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Old 06-09-2013, 07:44 PM   #1
ArtofCory OP
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: Mystic, Conn.
Oddometer: 24
Mystic to Canada on a Triumph Scrambler (New Guy)

Hello everyone.

This is my first post on the site. Iíve been pouring over threads on here for a sometime. I recently took a little trip on the motorbike and thought Iíd dive in and tell about it.

A little background Ė About a month ago I bought a 2012 Triumph Scrambler. Iíve loved the style for sometime and decided to pull the trigger. Keep in mind Iím coming from only ever having ridden a 1974 Honda CB360 (and Iím talking recently, not in the Ď70s haha, so itís an OLD bike) Ė so the Scrambler has plenty of power, comfort, guts, and glory for me. Experience is relative. So far itís been the absolute perfect bike for me. I can cruise comfortably on the Interstate around 80, carve though twisties with fantastic handling and grace, and when I see a side road made of dirt, gravel, pine needles, or grass, I have the ability to check it out. Itís just an incredibly FUN motorcycle.

So this last week I had Thursday and Friday off, making it a 4-day weekend. I recently moved to New England (CT) from California, and so far Iíd seen all the New England states (from a car) except Vermont. So I got the idea to make a run up through Vermont on the bike, to the Canadian border and back. Itís not exactly an around-the-world trek, but yaíknow, baby steps!

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Old 06-09-2013, 07:46 PM   #2
ArtofCory OP
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: Mystic, Conn.
Oddometer: 24

The forecast called for rain. I decided to go for it anyway and pack rain gear, along with my camping supplies. By camping supplies I mean a tent and a sleeping pad, and thatís it haha. I was trying to keep things light, and just eat at cafes, restaurants, etc.

Iíd never been on a motorcycle for more than a couple of hours, so this whole thing was a bit of a test run to see what the bike can do, and what I can do. I learned a few things about both.

I packed up the Scrambler Thursday morning. I have no luggage or rack system whatsoever on the bike, so I kinda fumbled and macgyveríd my way through it. I have a good hiking backpack that has straps on each side. I fastened the tent to one side and the sleeping pad to the other. Then I laid the whole setup flat on the rear end of the long, flat seat and used some tie-down straps to hold it in place. I looped these under the rear fender. Kinda ghetto, but it seemed to work until I figure out some sort of more permanent solution.

So finally I was off. The first leg of the trip, just to get to Vermont, was pretty uneventful. Mostly Interstates up through Hartford, Massachusetts and then to Brattleboro, VT. At this point I headed west to get to VT-100. Iíd read good things about this road as the ďmust seeĒ for cutting up through the state. I was not disappointed.

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Old 06-09-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
ArtofCory OP
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: Mystic, Conn.
Oddometer: 24

The day was overcast and not particularly beautiful, but it was dry, so I was happy. I really love getting onto the smaller 2-lane roads after being on the Interstate. The speeds are relaxed, the riding is comfortable, and you really get to SEE what you came to see. Itís on these back roads that you get to experience (or at least catch a glimpse of) towns, and communities that make up the real soul of America. I love to see these rural places, that timeís nearly forgot, and feel like Iím cruising through the story in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Vermont instantly delivered. Everything is the most deep, luscious shade of GREEN. The fields, the hills, the forests, the lawns, itís breathtaking. The small towns look like movie sets, everything is just right, and very New England. And I noticed even on the Interstates, you donít see billboards or tacky signs everywhere screaming at you to buy, buy, buyÖitís a very classical, timeless state. Itís like riding through an enormous, well-kept park, but still wild.

I headed up VT-100, enjoying all of these beautiful sights and smells (that lovely wood-fire stove smell fills much of the stateÖ.total nose-gasm), until I reached Gifford Woods State Park, where I would camp for the night. This park was beautiful. There were only 2 other campsites occupied. The nice, slightly awkward and nerdy teenage kid at the counter assigned me my spot (and warned of moose and bear in the area) and I was off to set up camp.

I cheerily unpacked my tent, got it up quickly, hearkening back to my days in the Boy Scouts. Iíve always loved camping (weather cooperating). Once I got all my gear unpacked, I hopped back on the bike and headed out to hunt some dinner. In the next town (Pittsfield?) I found a little deli and hoovered one of the best turkey bacon club sandwiches I ever have in my life. Fantastic. Then I headed back to camp and not a minute after I got all situated in my tent, the sky opened up and rains came down.

The sound of the rain on the tent was very hypnotic and before too long I was dozing like a baby. The next morning wasÖwellÖcrappy. It had rained all night, and was STILL raining. Breaking camp, packing a tent, and then packing a motorcycle in the pouring rain is, as I now have learned, a huge pain in the ass.

Everything was muddy, soggy, and cold. (It was in the 50s). I had bought some Tourmaster rainproof gloves, which actually held up really well Ė once you got them on. The problem was, if your hands were the least bit moist or clammy, as they are when youíre packing, getting gas, or anything else in the rainÖthen itís near impossible to get your hands/fingers into the glove. They just stick to the inner lining. Very irritating. Once the whole packing debacle was over though, the rest of the day was pretty fantastic, even with the rain.

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Old 06-09-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
ArtofCory OP
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: Mystic, Conn.
Oddometer: 24

The Scrambler held up and performed extremely well in the wet conditions. There was a sizable stretch of VT-100 that was under construction Ė unpaved, muddy, full of potholes Ė and it was a hoot to ride through on that bike (though Iím still cleaning caked and baked mud from the engine). Once I hit I-89 I hopped on there and headed up past Burlington to the border. I donít have a current passport so I could go no further, but I snapped a few photos at the Canadian border and headed south again. Throughout this basic route, I took many small detours down small roads, or little offshoots, so I took a lot of time to cover a relatively short distance (and in the rain, I wasnít trying to break any speed limits either). I headed back down and got a hotel room in Barre. I could have camped again, but I cringed at the thought of getting out my tent, which was packed away wet and muddy, and setting it up in the continual downpour. Not very adventurous of me, but the warm shower and comfortable bed made me glad I opted for the creature comforts.

The next day I headed south for home. The forecast called for rain again, but by 9 am or so the clouds had cleared and the rest of the day was just perfect riding conditions. I cruised down 89 and 91 though some of the most amazing scenery. Hilly vistas, dense forests, sprawling meadows. Itís like a little version of Switzerland (or Colorado for that matter). Just beautiful.

Once I got into Mass, I hit the 2-lane roads again and cut over to route 32, and took that down into Conn., eventually winding my way down to Mystic. Western Mass is also very beautiful and has a great New England charm to it. Worth a visit.

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Old 06-09-2013, 07:51 PM   #5
ArtofCory OP
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: Mystic, Conn.
Oddometer: 24

So after this 3-day trip through Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont, here are my basic summariesÖ

The bike:
The Triumph Scrambler in my humble opinion, is a fantastic motorcycle. It held up incredibly well, purred like an angry lion the whole time. It just loves to be ridden. You almost feel bad when you have to shut her off to get gas, etc. because you get a sense when riding, that the motorcycle is having as much fun as you are. It wants to be out there on the road, it needs it, just like I do.

I had fit a small windscreen on the front (from Twisted Throttle, just up the road in RI) which helps cut down the wind on your body and greatly reduced fatigue. The wind still catches my helmet, but Iím not holding on for dear life like I used to without the screen, going upwards of 65 mph. I could use some real luggage set up, for these smaller trips, strapping a bag to the seat works fine. I have no other mods Ė other than the TOR exhaust which was already on the bike from the only previous owner (and sounds beautiful).

My gear:
I need better rain gloves. And I could use a better full face helmet. Around here I usually just wear a ĺ Biltwell helmet and goggles. But for the distance/rain, I used my old Vega full face helmet, which kinda sucks. Itís loud, REALLY loud. And kind of uncomfortable. I had rainproof pants over my regular pants, and an old waterproof North Face jacket over my other shirt/jacket. While not proper riding gear, all of this kept me warm and dry.

The route:
I highly recommend taking a ride through Vermont if you havenít been. It was everything I had hoped it would be, and I only saw what I saw, there are many roads and corners of the state that I have yet to explore. Itís a place set apart Ė thereís a great, slow pace and a realness to the landscape, to the towns, to the few people I met. I hardly hit any traffic whatsoever, which was also nice. Itís just very rural. Very wild.

All in all, I had a great few days in a great place on a great motorcycle. And for me, thatís what itís all about. I donít consider myself a hardcore adventure rider, but adventure is a loose term. And a relative term. Compared to sitting on my couch or at my office, carving around sweeping curves in the rain on a rural road in Vermont IS an adventure.

It ended up being 686 miles from door to door. Iíve got the bug. It was the first of hopefully many such trips on the Scrambler. Iíve got my sights set on riding up through Maine to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Anyone ridden that way? Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this report Ė Hereís to many more. Safe riding!

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Old 06-10-2013, 07:30 AM   #6
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Sep 2005
Location: NC
Oddometer: 143
Nice bike enjoyed the report. Love the scramblers
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:55 PM   #7
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Joined: Oct 2007
Location: tucson, AZ, It's a dry hate.
Oddometer: 4,965
The connection

Originally Posted by ArtofCory View Post
It just loves to be ridden. You almost feel bad when you have to shut her off to get gas, etc. because you get a sense when riding, that the motorcycle is having as much fun as you are. It wants to be out there on the road, it needs it, just like I do.
Well, you might be new but nobody has said it better.
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:48 PM   #8
VALE 46!
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Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Little Mogadishu, Canada
Oddometer: 1,366
So far so good. Photography is really, really good. Love your choice of rides too. I'm in.
Somewhere between One Love and Molon Labe
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:52 PM   #9
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: DE
Oddometer: 5,513
Vermont truly is a beautiful state and definitely worth a visit (or two).Too bad the weather didn't cooperate.

And hey, Mystic, CT is a pretty cool little town of its own.
Inconsequential Adventurer
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
ArtofCory OP
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: Mystic, Conn.
Oddometer: 24
Thank you!

Thanks for all the comments/compliments guys!! Much appreciated.
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:39 AM   #11
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Joined: May 2011
Location: Southwestern New England
Oddometer: 852

Sweet ride you have there... and great report.

Lots of great riding here in CT - but do make that trip to Maine! Maine coast and the lakes region are certainly not going to disappoint
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