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Old 07-27-2011, 06:42 AM   #1
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
A hot, humid and wet trip to the vintage bike races at mid-Ohio

I have to apologize ahead of time, this report won't live up to my standards for pictures. I don't have the right camera for shooting on the fly (Canon G10) and my riding partners like to ride more than take pictures so this RR will be long on words and short on pics. With the apology out of the way, on with the RR.

Last Wednesday night, I packed the bike to head to the vintage bike races at the mid-Ohio Sports Car course. I was using the cheap Wal-Mart roll top dry bag to hold my camping stuff, but I wanted to fit more stuff so I bought the cheap Wal-Mart duffel bags. I lined the small bag with a trashbag and put my clothing and misc items in it. I put my camp gear in individual trash bags and into the large bag. Glad I double bagged everything because rain on the way home did get into the duffel bags. I also used Rok straps for the first time this trip and they are awesome! Well worth the money.

The bike ready for the trip:




This was our route for the trip up and back. We rode to Columbus Ohio on Thursday where we stayed in a hotel for the night. My friend had a friend ride down from Chicago to meet us here and we would continue to the track on Friday morning.


On the way up to Columbus, we had to take the WV turnpike which is a toll road. It is quite a pain to stop, put the bike in neutral, root around in my pocket with gloves and grab $2 for the toll. We had to do that 3 times each way. On the trip up, I paper clipped the two bucks together for easier handling. I had a better solution on the way back but I will get into that later.

We split off I-77 just above Ripley, WV and hit highway 33 which comes out in the south end of Columbus. I have been to Ohio many, many times but have never been on this road. It was a nice road and within a few miles of hitting it, you cross the Ohio river into Ohio. There isn't much on the road, including gas. It was here I ran out of gas the first time. The bike stumbled so I reached down and switched on the reserve. We got off the next exit and it was 5 miles to the nearest town. I didn't know where I would find gas so we rode the 5 miles. Turns out, the next exit had gas right at the exit.

The rest of the day went well, we rolled into the hotel and Gene rolled up an hour or so later. We took showers, got something to eat and hit the sack.
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I don't ride because I have a death wish, I ride because I wish to live.
O Canada, Off to the races, A trip down memory lane, Lola does the OBX, Slaying the Dragon
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Old 07-27-2011, 07:04 AM   #2
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 212
Friday morning we got ready and hit a Wal-Mart on the way out of town. Gene has a nice trailer he tows behind his CVO Street Glide so we bought a case of bottled water and put it in the cooler in the trailer. We covered the 60 miles to the track in good time and got there before noon and setup camp.

Here is an aerial view of the track thanks to Google maps. The bottom, left marker is about where we setup camp. The top right marker is the best view of the track, IMHO. You can see all the curves and there were lots of passing there.


Now the camp area is dirt with large gravel/rocks. Looked pretty easy for the dirt bikes, mini-bikes and dual sports that were buzzing through camp. It was not much fun on a large cruiser. We made it in and out without dropping the bike, though there was one drop at the track. More on that later.

Here is what I call, Camp-in-a-Bag. It includes a tent, footprint, sleeping bag, mattress pad, chair, shoes and a few misc smaller items. I will be marketing these for $500.




After we setup, we decided to take a ride in the country before the racing started. We headed out and just started riding. We didn't know where we were going so we tried to make a big loop and pretty well succeeded. There was a lot of corn and some beans everywhere we went. We passed through several old towns that had awesome churches and courthouses. Like I said earlier, my friends were more into riding than pictures so I didn't get to stop for pictures. I will do better next time.

Our approximate route:


It was miserable hot and humid and I must confess I took off my riding pants and jacket. I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt along with boots, gloves and FF helmet. I know I shouldn't have, but it felt great. A mesh jacket is in my future. Gene wears only boots for protective gear, no helmet, gloves, jacket or riding pants. Seems many people in Ohio do that as well. I cannot bring myself to even move the bike in the driveway without a helmet. I can see the appeal, but I can't go that far with it.

We stopped for gas at a Sinclair station. Ok, it was not a real gas station but was a working garage that the guy turned into a pseudo museum. It was a neat place.










After the ride in the country, we watched some of the practice, got a bite to eat and hit the sack. We didn't sleep to well though as many people brought little mini-bikes and dirt bikes and buzzed up and down camp all day and into the night. Then someone would rev their bike to the limiter and shut it off. Someone else would whoop and holler and then yet another person would rev their bike. Oh well, I expected camp would be a little wild and it wasn't nearly as wild as I expected.
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ADVWannabee
I don't ride because I have a death wish, I ride because I wish to live.
O Canada, Off to the races, A trip down memory lane, Lola does the OBX, Slaying the Dragon
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:38 AM   #3
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Joined: Aug 2009
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Saturday morning I was feeling a little under the weather. The weather the night before called for beer and whiskey. My friends rode out to breakfast and brought me back some french toast. I was soon feeling fine so we went for another ride in the country. This time we headed southeast to cover new ground. The interesting thing was, when we went west, the terrain was flat, the roads were straight and there was lots of corn and beans. The other side of I-71 was a little hilly with less crops.

Our approximate route:



When we headed back to the track, there was a massive storm rolling in. We stopped at a gas station to get directions back to the track and to get our rain gear one. While standing under the roof over the gas pumps, a large bolt of lighting hit nearby. It was so close, you could hear the sizzle and pop of the lightning before the thunder hit. It knocked out the gas pumps but fortunately we had already filled up.

We made it back to the track and the weather was nicer. We rode into the infield and parked in the trees at the bottom of the hill.




After watching some racing, it started to rain a little and they cancelled the races, except for the sidecar event. That was cool to watch them slip and slide around the track. We headed over to Mansfield to eat where it hadn't rained yet. It started raining while we ate so we let it die down before heading back to the track. We get back and it hadn't been raining at the track but the guy at the gate said it would be a heavy rain between 9:00 pm and midnight.

Sure enough, at 9:08 pm, I am tucked into my little 2 man tent listening to the rain start up. There was lots of lightning and thunder for ours with heavy rain. I put in my ear plugs and finally went to sleep. I woke later to the rain firing up again. My tent is only a year old or so and held up great. It had one small pinhole leak near the door on the fly, probably where the zipper had pinched the material when I open and close it. It only dripped every few minutes during the hardest rain. A little Camp Dry should take care of that.
__________________
ADVWannabee
I don't ride because I have a death wish, I ride because I wish to live.
O Canada, Off to the races, A trip down memory lane, Lola does the OBX, Slaying the Dragon
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:54 AM   #4
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Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia
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Sunday morning we awoke to nearly clear skies and a beautiful morning. I made coffee for my friend and I while Gene packed up to go back to Chicago. He had to go to work Monday but I believe as I write this he is now heading to Yellowstone on the bike. He has put 24,000 miles on his Street Glide in 1 year!






My friend and I went back to the track to watch the races that were rained out yesterday and being run this morning.

This is the best place to watch IMHO:


We wondered around and I took pictures of some of the old bikes. So here is some bike porn for your viewing pleasure.

























These Honda Trail 70s were all over the place. The are neat little bikes and I imagine many a kid got his start on one of these.


My friend thought we could camp Sunday night and leave Monday morning, but we found out we had to be out by 10:00 pm. So we decided to head down to Marietta, Ohio and spend the night. So we took back roads following my GPS out to I-77. But on the way, I ran across a sign for 60 to Zanesville. I knew that road would take us to Marietta without hitting interstate so he made the turn.

The only problem was after that, there were no signs really and we ended up in Dresden. I asked a couple people how to get to Marietta and they said take I-70 to I-77. I asked if 60 ran to Marietta and they didn't know. Finally we just started following the GPS and the next sign we found for Zanesville was the city limits sign. Apparently Ohio doesn't believe in putting up signs telling you how far to the next town. Once in Zanesville I knew the way to Marietta so we followed the Muskingum river and rolled into town about 4:00 pm.
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ADVWannabee
I don't ride because I have a death wish, I ride because I wish to live.
O Canada, Off to the races, A trip down memory lane, Lola does the OBX, Slaying the Dragon
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Old 07-28-2011, 06:07 AM   #5
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Joined: Aug 2009
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We booked a night at the historic Lafayette hotel for just $70 with a river view. It was very nice inside and I could not believe you could get a room for that cheap.



One side of the lobby:


The other side of the lobby:


Our room:




I took these shots of Ohio river traffic behind the hotel.





Valley Gem sight seeing sternwheeler:


We got up on Monday morning, showered, packed and hit the road. First I had to rig up my toll money for the WV turnpike. There are 3 tollbooths if you travel the length of it between Charleston and Princeton. I clipped the money to my newly acquired windshield bag (got it from a vendor at the race). Now all i have to do is put the bike in neutral, grab $2 and hand it to the attendant.



We rolled out of the first tollbooth at Charleston when my friend on the HD Police model decided to take off. I don't know if he was worried about getting his toll money or himself wet, but he set a mean pace. So there was nothing to do but crack the throttle and follow after him. We were making excellent time. I was getting close to 130 miles on my tank and was getting nervous. Sure enough, I hit 139 miles and ran out of gas just North of Princeton and had to hit the reserve. Three miles later we are dead stopped in traffic. I turned off the bike and we waited about 15 to 20 minutes. We were finally rolling again and saw that a cement truck had caught on fire and nearly burned the cab completely away. I hope the driver got out.

After making Princeton, we fueled up, hit the Applebees for lunch and waited out the first of the rain. Finally it was time to get wet so we headed out. The rain lasted about an hour and a half. I made it home and it took me another hour to unload, unpack and hang everything out to dry.

I added a mid-Ohio racetrack sticker to my helmet (lower right). Maybe after a few more trips I will earn an ADV sticker?
__________________
ADVWannabee
I don't ride because I have a death wish, I ride because I wish to live.
O Canada, Off to the races, A trip down memory lane, Lola does the OBX, Slaying the Dragon

ADVWannabee screwed with this post 07-28-2011 at 11:49 AM
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