Regular readers of this blog may recall a post or two in which I mentioned my Honda Valkyrie "Rune", an 1800cc, six-cylinder beast which used to be Steve Lavigne's favorite ride when he came down to visit us in Massachusetts.
Well, no longer. Now it's going to be Steve's favorite ride in Maine. Yes, Steve took the Rune off my hands and is going to give it all the love and attention that it deserves. Maybe he'll even ride it back down here to visit.
Today was a beautiful day, and it just so happened that Steve came down to visit a couple of days ago, with the main intent being a group motorcycle ride with me, Jim Lawson, and the newly-licensed Eric Talbot. Yes, you read that right -- Eric got his motorcycle license last week! Yahoo! So for today's ride, we incorporated something which would have been illegal for him not too long ago -- riding out of state.
We met in Easthampton around 9:45AM, and decided to alter our original plan, which was to ride out to a big vintage Japanese motorcycle show in Rhinebeck, NY. Several things factored into this change of plan -- the distance, the weather, and the fact the some of us weren't feeling completely well. So we settled on a blast up into Vermont, then over into New Hampshire, where we would say goodbye to Steve as he took off on the rest of his journey back to Maine.
We hit one of our favorite motorcycling roads, Rt. 112 and then Rt. 100 heading north into Vermont, where we picked up Rt. 9 east. I was leading at this time, and I figured it was probably time to take a break, so about five miles up the road, I pulled over at the Hogback Mountain rest stop, where you can observe quite a dramatic vista. Here's a photo of Steve, Jim and Eric with our bikes.
From left to right: I was on the Victory Vision Tour (Tenth Anniversary Model), Steve was riding the Rune, Eric had borrowed my Triumph Scrambler 900 for the day, and Jim had his Yamaha FJR1300 (or "Feejer" as he affectionately calls it),.
After this break, we started off down the mountain, and no more than a tenth of a mile down we were delighted to see a medium-sized black bear watching traffic from the side of the road.Hurriedly pulling over, I tried to get my camera out quickly, but I only managed to snap a photo of the bear once it had gotten off the road and back into the brush. Here's the photo...
... and a blowup of the part of the photo with the bear. Really, it's a bear.
We continued on down to Brattleboro, where we stopped to get sandwiches and sodas at the Vermont Deli. Our intent was to drive across the river into New Hampshire and stop at "Madame Sherri's Castle" (another thing I have blogged about before) to eat this lunch, and so we did. Here's a little panorama of the boys enjoying their food al fresco:
After this pleasant repast, we continued on to Keene, stopped at Borders Books for a bathroom break (and to buy a couple of magazines), said our farewells and good wishes to Steve, then headed back home. All in all, a great ride. I look forward to doing more of the same. And I have to say it's very nice having a new member of our "club" -- Eric -- joining us now. -- PL