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Well, I had to blow a week of vacation this week. The wife and I were talking Friday night and I jokingly said I should take off and do a Saddle Sore 1000. She thought it was funny (we've done 500 mile days many times before) and the discussion moved onto something else.

I kept thinking about it through Saturday and brought it up at dinner. I thought it would be cool to have the certificate and a neat way to see some cities I haven't been to, or haven't been to in a while. She agreed. We looked at the weather and decided we could shoot out to St. Louis and on to Kansas City and back no problem. Of course, I decided that was too simple and changed the course to: Indy to St. Louis to Memphis to Nashville and back to Indy. We decided to leave at 10:30am on Sunday, which would let us get some rest, give us time to visit some places in St. Louis and Memphis, and a nice evening ride back home (and miss all Monday morning rush hours).

Sunday morning I woke up and checked the weather again. Uh oh. Looks like a big front over every state I planned to visit. What the He**! Quick change of plans... Where is someplace we haven't been, with good weather, and not too hard to plan? We settled on Niagara Falls as the destination and a truck stop as the starting point and ending point (has to be someone to sign the witness forms!). The weather looked to be a high of 73 up there and I figured we would be far enough South by nightfall that nighttime temps wouldn't be a problem. No chance of rain locally and there is a slight chance in NY at 7pm, but we should miss it. OK, it's a go! 1000 miles isn't too bad. We should be home no later that 6 or 7am.



Sunday Morning
We get everything together. OK, all the important things:
Helmets
Jackets
boots
cell phones
mp3 players
chatterboxes
rain gear (you never know)
makeup - NOT FOR ME. I'm not sure where this falls in the 'important' things list
Gum - lots of gum
Put everything on the bikes and head to the truck stop.

Explain to the manager at the truck stop (through his blank stare) what we were planning and asked him to be our witness. He agreed and signed the form.

It was at this point I realized something - the starting mileage on my bike is 666. Hmmmm.

OK, we fill the tanks and place the receipts in a baggy before heading out. It's cloudy, but the temperature is great. Looks to be a day of comfortable riding... 60 miles later... RAIN. It wasn't a hard rain (just enough to tick me off) and we didn't pull over for rain gear.

As we approached Dayton, OH it was time for the first gas stop. Hmmm, that sign says there is a gas station at this exit. Cool. What the sign should have said is "There is a gas station 9 miles down the road when you get off this exit". The funny thing is, once we found the gas station, we had been to that exact station when we went to the Wright Patterson museum 2 years ago. Back to the interstate (9 miles) and still heading East.

Pass Columbus and head North on 71 toward Cleveland. At this point we start noticing lots of bikers. I don't think they noticed us because not many waved back. Maybe it's an Ohio thing?

Stop for gas in Belleville, OH and continue toward Cleveland. After going through Cleveland we head East on 90. Even more bikes. I mean tons of bikes of every kind. There must have been some show or meet. Still not much waving returned. Time for more fuel and a quick sub sandwich, this time in Geneva, OH. As we are getting ready to leave I bend down to look at the lowers and barely touch the bike. Off flies my brand new solo cowl. All I heard was the soul sucking sound of plastic hitting the ground. Luckily just a small scratch, but it's not perfect anymore.

A few notes on Ohio... Man! They sure have a lot of dead critters on the side of the road. I've never seen so many dead dear, possums, raccoons, and other furry things in my life! It took forever to get out of Ohio. It took so long I felt like I missed a birthday or something. Eastern Ohio is very pretty. Lots of rolling hills and scenery. Oh, did I mention that returning a wave must not be the norm?

Interstate 90 cuts through Pennsylvania for about 50 or so miles. Beautiful country and I'd like to go back and check out Erie sometime.

Ah, New York. We're getting closer! Still on I90 with the sun setting. The numbers on the big green signs show Buffalo is getting closer. We stopped in Cheektawaga, NY for gas. Interesting attendant at the station. A young blond woman with a quirky personality. Did I mention her car (think it was an older Ford Tempo) was rattle canned pink with lots of those chrome stick on vents! We should have turned around then, it was over 500 miles already, the sun was setting, and it was getting chilly, but we didn't! Only 26 miles to the falls, how could we not go?

Back to the interstate and on through Buffalo. Right in the middle of downtown Buffalo we encountered the wonderful aroma of freshly popped popcorn. Man. We were hungry and had thoughts of pulling over and finding the source, but on we went. A couple of neat bridges latter and we arrived at the Falls.

When we got to the falls it was getting close to 9:30pm and the place seemed like it was deserted. Found a place to park and walked to the falls. There were HUNDREDS of people pressed against the railing. We joked about how they got there, since the tourist area around the falls seemed empty.

Ewwwww. Ahhhhh. Pretty water and fireworks! Head over to the tourist trap area to get some food and a sweatshirt for the wife (it was getting chilly). Hmmm - $2 for a can of Coke? Yup, we're at a tourist trap. OK, time to get back on the road so we get to the bikes and suit up. I go to unlock the trunk to get my helmet and as soon as the lock turns the strap lets go and my beautiful Shoei X-11 brushes against my leg and falls to the ground with a pop! I think my solo cowl was trying to get back at me for dropping it earlier! Pick it up and the helmet is fine, but the Chatterbox bracket is toast. No music for me on the ride home!

Remember I said we should have turned around in Cheektawaga? It seemed noticeably cooler now. As we rode back through Buffalo I felt chilled and developed a shiver. Hmmmm. There is that wonderful popcorn smell again. I wonder how the residents of Buffalo deal with that everyday? As we left the city the temperature got even colder.

While the difference between 60 and 50 degrees is only 10 degrees, it is a huge difference when the sun goes down. We had planned to be far enough south by this time that the temps would be around 60, but the trip to the falls put us 2 hrs behind. It was COLD - bone chilling - death grip on the bars - can't stop shaking cold! We made it about 40 miles outside of Buffalo to Angola, NY and had to stop at a rest area/travel plaza. Of course things go from bad to worse. While cleaning his helmet Dan's pod flies off and the shield pops off. Turns out the pod covering the mechanism had a broken tab and when it popped off the shield mechanism broke too. We managed to get the shield to lock onto the Arai helmet, but he won't be able to open it. We put our rain gear on in hopes that it will cut down on the cold air and let us continue on.

Well, the first 15 miles felt much better and the rain gear appeared to do what we hoped, however at the 15 mile mark it became apparent that the vinyl rain gear did shield the wind, but got cold itself and transferred that cold directly to us through the jackets. We shivered on for another 25 miles before we HAD to stop. We pulled into a Kwik Fuel in North East, PA at 1:05am. Now here's something you don't see very often... We went to slide a credit card in the pump and there wasn't anywhere to put the card. The attendant said they are a pump then pay station (didn't know there were any left). We ended up deciding we would go in 40 mile blocks and rest/warm up at each block. We caught a quick nap against the front of the store and left at 2:30am.

Another 40 miles and the shivering had become unbearable so we stopped at a rest area inside the Ohio border. We decided the vending area was warm and we would wait until close to sunrise before leaving. This led to an hour nap on the floor at the rest stop (bet you've never done that!). We had 4 hrs of leeway before we went to the falls, so we were OK on time.

The sun was rising and while the temperature wasn't, we had hopes that the sun would soon warm our backs as we headed West. We left our humble accommodations and left for Cleveland at 5am. It wasn't a bit warmer, but the hope of warmth helped a lot as we approached Cleveland. We hit a gas station in Bedford Heights, OH at 6am only to waste 15 minutes because they couldn't process credit cards. They didn't seem too concerned, either. We found a Speedway further down the street and stopped for the important things (gas, coffee, donuts) and I shed the rain coat. The sun was up and it was marginally warmer.

Leaving Bedford Heights we headed South toward Columbus. While the temp was still less than I hoped the sun had a nice warming effect. Another gas stop outside of Columbus at 8:45am and we noticed that we may be running short on time. Maybe that rest stop stay wasn't such a good idea after all. We decided to take a shot anyway. It would be close, but we couldn't give up now, though if we did miss the 24hr time it would still be a great trip.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Back on 70 and hitting the home stretch it was smooth sailing, except for the Mazda that couldn't wait to pass Dan. He went around Dan on the left shoulder (was someone running late to work?). Dayton was a blur and excitement grew as we approached Indiana.

We cross the Indiana border at 10:40am and bail off the first exit and into a gas station. The last receipt is time stamped with 4 minutes to spare! 1007 miles in 23 hours and 56 minutes!

Lessons learned? Dress in layers and plan for the worst, vinyl rain gear is not cold weather clothing, and trudge on no matter what. We should have had an extra 5 hours, but stopping due to the cold killed us!

Gas = $127
Damaged solo cowl = $179
Damaged Chatterbox = $15
Damaged Arai = $100
Driving to Niagara Falls and back in 24hrs = Priceless!
 

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damn, where you guys on 600rrs? thats alot of mileage, my ass would be sore as hell.

the most ive done are a few 300 mile saturday rides, i cant imagine doing anything more on a 600. now on a sport tour bike, thats different.
 

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I've done 440 miles in one day of mostly twisties. Did you do that on a RR. You must have destroyed the tires slabbin' it 1000 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
did you notice the high number of ohio state troopers out?
Yes, there did seem to be quite a few, but I thought they fell under the furry creatures category! :icon_lol: Actually we didn't have any problems with them. We ran about 10 over the limit.
 

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I've done 440 miles in one day of mostly twisties. Did you do that on a RR. You must have destroyed the tires slabbin' it 1000 miles.
My tires = |__|
 

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deputy963:

This is very impressive and inspiring. Regarding the ergonomics of the RR. Did your lower back or wrest hurt during the trip.

I am thinking of the RR for a long weekend trips, but the I have concerns about the ergonomics of the bike. I am 6' tall and 160 lbs.

Thanks,

 

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deputy963:

This is very impressive and inspiring. Regarding the ergonomics of the RR. Did your lower back or wrest hurt during the trip.

I am thinking of the RR for a long weekend trips, but the I have concerns about the ergonomics of the bike. I am 6' tall and 160 lbs.

Thanks,

I'm 6' and 205. As long as you learn to ride properly - light grip on the bars and support your self with your core muscles - it wasn't a problem at all. The only ache I had was my upper back from holding my head up in the wind, and it was as simple as looking down at the tank to stretch it out every now and then.
 

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Hmmmm. There is that wonderful popcorn smell again. I wonder how the residents of Buffalo deal with that everyday?
There a big General Mills cereal plant up there, no doubt that is what you were smelling. Not joking.
 

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wow, thats sick dude. i was planning to ride to the grand canyon from San Diego. hopefully my bikes back up before my riding budy moves to main.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
There a big General Mills cereal plant up there, no doubt that is what you were smelling. Not joking.
Wow. Good to know. I don't know how anyone could live there with that smell. I would be 300 lbs!

tuRbOtROn said:
wow, thats sick dude. i was planning to ride to the grand canyon from San Diego. hopefully my bikes back up before my riding budy moves to main.
We're going to the Grand Canyon next June - 1667 miles one way. We plan on taking our time and enjoying the trip and sights along the way. Probably 400 miles a day over 4 days.

Striker52 said:
That was a good write up thanks...
Thank you for taking the time to read it!
 

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Loved this story! I grew up 15 minutes from the falls, my dad worked in Cheektawaga. Nice trip man, that takes some real endurance and you brought back some cool memories for me.
 

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great read! i live not to far from buffalo and thats the general mills plant. believe me when you could smell the "pop corn" thats pretty much the hood and yes the people that way weigh around 300! wish i would of know i could of met up on the 90 some wheres and cruise for a bit. any way GREAT story
 
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