Showing posts with label Nova Scotia. Show all posts

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

13,000+ Miles in 2014 on Ducati Motorcycles

Photo Credit (not me): Nejat

The Long, Last, Lumbering, Leg Back to NYC: Mile 2472

The Somber Space between The Road and Home

Jay and I slept in late this morning.  The last few days have been filled with tension about our chains, tires and the inevitable deflation of realizing we're nearly home after to two weeks on the road (closer to three weeks for me, as I spent the previous week in Sea Isle City, NJ before we left).

Checking Chains and Retracing our Steps : Mile 2167

Au Revoir, Canada! Back in the USSA...

We woke up this morning to a blinding white fog enshrouding St. John..  A big riding day laid before us, and even after several dryer cycles, our clothes were still dank and musty from the day before.  Damp and sluggish, we pulled out of the motel and drove with our blinkers on down the Trans-Canada Highway, where we knifed through the cloud and drizzle, which restricted our visibility to less than 100ft (...hence no pictures).

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.

Next Day: Nova Scotia: Mile 651

© 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

First Day: Nova Scotia: Mile 321


© 2014 Tigh Loughhead

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