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13,000+ Miles in 2014 on Ducati Motorcycles

Photo Credit (not me): Nejat
2014 was an incredible year for riding Ducatis.  Over the course of the year, I rode from NYC to North Carolina, then up around the periphery of Nova Scotia and much, much more, racking up over 13,000 miles (about 10K on the ST3 and 3000 on my Monster).

  In February, I bought a 2004 Ducati ST3, and rode it down from Ringwood, NJ to Southern PA though, unfortunately, I needed to put a bunch of money into it almost immediately.  The ST3 is an awesome bike, but I spent the first several months of ownership undoing the mistakes made by the previous owner, who fashioned himself a "mechanic."
 In April, I joined a couple friends riding cross country on superbikes, and I tried to keep up on my Monster with my buddy Cam on his brand new Ducati 899 and my friend Jay on his Aprilia Tuono.
We went down through the Appalachian Skyway, then across the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was deserted on Easter, the perfect time to ride. 
I almost left my job to go all the way cross-country, but on the last day I turned around and drove 700 miles straight in 10 hours to get back home.  
In June, I quit my job to ride my motorcycles, finally leaving an ad agency I helped build over the past five years. 
 I rode around quite a bit locally (think Delaware, central PA), and finally got my ST3 back on the road for a rather impromptu trip with a buddy to Nova Scotia. I planned out a 2600 mile loop, from NYC up to Canada, across the Digby ferry (below),
 and around the fabled Cabot Trail.
 At the apex of our trip, we took our sportbikes down miles of washed out road, up and down severely graded gravel switchbacks, on balding tires and with no cell service, till we reached the northerly-most part of our trip, where we camped out on the beach at place called Meat Cove.
After a fantastic trip and a few more adventures, we ultimately found our way back to New York City.  
A few weeks later, my girlfriend felt a bit left out, so I took her up to Ithaca and around the gorges
-then home again and out with the DOCNYC, pictured above at Storm King Mountain,
or at the always-epic Ducati annual DESMO barbecue
 A few weeks later, I rode up to wedding in Boston,
stopping off at the the 2014 IMOC (Italian Motorcycle Owner's Club) rally in southern Mass.
I kept thinking I was ready to turn in for the season, but I found myself continually taking off for a day or two, and winding up in strange places, like this spontaneous mid-week decision to go down to Philadelphia for the evening with a friend. 
 And there were always organized rides, like our DOCNYC Distinguished Gentleman's ride,
Tuesday nights at the Ear Inn,..
custom bike shows, like the "Brooklyn Invitational,"
and shop parties, like the 2nd Annual Unofficial Union Garage Block Party,
as well as First Sundays in Ephrata with my Pennsylvania Ducati crew.
Last look at the Domino's Sugar Factory in Brooklyn (from the Lower East Side), while it was being demolished.
All in all, it was a pretty amazing year in my life. I'm blessed to be able to have had the time and resources to ride Ducatis around the country, though if I had a choice, I don't think I would have done anything else.  2014 was an epic year in riding for me, and I'll remember these adventures for a lifetime.
© 2015 Tigh Loughhead


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