A few weeks ago Angie and I repeated one of our first rides together two years ago, the Serpent Mound Ride. The route we took was the same as last time and we ate at the Village Inn restaurant in Peebles. We also stopped at Ripley on the way back. Angie’s bike had a dead battery at that time, so she was ‘forced’ to ride with me. She also took a few videos from the passenger seat which I need to compile together and post. Meanwhile, here are some pictures.
On Friday, I was at a get together at my friend Rajeev’s place and got to test ride his Ducati Monster 750ie around the block. It was fun. I also had one of those “its a small world” moments when another guest at the party turned out to be Eric, the creator of the Open Road Journey website! We stayed late, talking bikes and sharing our trip experiences.
Sunday was a perfect day to spend outdoors. After a bicycle ride in a nearby state park, Angie and I took the ferry across to Kentucky with John, Aimee and Greg to ride on some back roads. We stopped at Rabbit Hash and our favorite destination in Kentucky, Jane’s Saddlebag. Rabbit Hash was teeming with bikers and the Woolly Mammoth burgers were excellent as usual, at Jane’s Saddlebag. It was a great ride.
About the new gear: I really like the Tour Master Transition jacket and the Venture pants. They are very comfortable and I like the idea of having all that armor on while riding. The jacket has plenty of vents to keep the air flowing on warm days. The Nolan N102 Com helmet took some getting used to. The helmet itself is very comfortable but has this new strap attachment system (not the tried and tested D-ring mechanism) that I find mildly uncomfortable. I am also on the fence about the Vision Protection System, the tinted half-visor. When all the way down, the visor edge is in my line of sight, so I have to leave it slightly raised. But thats no good if the sun is low in the horizon. I might remove it and stick to wearing sunglasses under the helmet. I do like the flip-up feature.
On Monday, Angie and I visited Harley-Davidson of Cincinnati for our scheduled test ride. (HD sent out invitations to potential customers as part of the HD Motorvation event). I rode a FLHTC Electra Glide Classic and Angie rode a Sportster ( I forget exactly which kind). Both of us were very impressed with the bikes. My bike was unbelievably comfortable and effortlessly soaked up all the bumps on the road. And there was plenty of power from the twin cam 96 cu in ( 1573cc) engine- much more that I was used to. And the power delivery was extremely smooth, with Harley’s latest generation fuel injection and the six speed Cruise Drive transmission. Even though I didn’t get beyond 3rd gear in the rush hour traffic, I enjoyed the ride. A Harley-Davidson is not on my shopping list for the immediate future, I would definitely like to own one someday.
The weekend weather was great for riding and Angie and I made a little trip to Bardstown, KY on Saturday. Bardstown is about 150 miles south of Cincinnati and we took US127 to get there. It didn’t seem like there was much going on when we got there at about 5 pm. After setting up camp at the My Old Kentucky Home state park, which is also a golf course, we headed into town to find dinner. The obvious choice was the Old Talbot Tavern, which has been in business since 1797. We were expecting a tasty southern meal but were disappointed. The fried green tomatoes were a bit too salty, the pork chops were just ok and the salmon was bland. For the price we paid ( $50 for two ), it was not quite worth it. The evening was spent by the campfire drinking beer.
I had planned to do a couple of hundred miles of riding around Bardstown before heading back home, but we ended up doing only a small, 50 mile loop, stopping at Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home in Knob Creek, 5 miles south of New Haven and the Heaven Hill Distillery Bourbon Heritage Center. (By the way, they don’t do bourbon tasting tours on Sunday). We were back in Bardstown for lunch and chose an artsy little cafe called Java Joint on N. Third St (highly recommended!). After an excellent and inexpensive meal from the brunch menu there, we rode back to Cincinnati on route 127.
The cruise control device worked well on those long stretches when we were cruising at 70mph on the Blue Grass parkway. But bike needs a new turn signal bulb and the gear-shifter is getting sticky again. I plan to install a Zerk fitting at the shifter pivot, so that I can lube it without taking it apart every time this happens.