With the sun shining, blue skies and the temperature climbing it was time for the Moto North crew to set out on their 2nd annual fall ride. The bikes were all loaded up and ready to roll.
This year the crew added one more rider and a new destination, Vermont. Burlington, to be exact.
Jamie -1980 Yamaha XS 650
Chris - 1980 Honda CB 900
Jason - 1976 Ironhead sportster
Mark - 1981 Suzuki GS 650
With all of our bikes being 30+ yrs. old we knew that there could be some problems ahead, but that is all a part of the journey.
We set out from Orillia, with Ottawa as our final destination for the day. By starting on Monk rd. aka hwy 45 we got a great scenic drive with some gentle twists and turns. As we roared though Kinmount we found ourselves immersed in the day to day of small town life, turning heads at every stop.
We pushed on through to hwy 503, 118 and 28. The roads narrowed but the blacktop stayed smooth as we headed to Bancroft, and stopped for lunch. After we filled our bellies at South Algonquin Eatery it was time to twist the grips and get to Ottawa.
After we passed through Renfrew it was a straight shot down hwy 17/417 right into the Nations Capital. This is where we had our first breakdown. Or so we thought it was. After a 20min break the Ironhead had cooled down and was ready to roll.
We made it! Beers and gyros for all! Then bed.
We awoke to another sun filled morning. With our goal of reaching Burlington in mind, we packed up and headed out. Hwy 50 to 323 was our route to get to Tremblant where we stopped for lunch and an impromptu luge. After all the good times luging (which I highly suggest doing), we were running late with a good chunk of road still to cover.
This is where directions get hazy. We avoided Montreal and took some crazy winding back roads that seemed to go on forever. But the next thing we knew we took a short ferry ride at Oka and a few turns later we were at a border crossing. For some reason these border crossings are always quick and easy for us (knock on wood).
From the border we made our way down hwy 2 right down the middle of Lake Champlain. As the sun was setting we stopped for a much needed and earned Genny. Then we set out for Burlington and a good nights sleep. Little did we know that every hotel in Burlington was booked and we’d spend a couple hours driving around till we found one.
We made it!! No major breakdowns, just some blown fuses, minor carb issues and we are here.
Good morning rain.
With our day shot we went to the Burton snowboards flagship store and factory. Got a private tour from Mark Sollars (Burton team rider) and Frank, one of Burton’s stand out employees.
After the tour our luck changed as did the weather. The clouds broke and a bit of sun peeked out to brighten the day, giving us just enough time to saddle up and ride to the top of Smuggler’s Notch and down the other side.
The rain had stopped, the sun was out but the temp. wasn’t climbing too high. Now was the time to start heading back home. Our goal for the day: Kingston. This turned out to be one of the best riding days of the trip, as we zig zagged across New York state on some of the smoothest and windiest roads yet.
We had the good fortune to be stopped checking maps as an elderly couple got a flat tire on their trailer (which we helped change). This gave us enough time to talk to some other bikers about the road head and get the good new that it was freshly paved.
We got into Kingston late, hungry and tired. So after a great Indian meal, a bunch of beers and a quick club hop, we were in great shape to hit the hay. Oh ya we might have broke a bed.
We had checked the weather before bed and saw that more rain was coming, so that night made make-shift front fenders for our bikes. They worked great, our $20 rain suits didn’t.
Day five was a bust. One hour in and we were off the road and in a hotel for the rest of the day. That’s when cabin fever set in.
This is the day we were supposed to already be home. With that in mind, our bodies aching from the cold, we pretty much full throttled it all the way home.
Things learned on this trip
$20 rain suits suck
Hotel box springs are no match for Mark
Spare fuses and plugs are a must for 30 yr old bikes