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Old 9th January 2011, 10:18   #1
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Default Old lady still packs a punch - 3000 mile trip on a 11 year old Accord

This is not a proper travelogue but sharing my experience of a solo drive of about 1250 Miles each way on the boring US highways from New Jersey to Miami. I had a ten day holiday with nothing to do. One of my friends was going to Miami from Kansas City and asked me to join him. This was a very good oppurtunity to do a solo drive which I had always thought of doing but never happened yet. But I had never thought that I would do it in US where I fall off to sleep almost as soon as I start driving. My daily drive is to office about 30 miles and back. I was quite skeptical about my capabilty to do such a long drive, but then I thought that I would never know if I did not try. Then came the question of the car. I had the idea of taking my bike, but the weather was not at all conducive for that. I did not want to rent a car because of 3 reasons, 1 was cost, 2 was the mileage restrictions on the rental cars and 3rd, I did not want to drive an automatic. So after much thought, went on to take my Honda Accord which had about 176K Miles on the odo.
On the 23rd of December, started from home at about 5:30 P.M. After driving for about 30 Miles, I started feeling sleepy and realised that I was crossing my daily threshold. I took a long break and tried tp assess the situation. After a sumptuous meal, I packed a burger with me. But the thought of going another 1200 or so miles was quite un-nerving. I gave myself quite a bit of time to think about it. Then decided to call up my friend and say that I was returning as I could not make this journey alone. Had almost made the call when my ego got better of me. I thought of all the long distance journeys I had done in India and resolved to give this one another try. I decided not to eat the burger for another 100 Miles . After that drove continuously for 200 Miles or more and started feeling much better. The lethargy had gone away and started enjoying the drive. Drove through the states of Delaware, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and reached Florida. But the state of Florida is so big that it took almost 7 hours to reach West Palm Beach from Jacksonville. I have kept a log of all the distances and stops that I had taken. The total time taken including breaks was about 22 Hours.
Did not do anything exciting in Miami during the weeklong stay apart from renting a Harley Davidson VROD for a day. Rode till Key Largo on the Harley. Had a bad incident on the ocean drive at night and I will give the details when I get some time. Here are a few pics, will put up the pics of the Harley later..
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Old 9th January 2011, 10:44   #2
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Default Re: Old lady still packs a punch - 3000 mile trip on a 11 year old Accord

The accord was super smooth through out the trip. Even after 176K on the odo, the engine does not leak any oil and sounds as smooth as ever. It can easily keep up with most of the cars on the highway and has not caused any trouble whatsoever. I will need to change to timing belt and water as part of the regular maintenance. A few more pics of the car -
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Old 9th January 2011, 12:38   #3
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Default Re: Old lady still packs a punch - 3000 mile trip on a 11 year old Accord

Interesting story

IU can understand the thoughts thaqt go through ones head when pondering a mighty long trip. And unlike Indian roads, American highways are heaven, but can tend to knock u to sleep due to monotony of just miles and miles and miles of straight roads

Keep it coming...
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Old 10th January 2011, 01:21   #4
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Default Re: Old lady still packs a punch - 3000 mile trip on a 11 year old Accord

Uploading the pics of the Harley VROD. At first I had thought that it would be very difficult to ride such a big bike and I had no prior experience of riding a cruiser. But it turned out to be quite easy to use. But it is a very crude bike compared to the jap ones. The engine vibrates a lot and the clutch is very hard. At signals I am usually on first gear with the clutch pulled in my ninja and I tried to do the same with the VROD. But after sometime the left hand started aching so much that I had to shift to neutral at the traffic lights.
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Old 12th January 2011, 22:30   #5
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Default Re: Old lady still packs a punch - 3000 mile trip on a 11 year old Accord

I can so relate to the opening statements of this thread. Although I have seen the pics on FB. Very well taken indeed.

On an ultra long drive in US, you get the jeebies in the initial hundred miles or so. Subsequent Hundred miles go easy. However with a radar/laser detector, you can probably enjoy a wee bit more, but not on a continuous basis. Because when you catch the alarm, you need time to rectify, and in that intervening time if you are targetted, causes a lot of sadness to the individual behind the wheel. Waiting for the next installment. Wake me up when its there!!
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