Retread for the Watery Way Back to Fundy Bay: Mile 1849

A New Tire for Wet Weather

I called Red Line Honda in Antigonish first thing this morning.  They had tires in stock, but the service manager Dale claimed that they were backed up with bikes for about a week.  I've been in a desperate situation before though, and laid on a thick sob story about not wanting to risk my life if they couldn't take me. Dale asked me to call back in a few hours, and thankfully they fit me in.

Across the Cabot Trail By The Skin of My Tire: Mile 1534

Testing Treacherous Tread on Cape Breton IslandJay and I camped on the beach in Meat Cove last night.  Although we're quite far north, the temperature only went down to about 55 degrees, but the wind blustered around consistently, and neither of us got that much sleep.  As a result, we woke up before dawn and got to watch the sun rise over the bay.

Tigh's House of God to Meat Cove: Mile 1339

The Road to Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island and off-road to Meat Cove

Meat cove after 7-8 miles of treacherous back roads.

Ducati on Campus- St.FX, Antagonish: Mile 1142

Halifax History (at the Citadel) to a St.FX dorm in Antigonish

The ride today was by far the best ride so far.  The weather was beautiful, and the roads were windy and gorgeous.  Halifax is a fairly cosmopolitan city, and two New Yorkers felt right at home.

Soggy Slog to Halifax: Mile 958

Bit of a late start this morning.  We checked out of Yarmouth at around 10:30, with warnings of thunderstorms from the hotel staff.  I had planned a leisurely, scenic coastal route (3) to New Brunswick, but as we rolled out of town the angry looking skies unleashed a torrential downpour for about half an hour, and we instead got on highway 103.

Boats, Bridges and Bikes on Beaches: Mile 726

New Brunswick to Nova Scotia

What a day! For the first time on our trip, we had less than a hundred miles riding planned, but ended up accomplishing more today by the seat of our pants than on a motorcycle.  Jay's Tuono's tire was looking pretty bare, which apparently gets only about 2500 miles per tire (about a third of what I'm hoping for, but understandable since his race-mapped Tuono is pushing something like 186hp to the rear wheel) so we rushed over to Eldridge's, a big Harley dealer/shop on the way to the ferry from St. John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia. We had 12pm reservations and would be cutting it quite close, though they promised they could squeeze us in...

Maine to New Brunswick: Mile 651

We woke up and hit the road early, taking Coastal Route 1 north through Rockport, Belfast and Ellsworth.  I had plotted an alternate route around Arcadia National Forest both on the trip out and the way back, so when we were congested in traffic through most of the morning, we decided to get as much tarmac under our wheels as possible and save Bar Harbor for the route back. Jay and I had orignally planned on ending up in Maine, but as the day wore on we decided to make Canada.

Maine an Afternoon Away: Mile 321

Maine is less than an afternoon away (from NYC)

I woke up early yesterday, ready to begin a grand adventure around Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, my partner in crime Jay had a last minute work call, and we didn’t end up hitting the road till 3pm.  We’re booked on the 12pm Wednesday ferry from St. John New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia, so with half the day gone already, I decided we would just push as far as we could, and make up any outstanding mileage the following day.  Leaving from Harlem, we criss-crossed across the Bronx, up through Connecticut, scissoring through EZPasses and traffic in central Mass and New Hampshire, making incredible time.

We hit I95 just south of Maine a little after 7pm, and when an eight-lane highway suddenly arrived beneath our wheels, pristine and empty, and when we began to see moose crossing and motorcycle caution signs (as well as notice of an apparent severe penalty for contraband out of state firewood), we knew we had entered motorcycle country…

We hit South Portland Maine sometime around 8pm, shocked that this great northern state was less than an afternoon’s drive from New York City by motorcycle.  Maine occupies some mystical, nearly foreign corner of this country in my psyche, like Montana or Alaska, a fallacy which I was happy to have dispelled by its actual proximity. 

With plenty of daylight left, we found the cheapest motel we could find and went looking for dinner.  Jay wanted anything but Mexican, as he and my buddy Cam, who recently went cross country on an Aprilia Tuono and a Ducati 899 Panigale, had eaten nothing but from Kansas to SoCal.  We got a drink at a place called the Maine Table, only to be informed that the Kitchen had closed since we sat down, and that he only place open was the Mexican joint across the street.

© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Nova Scotia, Eh? 12 Days, 2600 Miles

Hopped on my ST3 with my buddy Jay and we're taking off for Nova Scotia.  Packed and ready to roll.

 Leaving from my buddy's house in Harlem.
In South Portland
© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

2014 Ducati 1199 Superleggera at Eurosports in Coopersburg


 I stopped off at EuroSports in Coopersburg last week, on my way from NYC to PA, to find a Ducati Superleggera 1199 on the showroom floor.  Not only is this bike exceedingly powerful, boasting the chops of the 1199 Panigale R, it's incredibly light, offering the highest power to weight ratio of any motorcycle ever in history.  At $65,000, it blows the 2007 Desmosedici away at 186 horsepower at only 366 lbs (dry weight). 

Twin Duc SportClassicism

I picked up my ST3 a few days ago from Rockwell Cycles and out in the lot they had two matching sunburst Ducati SportClassics back to back. This is probably my favorite bike that Ducati has made in the last decade, and this coupla Ducs lined up in a row did not disappoint...

Quick Run Up to Bear Mountain

 It's hard to believe such beauty and great roads are less than an hour outside of NYC.

Offroad over Hawk Mountain to Tamaqua and Back

I woke up early this morning to an incredible day in Pennsylvania; eager to get out on the road. My ST3 has been out of commission for almost the entire time I've owned it, and apart from one big trip,  I haven't had much of a chance to ride.

Central Park West Crash takes out the ST3

A few Tuesday's back, I was trying to catch up to the DOCNYC at Columbus Circle, for an evening ride on my Ducati ST3.  Unfortunately going down CPW in the mid 70's, a cab was stopped in a traffic lane, and I stupidly decided to pass it on the right, just as a girl decided to get out.  She didn't look behind her, and though I managed to slow down to about 10mph, I hit the door and went down.  

NYPD Harley Davidson Road King and Electra Glide Motorcycles by Central Park

 I'm not a huge cruiser fan, nor much of a Harley aficionado, but these police-'hogs' (pardon the pun) looked pretty boss walking down 6th Avenue in Midtown today.  I know the city spent close to $3 million last year on Harley Davidson Road Kings and Electra Glides, and I guess they wanted a strong presence for NYU's graduation ceremony at Radio City Music Hall this morning.

Return of the ST3 (w/ New ECU) from Ferracci

After several weeks of heartache and fruitless diagnoses,  and another month with my newly purchased ST3 stuck at Fast by Ferracci in Willow Grove, I finally heard back what was causing the issue with my EOBD light.  "Fabio," the service manager from Ferracci, called me the Thursday before my big trip to confirm my worst fear, that the ECU was bad.  I found one on Houston Superbike's eBay page, and called them to confirm that I did in fact need the performance "racing" ECU, because of my carbon cans. 

Day 6:A Ducati Traveler Returns Home to NYC Wanting More

On a dreary Tuesday, I embarked on my final ride of the trip.  A measly 120 miles lay ahead of me, all freeway, leading back to the metropolis I call home.  I was still riding a high from my stunning feat of endurance the previous day.  

 I took my time, and stopped off in Bethlehem, where an abandoned (and crumbling) old steel mill had been turned into a Casino and shopping outlets. 
The tattered asphalt of I78 going into Newark was kind of an abrupt return to gritty reality.  I was choosing to sacrifice the freedom of the open road and the comradery of the motorcycle community for the predatory consumerism that puts food on my table. 
My adventures were at a close, (my GPS wasn't working for the first couple days), and i finally rolled up to my garage in the East Village in the early afternoon.  Altogether I rode about 1800 miles and I just wanted more... Hopefully, I'll get my ST3 from Ferracci in the next couple weeks and plan a Ducati adventure of my very own... Soon.   

© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Day 5: 700 Miles in 10 Hours on My Ducati Monster 600

I woke up this morning around 7ish and checked the weather.  After four days of sunny skies and the temperature hovering in the 60's range, I knew I was spoiled, and of course there were scattered thunderstorms predicted, which would turn bad in the afternoon.  
I had breakfast with the boys one last time, and we decided to part ways early.  I had an amazing time with them, and I was really regretting not taking them up on their open invitation, and running off and going west, as I knew they were in for an epic adventure they would remember for the rest of their lives.
I managed to leave at around 8:15am, rushing a little bit because of the coming rain, and Google Maps told me I had 692 miles to get back to my grandmother's house in PA.  I didn't look back. In fact, I don't think I stopped for more than five or six minutes to fill up for gas or have a breakfast bar for the next 10 hours...  I was Tennessee quickly, and once I hit the Smoky Mountains it started to get really dark, veering through semi trucks and around the mountains.  After Johnson City, it cleared up and I picked up 81 in Kingsport, which I would take for most of the rest of the trip and it suddenly it got dark again began to drizzle. "Shit."  I stopped in Roanoke Virginia to put on my frog suit.
 The skies cleared once again. For the next six hours the weather rotated between hot and humid sunshine to dark, moist gloom. I didn't really intend to drive all the way, but I felt like I was outrunning the storm, and the forecast wasn't too much better tomorrow, so I kept going and going, through Harrisonburg, where I was planning on going to Rocktown Beer Festival that weekend, through Winchester and then onto Martinsburg, West Virginia.

 By the time I had gotten to Hagerstown , Maryland at around 4pm, I wasn't even sore any more. I was numb. I was the bike. I continued to Carlisle and Harrisburg Pennsylvania. When I arrived home around 6:30 (still in rain gear), I wasn't even tired and swear I could have ridden to NYC if there was enough light.


Immediately after pulling up, my brother in law snapped this photo and handed me a cold glass of Nugget Nectar. I took a long shower, and as I sat alone on my Grandmother's glass roofed porch, the sky finally opened up to a violent storm, beginning with a hail leading to a torrential downpour.  I can honestly say that sitting there was one of the happiest moments of my life.  Outrunning a storm half-way across the country, drunk off of a beer and a half, truly clean for the first time in a week, my vision cleared (my peripheral vision was still whirring by at around 70mph), while the throaty melodies of my Monster reverberated rhythmically in my head.  


© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Ducati Motorcycle Hiatus in a Pimp Stretch Limo Cadillac Fleetwood

I don't usually talk about cars here, but tonight I'm going to make an exception and digress. Asheville is a cool town.  Our hotel was located a bit west of downtown, so we had to call another cab, which we disputed, as it was a $55 up front bill, not including tip. Between the three of us though, we managed to justify that split between us, this would be the typical cost of a cab ride in NYC. Turns out it was one of the best investments we made the whole trip.

Twenty minutes after reception made the call, a guy rolls up in a blacked out Infinity FX35, and he's blasting Silk's "Freak Me" as loud as he possibly can on the stereo.  He presumes (on his own) that three dudes are cruising for ladies, and proceeds to chauffeur us around the city of Asheville, blasting some of the grimiest R&B (think Boyz II Men, even Sade) you could imaging.

Finally, we arrived at Pack's Tavern, where we were starving, and had some great beer and food. We were bushed from the long ride that day, plus I had finally and begrudgingly decided to turn around and go back to my job in NYC, so we planned on an early night.
We called the cab company again, who said our driver was busy, but they would send someone else.  15 minutely later, up rolls a 80's-era Cadillac Fleetwood stretch limo.

To make things more wild, this classic pimpmobile was being driven by a (easily 300lb) black dude named "Roosevelt," also blasting seriously raunchy R&B, this time accompanied by music videos broadcasting on two flatscreen tv's inside the limo.
The upholstery was custom red and white leather, and we kicked ourselves for not heading straight to the club in this whip. 

Diamond in the back,
Sun roof top,
Diggin the scene with a gangsta lean-
woo hoooo-oooo....

 We drove around for a while, chatting with Roosevelt, until he finally dropped us back off at the hotel for the night.


© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Day 4: Take the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville

I had planned on turning around and going back home today.  However, we were out a little late last night (in bed sometime after 3am, though I swore it was closer to 11:30) and got up early (7am).  I had planned on taking two days down and three days back up, but I was having a blast and the boys were trying to see how far they could get me to go...

Day 3: Best Ride of my Life - Virginia is for Lovers

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in front Seneca Rocks West Virginia
Happy Easter! What an incredible day.  We drove less than 300 miles today, but it was some of the best riding I've ever done.  I don't think we saw more than 50 cars the whole day, the sun was shining, and the roads were incredible (albeit a bit gravelly).
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles trip on Easter 4/20/14
Here is the route today, thanks to DynastySS's Spotwalla.

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in front Seneca Rocks West Virginia 2
Our first real stop in Monongahela National Forest was in Seneca Rocks, outside an "Indian Trading Post" called Yokums, a stunning spot that looks more like the Southwest than the Southeast. 

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in front Seneca Rocks West Virginia panorama

Our next stop was in a tiny town called Monterey, where we chatted with a few locals and refueled.  An older guy riding a beat up old VFR750, with a box of fried chicken bungeed to the pillion.  
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles and Richard's Honda VFR750
His name was Richard, and he was a bit gruff at first, but gradually warmed up to us.  This old-timer offered to show us a few back roads, and I quickly lost the pack.  Turns out he was an AMA certified pro for several years in his younger days, and could ride better than any of us. The roads were amazing, and my buddy even let Richard take his Tuono for a spin. 
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles in George Washington National Forest
Outside George Washington National Forest.  Richard took us a little out of the way, so we were starving when we rolled up to gas station / restaurant called "Cucci's" in Hot Springs, VA around 4pm.
 Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles at Cucci's Restaurant on Easter 4/20
I've never eaten at such a suggestively-named restaurant, and when we inquired delicately about the name, our poor waitress got quite flustered and turned beet red. I think she got a kick out of us though, and left a friendly note on the back of our bill.
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles at Cucci's Restaurant on Easter 4/20
This is what the roads looked like all day:
 And the scenery...
 More turns, turns and more turns....
 There was simply no traffic.  We had the roads all to ourselves.  We got a little bit nervy towards about 6pm, when none of us had cell phone reception and we got lost with no cell phone reception.
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles on Gravel outside Covington
The sun was receding behind the hills, and the roads had turned to gravel after Covington ,Va (not a very friendly looking destination), so we finally came across a car, asked for directions the nearest hotel and pushed on till we got to Blacksburg, home of Virginia Tech.
Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R motorcycles on Easter doing Hooptie Ride

Ready to go out, we the receptionist at our hotel couldn't find a cab service that was open on Easter, till I suggested a "Dial a Hooptie" I found on Google.

© 2013 Tigh Loughhead

Day 2: Harrisburg to Davis, West Virginia 899adventures.com

Ducati 899 Panigale, Tigho's Monster, Aprilia Tuono V4R in Davis West Virgina outside the Bright Morning Inn 899adventures.com
Parked outside the Bright Morning Inn in Davis, West Virginia

Day 1: Gearing up for a Taste of a Cross Country Superbike Trek: 899adventures.com

Tigho waiting at a gas station outside of Harrisburg Pa for the boys from 899adventures.com | NYDucati

Six months ago, a friend of mine DynastySS told me he was moving back to the West Coast after 7 years in NYC.  His company Streeteasy was acquired by Zillow, and he was going to take the long way round to get back home.  He asked if I was interested in riding 300 miles / day non stop to San Francisco, to which I replied, "...on my Monster?"  He said something along the lines of, "That bike is a cruiser compared to mine...I'm going to get my Triumph 675R track bike legal and take it across the country." Crazy...

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