The Breakfast Club: Rob's New England Outing

Pictures start here

Saturday-Friday Oct 3-9, 2015

Rob writes

It has been a goal of mine to tour the fall colors of New England on a motorcycle for a very long time. After reserving a Harley Davidson Road King through Eagle Rider, the commitment was made this summer. My buddy Mark Marro who lives in Bedford, New Hampshire advised me to come out on or near October 5, 2015 to witness peak foliage.

I flew SFO - Chicago - Manchester New Hampshire on Southwest Airlines where I used my mileage points that were accumulating for a few years. The round trip flight cost me only $36.00 out of pocket. Good start. Mark started day one on his 1980 GS Suzuki 1000 that has less than 10,000 miles on it. At MOMS – Motorcycles of Manchester my H.D. was not to be seen. The energetic rep took me into the new showroom full of new Indians. It was a beautiful site. He claimed that my Road King had a fix engine light on and steered me to the 2015 Indian Vintage. This is a big ass cruiser with clear detachable windshield and leather seat and saddlebags even with fringe which I don’t like but women do. The bike has cruise control and comfy floor boards on its 111 cubic inch V twin power plant. I took it.

Day 1 – Saturday October 3, 2015

Day one we departed Manchester New Hampshire near the Merrimack River through the capitol at Concord and north on route 3 to Franklin. Only an hour after take off I am riding behind Mark and I see his cell phone fly out of his pocket and I almost caught it in mid air. He kept on going and I never saw him again until about 7PM when I did my ride and saw him back at his house. He did not know I had retrieved his phone. He saw me turn into the state veterans cemetery and thought I went in there to site see but it was my turn around point to get his phone sitting in the road before it got run over by a truck.

When you ride with us you ride alone! Sound familiar?

Our goal that day was to visit his mom in Claremont New Hampshire along the gorgeous Connecticut River on the west side of the state near Vermont. I made it as the sun was going down and it starting to get a bit chilly around 48 degrees. After a short visit, I fired up the Indian and returned to Bedford riding on the south side of Lake Sunapee and then taking the turnpike to put on some quick yet scenic miles. I know his family well having lived with them in the summer of 1979. Mark and I were teammates on the University of New Hampshire Crew team way back when and in that year I fell in love with New England. I only lived there one year while an exchange student in college. We kept in touch all these years.

Day 2 – Sunday October 4, 2015

Mark is on his Suzuki and I am on my Indian. Departed about 8AM. Headed north to very scenic Alton Bay at the southern point of the famed Lake Winnipesaukee which is the largest lake in the state and the site where the movie “On Golden Pond” was filmed. This would be a good location to spend a summer, rent a boat and hang out if you have the time. Stopped for a break and pulled into the parking lot of the Meredith Police motorcycle museum where we met the owner. He could tell by the sound of my bike that it was an Indian. His three level collection of motorcycles, and memorabilia was quite remarkable and highly recommended for a visit. Plan on a few hours minimum. There were many bikes and exhibits on display including HD, BMW, Kawasaki, Indians, WW2 motorcycles and side cars spanning a hundred years. Very impressive. See photo of rob on 1948 Indian Scout.

Day 3 – Monday October 5, 2015

We returned to MOMS. Mark was jealous that I had the big cruiser so he rented an Indian Chieftain. Same big V twin but a few more features than my vintage. He had full fairing with adjustable windshield, full sound system with speakers which I personally do not like, hard lockable bags, cruise control and better wind protection on the hands. Both bikes operated by key fob as long as it is in your pocket or nearby. We rarely needed to get the machines into 6th gear. I rode in 4th and 5th for most of the week. Gas for premium 91 octane was only $2.25 per gallon and we liked that price.

Headed East to Keene New Hampshire where Mark had lived many years back with his wife Wendie who attended Keene State College. Continued west across the Connecticut River near Brattleborough Vermont on scenic route 9. Had a great breakfast including blueberry pancakes and the best maple syrup in the land. Continued West through the Green Mountain National Forest on route 9 which is the main east west corridor in southern Vermont. Stopped at the well known Hogback Mountain rest area and saw the “hundred mile view” from the deck. Bought some maple syrup and they shipped in back to SF for me. Rode all afternoon up the Green Mountain National Forest and up route 100. This entire stretch should be National Park status in my opinion. Vermont is the prettiest state I have ever seen.

Day 4 – Tuesday October 6, 2015

Well rested after a night at Sugarbush ski area where Mark arranged to stay at his family’s condo, we found breakfast nearby where it is encouraged to live on high doses of coffee, beer, donuts and more donuts. See photo of the food pyramid. Stopped at Ben and Jerry’s to have an ice cream and bullshit with the old codgers’ admiring our bikes in the parking lot. We were told this would happen at every stop and it did! Departed Waterbury and capital Montpelier and crossed back over to New Hampshire with tremendous views of the White Mountain national Forest . Highest point is Mount Washington at 6288 but we did not take the road up there. Spent night at a B and B in North Conway. Good dinner and drinks at night. Our wives missed out.

Day 5 – Wednesday October 7

Cool and colorful fall colors. Today we entered the state of Maine with a very good state of mind. The riding is good with less traffic than I thought there would be. Weather in the 50’s and just plain fun. Rode around most of Lake Sebago and this too was about as scenic as it gets with homes and decks overlooking glass like water with overhead blue skies. Hit the 95 turnpike Northeast toward Bangor where we stopped for lunch and more people saw the urge to sit on our bikes and have their photos taken. We had a good room booked at the Castle Maine Inn at Bar Harbor which is the tourist area for Acadia National Park. From the top of Cadillac Mountain we could see 3 cruise ships anchored. Met Don and Beth Donoughe from Burlingame California and I did not have to do much to recruit them to joining the SMBC. Partied with them at night with Dons identical twin brother and his friend Lisa. The bottle of Port wine I bought at the state liquor store was empty in no time. Let the good times roll.

Day 6 – Thursday October 8, 2015

Circled the National Park and headed south along the Maine coast to Searsport and stopped at Bluejacket ship crafters, a one of a kind shop that sells completed model ships. Quite interesting. My dad Bern would have liked it.

Yes Mark and I did stop for a lobster in Maine for lunch on this day right on the water facing the Atlantic Ocean. Continued on down the coast and pulled into Scarborough Maine just south of Portland. Stayed with Randy and Debbie Thibault who insisted we drink with them and stay the night. All members of their family sat on the bikes for a photo shoot. BTW- Randy met his wife on a ski trip we were all on together in 1979. They have a gorgeous home on two acres and we are talking Randy into getting a bike for our next trip. So far no rain even though the forecast for the week was 60% chance.

Day 7 Friday – October 9, 2015

Woke up to rain. For those who have ridden wet, cold, hungry and still had a blast that was us.

About a 100 miles and the 18 wheelers were passing us like we were standing still. 2 other riders returned their rentals as we pulled up to MOMS in Manchester, NH and we were all smiles.