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Thread: East Coast Trip 2021 - Tips, Info, Ideas Requested

  1. #1

    East Coast Trip 2021 - Tips, Info, Ideas Requested

    Members:

    Plan East Coast trip (Florida to Maine) June 1st or so. Looking for experience tips, info and ideas.

    Basic plan: a) no highways; b) hotel/motel stays (no camping this time); c) open question: coast route or inland (e.g. Blue Ridge Prkwy); d) basic activities: photography & visits to old residence locations (Richmond & Fairfax, VA, Kennett Sq, PA, Marion & Worcester County, MA, Manchester, NH & Freeport, ME.

    Appreciate any topics, thoughts you think might/make this an interesting, safe trip. Lack of experience topic - riding/cornering in rain!

    Thanks very much.

    R1200Rdmb

  2. #2
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    Stay away from the big cities: DC, Baltimore, Philly, NY metro, Boston.

    Blue Ridge Parkway was nice ... for a couple of hours Too slow. It got boring quickly, so I hopped off and found other roads.

    See if you can find a route that stays inland and avoids the metro complexes. For me, that would mean the mountains (but only a small amount of the BRP) through central/western PA, up through central NY state, and across the southern parts of Vermont and New Hampshire and into Maine.

    Hope you have fun. Good luck.
    Royce
    On the coast of Kansas
    2012 F800ST

  3. #3
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    Stretch your ride over towards Birmingham and visit Barber Motorsports Museum.
    https://www.barbermuseum.org

    There are a number of scenic routes that will get you there.

    Doug
    Sent from a Galaxy, far, far away

  4. #4
    If you want to avoid DC, Philly, NYC and all the RT. 95 construction, congestion etc, stay inland a few miles.

    If you need to superslab, pick up Interstate RT. 81 north, just above the North Carolina border. This is a smooth, relatively uncongested highway. It can run you all the way into New York State, and Rt. 84 east. Once on Rt. 84 east will keep you well above NYC, and from there you’ll find several alternate highways.

    Jumping off Rt. 84, at the Taconic Parkway north can get you up to Massachusetts, and aside from LEO presence, is a decent road.

    There are many backroads that also meander along this same pathway, if you prefer to stay on country roads.

    Couple of recommended stops,include Bills Bike Barn in Bloomsburg Pa., Mt. Greylock,in SE Massachusetts.
    2000 R1100 RS
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  5. #5
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    You might want to consider staying more coastal. Up through Savannah, on to Norfolk, up the DelMarVa Peninsula, ferry across to Cape May, NJ up to NYC via Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, out to Long Island, ferry to New London, then over to Cape Cod. From there, avoid or embrace Boston (traffic is light these days), then up to NH & Maine.
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison 2018-Present
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  6. #6

    East Coast Trip - BRP

    Royce:

    Thanks for your points. BRP - yes, good reminder on the speed! Having spent most of my life cycling in all forms (Virginia), I was on BRP, by myself this time. As a result of continued wonderful landscapes, etc, except for that one dog, I dozed off, but caught myself before wandering completely off the road.

    So while the BRP would take me off my general direction, it is peaceful and traffic is controlled. But slow. I loved the country hotels in N.C. while on this extended trip

    Thanks.

    dbaker



    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    Stay away from the big cities: DC, Baltimore, Philly, NY metro, Boston.

    Blue Ridge Parkway was nice ... for a couple of hours Too slow. It got boring quickly, so I hopped off and found other roads.

    See if you can find a route that stays inland and avoids the metro complexes. For me, that would mean the mountains (but only a small amount of the BRP) through central/western PA, up through central NY state, and across the southern parts of Vermont and New Hampshire and into Maine.

    Hope you have fun. Good luck.

  7. #7
    It depends on what you like. I live about 2 miles from where the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive meet in Virginia (I'm just a little bit biased) so I recommend the BRP, or at least portion of it, depending on how much time you have. It's generally twistier in NC than VA. I'm not a huge fan of the Skyline Drive because its speed limit is only 35 mph (the BRP is 45 in most areas.) I'm also a fan of the Georgia and South Carolina Low Country (almost moved to Beaufort, SC) and can't say enough good about it and Savannah and Charleston. If it were my trip, I'd cut across SC to Greenville, SC (BMW MOA HQ is nearby, as is the factory) and then continue on to Asheville, NC. Asheville has about the best of everything in the southeast, especially if you like craft beer. Hop on the BRP in near Asheville and stay on it until you've had enough of it.

    Like the others have said, avoid DC, Baltimore, Philly, etc, at all costs unless you're suicidal.

  8. #8

    East Coast Trip -

    David:

    Thank you for your comments. Been a Virginia resident (40 years -Fairfax, & member of Potomac Peddlers cycling club); as such, Skyline Drive usually a great training vehicle including infrequent club rides. (Mt Mitchell Century requires this kind of training). See you might live in/around Fancy Gap. Been on BRP a few times - got caught in a snow storm somewhere between Asheville & Blowing Rock - Park Ranger saw me go by - his face said "what the heck is that guy doing..........." After a 100 miler that day, entered a restaurant the very morning the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced (10/3/95) - a loud crowd debating the issue, but quieted down when this cyclist covered with mud/dirt walked in.

    Again, appreciate your comments. Gave up motorcycle license leaving Virginia for Oregon (motorcycling in Northern Virginia is a potential suicide). But as Oregon is quite the opposite, had to get re-licensed !!

    dbaker




    Quote Originally Posted by davidsanders View Post
    It depends on what you like. I live about 2 miles from where the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive meet in Virginia (I'm just a little bit biased) so I recommend the BRP, or at least portion of it, depending on how much time you have. It's generally twistier in NC than VA. I'm not a huge fan of the Skyline Drive because its speed limit is only 35 mph (the BRP is 45 in most areas.) I'm also a fan of the Georgia and South Carolina Low Country (almost moved to Beaufort, SC) and can't say enough good about it and Savannah and Charleston. If it were my trip, I'd cut across SC to Greenville, SC (BMW MOA HQ is nearby, as is the factory) and then continue on to Asheville, NC. Asheville has about the best of everything in the southeast, especially if you like craft beer. Hop on the BRP in near Asheville and stay on it until you've had enough of it.

    Like the others have said, avoid DC, Baltimore, Philly, etc, at all costs unless you're suicidal.

  9. #9
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    If you get tired of the BRP, Hwy 221 parallels that road from Roanoke VA to Linville Falls NC. It is mostly a nice curvy mountain road passing through some small towns (with congestion around Boone NC). At Linville Falls get back on the Parkway for the best views and curves on the BRP! Asheville is just off the parkway and makes a nice stop; should you need a BMW shop, pull into Eurosport Asheville.
    The Coast has it's charm but the Appalachian has RIDING!

    Have Fun!

  10. #10
    New_AlaBeemer HSVPhil's Avatar
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    Having left DC behind some 3 years ago, I can only wish U a whole Lot o'Luck... Ain't No way to get to Fairfax without getting stuck in traffic... I-66 is just a large parking lot... Certainly the same situation with I-95 from Del to Balto to DC to Richmond. You make your own bed, U get to sit still in it.....

    Barbers' Vintage Museum in Leeds is indeed worth a detour though (allow one full day)!
    http://www.barbermuseum.org

    Ciao, HSV-Phil & HSV-Karen
    formerly, camped in Fort Washington off Indian Head Hwy.
    There's a decent Fort there watching over the river approaching DC!

  11. #11
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    Another option is to look at some of the rides posted on New England Riders website. Even though the name is New England, many of the listed rides are up and down the east. They may help provide some options if you go more inland vs coastal. Either way, have a great time and share your ride with us.

    https://www.newenglandriders.org/

    Sent from my SM-T870 using Tapatalk

  12. #12

    East Coast Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by ExGMan View Post
    You might want to consider staying more coastal. Up through Savannah, on to Norfolk, up the DelMarVa Peninsula, ferry across to Cape May, NJ up to NYC via Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, out to Long Island, ferry to New London, then over to Cape Cod. From there, avoid or embrace Boston (traffic is light these days), then up to NH & Maine.
    John:
    Interesting route. During college days and professional life, an annual trip from Virginia to Mass - very familiar route - NJ turnpike, cross-bronx expressway & on occasion, Geo Wash Bridge were always challenges. No way with a bike, as I would believe. Getting to Long Island ferry would be interesting.

    Thank you for your comments.

    D. Baker

  13. #13
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R1200Rdmb View Post
    John:
    Interesting route. During college days and professional life, an annual trip from Virginia to Mass - very familiar route - NJ turnpike, cross-bronx expressway & on occasion, Geo Wash Bridge were always challenges. No way with a bike, as I would believe. Getting to Long Island ferry would be interesting.

    Thank you for your comments.

    D. Baker
    I guess I spent too many hours driving a taxi in Boston during grad school. Traffic never has bothered me much, and the NJ GSP to NJTP/I-95 to the GW Bridge is usually pretty easy for me on my RT outside of rush hours. Once I was in stop&go traffic approaching the GW Bridge. Very friendly people in cars had some interesting questions about motorcycle travel. A fun day of shared slowness...
    John Gamel - BMW MOA Consumer Liaison 2018-Present
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    "We have met the enemy and he is us." Pogo-via Walt Kelly

  14. #14
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    I assume you're not looking for off-road? If you are, let me know and I'll share a few more tips.

    Coastal or at least US-1 would be good. Hug that and stay off I-95 if you can. You just don't see much and it's really boring if you're on interestates. Although the interestate ride from Asheville to Tennessee is quite nice if you have to get some place quick, it's still really scenic.

    Alternatively, head inland. West Virginia, tail of the dragon, blue ridge parkway, and go north through PA dead center of the state and stay off the interestate and see some beautiful rolling hills and picturesque farms and stop at some old stores. Then up to Troy NY and head east through Vermont and New Hampshire's national forests.

    Then you can take I-95 home if you're in a hurry I can get northern NH to Jacksonville in 3 riding days without killing myself on the GS...2-days is doable in ideal conditions with an iron butt.

  15. #15
    Registered User jandhumphreyme's Avatar
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    Rt. 1 in Maine can be busy that time of year, vacations starting up and all, but traffic moves along better the faster north you go. Freeport is a big draw LL Bean and all, their open 24x7 so any time you get there you can get in. Coastal Maine has some nice museums and antique shops in many of the towns, Owls Head Transportation Museum in Rockland is nice for a visit. If your into woodworking Lie-Nielsen Tool Works is in Warren right on Rt. 1, very nice hand tools, worth a stop. Acadia National Park is just outside Bar Harbor (Bahh Hahbahh to us locals) a trip around the park loop has many scenic turnouts. Farther up the coast things get sparse, mostly working waterfront villages. Turning inland very rural Rt. 9 back to Bangor is a nice ride, wide and fast through the woods. If you want to go to the tip of Maine stay on Rt. 1 and head north to Madawaska and the Four Corners Park. Heading back south take Rt. 11 back through the woods to I95 for a faster ride south. If you get to Pittsfield before June 19th, drop me a note and I'll buy you a hamburger at our local joint, catch up on road stories.

    Good luck with your trip.
    So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains
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