Off-Road Maine — Update 1
Roughly six months ago Ben bought an XR650L. A week later I bought one. A few weeks after that Alex bought a XR650R. Then Andrew picked up a XR600. The plan to ride to Aroostock, Maine became a reality. Then last month Dana picked up a XR650L to make it a five man Honda commercial.
After six months of planing, working on the bikes (mostly Ben’s) and spending way too much money, the trip began.
The plan was to leave Philly at 6:00am, blast up the highway and get as close to Maine as possible in one day. Then get off the highway for backcountry dirt rides and moose hunting.
Leaving at 6:00 turned into leaving at 6:45. We left my house in West Kensignton at 8:30. By 10:00 we made it as far as… the Philly Cycle Center! Ben’s bike shit out. After a brief moment of thinking there was a simple fix (broken sidestand switch, nope), the reality set in that it was a bad pulse generator pickup. After calling nearly every cycle center and salvage yard on the east coast the news was grim. The closest we could find the part was Idaho.
Then Bobby, the slightly crazy but very helpful service manager, remembered they had a XR650 engine in storage. We could hit the road in an hour. Nope. When they tracked down the engine, the pickup had already been pulled out.
After a few more last ditch calls to find the part, Ben did the only thing he could. Order the Idaho part and have it overnighted.
At about 2:00pm Dana, Alex and me hit the road. Andrew stayed with Ben. We plan to meet up at the end of day two if Ben’s bike runs.
Having lost hours we jumped right on 95 and headed north. Once we got up near NYC we jumped onto 17 and I started freebirding a route. We got to 84 and then the Taconic State Prkwy. That was a great ride.
We decided that there was no way we were not making it to Vermont. At around 9:00pm we crossed the Vermont border in darkness. With no place to camp we headed for the Green Mountain National Forest. Riding through the mountains in darkness was sketchy as fuck. We finally found a dirt road leading into the forest and we set up camp alongside the road in a little cutout. Beer, bullshit, sleep.
A terrible start turned into a great day of riding.
Day 2, we plan to explore some dirt roads in Vermont.
Ben, Andrew, see you on route 91…
3 responses to “Off-Road Maine — Update 1”
Published - Jan 24, 2011
I spent most of Sunday with a can of MAPP gas, some welding gloves and a cut off wheel and came up with this. Obviously the welds need to be cleaned up, plus the clamps need some washers. I learned a lot about bending steel and what you can and cant get away with. It’s […]