Planning Help - Long Way Up - ATL->NY - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Ride / Trip Reports Short solo cruise? Long-distance solo or group tour? Tell us what it was like...

 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Planning Help - Long Way Up - ATL->NY

This is not a "ride report" per se, but more like a request for input from all the nice folks out here. I will be moving to New York (Long Island City) from Atlanta sometime in late June/early July for a new job and am thinking of riding my 2018 Street Twin all the way up there. I will most likely have about 4-5 days to do this journey. I have done multiple 250-mile day trips and a 400 mile day trip without any post-ride discomfort, but I realise that multi-day trip mileage is not the same a single day trip mileage.

Some of the things I plan to do on this ride are
  1. Ride only in the daytime
  2. Ride the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way
  3. Try to do around 300 miles a day
  4. Stay off the highways whenever possible

Some of the questions I currently have are
  1. Is this even reasonable? This is the most important question as I still need to convince my wife that this is a good idea and I will need all the ammunition I can get.
  2. Are there any places/sights/restaurants you folks recommend?
  3. Any recommended motorcycle friendly places to stay? (All I'm looking for is a reasonably priced bed and a hot shower. Any included food is bonus. For background, I have stayed at the "dorm" room at Iron Horse Motorcycle lodge and found it to be extremely comfortable and perfect for my needs)
  4. Any other general tips regarding solo multi-day trips are also highly welcome.

Regards,

Wats

PS - I did a search on this forum but didn't see what I am looking for. In case I missed a post dealing with this topic, please point me in the right direction.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-21-2019, 03:53 PM
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I did part of that route on a trip from NY south to see eclipse (started raining just before eclipse, kept raining until clear and sunny about twenty minutes after eclipse.)

So head to Asheville from Atlanta via parkway. It's a nice to stop. Lots of great local beers and good music scene.

Then parkway to Little Switzerland, and just stay on it till Deep Gap. Try to be on parkway mid week and get early start during tourist times.

Then east to Interstate 81 north on Interstates 81 then 77, getting back on two lane blactops, at route 460. Then 460 to 219 to 92. Radio telescope at Greenbank a cool stop. 92, 28, and 33 to Seneca Rocks. Then 28 until you are out of the national forest.

At that point I went through midstate PA then Catskills back to Saratoga. Going south I tried to find a fun way across PA. Two lane blacktops took a long time and were tedious. So going back I just rode interstate from Maryland to Lewisburg PA area to get midstate over with. For that pick up 99 at Bedford, then 80 to Lewisburg. From there find your way via Interstates 80 and 81 to Scanton PA, then 84 south to Lord's Valley, then 434 and 590 to Lackawaxen, then 55, or 52 to Neversink NY.

From there Frost Valley Rd., Phonecia, then SE to cross Hudson at Bear Mountain, then 9 into upper Manhattan, down Harlem River Dr. to Queensboro Bridge and over to Long Island City.

Would be a leisurely 4 to 5 day ride.

Parkway is best midweek and start early in the day.

If you are at all intimidated riding in Manhattan, Sunday it's more or less deserted.

I have had good luck on trips like this using AirBnB and small one-off hotels. Towns I have stayed on that route include Phonecia NY, Roxbury, NY, Lewisburg PA, Lewisburg WV, and Asheville NC. Can recommend them all.

From Queens best close place to ride are the Catskills. Adirondacks, and Western New England, also good.

And check out NY Safety Track for a track day once you are living in Queens. There is a cool motel in Roxbury with an attached bar and restaurant where you can spend the night. Or you can camp at the track.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 10:40 AM
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I've done the ride North to South - so a couple of observations / suggestions.

* Depending on your cell provider, there are a fair amount of the Parkway where you'll have no service. Letting family know that in advance helps keep people calm.

* Asheville is a great town (with motorcycle parking!) Beer City USA. I've spent quite a bit of time there, PM me if you like.

* Fancy Gap Cabins and Campground https://fancygapcabinsandcampground.com/index.html is *right* on the Parkway (a good day's ride from Asheville). I usually stay in the motel part (comfy bed, great shower) but staying there means riding up and down a decent gravel hill. I've done it on all of my bikes and never had an issue. Try the Hungry Farmer (about a ten minute ride, south on US52) for a ridiculously large meal.

* Mabry Mill for pancakes on the Parkway is a solid choice.

* There's no fuel on the Parkway, and the little map they give you at the information booths doesn't generally tell you which way (east or west) to go for fuel. Not sure how thirsty your bike is, but a gallon or so of fuel can be a comfort.

* Weather on the Parkway changes frequently, and quickly - I've experienced 40 degree swings in temperature in a day's ride. Not sure of your luggage setup, but keep the waterproofs near the top.

* Plenty of hotels in Waynesboro, NC (northern terminus of Parkway).

* From Waynesboro, Skyline Drive through Shenendoah is gorgeous. Speed limit is only 35, and while I've generally exceeded it, I hear a ticket would be pricey.

* Butler Maps (specifically the Southern/Mid-Atlantic maps) will get you good roads all the way to eastern PA. At that point, you really are going to have to hit highways. Approaching NYC from the south county roads are generally very residential, and state roads are full on highways.

* Usual caveats about toll plazas and oil and muck.

* Depending on your timing you are going to hit two separate rush hour crushes. Crossing the Hudson and crossing the East River. Neither are pleasant traffic-wise. I generally prefer the George Washington Bridge and then down either highway. West Side Highway means you have to cross Manhattan (I'm assuming your interest is quick, versus sightseeing). Harlem River Drive/FDR means the Cross Bronx Expressway.... HRD/FDR is like thunderdome. 40 MPH road with speeds of either 60+ or 15 and slower.

* Once you get settled in LIC, reach out. Always happy to show a new resident some of the best nearby roads.

Sometimes being an adult means recognizing what it is you want... and running like hell in the opposite direction.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a lot for the great information @RME ! I agree that Asheville is a wonderful place. That 400 mile trip I mentioned was a ride to Asheville to get a beer and a slice of pizza. Planning a stop over there for the first night. I'll look up the places/routes you mentioned and update my plans with the information you provided. I have had great experiences with Airbnb in multiple countries and will most likely go that route for overnight stays. Thanks again for the recommendations on rides and the track around there. Will definitely do those once I am there. I have driven a car around New York City and it wasn't too bad. I honestly think I will be more comfortable on a motorbike than a car there since I grew up riding a motorcycle on Indian city roads (also sidewalks sometimes). The random closed off sections of road, potholes and the crazy people running across the road sort of make me feel like I am back home Still, thanks for the tip about Sundays being empty. I'll try and schedule my trip such that I am there on a Sunday. That way, I'll be able to ride the Parkway on the weekdays too.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Lots of great information here @sangsters !! Thanks a lot for the detailed response.

I have AT&T and given how spotty and inconsistent the service is just north of Atlanta, I don't have much hope for their service in the mountains. I plan on checking in with the missus and the rest of the family when I stop for fuel/food. But I'll also make sure that I let them know that service will be spotty and that I may not be able to update them till the end of the day.

I'll most likely head to Asheville at least once more before I leave Atlanta. I'll PM before that for more Asheville specific tips.

For luggage, I have a pair of Cortech saddle bags which will be enough to hold all my essentials for a few days. I'll also strap down my either my camera bag or backpack (covered in a trash bag) and maybe a tripod on the rear seat and rack. I'll also be carrying rain gear and I'll make sure that it's easily accessible.

My existing plan is blank as far as interesting roads go once I reach the end of Skyline drive and have accepted the fact that I'll probably have to ride the highways after that.I'll most likely also have to make up some time since I'll probably ride relaxed and take in the scenery on the Parkway and Skyline.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sangsters View Post
I've done the ride North to South - so a couple of observations / suggestions.

* Usual caveats about toll plazas and oil and muck.
Sorry if this sounds ignorant, but are these usual caveats? All I know about those things is to avoid them :/

I'll definitely get in touch once I reach Long Island City. It's always great to make new friends

I'm at about 7700 miles on my Street Twin and need to get the 10k service done. Have any recommendations for a good Triumph dealership there? If not, I'll get that done here before leaving.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Wats View Post
Lots of great information here @sangsters !! Thanks a lot for the detailed response.

I have AT&T and given how spotty and inconsistent the service is just north of Atlanta, I don't have much hope for their service in the mountains. I plan on checking in with the missus and the rest of the family when I stop for fuel/food. But I'll also make sure that I let them know that service will be spotty and that I may not be able to update them till the end of the day.

I'll most likely head to Asheville at least once more before I leave Atlanta. I'll PM before that for more Asheville specific tips.

For luggage, I have a pair of Cortech saddle bags which will be enough to hold all my essentials for a few days. I'll also strap down my either my camera bag or backpack (covered in a trash bag) and maybe a tripod on the rear seat and rack. I'll also be carrying rain gear and I'll make sure that it's easily accessible.

My existing plan is blank as far as interesting roads go once I reach the end of Skyline drive and have accepted the fact that I'll probably have to ride the highways after that.I'll most likely also have to make up some time since I'll probably ride relaxed and take in the scenery on the Parkway and Skyline.


Sorry if this sounds ignorant, but are these usual caveats? All I know about those things is to avoid them :/

I'll definitely get in touch once I reach Long Island City. It's always great to make new friends

I'm at about 7700 miles on my Street Twin and need to get the 10k service done. Have any recommendations for a good Triumph dealership there? If not, I'll get that done here before leaving.

I get my bike serviced at an independent shop in NJ. I've heard good things about Sixth Street Specials in Brooklyn, but no direct experience with them.

I'm heading south to Cherokee, NC and such, it will be eight or nine days of riding and I'm cramming it all into 30 liters of Kriegas and a tank bag. Sounds like you're fine on luggage.

I've been travelling with https://www.amazon.com/Pedco-UltraPo.../dp/B000ANCPNM for a few years. Not going to take an SLR with a big lens (I don't think I'd trust it with an SLR to be honest) but for my point and shoots it works great. Truth be told, I've been taking less and less pictures because it is such a joy to ride well maintained, clear roads.

In case you're not aware the Parkway and Skyline Drive are really high silica content pavement. Grip in the wet is very good.

If you're going to do the highway slog from Front Royal I'd suggest I-81 North to I-78. That will allow you to pick your poison (Holland, Lincoln, GWB) by running the Turnpike North before crossing into Manhattan. Though, for me, I prefer I-81 to I-80. But it comes down to time.

In particular if you are going to cross into Manhattan through the Holland or Lincoln (I wouldn't recommend either if you're not much for city riding) the toll plazas are nothing (in terms of muck) like you've ever seen. Think a ten mile long line of commuter buses moving at three to five miles per hour for two hours every day. So. Much. Crap.

In New Jersey they are attendants that pump gas. Very, very, rarely you'll get some yahoo who insists on pumping gas into the bike. Ride away.

Sometimes being an adult means recognizing what it is you want... and running like hell in the opposite direction.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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I did not know about the pavement having a high silica content. I am assuming that greater grip also means greater wear. If so, I may be better off getting my front tire replaced before I leave.

Those toll plazas sound like a nightmare! I'll try and avoid them if possible.

That Jersey fuel pump things sounds vaguely shady... I have had people do that a few times in MA as well, but usually, they go away when I tell them I prefer to fill it up myself.

Do let me know when you come South. If I am still around here, I'd love to you buy you a round a of beer for all your effort in replying here.

Cheers!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-13-2019, 04:14 PM
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Damn it --

Just back from the trip and am seeing this now.

Re: silica -- I assume that yes, greater grip means greater wear. But damn...

We rode from MM 202 to the northern terminus (170 miles of it at least) in nearly white-out conditions. About 3/4 of that time was spent in the rain. And never a slip. I even made a point to put my front on the yellow and not even a wiggle (not recommended... just saying).

Update - skip the Hungry Farmer. Apparently there are new owners, and new cooks and, while still cheap, the food really wasn't great. Try Pit Stop Pasta & Grill (like five minutes off the Parkway in Fancy Gap, VA). Tell them the guys from New York send their regards. And if Kaylin is your server (young woman) enjoy the sarcasm. And try the pizza balls, seriously, they're weirdly good.
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Sometimes being an adult means recognizing what it is you want... and running like hell in the opposite direction.
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