RideAbout65.1 – Day 1 – Cyclemo’s Museum

Total distance: 246.92 mi
Download file: TripJournal-1a.gpx

Today’s Mileage:  247 miles

Total Trip Mileage so far:  247 miles

RideAbout65 is underway! However, almost not…On Launch Day minus 2 (Thursday) I was out walking down a woods trail, tripped, took a giant step down the hill and twisted my newly reconstructed knee with a pop/grind/OUCH. I was scheduled for my last follow-up visit with Dr. Stark on Friday. To his question of “How is it going”, I replied, “It could be better”. So…maybe the new ACL is torn or hopefully just severely strained – MRI when I get back. Stuck with wearing my Cti brace the whole trip…just don’t want to think about it anymore for now. But, Launch Day went off as planned on Saturday!!!

RideAbout65 Day 1 report.  I made it down the driveway without incident and aimed toward Red Boiling Springs via the great roads Rt 80 out of Carthage to Rt 56.  I stopped in Red Boiling Springs to visit CycleMo’s motorcycle museum – small but interesting. A surprise find there was my old lifelong friend Tommy Hamilton’s clean original 1970 Husky 400.  Tommy died a few years ago and his son made arrangements to display it there.  About 25 years or so ago, Tommy gave me his original 1953 Harley 165 that his Dad bought new for him while he was in high school.  He gave it to me on the condition I would restore and keep it (which I did). I left Red Boiling Springs on that good road 56 up to Gamaliel and then took 100 over to Tompkinsville, then thru Greenburg, Campbellsville, and on to Danville to stop for the night. The little Ducati and I were very happy with the back roads.

Day 1.1 - Cyclemo's

Day 1.4 - Cyclemo's


1953 H-D 165 given to me to restore by my friend T. Hamilton.

RideAbout65.1 – Day 2 – Beckley, West Virginia

Total distance: 332.99 mi
Download file: TripJournal-2.gpx

Today’s Mileage:  333 miles

Total Trip Mileage so far:  580 miles

RideAbout65 Day 2 report.  Another happy motorcycle day – lots of Ear Holing (as the Brit’s say, or used to say). Danville to Berea. Then Berea to Beckley, WV via Vancleve, Hagerhill, Ulysses, and Lenore, etc. Not sure I ever used the center of the tires on that whole section – if a motorcycle could smile, my bike was grinning cylinder to cylinder. Spent the night in Beckley.

Day 2.1 - Kentucky Backroads


RideAbout65.1 – Day 3 – Winchester, Virginia

Total distance: 268.27 mi
Download file: TripJournal-3.gpx

Today’s Mileage:  268 miles

Total Trip Mileage so far:  848 miles

RideAbout65 Day 3 report.  Really wandered off the beaten path today. Set the GPS in “Adventure Tour Mode” – unchecked everything except unpaved roads and chose Winchester, VA as a destination. Found some beautiful scenery but some of the roads went down to one lane and I could swear I heard banjos playing once when I stopped. Used up most of the day having a lot of good riding but did not get very far. Finally jumped on I81 for a bit to get me here to Winchester for the night.


RideAbout65.1 – Day 4 – Stroudsburg, PA

Total distance: 296.3 mi
Download file: TripJournal-4.gpx

Today’s Mileage:  296 miles

Total Trip Mileage so far:  1145 miles

RideAbout65 Day 4 report.  Got lazy yesterday – spent the report writing time trying to figure out where to go next… But here it is.  Day 4 began at Winchester, VA – another beautiful day. I headed over to the Antietam Battlefield Park via some more nice back roads. Yep, it is a big field. On to Gettysburg Nat’l Park – got there and no parking close to visitor center unless handicapped or a “Green” vehicle – didn’t want to leave bike with stuff way out where they wanted me to park – moved on…. Note to self, with my knee, Dr. Stark should get me one of those blue parking hangtags! Leaving the park I actually saw a pair of Ducati’s in the wild. They even appeared to be traveling somewhere – you would never see that in Tennessee. Then on to Schaefferstown, PA to eat at the Franklin House (established 1746) – read about it in “Backroads” magazine. Yummo! I waddled out, got on my bike (seems that I heard a grunt as I got on) and rode up to Stroudsburg, PA for the night. Total Happy. Miles so far: 1145 miles.

Day 14.1 - Back up GPS

Backup GPS


RideAbout65.1 – Day 5 – Danbury, CT

Total distance: 159.75 mi
Download file: TripJournal-5.gpx

Today’s Mileage:  160 miles

Total Trip Mileage so far:  1304 miles

RideAbout65 Day 5 Report.  I left Stroudsburg early bound for Dingmans Ferry to test out another “Backroads” magazine recommendation for food. This time it would be breakfast at the “Forklift Café”. It was so comfortable there I sat and read the paper after I finished eating. My next stop was European Cycle Service (advertised in what magazine??). Really glad I went there as it was an extraordinarily friendly and helpful bunch of guys…and one cute puppy dog. We put my bike up on a lift and checked, lubed, and adjusted this and that. Then sat around and talked DucatiSpeak and played with the puppy. From there I had planned to visit the Motorcyclepedia Museum in Newburgh, NY but they only open on weekends and they were not interested in making an exception for me (surprise, surprise…). Oh well, it was mostly H-D and Indian stuff anyway… So I turned my bike (I should name my bike some cool Italian name instead of just “bike”) and headed northeast over Bear Mountain where the scenery was spectacular. But up on the mountain, as it was starting to get dark, my weather luck took a dive. Buckets of rain started falling. I stopped and put on my rain gear as that usually results in the rain stopping – but not this time. I also ran into what I have been so far doing a good job of avoiding – traffic – yuck. So now we have darkness, rain, and traffic – then, Poof! with an attack of good sense (yeah, I know it is out of character for me), I pulled into a friendly and dry Hampton Inn near Danbury, CT. Total Happy Miles so far – 1258 + 46 not so happy.

RideAbout65.1 – Day 6 – Portland, Maine

Total distance: 327.11 mi
Download file: RideAbout65-Day 6a.gpx

Today’s Mileage:  327 miles

Total Trip Mileage so far:  1631 miles

RideAbout65 Day 6 Report.  Today began as a nice day and ended the same. I went north out of Danbury, CT up thru the Green Mountain Nat’l Forest, VT. Then turned east thru Concord, NH and Northeast at Dover, NH and on into Portland, ME for the night. Vermont was as charming as they say and full of quaint little villages, covered bridges, Volvos, and Subaru’s. Stopped mid-morning for a snack at a little café surrounded by hikers with big backpacks. When I got inside I ordered a soup and coffee – the lady gave me the coffee in a BSA cup – I said, “You gave me a BSA cup”, to which she replied, “Well, would you rather have a Triumph or Harley cup instead”. For a second this seemed like a strange exchange until I noticed the wall behind her was covered with photos of vintage bikes and a guy in a lot of the photos looked just like the cook/owner. Turns out the owner is a bike restorer of some reputation (could be in his mind, but…) and every Sunday morning all his buddies bring their vintage bikes out to the café and do what guys like that do…The owner’s main passion was Triumphs so it goes without saying that he and I talked “Triumph” for the better part of an hour. It is probably good that his bikes were in his shop several miles away or I might still be there. A while after leaving the café I was buying gas at a little store and a guy about my age noticed my Vietnam Vet license surround and said he was a Vietnam Vet too, and not only that, but his buddies in the store and the owner were also. So in the store we went and commenced to shaking hands all around and sounding off our stats. The store owner happened to be a retired air force guy and used to live in London, TN.  A fine group of guys – they said if they had bikes they would be coming with me. In the end, I went on my way and they went where they were headed and the store owner stayed in his store. Yes, the day began and ended well. Just when I was pretty sure the day had good Karma, I hit a wet section of road where it had just rained and as I looked toward Portland there was a big rainbow ending about where Portland would be (yes , I have a photo – see below). Proof.

RideAbout65.1 – Day 7 – Saint John, New Brunswick

Total distance: 319.51 mi
Download file: TripJournal-7.gpx

Today’s Mileage:  320 miles

Total Trip Mileage so far:  1951 miles

RideAbout65 Day 7 Report.  Heading North out of Portland I began seeing the watch out for moose signs and I knew I was getting seriously north. I had only seen them in Alaska before. I kept going North through lots of little settlements but no cities of any size until I got to Newport, ME where I turned east thru Bangor and then on to the border town of Calais. Although it is a smallish and out of the way border crossing, it still was a quite imposing facility – all new and all business. But the border crossing was without incident and about a minute or two tops. Of course, I was the only one crossing – my border guard was sort of like the Maytag repairman of border guards. While she was asking questions a second guard came outside just to look at my bike, “A Ducati, we don’t get many of those thru here”. Which brings up an interesting subject – questions people ask me or statements they make to start a conversation. “What kind of bike is that?”; “Is that your Ducati?”; “Did you ride it all the way from Tennessee?”; “Where are you headed?”; “I used to have a Harley”; the guys say, “That’s a neat bike” or “That’s a cool bike”; the women/girls say, “That is a beautiful bike”, or almost as often “That is a beautiful Ducati”. By my count so far, more women know it is a Ducati than men do…must be all those fashion commercials they have Ducati’s in or movie appearances. And more women have said it was a beautiful bike than guys have said it was a neat/cool bike. Whatever that means, if anything. Anyway, back to the trip – after crossing into New Brunswick the road was a brand new 4 lane all the way to Saint John (my map had shown it as a secondary type road – should have had a newer map). I rolled into Saint John and promptly got lost looking for my hotel as the address in my GPS was old and the actual address did not show up as valid. So I had to revert to “old school” navigation “when lost” tactics. I stopped a person on the sidewalk and asked where it was. “Right there behind that tall building”, she said. I had been going around and around it but could not see it – could not see the tree for the forest. Easy street was mine 30 seconds later. I am in Saint John, New Brunswick and my odometer now reads 1951 miles. I am a bit tired.

RideAbout65.1 – Day 8 – Rest Day in Saint John, New Brunswick

Today’s Mileage:  0 miles

RideAbout65 Day 8 Report.  I did not ride anywhere today, did not uncover bike, did not start bike.  After 7 days of riding I found that I have some parts that get sore. That newly re-tweaked knee for one, but those worn-out shoulders and other stuff are kind of feeling knackered a bit. So I decided to stay over in Saint John for a rest day – Yes that is legal under the official RideAbout rules.  And Yes, I know Aaron Sanders rode the entire ISDE with a broken collarbone – but then he is tough and I am a whiner and I am stopping for the day, sleeping in, and getting a massage. Besides, the ISDE is only 6 days long. It was the right thing to do – Saint John is very friendly with a lot going on downtown for the weekend. Now that I am refreshed I am looking forward to going over to Prince Edward Island tomorrow. Not happy about the rain forecast, but that is what it does up here and it is only supposed to rain in the morning (I hope their weather predictions are better than ours).


RideAbout65.1 – Day 9 – Prince Edward Island

Total distance: 218.89 mi
Download file: TripJournal-9.gpx

Today’s Mileage:  219 miles

Total Trip Mileage so far:  2171 miles

RideAbout65 Day 9 report.  The forecast was for showers and thunderstorms as I left the Hilton hotel in Saint John to make my way out to Prince Edward Island, known as PEI locally.  By the time I explored a few backroads and stopped at the Nova Scotia welcome center several hours had passed.  The Confederation Bridge across to PEI is a pretty long bridge – about 7 miles.  When you first get off the bridge there is a large tourist trap called Gateway Village.  Once you get past that and onto  PEI proper, the road follows the coast and you go in and out of little fishing villages and touristy places.  Very scenic, of course.  I stopped and looked at an old lighthouse and a few boats.  My final destination for the evening was the Delta hotel in Charlottetown.  After dinner I went out walking around, the downtown area has a thriving street life, musicians, outdoor cafes, venders, etc.  Lots of tourists, of course, but that was just fine, after all what am I but a tourist as well.  My plan for tomorrow is to go out and ride around the island all day on mostly the coast roads.  The forecast is for rain again, but that was the forecast for today and it never did more than sprinkle.  The weathermen up here are not any better than ours, obviously.


RideAbout65.1 – Day 10 – Moncton, New Brunswick

Total distance: 183.59 mi
Download file: TripJournal-10.gpx

Today’s Mileage:  184 miles

Total Trip Mileage so far:  2355 miles

RideAbout65 Day 10 report.  Left the Delta hotel early – I would ride the central part of PEI today and stop along the way for breakfast.  I went North out of Charlottetown toward the coast and the PEI National Park.  There was very little traffic and the road north took me by a lot of farms.  There seems to be a lot of cattle farms in addition to crops.  As I got up to the coast there was a fishing village every few miles.  In the first larger village I stopped for breakfast at a small café.  The people were friendly and the service was, as always, exceptional.  The coffee was good and the food even better.  I sat for a while, read the local paper, and talked to several people about my trip and the weather (everyone talks weather…).  From there I continued east along the coast stopping here and there to look at lighthouses and other interesting things…and as always, every time I stopped, talk to someone.  Once I had stopped to look at my map and a guy drove up in a golf cart seemingly from no where to ask if I needed help.  By now I was getting used to helpfulness of the locals but it is sometimes still a surprise.  Anyway, this guy also had two golden retrievers riding with him in the cart.  They were happy to greet me and get their ears scratched.  I continued around my loop, passing through the larger towns of Kensington and Summerside.  I now had to start thinking about what I would do next – I examined the thought of riding the Cabot Trail but based on my travels so far I knew I was looking at about 4 days to get over to it, ride it, and get back.  My knee had been bothering me from all the time in the saddle and I finally made the decision that some things would have to be left to a future return trip.  And I still had a lot of good roads between here and home.  So back over the bridge I went and then a quick run back into Nova Scotia to get the t-shirts I failed to get the first time.  My next destination was Moncton, NB – a fairly large city where I would stop for the night and consider my plan – or should I say, make a plan – I have really made each days tentative plan the night before with not much advance planning other than the big picture – for example: “ride to Nova Scotia”.  Oh, by the way, no rain today even though everyone said it would.


Tom Carter
Franklin, Tennessee

Mechanical Engineering Consultant

Motorcycle Rider/ Racer/ Tester

Husband/ Dad/ Grandfather/ Great-Grandfather

Planet Earth Arrival 1947

First rode a motorcycle around 1958

Still riding today…