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My Top 15 Rides of All Time

This week has been rough- with Monday blowing sub-zero temperatures into New York City...to nearly 60 and pouring by Thursday.  I'm working on a pretty cool project with my Streetfighter... (more on that later- I'm dropping an 1198 engine in the bike to create a StreetfighterR), but I've been doing some clean up on the website, and it has made me a little sentimental for rides gone by.

So much of my identity has come from the rubber I've laid down on the road alone and with others,  to the point that most of my closest people are now largely in the motorcycle community.  I thought I'd take the weekend to reflect, listicle style- on some of my absolute favorite rides I've ever been blessed to take.  So with all of that said, here are my top 15 Ducati motorcycle trips I've ever ridden, in no particular order:

1. Museo Ducati in Borgo Panigale


I've actually gotten to visit the Ducati factory a couple times by now, but the Museo Ducati is absolutely essential to visit if you go to Bologna (or even anywhere in Northern Italy).


2. The Cabot Trail


Going on 5 years ago (and before I took videos apparently), my buddy Jay and I embarked on a 12 day, 2500 mile adventure up to Nova Scotia and around the Cabot Trail, lugging a case of beer and camping out at Meat Cove, at the northernmost tip of Cape Breton Island.  This trip was such a self-affirming journey, for the people that we met, and what I discovered about myself, and even moreso discovering what was out there available to me in the world.

3. Riding up the Bosphorus in Istanbul, Turkey to the Black Sea

Several years back, a couple friends and I rented bikes in Istanbul, Turkey and I rode a Yamaha MT-05 up the Bosphorus all the way to the Black Sea, bordering Russia.  We had a few drinks and dinner at an incredible seaside restaurant and proceeded to do burnouts on my buddy's Yamaha R25 (an R3 for the Asian markets).  Though it rained for much of the trip, it was one of the highlights of my life on a bike.


4. Northern California on a Ducati Hypermotard


The first year I was invited to speak at Dreamforce, the largest tech conference in the world, I rented a Hypermotard and rode alone as far up the coast of Northern California as I could, seeing some of the most beautiful country and sunsets I had in my life.


5. Lake Lugano, Switzerland


A couple of years ago, one of my buddies Alex and rented BMWs and traveled around Northern Italy and Switzerland.  Lugano was one of the highlights of the "Lakes District-" with dramatic mountainside towns, and tunnels carving through the mountains around the lakes.

6.  Quebec by Ducati and the Parc du Maurice


Before the days of Gotham Ducati, or even the East Coast Ducs, a whole bunch of us rode all the way up to Montreal on our Ducs.  Joe and Jerry and I pushed on even further, taking the scenic route up to Quebec City, passing through an incredible motorcycle road (and managing not to run afoul of the very tight speed limits) in the Parc du Maurice.

8. Southern California on a busted Scrambler


I got a chance to give NYDUCATI a shout out in front of several hundred people at Dreamforce this year.

Although I got a bum bike, the roads from San Francisco to Los Angeles are some of the greatest in the world.  The terrain is other-worldly at times, and whether you're along the coast by Big Sur or carving canyons of Los Padres National Forest, the trip is truly incredible to do by bike.


9. Lake Como in Italy after EICMA


I remember thinking at the time that I'd never seen such beauty in the world as when Alex and I rode up to Lake Como north of Milan in Italy.

10. Gotham Ducati Bachelor Party in Beverly Hills


via Gfycat
 I don't actually have a write-up for this, as the proprietor of RentaDucati.com is an absolute scumbag who tried to screw us out of thousands of dollars for doing a couple of burnouts.  However, getting to stay in Beverly Hills and ride the roads around LA was an absolute blast and the roads...some of the best I've ever done, and was lucky to share with my boys.


11. Tail of the Dragon and Cherohala

Every year, a dedicated group of MV Agusta riders gather in Tellico Plains, Tennessee for Gapalicious, to ride around the Smokey Mountains, which include the East Coast motorcycle Meccas of the Cherohala Skyway and the Tail of the Dragon.


12. Cross Country on Italian Superbikes

 Again, long before I carried a GoPro (actually I might have still had a Blackberry), my buddy Cameron and Jay decided to go cross country on Italian Superbikes, which Cam painstakingly detailed the life of his Panigale (the very first 899 ever shipped to the United States) at 899Adventures.

 I have to say, that even though I only got to travel part of the way of this epic journey, down the Appalachian Skyway, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and onto Asheville, North Carolina... this trip singlehandedly ignited a passion for travel and adventure by motorcycle.

13. East Coast Ducs take Montreal


 I still can't believe we had nearly ten Ducs ride all the way from New York City to Montreal. (Credit: Gerald Charles on the vid)
Hot as it was, we had an amazing ride and an even better time hanging out, drinking and eating Poutine together.
(Credit: Shawn Mathew w/ the vid)

14. Acadia with DOCNYC

This was one of my first long distance trips with the New York City Ducati community. Five of us slabbed it all the way to Maine to get to Acadia National Park, getting caught in a torrential downpour on Cadillac Mountain the last night.... worth it.

 

15. Harlem Superbike School


Every week, a couple of us wake up really, really... really early and ride up to White Plains and around the lakes.



© 2019 Tigh Loughhead

Italian Beauty in Quebec City

East Coast Ducs ride to Ducati Montreal

The East Coast Ducs had a bit of a late start this morning.  A few of us were ready to go early, but everyone didn't congregate until about noon, so we didn't end up going to ride out of the city as we had planned. 

Summertime in Montreal: Jazz Festival and the Old City

Old Port of Montreal below:
 Spending the day at the Old Port of Montreal, checking out the famous Jazz Festival, then cruising for food on the Rue Saint Denis during the Circe Festival.

Bonjour Montreal! NYDucati back to Canada for July 4th

I haven't gotten out of the city for a while, and I've been getting restless (at least too far outside the city, and my wander lust has been kicking in)...
So, during my preparations for getting a bike night together for Ducati owners and enthusiasts with Stuart Parr, at Art of the Italian Two Wheel in Manhattan, I realized I had a long weekend coming up.
 I asked a few friends if they were interested in accompanying me on a quick weekend jaunt up to Quebec, but everyone already had plans for July 4th weekend.
 Luckily, my old traveling companion Jay was feeling similarly stuck in the city, and we decided Wednesday night to leave mid-day Thursday afternoon, and spend the week in Canada.
 I took off of work after lunch, went up to Harlem, and we were on the road by early afternoon.  Unfortunately, a cavalcade of holiday traffic especially getting through Albany, slowed us through the first leg of our journey.
 By the time we hit upstate New York, we were ready to drive FAST, and alas a northern Police officer took notice, where (somewhat unbelievably I got my first speeding ticket) which delayed us another hour or so.
 We finally crossed the US/Canada border around 10:30, and all of the signs abruptly turned exclusively to French.  I have been to Montreal before, but I was struck how foreign this wide-open country felt, although it was only a few hours away, and even the gas station attendants barely spoke English.
Jay and I checked into our hotel on the Rue St. Denis, where an exceedingly helpful innkeep named Pierre showed us to a massive double-room situated on a courtyard above a Jazz Club, in a kind of idyllic urban setting that reminded me more of Europe than North America.
After a few interesting cab rides (with a loquacious Greek gentlemen by name of Johnny), we finally ended up on Crescent Street (sort of the Quebecois version of Bourbon Street in New Orleans) for a few drinks, before finally returning to our hotel where Pierre graciously let us park our bikes under the stoop of the entrance of the hotel.

© 2015 Tigh Loughhead

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