, it is hard to believe in their existence, but it's true: One of the original thirteen colonies, over the centuries an amazing amount of diverse industries have come and gone (among others, the towns of "Glassboro" and "White's Bogs" have clearly indicative namings) and workers and little towns with them. One such near my buddy's place (with its oystering origins clearly in view) is named "Shell Pile" and allegedly there is another named, "Kill Pig Hole". Oh my... (If that ain't 'redneck', I dunno what is!).

Anyway, a former supervisor who'd left the company sometime after I did, afterwards buying a marina down on the Delaware Bay, which bordered his ancestral land. As I recall his telling, as a youth he had earned money for college trapping muskrats all through those marshlands, and selling the pelts. The only PE (Licensed Professional Engineer) in our department, maybe in the entire company - he'd commuted well over an hour to office daily in a ragged pickup (sometimes with some Broccoli or other produce to sell to co-workers), still clearly the "country boy" at heart.

Name:  IMG_20170413_1952520101.jpg
Views: 5281
Size:  51.4 KB

Vintage outboard boat engines, and some creative related signage:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170512_080857.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170512_082936.jpg

Marina / Pirate humor:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170512_092638.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-back-creek.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170512_092256.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170512_083648.jpg

It's been a long while since I'd been in anything like a speedboat, so a little slalom-like run down the river out to the Bay was a great treat. This is around a 21' boat with a 200bhp Evinrude... quick enough though nowhere near opened up in our case:
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170512_084623.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170512_085445.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-p5120808.jpg
The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170512_085454.jpg

Looking back, I can say the whole trip was a wonderful experience which left many interesting sights and great reunions with good friends in its wake.

And I think, in the end, it turned out to be something short of madness after all - Just a simple man on a simple machine, with simple faith in his God to keep the wheels turning, the bike shiny-side-up, and (preferably) the oil in the sump. I left with very few necessities, very little reserve, but whatever I lacked was provided on the way...

I'll say here that a highlight was to be able to spend time sightseeing with my 90-year-old aunt - such a gracious, intelligent, and talented woman - something I couldn't have very well done on the bike, whereas the supplied Camry was perfect for it. Just so grateful - The reality of things suggests that I may not get the opportunity to see her again in this world (though we are confident for the next).

As I sit here looking out over a Himalayan valley, imagining my poor DR sitting on the opposite side of the globe, forlorn and unused again, I'm thinking already of "next time": Some people whom I'd hoped to see but couldn't live in the New England states of Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine. I ran out of time and it might've been too chilly to go that direction in Spring anyway, but what a nice trip it could make somewhere down the road!

There are always new, unexpected things to be seen... and learned on such a journey, about a place, about people, about life, about oneself.

And occasionally, putting philosophical contemplations aside, there will be moments of clarity regarding even the most pragmatic of functions:

The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle-img_20170413_195211.jpg

There is a certain amount of wisdom to be gained from T-shirts... And as for me, having seven years before found "the right one" I expect this is the only further instruction I'm ever going to need concerning "chicks".

My cold/flu seems to have mostly run its course, we're in the midst of our first real snowfall this winter, and it's time to move on to other pursuits, so having offered up these ten posts, I'll close here.

Regards,

Eric

Last edited by Aditya : 13th February 2018 at 10:20. Reason: Formatting text
ringoism is offline   (17) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2018, 08:18   #11
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 49,226
Thanked: 99,689 Times
Default Re: The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2018, 09:59   #12
Senior - BHPian
 
selfdrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,774
Thanked: 2,260 Times
Default Re: The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle

Well well, what have we got here!! Awesome writeup and the tongue in cheek comments in your first post helped with a lovely start to my workdesk morning.

Amazing way to see a part of the world we normally see mostly through car windows. A life outside the usual tourist circuit of the bigger cities, wow! I so badly want to go see those couple of ferraris and the buick in your friend's garage in Knoxville.

About using a bike in car country, maybe it is not only the size of them balls, but also what stuff you are made of

I hope you are able to continue making trips like these and post them here in the future too

Last edited by selfdrive : 13th February 2018 at 10:27.
selfdrive is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2018, 14:21   #13
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Banaglore
Posts: 293
Thanked: 359 Times
Default Re: The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle

Wow what a trip sir. You definitely have bigger balls than mine.
JediKnight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th February 2018, 20:43   #14
BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 52
Thanked: 22 Times
Default Re: The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle

Thank you. A very interesting read. More interesting were the brilliant photograhs you posted . I am l am planning a slightly longer trip beginning of this summer and your post have given me lots of ideas.
vgsr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th February 2018, 14:48   #15
BHPian
 
rst89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Pune
Posts: 43
Thanked: 184 Times
Default Re: The Mid-Atlantic USA on a Vintage Dual-Sport Motorcycle

Lovely thread and compilation about experiences traveling through the mid Atlantic states. It gave me new perspective to see few parts of USA.

From your photos, love this thing about USA is their documentation of history.
Recently there was lot of uproar over the Confederate flag and statues of icons who advocated slavery. The fact remains lot of people suffered due to slavery and reconciliation is the only way forward.
rst89 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Lesser Known Atlantic Highway - An English Secret hyanglavoyageur Travelogues 12 29th November 2016 23:30
USA: Dual Clutch ATs losing popularity RM Motorsports The International Automotive Scene 7 15th December 2015 07:03
Erik Buell Racing (co-owned by Hero) ceases operations. EDIT: Hero, Atlantic Metals buy EBR assets Aditya Superbikes & Imports 14 3rd September 2015 12:22
Auto Air Conditioning: Atlantic Air (Ahmedabad) SirAlec Other Cities 1 5th April 2012 23:52
World's Most Expensive Car - 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic ($30+ million) Cesc Beyond Borders 0 20th September 2010 20:31


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 16:42.

Copyright 2000 - 2018, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks