Here it is! The helpful hints for our 2018 9th annual motorcycle road trip to North Conway, New Hampshire!!
Here is a recap of the itinerary.
Departure Date: Friday May 18, 2018
Time: 8:00 AM kickstands up.
Place: Tim Horton’s corner of Cyrville and Innes across from Costco.
Get off the 417 at Innes and head east. There is an Esso gas station immediately on your right. From Orleans you can take the Blair road exit and head south to Innes. There is a PetroCan at the corner of Innes. Turn right (west and go to the lights at PetSmart ). You will see the Tim’s on the south side of the road. The Tim’s is on the corner at the lights, you can’t miss it.
Return Date: Monday May 21 around 6 PM.
It would be appreciated if everyone who is going could post on the Facebook event that they are “in” so that we can make a list and know how many to expect on the Friday morning. If you have to pull out – PLEASE UPDATE YOUR STATUS and click NOT GOING. We are not able to hang around in case there are stragglers so PLEASE make sure you are on the list (i.e. expected) and at Tim’s in plenty of time to have breakfast/coffee and a bio break.
My Cell # is 613-402-6548. Make a note and call or text if you think you will be running late so we can arrange to rendezvous with you enroute or possibly make other arrangements.
Some points to ponder; this trip is a great kickoff to the season and involves a lot of bike time. There are some 400 series highways as well as interstate riding so you should have at least a valid M2 License. Highway speeds will be no greater than 10 over. The RCs will (for the most part) be running off of the GPS, which will be an accurate speed. If you have an issue with highway speeds please talk to me or one of the RC’s before we depart so you can be placed in the correct group.
Friday we leave and it takes pretty much the entire day to get there with a large group. We will have stops every 1 to 1½ hours, well within the range of our smallest tanks. The route is one that gives the rider a great perspective of the New England states and its little towns and includes a ferry ride across Lake Champlain.
There is a fee for the ferry in US dollars so ensure you have US cash.
They do NOT take credit or debit. Some sample one way charges:
Rider and motocycle is $6.75. (Moto trailer is $3.50)
Rider, moto and passenger is $11.00
Car, and driver is $10.25
Car with driver and passenger is $14.50.
It takes about 8 or 9 hours to make this trip when you include all of the stops. The pace will be well within everyone’s limits and the ride is designed to be leisurely and with some amazing sights. Our destination for the day is Junge’s Motel in North Conway. If you cannot get a room at Junge’s, there are many other options. The motel just next door is the Golden Gables, and further down from that is the Hampton Inn. Across the road is the Marriott, just to name a few.
Friday night will be a “free night” where folks can decide where they want to eat or head out to stock up on any supplies or missing essentials. Patti and I will be leading a group of those who are new to North Conway to the town centre to a restaurant called Horsefeathers. There is also a Ben and Jerry’s nearby. Anyone and everyone who wants to join us is welcome.
Saturday we will have breakfast at our favourite restaurant, the Blueberry Muffin, that is within walking distance from the motel. There is also a McDonald’s a little further down the street if that is more to your taste.
After we are done breakfast, the day is filled with rides or self guided adventure. If there is interest (and if the Mount Washington Autoroad is open) the adventurous types can ride up to the summit of Mount Washington for some great riding vistas and experience. This is followed by some great road riding and a route that brings you back to the motel through the covered bridge at around 4 pm (plenty of time to go and do some outlet wandering.)
There will be several rides on Saturday that you can decide where and what you want to do and see. A photo-op on the top of Cathedral Ridge will be in order one of the days.
Dinner is planned at the SeaDog Brewing Company where we have a separate space set aside for us. It is within walking distance of Junge’s Motel.
GROUP PHOTO: Will be taken Saturday night at 6:30 pm. In the past we did this on Monday morning but departure times have started to vary.
Sunday , depending on interest, the plan is to head down to the famous biker venue, Bentley’s Saloon, in Arundel, Maine where we can get some lunch, check out the music, atmosphere and t-shirts. From there it is a short ride to Old Orchard Beach, where we can check out the beach and maybe throw a Frisbee or football around. Then we head back to North Conway in time for dinner. There may be other rides or destinations that smaller groups may want to do as well. Sunday is a relaxed evening with dinner planned at the Flatbread Pizza restaurant so that we are in good shape for the ride back on Monday.
Monday. We follow the same route home, which looks entirely different from the other direction. If all goes well it may be possible to make it back in time for Meet and Greet but it often does not work out that way…Folks will be tired and may want to head home. In any event, the ride ends as you come into Ottawa and each group will decide what is best. The route from the border crossing in Cornwall is 138 to the 417 so folks can peel off as their exit approaches.
Things to bring.
• Proper riding gear for the forecasted weather. Dress in Layers, it is easier to take things off than to not have enough. It is generally cool/cold in the mountains. Be prepared for cold or wet conditions. Warm riding gloves, a neck warmer and a windproof layer can make the difference between comfort and misery. Some folks have electric vests etc. A fleece is better than a bulky, heavy cotton sweatshirt and will keep you warm even if it gets wet. Long underwear if the forecast is for colder temperatures. (Make sure your warm layers fit under your riding gear.)
• Rain suit…rain happens and is a wonderful experience riding in the mountains. The low hanging clouds and the smells are simply amazing when it rains. Just sitting at the motel or wandering in the woods behind the motel in the rain can be an amazing experience. Waterproof boots or something to cover your feet. Also bring warm socks.
• A valid passport that does not expire soon or an enhanced drivers licence or a Nexus card in lieu of the passport if you choose.
• A copy of the route, and the address of your destination in the unlikely event that you get separated or were late to the departure point. Maps or GPS so that you can navigate your way there or home if necessary.
• There is no Hair Dryer in Junge’s and not sure about the Golden Gables so pack one if you need it. There are no travel shampoos etc, either, just a small bar of soap, so plan accordingly. The motel is simple but clean and friendly.
• Camera, Video and other devices to capture the all-important FaceBook images of course. The Motels all have WiFi
• Hydration is key to any long distance ride. Bring water bottles with you and something to munch on to keep you alert and hydrated.
• Don’t load your bike down with things you will not need. Dress code is biker weekend. An extra pair of jeans, some t-shirts, warm layers, a windproof layer, rainwear, a tooth brush and you are done. (a “guy’s” approach to travel). If you are not sure ask around to folks who have been with us or myself or Patti and we will give you some pointers on what to bring…or leave behind. We will try to chat about it at meet and greet as the weekend approaches.
• Please, bring your best humour, some good practical jokes, a sense of family and a heaping helping of patience. Remember a group of 10 bikers each doing a 5 min bathroom stop, is actually 50 minutes. Be relaxed, we are on the road, having fun and finding reasons to laugh. Try to find one great learning experience over the course of the weekend to tell others about.
Lastly this ride is about riding experience and an adventure in how to do a trip safely and within each rider’s capabilities. This is our 9th season doing this ride. We have had numerous events to laugh about but there has never been a facet of this trip that wasn’t planned with safety and group safety in mind. We ride to the level of our least experienced member and nothing else. You will not be tested nor will you be expected to participate in any ride if you wish to opt out. There have been many over the years who prefer to have a quiet day wandering around North Conway and its really cool shops…or just hanging around the motel doing absolutely nothing. It’s all good and no one is expected to participate in everything. We have planned this ride as an opportunity to gain some great experience in long distance riding and introduce everyone to a truly amazing place you will want to come back to.
A number of North Conway alumni have gone on to plan and execute some amazing trips after this ride. I have had people tell me that they can no longer settle for one day trips after this weekend. All who come with us look at their riding a lot differently after they get back. This is a learning weekend.
And lastly …..it will always be “all about RAJ”.
Looking forward to making new memories together! I am excited about this year and what it will be like, being filled with envy as I have to ride in the car.
Patti and I are looking forward to spending time with old and new friends.